Amit Shah and Shivraj Singh Chouhan publish three-subject Hindi textbooks for MBBS students. | Twitter
Mumbai: Today, doctors and once non-English speaking students remain rather puzzled after Union Home Secretary Amit Shah unveiled India’s first three Hindi MBBS textbooks in Madhya Pradesh. Strangers to the language, these medical professionals have been there and done it, and are now practicing or earning their PhDs in English after years of schooling in their native language.
Physicians not only coped, but found convenience in learning the myriad terms of anatomy, treatments, and diseases in English.
“Learning biology in Gujarati was a nightmare, I was studying medicine in English rather than any other language,” says pediatrician Jia Patel from Gujarat who initially took seven months to adapt to the English after twelve years of education in Gujarati.
“Hindi is still very limited to some states, I speak to most of my patients in Marathi,” said a resident doctor at JJ Hospital in Mumbai who studied at a Marathi middle school up to grade 10.
“The MBBS is ultimately the foundation of your practice and higher education, which is why you can’t help but refer to external textbooks for specific topics. What happens when those these are written in English,” she added.
Doctors practicing today find that the right balance of English and the respective regional language suits them better than Hindi while conversing with their patients. “My OPD patients will be confused when I tell them they have Kshay, but they will quickly understand TB,” said Dr Meet Ghonia, who studied in Gujarati up to grade 10 and is now a resident physician in respiratory medicine. in Delhi.
To further facilitate the learning process, a hybrid approach to teaching medical students is already prevalent in the country. Many teachers continue to converse and explain concepts in Hindi, even referring to an English textbook. “My coaching course would break down the fundamentals in Hindi if needed, but we stuck to our English textbooks while preparing for NEET,” said this year’s top NEET, Tanishka.
Although this decision by the government remains voluntary for students, it still constitutes an imbalance in the uniformity of education, as English continues to remain an international setting when it comes to studying health care. “Removing it affects the standardization of the course,” said Professor Bipin Patel of MK Shah Medical College, Gujarat. “I see local schools closing because parents want children to know English well from an early age. Introducing higher education curriculum in Hindi again makes no sense,” he added. .
The change made by the Union government remains limited to national medical instruction manuals only. Both international literature and research journals continue to accept and publish work in English.
“Except for the few top universities, many colleges in India still do not understand the importance of keeping up with research in the medical world. Publications can even change our ways of functioning overnight. students could push us further behind,” said Mrudula Joshi, a final year MBBS student from BJ Medical College, Pune.