3rd Annual Mini-Symposium – “Students as Teachers”

Today’s students are tomorrow’s teachers. All the great teachers we have today, have been students in the past. Teaching how to teach, should obviously be therefore a very important part of training our future doctors. It therefore follows that we need to train our present day student to be an efficient teacher in the future. However, unfortunately this important aspect of Medical Education has never been given any importance in the past. Even today, very few institutions pay any attention to this.

Further, it is a widely held belief that one of the best ways to learn an important topic well is to teach it to others, and to discuss it in full details with colleagues.

Muhammad Medical College realised the above facts a long time ago, actually the moment it was established. It has therefore been a routine practice of MMC to create and provide its students opportunities to teach others as and when possible. Various departments of the College therefore hold regular “Clinico-Pathological Conferences (CPCs)” in which it is mandatory for all students to participate. Moreover, MMC is one of the few Medical Colleges in Pakistan to hold regular Annual Symposia in which all students not only participate, but are encouraged to contribute in various research projects under the active guidance of their professors and other teachers and present their findings in the Symposia. MMC has the honour to have held its regular and uninterrupted 12th Annual Medical Symposium last year in autumn.

Under the guidance of its Dean and Managing Trustee, Professor Syed Razi Muhammad, the College also started a further annual programme 3 years ago in this context. Department of Medicine, in collaboration with the Department of Medical Education held the 3rd Annual Mini-Symposium – Students as Teachers in its State of Art Mrs Razia Ali Muhammad Memorial Auditorium on 29th April 2015.

The programme started promptly at 9:30 AM on 29th April. Vice Principal Professor Shams ul Arfeen Khan did the recitation from Holy Quran, and took over the duty of conducting the proceedings. Professor Syed Zafar Abbas reminded the students, and explained to the senior doctors of faculty and invited doctors from the city of Mirpurkhas, of the rules of the presentations. Students, who were all from Final Year, were divided in 28 groups comprising 3 – 4 students each, presented topics which were allocated to them 3 weeks in advance. They were allowed 8 minutes to talk, followed by 2 minutes of Question & Answer session. Professor Rehmatullah Soomro took on the duty of ringing a warning bell at 7 minutes, and then final bell at 8 minutes. Students were called on the stage. One of them presented the topic, followed by another one from the group leading the Q&A session. The presentations were all done on Powerpoint with the help of IT department, and students remarkably kept well on the time discipline. Judges from among the senior teachers marked the quality of presentations and ability to handle the Q&A.

All the presentations were also represented in the form of posters. Another member of the same group presented the poster to the panel of separate Judges and the fourth member of the team took any questions from the Judges.

When the presentations were over, Professor Imran Ahmad of Department of Medical Education gave a lecture on the importance of new ways of imparting medical education, and emphasised on the teachers and professors to adopt the scientifically proven methods to help themselves improve the quality of their teaching. Professor Pervez Ashraf from Liaqut National Medical College and Hospital, Karachi then presented a State of Art Lecture on Hepatitis C. He began with giving his impression on the oral and poster presentations by the students and said he was astonished to see such high quality presentations. He said many of the presentations were of higher quality than can be expected even from post graduate doctors. He praised the teachers of MMC on enabling their students to raise to such high standards and congratulated students on their presentations. He then talked about the various aspects of Hepatitis C infection. He discussed the mode of transmission, prevention, clinical features and complications of this infection. He also talked about the treatment of this condition, and in particular about the new drugs that have come about over the last few years.

At the end of the programme, Professor Ghulam Ali Memon, Principal Muhammad Medical College, presented souvenirs and gifts to the guest speaker.

Next day the College saw another programme, which was its 8th Annual Mirpurkhas Seminars in Gastroenterology. Awards were distributed to those students who had presented their talks and posters in the Mini-Symposium the previous day, particularly those students who had performed well in the recently held series of tests in general medicine and gastroenterology and hepatology. Shamin Naseem Siddiquie received First Prize. Samawia Chaudhary stood Second, and Mirza Sikandar Baig came Third.