Army College of Medical Sciences: Nurturing the Future Medical Aspirants
Army College of Medical Sciences
Army College of Medical Sciences

‘War Changes People!’

Whenever some(omit some) talk about wars and battles are put forth, this statement is the most reoccurring claim that people make. The heroic war stories share thrilling experiences, from facing the enemy on the battlefield to being in a situation where survival is the only visible option. It is not the guns, bullets and bombs that make these men soldiers, but it is the mental stress(Toughness) and the ruthless environment.

Moreover, defending the environment in such a harsh environment is daunting. While protection is the sole reason for armed forces, the protection and survival of soldiers fighting should also be prioritised.

Though the Armed Forces Medical College is doing a fantastic job of training the doctors that would be the support system for forces on the frontline, the gap depleted in the ratio of soldiers to doctors is increasing.

Recognising this factor, the Army College of Medical Sciences has decided to be a helping hand to the country’s armed forces and is producing worthy armed forces doctors. Placed in the Cantonment area of the capital, the college is the brainchild of the Army Welfare Education Society, enhancing army professionals’ education.

In our venture for the edition, ‘Medical Colleges of the Year, 2022’, we came across Major General Surendra Mohan, the Dean of the College, who has taken the college to new heights and training the aspirants in such a way that the claim, ‘War Changes People’ could be proved wrong.

While having a long discussion with The Knowledge Review, Maj Gen Surender Mohan shared his overall experiences, aim and inception story.

Story of its Inception

Army Welfare Education Society (AWES) established the Army College of Medical Sciences on 1st April 2008, with the aim of providing quality medical education. During the MBBS degree, the students receive the awards and the ex-army personnel, and war widows/widows of army personnel will also receive the martyr’s award.

It is the premier medical college in India, which provides quality education to undergraduate medical students, i.e., MBBS. The college is affiliated with Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University New Delhi and is also recognised by the Medical Council of India – MCI (now National Medical Commission – NMC). The campus has been designed with aesthetical buildings, green landscaping and a striking ambience.

The campus covers 25.559 acres of land and is located in the Delhi Cantonment area. It is 100 meters from the Delhi Cantt Metro Station, and it is a benefit for the employees, students, and visitors to reach the college easily.

The campus has developed the concept of a green environment. The college is housed with twenty-three classrooms, seven seminar rooms, eighteen labs, an audio-visual library, and one common library.

ACMS also offers IT Centre (MEDLARS room) with sufficient computers with an internet connection for students. Other than the IT Centre, the college also has a skill lab and an Up-to-date App for faculty and students. Apart from the labs, the college has two student canteens and eight playgrounds.

The success story of the college is narrated by the great personality Maj Gen Surender Mohan, a great leader and highlights his overall career journey and experiences.

An Eminent Versatile Scholar

Apart from being a renowned gynaecologist, Major General Surender Mohan was a VSM (Retd) and currently serves as the Dean of ACMS. Major General Surender Mohan has served more than three decades in Army Forces Medical Services and has trained many generations of doctors in the army. Now, he has taken responsibility for teaching young minds at the college.

He has vast experience in the clinical and surgical management of patients in the entire spectrum of Obstetrics and Gynecology, including Advanced Laparoscopic surgery.

Despite his excellent experiences, Maj Gen Surender Mohan is an eminent scholar with various publications to his credit. Moreover, he has commanded the 500 bedded Military Hospital in Dehradun and also served as Deputy Commandant at Army Medical Corps Centre and College Lucknow.

Maj Gen Surender Mohan was awarded the ‘Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM)’ for his exceptionally meritorious service in 2015.

Since he has taken charge of enhancing and developing the college faculty, he has also taken multiple initiatives/ projects to create an environment for the all-around growth of the students.

Dream of the College

The dream of the college defines the vision, mission and core values of the college. To achieve a single dream group of people work together. Every organisation and institute envision certain dreams. Similarly, ACSM college has a set vision, mission and core values, and this code of ethics drive prestige to the college.

Maj Gen Surender Mohan has shared the list of value statements with us and says,

  • To establish, nurture and sustain an environment for conducive learning, seeking and imparting knowledge, conducting research and cultivating curiosity of mind in students and faculty members.
  • To build an ethos of compassionate, empathetic care and concern among students and faculty members for patients and their relatives.
  • To build an enduring edifice of character and empathy among students and faculty members.
  • To prepare young medical students for a glorious, prestigious, noble career with special knowledge of Armed Forces requirements and inculcate in them the spirit to serve the nation and balance it in equal measure by skills of hand and heart.”

All these set objectives lead the success in college, but the question comes across what courses ACSM provides and their outcomes. To get the answer read ahead:

Reflection of the Course

All medical students of the college are expected to demonstrate mastery in medical knowledge, critical thinking and inquiry, patient care, professionalism, interpersonal and communicational skills and organisational and social determination of health care.

For this, the college works need to establish, nurture, and sustain an environment for learning and imparting knowledge, allowing the students to conduct research, publish papers and prepare them for a noble career along with expertise and discipline in the Armed Forces.

Moreover, ACMS already renowned for providing medical education to enhance and polish the students’ skills; the college has also introduced various unique programs for their holistic development to serve the country’s frontline and armed forces.

Eccentric Programs- Probing Surgical and Common Skills

ACMS introduced the skill laboratory to provide a safe and non-threatening environment for students who are learning, practising, and performing their skills in a simulated environment. The college’s skill lab recreates the clinical atmosphere where students can practice and polish their skills.

In the current scenario, medical education is adopting competency-based and more clinical-oriented education, in which students get clinical exposure from their first year. These practices and exposure help the students to promote health and prevent humans from diseases.

Enabling Health and Preventing the Disease

The students of the college are motivated to participate in workshops, seminars, and inter-college academic competitions, and NMC has introduced the ‘Family Adoption Programme’; under this program, a cluster of students has been allotted a family.

The students also get an opportunity to study the various aspects of health and diseases, which are the family’s influencing factors. The students follow the family on a yearly basis from their first year to their internship period.

With regards to promoting health and preventing diseases, Maj Gen Surender Mohan asserts, “This develops a trustworthy and long-lasting relationship with the families which will facilitate health-seeking behaviour and promote the health and prevent diseases. The students are trained in developing communication and social skills.”

The great exposure to the health care industry, which helps the students to learn how to prevent diseases, will motivate them and nurture their medical skills.

Motivating and Nurturing Medical Aspirants

Nurturing creativity and inspiring innovation are two key elements of successful education. Merely storing up the mind with facts and data is not enough. ACMS motivates that whatever college has learned must be sharpened with mental acumen to deliver the needs of humanity.

While stating about their approaches to keep students and themselves motivated, Maj Gen Surender Mohan postulates, “We motivate children in conducting research with the guidance of their teachers to publish articles. The Journals and other indexed journals are published by the college.”

“Students are motivated to take part in various academic-related activities like quizzes and symposiums organised by the various medical associations all over the country,” he further adds.

After sharing a few motivational tips for the student’s bright future, Maj Gen Surender Mohan also shared important advice for future medical aspirants.

Catalysing Future Aspirants

Teaching different specialities of medicine is an entirely different form of medical practice. Medical faculty need to be aware of teaching principles and techniques along with the faculty development programmes within and outside the institution.

The principles of andragogy should guide medical educators towards experimental learning, which enhances learner autonomy and makes them responsible for their own learning. There is a need for alignment of desired learning outcomes, activities and assessments for effective learning.

However, Maj Gen Surender Mohan, while sharing his advice for future aspirants, he mentions, “The learning methods and assessments should encompass all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. It is important to emphasise skills in affective domains. The art of conducting peer learning activities needs to be learnt through hands-on workshops. Classical teaching needs to be modified to Technology-enhanced blended learning.”

With the important piece of advice for future medical aspirants, Dean Maj Gen Surender Mohan also enlightens us with the college’s most notable achievements.

Catalogue of Accomplishments

ACSM student’s exam results have been displayed excellently if compared with other medical colleges of GGSIP (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha) University, despite the fact that the ACMS student’s NNET merit was comparatively low.

In India Today’s Survey 2022, ACSM scored fifth in the top ten Private Medical Colleges with the lowest fee structure.

ACSM again scored fifth in the top ten emerging colleges, and it is the highest scoring college among those established in or after 2000.

The college is also ranked twenty-fourth in India’s top fifty-three public and private medical colleges.

All these college achievements will bring a bright future for the medical aspirants, and to retain and achieve more success, Maj Gen Surender Mohan envisions few strategies and approaches ahead.

Future Holding Envision

While imparting the knowledge, ACSM has achieved many awards and recognitions, which led the college to the top level and brought more accomplishments. Maj Gen Surender Mohan has enlightened us with the future vision of the college and shares,

“We impart knowledge & prepare our youth to cope with the current state of the world. Therefore, the current challenge is not to acquire knowledge. And it is more about acquiring Social Skills to help our children overcome the abundant alienation and mistrust we encounter. The major objectives are: –

  • Promoting the success of collective knowledge.
  • Helping students build their self-awareness.
  • Emphasis on: –

            –  SGT (Small Group Teaching) with increased teacher-student interaction.

            –  AETCOM (Attitude, Ethics and Communication Module).

            –  Extracurricular activities.

            –  Electives help them to identify their area of interest.

  • Encouraging students to get out of their comfort zones.”

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