JPNAIIMS director Dr GK Singh addresses the MBBS students on Tuesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar
Brand AIIMS prevailed over tardy construction of the prestigious institution on Tuesday, the day its door opened for 50 MBBS students.
The joy of studying in Jai Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences (JPNAIIMS) healed the students’ pain of attending classes in makeshift classrooms at an old building of irrigation department, about 2km away from the college site. The medicos said the brand “AIIMS” mattered the most to them.
The aspiring doctors were excited for the first lecture in the institute. They were glued to their seats in a classroom of JPNAIIMS as the institute director, Dr G.K. Singh, addressed them. Nineteen experienced and bright faculty members looked on.
The students were later shifted to the old irrigation department building converted into a residential complex for JPNAIIMS employees. They will study and stay there for a year because of security reasons and lack of infrastructure at the college building.
The shift in classroom site did not bother students. They felt it was only a “passing phase” and expressed hope that things would be normal soon. They were rather excited about the “interactive and high-tech” sessions in store.
“I am thrilled that I will study medicine at JPNAIIMS. AIIMS-Delhi has made a name for itself by producing brightest minds in the field of medicine over the years and I am sure the same educational standard will be maintained here,” said 18-year-old Nilesh Ranjan, who hails from Muzaffarpur.
Avinash Shekhar of Hajipur said: “We all know things will stabilise only after a few years and we will have to face some hardships in the absence of certain facilities. But we all have come here to study medicine,” he said.
Anoojasif P.A., a native of Kerala, said he had attended classes at a medical college in Thrissur in his home state before joining JPNAIIMS but was not very satisfied there.
“The introductory lecture by the JPNAIIMS director has pretty much set the tune of the academic session,” said the 19-year-old.
Addressing Anoojasif and the other 49 students, the director of JPNAIIMS said the institution might struggle on the infrastructure and resources fronts for a few months, but the quality of education would compensate all the shortcomings. Singh said the institute — on which the Centre is spending Rs 950 crore — would produce “doctors with hearts”.
He said the doctors passing out from the institute should be able to deliver effective, affordable and quality treatment with little investigations.
“Our aim is to produce doctors who are willing to go to villages and be available to the needy. The stress is also on imparting behavioural training to the students,” Singh said.
“The standard of MBBS education in the country has deteriorated over the years. As a result, doctors with basic MBBS degrees are not as skilled as they should be. At our institute, our aim will be to produce fine doctors who will be fine human beings first and capable of adapting to changing paradigm of evidence-based medicine,” Singh told The Telegraph.
The students of the debut batch, as Singh expects from them, have started adapting to the JPNAIIMS campus. Some of them said they were already feeling like they were at a home away from home.
“We are being treated by faculty as their own kids. I was so happy to know that the food we will get in the kitchen will be of our own choice,” said Nikita Ranjan (20), the only local student in the batch.
The institution will convene a meeting on Wednesday to decide the menu.