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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-04

0609 - INTEGRATION OF ISLAMIC VALUES IN THE MEDICAL CURRICULUM

Paper presented at a seminar in Islam and Medical Science organized by the Islamic Medical Association Zaria Nigeria 15-17 September 2006 by Dr Omar Hasan Kasule MB ChB (MUK), MPH (Harvard), DrPH (Harvard). EM: omarkasule@yahoo.com.

ABSTRACT

This short paper presents the broad outlines of the Islamic Input in the Medical Curriculum (IIMC). IIMC aims at resolving the crisis of dichotomy in education by integrating Islamic values in the medical curriculum. The integration is carried out at various levels: the teacher, teaching and practice, examinations, and discipline.

Integration at the level of the teacher

The main motive of IIMC is to resolve the crisis of duality or dichotomy manifesting as teaching Islamic sciences separately from medical disciplines by different teachers and in different institutions. IIMC resolves the crisis of duality by insisting that Islamic concepts should be taught by the same people who teach medical disciplines. All lecturers in the Kulliyah of Medicine go through a Diploma in Islamic Studies (DIS) whose modules are exactly the same as the modules of IIMC. This prepares them to be effective teachers of IIMC. The teaching material of IIMC has been prepared and tested over the past 7 years. Synopses of all lectures for years 1 -5 are available at http://omarkasule.tripod.com.

Integration of teaching and practice

Since the start of the Kulliyah in 1997, we have worked towards integrating Islamic values and concepts in the teaching and examination of basic and clinical medical sciences. The expectation is that our graduates will be able to integrate Islamic moral and legal values in their practice of medicine because they went through an integrated education system.

Integration of the examination

Questions on IIMC appear in block, first professional, and final professional examinations. The block and first professional examinations have usually featured short answer question (SAQ) whereas the final professional examination has featured multiple choice question in addition. In the clinical and oral examinations students may be asked questions on the Islamic Input pertinent to the case in question.

Integration at the discipline or departmental level

Two departments made very innovative and effective approaches. The Department of orthopedics runs a 1-day practical program for each student rotation. The students are given description of an orthopaedic condition and they have to work out both the surgical treatment and also the implications of the illness and its treatment in ‘ibadat obligations. They are given 1-2 hours to work on the case and then to make a public presentation. An interesting feature of this is that the student act out the solutions so the whole exercise is very practical. The Department of Internal Medicine has also been asking students to look up hadith references on specific medical conditions and discuss them with their lecturers. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at one time tried out debates on issues of ethical controversy and these debates generated a lot of interest.

Paradigm of reading 2 books

IIMC follows the Islamic paradigm of reading 2 books, the book of revelation, kitaab al wahy, and the book of empirical science, kitaab al kawn. Both books contain signs of Allah, ayaat al llaah, and must be read together. It is a mistake to read one of the books and neglect the other. The solution to the crisis of duality in the ummah starts from joint reading of the 2 books, al jam ‘u baina al qira atain. Thus medical scientists who are involved in IIMC read the signs in both books.

Vision of IIMC

The vision of IIC has two separate but closely related components: Islamization and legal medicine. Islamisation deals with putting medicine in an Islamic context in terms of epistemology, values, and attitudes. Legal medicine deals with issues of application of the Law (fiqh) from a medical perspective.

Objectives of IIMC

IIMC has 5 main objectives: (a) introduction of Islamic paradigms and concepts in general as they relate to medicine, mafahiim Islamiyat fi al Tibb. (b) strengthening faith, iman, through study of Allah’s sign in the human body (c) appreciating and understanding the juridical, fiqh, aspects of health and disease, al fiqh al tibbi. (d) understanding the social issues in medical practice and research and (e) Professional etiquette, adab al tabiib, from the Islamic perspective.

Expected product

We feel that IIC helps the future physician prepare for the heavy trust, the amanat of being professionally competent. He must be highly motivated. He must have personal, professional, intellectual, and spiritual development programs. He must know the proper etiquette of dealing with patients and colleagues. He also must know and avoid professional malpractice. He needs to be equipped with leadership and managerial skills to be able to function properly as a head of a medical team.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. September 2006