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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 569-

Postgraduate pharmacology curriculum in medical institutions: Emphasis on skill development

Alice Kuruvilla, S Sureshkumar 
 Department of Pharmacology, Karuna Medical College, Palakkad, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alice Kuruvilla
Department of Pharmacology, Karuna Medical College, Palakkad, Kerala

How to cite this article:
Kuruvilla A, Sureshkumar S. Postgraduate pharmacology curriculum in medical institutions: Emphasis on skill development.Indian J Pharmacol 2015;47:569-569

How to cite this URL:
Kuruvilla A, Sureshkumar S. Postgraduate pharmacology curriculum in medical institutions: Emphasis on skill development. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Aug 14 ];47:569-569
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With great interest, we read the article on the postgraduate curriculum in pharmacology.[1] It highlights the need to bring about changes in the training program. Suggestions for modification are very relevant and need-based.

It is important to develop skills in relevant areas during the period of training so that learner can acquire expertise and is able to choose his/her career. Additional areas of skill development relevant to our institutions are indicated below:

Management of animal house - Expertise in maintaining the animal house, supervising supply of animal feeds, care of animals, structure and functioning of animal ethics committee are important aspects. Further, basic requirements to comply with regulations and formalities of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals need to be impartedExercises of environmental toxins and pollutants - This is relevant to the national public health. The use of pesticides in agriculture which get accumulated in the environment and drinking water are common concerns. Basic methods of testing for some of these chemicals/toxins need to be incorporated into the curriculum, for example, determination of arsenic, aluminum, leadObservation in drug regulatory meetings - Exercises related to this aspect and observatory postings in regulatory body meetings can be included in curriculum-based on the advice of drug regulatory expertsObservation in institute committee meetings - Observatory posting during meetings of Institute Ethics committee, drug and therapeutics committee and taking part in the formation of local hospital antibiotic use policy should be part of the curriculumAdditional practical exercises - Dog experiments (classical exercise) using EP dog can be used as a replacement for animal experiments. Behavioral experiments on small animals such as tonic-clonic convulsions, anesthesia, circling behavior, stereotypy, and effect of analgesics like morphine could be valuable exercises for demonstration. We have used these exercises for practical examinations. Exercises on the interpretation of preclinical studies, results of toxicity studies should also be part of practical.

Further, there is an urgent need to widen the scope of training including newer areas related to pharmacology. Some of the areas which are desirable are listed below:

Skills of molecular docking and computational biologyTechniques in molecular biology such as polymerase chain reactionHands-on training of the tools of evidence-based medicine such as conducting meta-analysis and systematic reviews though workshops.

To conclude, it is clear that no single department can impart skills in diverse areas, however, participation in workshops/continuing medical educations and observatory postings can improve the scope of skill-based training.

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Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Badyal DK, Desai C, Tripathi SK, Dhaneria SP, Chandy SJ, Bezbaruah BK. Postgraduate pharmacology curriculum in medical institutions in India: Time for need-based appraisal and modifications. Indian J Pharmacol 2014;46:584-9.