The roles of computers in revolutionizing the speed, accuracy, validity and reliability in any type of task performed by human efforts needs no elaboration. Computerization of the working system has indeed become one parameter by which one measures the progress of development made in any field of human endeavor, today. Realising this, secondary schools in Nepal have computer education as one of the optional. It would not be an exaggeration to say that, the nature of work at educational institutions, private firms, many governmental offices, banks, travel agencies, hotels, not to speak of international organisations in Nepal, have switched over from papers files to electronic files. Some of the private nursing homes, hospitals and clinics have also started their services with computer assistance.
The innovative medical colleges / schools expose their medical students to large number of learning resources and one such that is very extensively used is the utility of computers in learning and in the practice of medical profession. Computer simulated programs, computer assisted consultations, bio-statistical programs, medical informatics and management education, tele-conferencing, to list a few, are some of the examples incorporated in medical education related to computer technology today.
There lies intimacy between medical science, medical education and medical practice and in this regard the computer technologies can influence one another. Keeping this in mind, Nepal Medical College is the pioneer in Nepal in computer networking of its different departments of its teaching hospital and medical college prior to starting the MBBS program.
The NMC also initiated the provision for including medical informatics into the MBBS curriculum and has been implemented from the very first batch of MBBS students. The students are provided with opportunities to become computer literate from the first year which enables them to use computer terminals at different wards and get access to patient’s information through computers on their own while doing the clinical rotation during the ward placement from third academic year onwards. By the time they reach junior clerkship period in the fifth academic year, they would get ample time and opportunities to work with the computers individually on their own and become well versed with the state of the art, while writing patients summary during the internship. After completing the internship, the NMC medical graduates while doing house jobs as House Officers at NMCTH and other hospitals, would undoubtedly be able to store patients’ data at Out Patients Departments and Inpatients Wards independently and benefit from data storage which would favour research undertakings by them during the early years of their entry into the medical profession.
Hence, apart from following the MBBS core curriculum, a shift towards acquiring competencies in medical knowledge through own data processing, decision making, health planning, and implementation has been aimed at. Towards the attainment of the efficacy in discharging the responsibilities by a medical graduate during the twenty-first century, it is anticipated that the medical informatics would make the MBBS curriculum of Kathmandu University much more effective in terms of translating learning objectives into job competencies.