NNUH consultant’s informal teaching sessions go international
A paediatric surgeon who set up informal virtual training for his junior colleagues during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen his sessions go international.
Consultant Paediatric Surgeon Mr Ashok Daya Ram began running virtual video training sessions for his junior doctor colleagues to help them with post graduate exam preparations for paediatric surgery and clinical case reviews.
Some colleagues who had worked in NNUH and travelled back to their countries, but remained in touch with the unit wanted to join the sessions when they heard about them. They started joining the sessions for their respective trainees in their homelands and the course has grown since then. It is now also attended by trainees in Burma, a country which has strong connections with the department in NNUH. Because of Mr Ram’s international connections, other countries have been joining these sessions and it has been growing steadily since its inception in March.
These are weekly sessions run via Microsoft teams and the format has evolved and improved with time to suit international trainees from around the world.
Sessions usually begin with a mock viva session, which is a face to face exam talking through an identified scenario, followed by teaching and going through multiple choice questions (MCQ). The session ends with advice on how to approach post-graduate exams.
Now with word of mouth, it has been growing organically with new requests all the time to join these sessions which is useful for any post graduate exam in paediatric surgery across the globe.
Mr Ram is assisted by two of his colleagues, Mr Ravindar Anbarasan and Mr Khizer Mansoor from the department. Mr Anbarasan is involved with the mock viva sessions. Mr Mansoor has been preparing and running MCQs and giving short talks on the mental approach to exams.
Mr Ram paid tribute to all his supporting colleagues, juniors and the growing number of local and international participants, particularly to his senior colleague Mr Milind Kulkarni, who he describes as a “staunch educationist”, for his encouragement and unfailing support.
Ashok said: “I am very pleased with the way it has developed. Teaching is my passion and I have the chance to reach across the globe to contribute to free education. It strengthens the unit’s collaboration with other centres and improves its status and the international reputation of NNUH.”
And feedback has also come in from around the world. Professor Nyo Nyo Win, from Yankin Children’s Hospital, in Rangoon, Burma said: “It is very beneficial for our trainees as we have limited manpower for teaching purpose and huge work load. During this difficult time with Covid-19, we cannot send our trainees to UK or other countries for further studies. But with your international teaching sessions, they can learn valuable lessons from international faculties.”
And Ms Ferzine Muhamad, International Clinical Fellow in Paediatric Surgery, in India said: “I feel this has been a great initiative by Mr Ram and is something that should become a permanent fixture as the scope and reach of these sessions is endless.”
Mr Ram, now plans to seek formal accreditation for his online sessions.