The recently concluded Indian Education Exhibition 2015, which witnessed a huge turnout of students eager to pursue higher education in Indian educational institutions, featured a highly informative and well-attended interactive seminar on ‘Emerging Career Opportunities in Health Sciences’ by Dr. Sabu K.M., professor and dean at the School of Allied Health Sciences (SOAHS) in Manipal University
Dr. Sabu, who has been working at SOAHS for the past 15 years, is a member of the US-based Global Health Workforce Council (GHWC) and winner of the Developing Country Delegate Sponsorship Award 2013, presented by International Federation of Health Information Management Administration (IFHIMA). With a keen interest in teaching, Dr. Sabu specializes in Hospital & Health Information Management and in Quality Assurance in Healthcare. His latest publications include Psychosocial and clinical profile of patients diagnosed with dementia in a tertiary-care centers.
Taking time from his busy schedule at the two-day education exhibition, Dr. Sabu spoke to The Times Kuwait on his passion for teaching and the potential for students enrolling in Allied Health Services at Manipal University
Q. Why should students choose the SOAHS at Manipal University?
Manipal University has the largest school unit of Allied Health sciences in the country. The university has quality training, transparency and international recognition. It is a highly integrated course with the hospital system situated in the university. From day one, students can start having adequate training and exposure to clinical practices as they will be visiting the hospital on campus for their practical knowledge. In this hospital, students are allowed to put their theory into practice. Our university is among the first universities that provides this for its students.
Q. What makes Allied Health Science an attractive option for students?
The population of the world is expanding, because of which hospitals and diseases have also grown; this growth is also witnessed here in the Middle-East. To cater to this large growth in hospitals there will be a need for many physicians. But physicians alone will not be able to do everything for a patient, because other than the actual treatment, many other things are also needed to ensure health of the patient. Globally, there is a huge demand for trained personnel to assist the physician in patient care and that is why, allied health science is an attractive option for students looking at a career in this field.
Q. What kind of atmosphere is fostered at the university?
You will find a very friendly atmosphere around the university. Both the students and teachers have a great relationship and the faculty is open to answer questions and is available for its students all the time. There is a lot of cooperation among the students.
Q. How can students chose courses without knowing its job potential five years from now?
Nowadays, parents do not look at courses for their children to pursue without seeing its potential. Parents as well as students search many websites related to the course, they talk to people working in the field and get information as well. For example if a student wants to take up Allied Health Science, they talk to people working in the hospitals, clinics and other medical establishments to gather information on the subject. They also try to find something on the websites that is informative for their course and find out if it is the latest trend in the society now.
Q. Do you think there is sufficient emphasis on allied health science education in India?
Yes, I think there is sufficient emphasis on Allied Health Science education today in India, but I believe still more emphasis is needed. There has to be a planning process in this field and then developments can be made accordingly. Development is needed in a lot of areas of Allied Health Science in India to improve on what we are offering today. In the coming years we are expecting many international health councils to visit India to evaluate our work and we need to ensure that India has a world-class allied healthcare infrastructure in place.
Q. What are challenges a student faces on emerging with Allied Health Science degree?
The first and greatest challenge any student could face is not having sufficient knowledge in handling the patient. Some programs in universities focus only on the theory of the program, but at Manipal University’s SOAHS we understand the importance of adequate hands on training and ensure our students have the opportunity for gaining practical and theoretical knowledge in this field. The second challenge a student could face is choosing the right institution for his program or choosing the right profession. For example some students apply for programs that are research-oriented but they themselves are not able to do any kind of research. It is important that students not only choose the right institutions but also the right professional courses based on their aptitude.