Beyond Textbooks: Exploring Humanity in Medicine

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Medicine study course has been noted as one of the most difficult course of study worldwide. It has also been viewed as one of the most respectable profession and there has been a lot of craze among young people to enter into this profession.

Though from Hippocrates, the father of Modern medicine to great physician like William Osler have time and again emphasized on the humane aspects of medicine and the need for the medicos to understand life as a whole to become a good physician, their teachings have often got burrowed down in the heaps of technical humdrum of modern medicine. Alienation of the medicos in training from the humane aspects of medicine have become more and more prominent in the recent years with more and more sophistications in the investigative aspects of medicine. A modern physician is often caught between the mechanical technicalities and various investigative procedures and happens to focus in the “disease” rather than the “person with the disease”. This deficiency of human touch in the modern physician has led to instantiation from the patients and often led to unwelcome misunderstandings and conflicts with their patients.

In our country too, Medical professionals have been looked up to by the general population- In one place we are rendered divine for the noble service of saving life and sometimes we are shunned as insensitive and overtly mechanical. This has often been reflected in the increasing incidents of complaints against health professionals, their manhandling and vandalism in health facilities. There could be a lot of reasons for these mishappenings but this lack of proper trainings of the medicos in dealing with the humane aspects of health and understanding their patients as a whole is one of the major part that we as medicos could improve. This has been well recognized by prime medical universities across the globe and could be reflected in their increasing attempts to incorporate humanities in the medical curricula. As a pioneer medical institute in Nepal, B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan has attempted to integrate some of these aspects into its medical teachings but we still feel the deficit.

It is on this background that we are organizing this symposium- ” Beyond Textbooks: Exploring Humanity in Medicine”. We look forward to enlighten the young medicos of BPKIHS on the various aspects of life, through their discourse with various imminent personalities in different fields of life- arts, literature, culture, glamour, social service, entrepreneurship, mass media, politics etc. in Nepal. Bringing in imminent speakers, experts in their field, to share their experience on pre-specified topics and to show us how their field (and so the lives of many linked to it) can be correlated with medicine, will in many forms enrich our endeavors in becoming well-rounded Medicos; one who knows how to empathize with the patient, one who believes in teamwork and one who can cure the disease beyond the apparent (the social aspects).

As we entered the 21st century it became apparent that there is more to a doctor-patient relationship than just the examination and prescription of medicine. And often more is expected from us than is humanly. Thus, Institutions across the globe have discovered the importance of merging humanities in the teaching of medicine wherever possible. BPKIHS has also kept up with the changing trends and has marked its whole education system as community oriented. Community medicine is taught and field exposure is provided from the 1st to the final year, surpassing any other subject in this respect. It is in this spirit that the “Beyond textbooks: Exploring humanity in medicine” symposium is directed.

A person can excel much in academics and yet is seen to lag behind in the medical profession. This clearly points out that there is more to medicine than just the text. It is to unravel this mystery, to bring out the X-factor that most of us miss, that this symposium has become necessary.


  •  Orient the medicos to fields other than medicine
  • See the world of the patient from another perspective
  • Analyze how humanities and medicine can be collaborated for better productivity and cure of the patient beyond what is apparent
  • Contribute in making well-rounded personalities from the BPKIHS medicos
  • To know the end point of compassion. How to maintain composure in an ever demanding profession
  • To know Fact V/s reality: Is what we are taught is actually what is expected of us?
  • To share news, facts regarding the existing health situation and its changing direction in today’s world
  • To get acquainted with the bitter truths of professionalism and its consequences


The delegate speakers will address the participants on afore given topics that highlight their respective field of expertise and its relation with medicine. The methodology will include:

  • Oral and PowerPoint presentation
  • Question answer session
  • Panel discussion

A similar program was organized back in 2010, and was immensely successful in its purpose to merge the apparently polar fields of medicine and humanities.

This program has been jointly organized by Parikrama Students’ Family and Junior Resident Welfare Society, BPKIHS with support from the BPKIHS administrations.

Parikrama Students’ Family has been bonding Medical students through a medium they are most deprived off; Literature, arts & social activism. Founded 18 years back by a group of eager 2nd year undergraduates for a campus literary wall magazine, it has now matured to be a major part of Student Activities in BPKIHS. Parikrama brings out the Institute’s Yearbook, a bimonthly paper Harbinger, and runs a literary library apart from other events aimed at the students.

Junior Resident Welfare Society, BPKIHS is the only organization representing and uniting the junior residents in BPKIHS, was established in 2011 to promote rights of BPKIHS junior residents, contribute as an organization to the betterment of BPKIHS and to promote excellence among the junior resident through integration of curricular and extracurricular activities.


  • Tentative date of program: 3rd & 4th January 2014
  • Organizer: Parikrama Students’ Family and Junior Resident Welfare Society
  • Venue: Auditorium Hall, BPKIHS, Dharan
  • Contact no: 9841841542, 9842050952
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Official language: English, Nepali
  • Target groups: Under graduate medical students, post-graduate medical students, house officers, doctors, nurses, faculty and entire medical fraternity
  • Accommodation: Accommodation will be provided by organizer


In the world of medical and medicos, we bring you another world of literature. We are not any science geeks but we create a fusion of literature and medical science. Parikrama, as the word revolving, comes round every year with an annual issue. Not just this, we host literary events like spelling bee to quiz mania and we celebrate our library week, also promoting the creativity of students and publish bimonthly "The Harbinger".

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