Indian Journal of Applied Basic Medical Sciences
Year: 2019, Volume: 21(B), Issue. (2)
Online ISSN: 2249-7935
Print ISSN: 0975-8917
Foundation Course in Undergraduate Medical Curriculum
Online Published on 02-Jul-2019
Foundation is basically a entry level course that introduces students to a study course and prepares them for studying it at higher level. It is usually conducted before the actual course begins. Students who opt for higher education may find problems of coping with new environment. Foundation course helps the students to orient them to new curriculum and new surroundings. Without orientation, students are prone to undue stress even before beginning of course. Foundation course prepares the students for challenges that lie ahead. Foundation course is essential as it tries to create a uniform base for students coming from diverse cultural backgrounds, languages. Since, the students used to come directly from school; they are of diverse school boards, different syllabus, different regions and socioeconomic background. Foundation course helps in developing cultural competency among students’ right from beginning of their careers. Also, schools in India train the students predominantly in scholastic domain. Hence, students lack non scholastic abilities. These abilities can be taken care during foundation course, as both scholastic as well as non scholastic abilities are equally important for successful future doctors. Hence, foundation course can lay foundation for all three domains of learning cognitive, skills and attitudinal and behavioural domain including communication. In India, very few colleges had foundation courses in the true sense. Most of the colleges had one or two weeks orientation programmes before medical studies used to begin. The basic purpose was same as that of foundation courses, however they were of shorter duration and hence, were not effective in terms or intended outcomes. Foundation course is usually of longer duration so that all areas needed to be addressed get covered. Medical Council of India has proposed to implement new undergraduate competency based medical curriculum (3) soon. The undergraduate medical education program (4) is designed with a goal to create an “Indian Medical Graduate” (IMG) possessing requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and responsiveness, so that he or she may function appropriately and effectively as a physician of first contact of the community while being globally relevant. One of the major components of new proposed curriculum is foundation course (5). The main aim of foundation course is to orient students to national health scenarios, ethics, health economics, basic life support, language and computer skills, time management, development of attitudinal and communication domain. The proposed foundation course is of one month duration to orient students to medical graduate course.
It can lay foundation for five roles defined by MCI for Indian medical graduates, namely, clinician, leader and member of health care system and team, communicator, life long learner and professional.