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PRESS RELEASE - 07 Mar 2013

Declining competitiveness among medical and biotech students of India

A five-year study on the trend, analyzed by NCRM, suggests steps for improvement

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07 Mar 2013;  A five-year analysis of the trend of active participation in competition based events of knowledge gaining among the students of medicine, biotech and allied life sciences shows a decline as  published by the Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), an Indo-Japan collaborative institute in the Journal of Contemporary Medical Education*. The analysis centered around the annual national level quiz programme on stem cells and regenerative medicine, the Fujio Cup Quiz reveals that students are more willing to be passive attendees in such meetings such as listening to some one’s lecture and getting a participation certificate instead of being active participants, probably because of fear of failure and peer pressure-stigma, post-failure etc if they lose in active knowledge gaining events, as proven by the statistically significant trend in the study. “Those who are planning a curriculum need to give more emphasis to such active participation based events by granting necessary academic credits (eg. CME credits for Medicine students) and even bonus credits may be given to such active knowledge gaining events’ participants as the passive attendees will anyhow get a credit if the meeting is an accredited one”, says Dr. Abraham, an author of the study. He also added that the NCRM NICHE, which has the Fujio Cup Quiz as its major component has a CME credit of 10 points awarded almost every year by the Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University.

Other salient features of the published report:

  1. The study has been conducted and analysed for five years by experts from India, Japan and Australia with 14 authors, the eldest one among them is Dr Fujio Takayama who is turning 90 this year. Other prominent co-authors include world renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. K. M. Cherian, Veteran medical microbiologist Dr. H. N. Madhavan and acclaimed nanomaterial scientist Dr. David Green.
  2. The Fujio Cup Quiz is probably the one and only kind of event, conducted in India annually on stem cells and regenerative medicine and the analyzed trend-watch continuously for five-years is the first such report in this domain to the best of the author’s knowledge.
  3. The study results also suggested that a better exposure to medical and life sciences students to peer reviewed journals should be  made mandatory by the curriculum regulations
  4. 94 % of the participants wanted to take salaried jobs whereas only 6 % opted to become entrepreneurs.
*Manuscript available at: http://www.scopemed.org/?mno=28296

Relative links: www.ncrmniche.org, www.fujiocupquiz.org

*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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