Bridging the gap in public health education in India: the need of the hour


  • Shrinivasa Basavegowdana Doddi Marinaik Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College (JSS University), S.S. Nagar, Mysore -570015, Karnataka
  • Rajesh Jayanandan Tutor & Post-graduate, Department of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College (JSS University), S.S. Nagar, Mysore -570015, Karnataka
  • Nagendra . Medico-social worker, Department of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College (JSS University), S.S. Nagar, Mysore -570015, Karnataka


Public health education, Medical students, Communication skills, Community


Background:Lack of proper communication skills among budding doctors is considered to be a major gap existing between teaching and practice of public health in various parts of India. Therefore a competency based teaching curriculum is needed to sharpen these skills necessary for bridging this gap and achieving a successful community based medical education.

Methods:This cross-sectional study was conducted among a group of 28 students from a batch of 133 students in their fourth semester of second year undergraduate medical education, who attended their posting in the department of community medicine at JSS medical college (JSS University) in Mysore, for a period of one month during May 2014. A new educational intervention namely student’s short seminar was included in addition to their routine community medicine teaching curriculum. At the end of the postings a feedback regarding the intervention was collected from the students using a pretested structured questionnaire.

Results:Questions related to the intervention were rated by the students in a six point Likert scale. The median total score was 15.0 (12-17). Among 28 students majority 16 (57.1%) of them had graded it as good while 11 (39.3%) had graded it as fair and 1 (3.6%) of them had graded it as poor based on the median total score.  

Conclusion:Community based medical education can fulfil its purpose when it can advocate not only the cognitive domain (Knowledge) but also the affective domain (Attitudes) and psychomotor domain (Skills) of the learning process. Hence it is the foremost duty of the faculties in the department of community medicine in medical colleges to inculcate interest towards public health by introducing innovative and interactive teaching and learning interventions.



Bhore W. Bhore Committee Report, 1946. Available at:

Nongkynrih B, Anand K, Kusuma YS, Rai SK, Misra P, Goswami K. Linking undergraduate medical education to primary health care. Indian J Public Health. 2008;52:28-32.

Negandhi H, Sharma K, Zodpey SP. How can departments of community medicine shape the future of public health education in India? Indian J Public Health. 2010;54:184-9.

Ananthakrishnan N. Medical education in India: is it still possible to reverse the downhill trend? Natl Med J India. 2010;23:156-60.

WHO Regional Office for South East Asia. Improving the teaching of public health at undergraduate level in medical schools - suggested guidelines. In WHO, eds. Report of a Review Meeting of the Expert Group, Kathmandu, Nepal. Geneva: WHO; 2010: 10-12.

Anita N, Gopal I. From classroom to community: teaching community medicine in India. South East Asian J Med Educ. 2008;2:5-8.

Dongre AR, Kalaiselvan G, Mahalakshmy T. The benefits to medical undergraduates of exposure to community-based survey research. Educ Health (Abingdon). 2011;24:591.

Mudey A, Khapre M. Assessment of perception amongst students involved in an innovative community health care program. In adopted village of Wardha district. Int J Sci Res. 2013;2:431-3.

Sharma AK, Yadav BK, Pramod GC, Paudel IS, Chapagain ML, Koirala S. Community-based medical education: the Nepal experience. Indian J Community Med. 2007;32:195-7.

Sharma A, Zodpey SP. Transforming public health education in India through networking and collaborations: opportunities and challenges. Indian J Public Health. 2013;57(3):155-60.

Boelen C. The Five-Star Doctor: an asset to health care reform? In: Boelen C, eds. WHO Report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2002: 1-13.

Kotwal A. Innovations in teaching/learning methods for medical students: research with mentoring. Indian J Public Health. 2013;57:144-6.




How to Cite

Marinaik, S. B. D., Jayanandan, R., & ., N. (2017). Bridging the gap in public health education in India: the need of the hour. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 3(1), 273–276. Retrieved from



Original Research Articles