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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-51

Implementation of a student support system in medical institutions


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission16-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance21-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication5-May-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jss.jss_109_20

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  Abstract 


The training period in the delivery of medical education has to be utilized for the comprehensive development of the student. Acknowledging the presence of multiple problems in the life of a medical student is inevitable to plan and implement a student support system within each of the medical institutions. In fact, specific standards have been laid down by the national and international regulatory bodies to minimize stress, resolve problems, and holistically address all the issues which can together influence the academic performance of a student. The need of the hour is to adopt a student-centered approach that enables the students to understand their thoughts and feelings better and this can be streamlined with the help of a mentor or teacher in a confidential and nonjudgmental manner. In conclusion, the life of a medical student is full of ups and downs, and thus, there is an indispensable need to develop a student support system, which ensures the comprehensive development of them. Moreover, the success of such a system will be determined by the institutional culture, wherein all the stakeholders work together for the betterment of the students.

Keywords: Medical education, mentor, student support


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Implementation of a student support system in medical institutions. J Sci Soc 2021;48:50-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Implementation of a student support system in medical institutions. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jun 17];48:50-1. Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2021/48/1/50/315445




  Introduction Top


The training period in the delivery of medical education has to be utilized for the comprehensive development of the student and help them to attain specified academic and clinical competence standards.[1],[2] However, the training period has to be utilized for the personality development and to empower the students to be ready to face the challenges linked with the clinical practice.[2]


  Need of a Student Support System Top


It is quite obvious that medical students tend to experience a wide range of experiences/events (namely academic pressure, problems with friends, family issues, financial concerns, mental illnesses, emotional issues, career concerns, interpersonal relationships, etc.) during this long period, and thus, it becomes important to not only help them to overcome these problems but also ensure constant growth and development.[1],[2] Among the ongoing coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic, the needs of the medical students have increased enormously as they have been shifted from traditional to online teaching and have been staying at home for more than 6 months now.[3]

Acknowledging the presence of multiple problems in the life of a medical student is inevitable to plan and implement a student support system within each of the medical institutions.[2] In fact, specific standards have been laid down by the national and international regulatory bodies to minimize stress, resolve problems, and holistically address all the issues which can together influence the academic performance of a student.[2],[3],[4] The need of the hour is to adopt a student-centered approach that enables the students to understand their thoughts and feelings better and this can be streamlined with the help of a mentor or teacher in a confidential and nonjudgmental manner.[1],[2]


  Additional Considerations Top


The student support system can be either formal (constituted by the administrators for dealing with such issues) or informal (utilizes the existing social-support networks of students or between students and teachers).[3],[5] The support can be offered by faculty members (in the capacity of a mentor), peers, or by professionals like psychiatrists or psychologists, or other trained professionals.[5] The student support system should help the students to enhance their resilience so that they can positively cope with the encountered challenge (such as physical illness and fear of failing in examinations).[4],[5] The aim has to be to assist the students to bounce back and this essentially requires identification of the specific individual and/or environmental attributes and then help them to deal with varied coping skills like relaxation techniques or self-talk.[2],[3]


  Areas to be Strengthened Top


The support system should extend assistance for improving the academic performance and to facilitate learning and this domain can be activated after analyzing the performance of the students in examinations.[1],[2] This essentially refers to identifying the problems interfering with teaching–learning, identification of the predominant learning style, and then implementing learner-centered interventions.[4],[5],[6] Moreover, we have to reinforce those aspects which are good and discourage those behaviors which are not useful. The student support system should also guide the students with regard to making correct career decisions, as many students will find a lot of uncertainty and anxiety with regard to that.[3],[5] Further, specific attention should be given to vulnerable students, like those with disabilities, as their needs are often different.[2]


  Successful Student Support System Top


However, we have to accept that the success of a student support system in a medical institution will be determined by the kind of rapport between students and the advisors, which, in turn, will depend on the open discussion and skilled staffs.[5],[6] Regardless of the nature of the problem faced by the student, the support system should target empowerment of the student in such a way that they take their own responsibility for their learning and become more autonomous. This will eventually aid the students in taking their own decisions about the learning strategies, preparation for examinations, time management, language difficulties, coping with emotional problems, etc.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]


  Conclusion Top


The life of a medical student is full of ups and downs, and thus, there is an indispensable need to develop a student support system, which ensures the comprehensive development of them. Moreover, the success of such a system will be determined by the institutional culture, wherein all the stakeholders work together for the betterment of the students.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Barrett J, McColl G. Where is student support most needed? Med Educ 2018;52:246-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sandars J, Patel R, Steele H, McAreavey M; Association for Medical Education Europe. Developmental student support in undergraduate medical education: AMEE Guide No. 92. Med Teach 2014;36:1015-26.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Hodgson JC, Hagan P. Medical education adaptations during a pandemic: Transitioning to virtual student support. Med Educ 2020;54:662-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Hur Y, Cho AR, Kim S. Exploring the possibility of one-on-one mentoring as an alternative to the current student support system in medical education. Korean J Med Educ 2018;30:119-30.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Al-Ansari A, El Tantawi M, AbdelSalam M, Al-Harbi F. Academic advising and student support: Help-seeking behaviors among Saudi dental undergraduate students. Saudi Dent J 2015;27:57-62.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Vogan CL, McKimm J, Da Silva AL, Grant A. Twelve tips for providing effective student support in undergraduate medical education. Med Teach 2014;36:480-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Need of a Studen...
Additional Consi...
Areas to be Stre...
Successful Stude...
Conclusion
References

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