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Wednesday May 29, 2024

RMU first medical university to establish dedicated Bioethics Department

By Muhammad Qasim
March 12, 2023

Rawalpindi: Rawalpindi Medical University has become the first medical university of the country that has established a dedicated Department of Bioethics and designed a well-structured bioethical curriculum with teaching strategies, implementation roadmap, and assessment model from the first year to the final year of MBBS.

It is important that Pakistan Medical and Dental Council had issued guidelines for bioethical curriculum for undergraduates and postgraduates in medical education but practically this is not translated into real-time practice and most of medical teaching institutions just reflect this in theory lecture and knowledge-based practices.

According to Vice Chancellor at RMU Professor Muhammad Umar, the absence of a proper bioethical curriculum in medical education is a big deficiency in teaching and training of doctors at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels resulting in different issues of attitudes and good clinical practices of young doctors and even of senior faculty members. This is also resulting in poor doctor-patient relationship and low patient satisfaction level.

He said to address this issue, the academic council of RMU formulated a special committee to design a well-structured bioethical curriculum for undergraduates and postgraduates. The committee recommended that RMU should establish a dedicated Bioethical Department like all other departments of basic and clinical sciences.

The RMU administration established a dedicated Department of Bioethics in RMU and Professor Akram Randhawa has been appointed as chairman of the department. He along with faculty members designed a well-structured Bioethical curriculum for first year to final year MBBS students that will be delivered along with teaching strategies and assessment, and it will have weightage like any other subject, said Professor Umar. He added that there will be hands-on training and role modelling to train students for ethical practices. The Department of Bioethics will hold meetings, workshops, and seminars on professionalism and communication skills. The RMU Model of Bioethical teaching and training will produce ethical, humane, empathic and competent doctors, he said.

He further added that RMU is the only university implementing 360-degree multi-source feedback system in the University Residency Program (URP) as per ACGME model of USA. All this will ultimately improve patient-doctor relationship and healthcare delivery system, he said.