Behavioural Sciences

For: Soft Skill Development, Human Value Development, Human Value Development, Personality and Professional Development, Employability Skill Development
Year of Implementation
Faculty in Charge
Dr. Vijaya Raman

Behavioural Sciences are increasingly becoming important in medical education. Training in becoming sensitive to the psychosocial aspects of health and illness is one of the primary goals of introducing this in the first term itself. This follows nicely from the Foundation Course wherein many aspects of psychology are covered including communication skills, learning skills, stress management, time management etc. All of these have an important place in the process of becoming a doctor. It is unfortunate that medical students and the medical profession in general has difficulty accepting behavioural sciences as a part of the curriculum and in the practice of medicine. This is more the case in India where the medical model of medicine has been given primacy for decades. It is only in the recent past that the biopsychosocial model has been favoured. There is definitely more emphasis now on the physician being a well rounded person taking the patient as a social being with his/ her own psychological issues. The behavioural sciences classes were introduced into MBBS I year curriculum in the early 1990s in St. John’s and has been probably one of the first medical colleges to do so. We started with over 30 hours a year to the current scheme where we conduct 8-10 hours in the first term. The focus of the classes is on skill building and now we focus on learning skills, memory skills, intelligence including emotional intelligence, stress reduction and communication skills, challenges in adolescence, dealing with relationships and knowing oneself. There are no exams but the endeavor has been to use role playing activities, quizzes and assignments to sensitize students to the how the mind plays a role in health and illness.

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