Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard) Professor, Kulliyah of Medicine, International Islamic University PO Box 70 Jln Sultan PJ 46700 Telephone 60 3 755 3433 fax 60 3 757 7970 (Presented at the 4th Annual General Meeting of the Islamic Medical Association, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan 7th June1996)
The paper identifies 6 conceptual issues in medical education and presents Islamic approaches to them (a) The purpose of medicine, which defines the system of medical education, is to maintain or improve the quality of life and not to prevent or postpone death (b) integration of the curriculum, deriving from the the tauhidi paradigm, implies practice and teaching of medicine as a total holistic approach to the human in the social, psychological, material, & spiritual dimensions and not exclusively dealing with particular diseases or organs (c) The selection of medical students, their training, and evaluation should emphasize that medicine is a human service within the context of Islamic mutual social support, takaful ijtimae (d) The physician must provide leadership as a social activist who identifies and resolves underlying social causes of ill-health; as a respected opinion leader whose moral values & attitudes are a model for others; and as an advisor on medical, legal, and ethical issues associated with modern medical technology so that the patients and their families can reach an informed decision (e) The future physician must be prepared to undertake research, a type of ijtihad, to extend the frontiers of medical knowledge, applying available knowledge and improving the quality of life. Time allocated to basic research methodological tools should be increased at the expense of accumulating biomedical scientific information that is either forgotten or becomes obsolete by the time of graduation (f) The education and development of the physician before, during, and after medical school should inculcate the motivation to excel in commitment, ikhlas, and care delivery following the model of the early Muslim scientists and physicians. The paper ends by making 2 recommendations: (a) reform of the medical curriculum to be oriented more to methodology than information (b) student involvement in direct health care delivery under an aprenticeship system.
KEY WORDS: Medical education, medical training, medical schools, medical curriculum, medical students