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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 271-272

Everything is learning

Department of Community Medicine, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Faridabad, Haryana, India

Date of Web Publication11-Apr-2017

Correspondence Address:
Ranabir Pal
Department of Community Medicine, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Faridabad - 121 001, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.204211

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How to cite this article:
Pal R. Everything is learning. Educ Health 2016;29:271-2

How to cite this URL:
Pal R. Everything is learning. Educ Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 8];29:271-2. Available from:

Dear Editor,

Modern medicine is critically considering the nonbiomedical factors embedded in the conditions of birth, growth, marriage, and aging depending on the distribution of available resources. These social and spiritual determinants are essential considerations in access to health care and addressing barriers to universal health coverage as promulgated in primary health care. In the transition from the arena of Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals, we have to bring in holistic approaches to primary care – on the road in search of optimal health. We need an educational model that enhances learner-oriented, contributory, innovative, self-directed learning experience. It is based on flexibility of perspectives within the strength-weakness-opportunity-threat matrix through interactive learning. These perspective and paradigm shifts must be characterized by optimal pedagogy and andragogy, participatory training, and community-based research programs in mutually respectful, safe, nonthreatening environments. Yet, present health-care training in the new millennium shows a paucity of efforts to sensitize learners to patient-centered comprehensive, clinical care across all age groups, and organ systems.[1]

We have to look deeply as to why, after the discovery of hundreds of “curative” drugs for hundreds of morbidities, disease, and illness are still not manageable by curative approaches only. Clear examples are the resurfacing of tuberculosis in the era of the HIV pandemic and malaria not being controlled by antimalarial drugs alone, as the disease, like all other vector-borne diseases, is subject to multiple and complex social variables. As health-care providers, if we think that the limits of our responsibility end with correct diagnosis and prescriptions to the best of our knowledge, ability, and skills, then we are behaving like the ostrich – hiding our heads in the sand to stay out of sight of incoming adversaries.

Everyday life is indeed a learning process. No matter where we are, what titles or positions we hold or have had under our belts, or how old we are, there are always things out there for us to experience and learn about for which we may have limited ability to address in the course of everyday living. In this regard, 244 million people living in rural India and 90 million in urban India still do not have access to a safe, sustainable water supply.[2] For whatever the reasons, solutions remain in addressing social causation and variables in diseases to provide safe water and sanitation as a right of all citizens – a right that has been conveniently ignored by our policymakers.[3] In addition, future physicians need to know that salutogenesis [4] has acknowledged and promoted the perpetually overlooked idea of “health promotion” leading to health and well-being, rather than engaging in the “memory game” of endless lists of immunizations and adverse drug reactions and attention to disease only.[5],[6],[7]

Capacity building in medicine demands competency-based education to address patient care needs under the close supervision of senior physicians. Learning involves achieving optimum skills in comprehensive health care for the individual patient with emphasis on empathy and ethics in the patient–physician relationship. The introduction of medical students to “patient-centered health care” from day one will change the paradigm of medical education in India in the preparation of lifelong learners.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

National Health Policy 2015 Draft. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; December, 2014. p. 11. Available from: [Last retrieved on 2016 Feb 06].  Back to cited text no. 1
2015: 334 Million Indians Will Still Lack Access to Safe Water Supply. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 May 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
Sanitation as a Human Right. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 May 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
Antonovsky A. The salutogenic model as a theory to guide health promotion. Health Promot Int 1996;11:11-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Lindström B. Salutogenesis – An Introduction. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 May 20].  Back to cited text no. 5
Shah AN. Adult Immunization. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 May 20].  Back to cited text no. 6
Pierson JC. Let's put an expiration date on the current approach to drug expiration dates. J Am Acad Dermatol 2014;71:193-4.  Back to cited text no. 7


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