MBBS College to maintain world-class education status

KGUMSB

LHAKPA TSHERING

Thimphu

In what could be a major game changer for undergraduate medical education in the country, the upcoming MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) College in the country will be equipped with world-class facilities and high education standards.

Efforts are underway to start the MBBS program by mid-2023 – one of the principal activities outlined in the 12th Plan for the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) – should everything peter out as planned.

Dr. Sithar Dorjee, the director and assistant professor of epidemiology with KGUMSB, who is also a team leader of MBBS Project Secretariat, said the medical graduates should be globally recognized and trusted.

“His Majesty the King commended that whatever the education we give now should be a world-class status. That means our graduates should be recognized by American and Australian entities too,” he underscored. “It is not only a national program, but we are aiming for 50 percent of international students.”

Their mission is to prepare the curriculum of the highest international standards both pragmatic and modern in approach joined with lectures delivered by highly experienced national and international faculty who have had years of teaching experience.

To bring the international coherence and environment to the entire program, and given the shortages of experts in the country, Dr. Sithar Dorjee says they will hire at least one to two experts for each critical department from different parts of the world.

“They will come on a contract basis for two to five years. We will also invite the visiting faculty for the short term,” he continued, adding that the programs are expected to run efficiently.

He added it is cost effective. “We can pay them whatever it costs because the payment can be met from the fees of international and local students.”

“There will be cross-fertilization of the knowledge. We can learn how different countries are teaching their MBBS and take the best of the best approach and enrich the student learning,” he said.

In addition, the school will adopt a faculty exchange program to meet the human resource requirement. He explained faculties will come from the international institutes with whom the university has instituted a collaborative network with about 25 universities by signing a memorandum of understanding.

He said, “We already have trained medical doctors for basic science to start biochemistry pathology, anatomy, and pharmacology.”

And, to optimize the utilization of faculty members and specialists, it will also consider the doctors undergoing a postgraduate medical degree at KGUMSB to teach some subjects – tutor and demonstrator, or mentorship – to undergraduate students. “They will not teach full time but they can do mentorship. That is how it is run even outside the country.”

With this, Dr. Sithar Dorjee explained, the expansion of other programs is easily doable. “After two or three years of introducing the MBBS, we can start dentists and medical technology programs.”

Besides, the MBBS project management team will look at criteria such as infrastructure to fulfill the world classroom setting. “Unlike other institutions, the way things are set up, we want to have modern facilities. That is what we aim for and value-added to the draft detailed project reports.”

“We want to make it very student-friendly so that they get the best environment,” he said. “We are also discussing giving one room to two students with dedicated study rooms so that they can get an undisturbed environment.”

In a personalized learning environment, Dr. Sithar Dorjee said that students can get practical learning with cadavers and hands-on clinical science training. 

“We can buy dead human bodies from other countries. Now they don’t even do it on the dead body. They will have a computer. So we are also trying to get high fidelity simulation equipment,” he added.