Prof. Dr. Jagdish Prasad Agrawal Institute of Medicine (IOM) DEAN, TU

Dr. Jagdish Prasad Agrawal has been serving as the Dean of Institute of Medicine since 3rdDecember, 2016. Dr. Agrawal is a Neurology specialist who did M.D. from University of Rajasthan, India and MHPE from University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. Colleges Nepal talks with him about the medical education and future plan of IOM.
  • What plans have you introduced for the upliftment of medical education?

Medical education differs from other as it is a competency based education. We are directly connected to the human being and there is not be a single scope for mistake. So we are responsible to produce competent doctors. In recent time, lots of new technologies and learning methods have surfaced. For example, students are trained/taught in clinical skill labs and are given simulation based education. So we are working on providing students with the world class learning environment and every facility possible.

  • The charm of the medical education is increasing with each passing day. What you have to say about that?

Since medical is a noble profession it’s obvious for students to get attracted towards it. As a doctor you can do social service and have high rank in the society and make good money too. In 1972, there was only one medical institute but now over twenty medical institutes are running throughout the country.

  • Is there any provision for student who is academically bright but unable to afford medical education?

Medical education is expensive throughout the globe but there are mechanisms to subsidize it. Moreover, we are teaching 46 students out of 75 students for free except the exam fee and other minor expenses. Nepal government has scholarship schemes. So students who are talented can compete for the merit basis scholarships.

  • Each year hundreds of students go abroad for MBBS education. What steps have been taken to stop those students?

Students going abroad to pursue MBBS were high in the past. But the number has lowered dramatically after the Nepal Medical Council (NMC) began to take an examination to ensure students are capable enough to pursue MBBS education in the foreign country.

  • Is the current education policy enough or shall some amendments be made?

We have improved a lot. Education is not just about earning degree. We should be able to produce competent graduates with high morale.

  • How many doctors does IOM produce yearly?

Maharajgunj Medical College is a constituent college with 75 seats. But we have other affiliated college too which have 7 to 8 hundred seats.

  • Are the doctor produced through IOM serving throughout the nation?

Rather than IOM it’s a responsibility of the health ministry. Students who studies in scholarship are appointed by Nepal government. They have to serve in the hospital that the government assigns to them.

  • Time and again, we hear about doctors not being able to treat their patient effectively. Do you think doctors produced in Nepal are competent enough for practice?

I was talking about the same thing. Doctors who are certified as competent shall be considered competent but we have to improve the assessment method.  

  • Controversies do not seem to leave IOM alone. What kind of impact does it leave on students?

If we try to go out of system, it affects everyone from country to college to students. Government has allocated a certain fee but sometime students need to pay more and ‘under the table’ practice has left the students dissatisfied. Thus, such evil practice affects everyone in one way or another.

  • Future plans of IOM.

We will develop a system where deserving students get opportunity to study properly. We are focusing on delivering competency based education. In the coming days we will be introducing new programs such as BDS. We will be adding more infrastructure and hopefully will be able to increase the number of seats and make it 100.

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