COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, UNILAG ADOPTS NEW IMPROVED MEDICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM MODEL by Kemisola Agoyi

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It is no news that medical students of the University of Lagos, especially the MBBS students and their Dental counterparts run the most tedious, rigorous and longest of calendar in the school system – running a full year session (in the duration of months; ranging from 6 – 18 months per year) in contrast to semesters (in duration of 3 months per semester) being run by normal BSc. students which makes them stay up to “a decade” in school all together for the completion of their programs.

Six plus “X” number of years – where “X” is a positive integer to infinity with series of lectures, laboratory sessions, incourses, tests, clinical postings, end of posting exams, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and professional exams to crown it all up has been the usual routine of didactic learning, until this old way filled with struggle and inconsistency was revisited for millennial advancement by the Medical Education Development Unit (MEDU) headed then by Professor C.A.N. Okoromah – Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Cardiologist, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

The new curriculum model, which is Student–centred, Problem–based, Integrated, Competency–based, Community–oriented, Electives and Systemic Curriculum model (SPICCES) – under monitoring and now in use by the newly inducted 200L MBBS/BDS students in the college, is structured to make learning very active, impactful and system based in all ramification.

Basic medical courses are arranged in ways they can be vertically and horizontally relatable also well understood unlike the traditional “rush-through-all-crash-course” method, some of us had the “luxury” to be a part of. Now incourses/tests for basic medical courses would be weekly in phases, learning in smaller assigned groups, sessions in semesters (although 3 semesters per session, still leaving us to spending up to a year in each class but detailed and useful). The beauty of this new curriculum is that it makes active learning and equal functioning; effective, efficient and easier for both students and teachers.

Even the orthodox way of writing professional exams at a stretch of 3-days-consecutively for 2 weeks in 200L has been changed, which is a whole lot of relief of the “rush stress”. During the manifesto night of Association of Medical Students University of Lagos (AMSUL) on Tuesday, 14th of February; the curriculum was pointed at by one of the aspirants, promising to make moves on having a meeting between the student bodies and the various faculty heads and members involved in the Curriculum redesign (buttressing the interview of the Director of MEDU, by the AMSUL Editorial Board sometime back), to give us a proper view, in-depth understanding and interpretation of the curriculum, so we can maximize its benefits to the best of its and our potential.

Nevertheless, we applaud this commendable effort and change input by the MEDU – now under the directives of Professor Adegoke of Physiology Department – to promote, improve and better the medical education of students in our prestigious University of First choice and Nations pride. Hence, making us match up to the standards of international medical schools and we do hope that this change effort that has started would be followed through and adhered to, to bring the much desire effect anticipated and wanted in the college.

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