Prof. Dr. Jagdish Prasad Agrawal
Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine (IOM) was stablished in 1972 in Kathmandu. IOM, the first institution in Nepal, which was given the mandate by Government of Nepal to train and develop all levels of health manpower in the field of medicine. The initial programs that IOM started were training of Health Assistants and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife. Over the years as per the need of the country, Diplomas and later Bachelor level courses (programme) in Paramedical subjects and Nursing were added. The MBBS programme was started in 1978 with only 22 students. As of today IOM takes in 76 students in the MBBS programme every year.
In 1982 IOM started MD/MS programme in General Practice and gradually over the years in almost all clinical as well as nonclinical specialties Masters level courses were started including DM/MCh programmes in most of the subspecialties. In addition we also have Masters level programmes in paramedical and basic science subjects including public health and doctorate (PhD) level programmes in several basic science subjects as well. IOM admits approximately 160 students in various postgraduate programmes every year. Few seats have been reserved for foreign students also in most of the IOMs undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The medical services is provided through Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), a tertiary level referral hospital in Kathmandu. TUTH has more than 750 beds and caters nearly 2500 patients everyday at its out patient clinics. It has many independent Centers within it such as B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies, Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Centre and Ganeshman Singh Academy for ENT and Head and Neck Studies. The Suresh Wagle Memorial Cancer Centre is under construction and is expected to start its services in near future.
IOM has five constituent Nursing campuses within Nepal. Within IOM premises, is the Maharajgunj Nursing Campus, which has bachelor, postgraduate and doctorate (PhD) level programmes in different nursing specialties. The 4 other Nursing Campuses are located at Birgunj, Pokhara, Biratnagar and Nepalgunj outside Kathmandu valley.
In addition IOM has granted affiliations to 7 Medical, 2 Dental, 1Ayurveda,and 5 Paramedical colleges throughout the country.
In order to promote research, IOM has a Research Department as well as a separate Research Laboratory. IOM has entered into research collaboration with many Universities and Institutions in Nepal and aboard and IOM faculty have published research papers in indexed national and international journals. IOM also publishes Journal of the Institute of Medicine (JIOM), which is the second oldest medical journal to be published from Nepal.
Another priority of IOM is to promote the standard of medical education in the country and accordingly it has established the National Centre for Health Professions Education (NCHPE), which promotes innovations in medical education, communication skills and medical ethics of medical faculty of IOM and other institutions. The Skill Laboratory is also under NCHPE and provides training to medical students/professionals from all over the country. One of the aims of this lab is to become an “Accredited Centre for CPR Training”. In addition, the Curriculum Development Committee of IOM develops and revises the curricula of the different programmes from time to time keeping in view the rapidly changing educational needs and demands.
In a world which has been totally transformed by the information technology (IT) industry, IOM has kept abreast with its own IT Department, which provides internet and wifi services all over IOM premises for students, teachers and even visitors and patients. In addition it arranges video conference between IOM and other campuses within IOM and outside.
Nepal is an earthquake disaster prone country. Therefore, IOM conducts (multi-hazard) Hospital Preparedness for Emergencies (HOPE) course on a regular basis for different levels of health personnel from all over the Kathmandu Valley and outside. In additions it’s staff have helped to conduct this course in 10 South Asian Countries.
This institute should be the flagship educational institution for other medical institutes to look up to and to emulate if possible. Moreover,since IOM has been given the responsibility to develop all levels of health personnel at a national level, the aim is to take IOM to a higher level of medical education. All this can only be achieved with cooperation and help of all IOM medical and non-medical faculties, nursing staff, technicians, administrative staffs alongwith government and non governmental organizations.