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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 213-214

Students' perspective on integrated teaching in medical education: Opportunities, challenges, and potential solutions


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission28-Apr-2020
Date of Decision18-May-2020
Date of Acceptance09-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication11-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_31_20

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  Abstract 


The concept of integrated teaching in medical education has been advocated to provide meaningful connections between the topics and problems which are interrelated so that understanding between theory and practical application can be ameliorated. The integrated teaching has been associated with multiple advantages for both the teachers and students. However, it is important to explore the educational initiative in terms of the opportunity which it presents to the students, as eventually our aim is to produce a competent medical graduate. However, for the successful implementation of the integrated teaching and accomplishment of the intended learning outcomes, we have to give due consideration for the existing challenges. There are no doubts that challenges exist from the perspective of administrators and from the faculty perspective, but we cannot ignore the potential challenges attributed to the students. In conclusion, integrated teaching has been linked with multiple benefits for the students in the medical education. However, we have to understand the opportunity and the challenges attributed to the same from the students' perspective for better and successful implementation.

Keywords: Integrated teaching, medical education, students


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Students' perspective on integrated teaching in medical education: Opportunities, challenges, and potential solutions. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2021;6:213-4

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Students' perspective on integrated teaching in medical education: Opportunities, challenges, and potential solutions. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 27];6:213-4. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2021/6/2/213/323715



The concept of integrated teaching in medical education has been advocated to provide meaningful connections between the topics and problems which are interrelated so that understanding between theory and practical application can be ameliorated.[1] In fact, the delivery of an integrated teaching plays a crucial role in enhancing the clinical application of the learned knowledge, removes the barrier between different subjects, and is looked upon as an important approach to avoid repetition of the same topic by the different subjects. This is a very important feature as within the prescribed duration of the undergraduation period, we have to deliver loads of information, and any efforts to minimize the duplication of knowledge delivery can have significant merits in the curriculum delivery.[1],[2]


  Integrated Teaching: Opportunities for Students Top


The integrated teaching has been associated with multiple advantages for both the teachers and students.[1],[2],[3] However, it is important to explore the educational initiative in terms of the opportunity which it presents to the students, as eventually our aim is to produce a competent medical graduate. In general, the integrated teaching provides an opportunity for the students to comprehend any topic by bridging the gaps between basic science and clinical aspects, aids in application of knowledge to real-life scenarios, promotes productive use of the available time, and exposes the students to different forms of interactive teaching–learning methods (such as problem-based learning, system-based learning, case-based learning, and seminars).[2],[3]

Integrated teaching provides students with the opportunity for a rich and holistic learning experience, including complete patient care through improvement in the critical thinking, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills. Further, students tend to have a better learning environment and derive better satisfaction from the course, thereby minimizing the chances of leaving the course in between.[2],[3],[4] In addition, it helps the students to improve their self-confidence, gives them orientation about the community and insights about the importance of attitude-ethics and communication, and even improves team building. Moreover, the implementation of integrated teaching helps the students to establish better rapport with the teaching staff, and at the same time, they can observe the work atmosphere, understand the ethical issues, and improve their communication skills.


  Challenges in Integrated Teaching: Students' Perspective Top


However, for the successful implementation of the integrated teaching and accomplishment of the intended learning outcomes, we have to give due consideration for the existing challenges.[3],[4],[5] There are no doubts that challenges exist from the perspective of administrators (as it is a resource-intensive program), and from the faculty perspective, but we cannot ignore the potential challenges attributed to the students. We must accept that all the students will have different learning pace (especially slow learners) and thus expecting that all of them will develop the same level of critical thinking and other skills after an integrated teaching session is not practical. Thus, we have to properly plan sensitization session for the students to make them understand about the importance of integrated teaching and the ways in which it will aid them to become a better physician.[2],[5]


  Proposed Solutions Top


The objectives for each of the sessions must be specific and feasible, otherwise we will land up with burdening the students with extensive amount of knowledge and it will act as a detrimental factor in knowledge acquisition and application. From the students' perspective, some of them might not be able to cope up with the entire experience, especially when multiple number of departments are involved. In addition, there will be some students who are more adapted to traditional forms of teaching–learning, and thus there is a significant need to maintain a balance between the number of integrated teaching sessions and traditional sessions.[4],[5],[6]

Finally, the biggest challenge has been that despite the delivery of knowledge in an integrated teaching session, none of the summative assessments are being conducted in an integrated fashion. This calls for the need to conduct formative assessments using an integrated teaching approach so that students understand the practical significance and remain motivated for learning through integrated sessions.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] In order to improve the implementation of integrated teaching sessions, feedback is being obtained from the students periodically in Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, a constituent unit of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry.


  Conclusion Top


Integrated teaching has been linked with multiple benefits for the students in the medical education. However, we must understand the opportunity and the challenges attributed to the same from the students' perspective for better and successful implementation.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Vashe A, Devi V, Rao R, Abraham RR, Pallath V, Umakanth S. Using an integrated teaching approach to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes in a preclinical medical curriculum in India. Adv Physiol Educ 2019;43:522-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Integrated teaching in medical education in India: Scope, Current status and Opportunities. Res Dev Med Educ 2019;8:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Tsinopoulos IT, Symeonidis C, Tsaousis KT, Mataftsi A, Chalvatzis N, Tzamalis A, et al. Contribution of integrated teaching in the improvement of an undergraduate ophthalmology curriculum. Adv Med Educ Pract 2014;5:433-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Salha A, Saberi-Movahed AS, Waqar S. Medical student perspectives on integrated teaching within medical school. Adv Med Educ Pract 2018;9:753-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Critiquing the component of integrated teaching proposed under the new Graduate Medical Regulations 2018. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2019;12:93-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
  [Full text]  
6.
Yadav PP, Chaudhary M, Patel J, Shah A, Kantharia ND. Effectiveness of integrated teaching module in pharmacology among medical undergraduates. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2016;6:215-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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