Published: 12th February 2022
Tamil Nadu doctors are helping medicos overcome English language barrier via WhatsApp
To study an entire syllabus in a new language creates mental and psychological problems for several students
A group of government doctors in Tamil Nadu has formed a WhatsApp group to support first-year MBBS students who have secured admission in medical colleges under quota to overcome English language obstacles.
The students who get admission under the 7.5 per cent government school quota are not familiar with the English language and , in the wake of which the group named "Tamilini Thunaivan" was created.
Speaking to IANS, Subash Gandhi, Health Officer from the state's Department of Public Health said, "Students must realise that language is not a major hindrance for pursuing the course. Of course, initially, they will face certain difficulties but one has to overcome this and for that, they have to get into the groove of learning the language and interpreting the subject in the new language. Tasking can be done as we are all examples of the same issue. We have overcome that and have become doctors."
Gandhi said that it is very challenging as every concept and word was in English and some students get bogged down by this. "Many students from remote villages get admission to MBBS course under the government quota and they don't have much knowledge of English language. We formed this group to guide them and to solve their problems". After 291 students signed up, another group was also created, he added. Sixteen doctors, three teachers, and three nurses are part of this exercise to support students.
Dr Damayanti, a physiology professor from Karur, has prepared a video explaining the cadaver in Tamil for the benefit of the students and it has become a great help to the students as in the first year MBBS course, physiology, anatomy, and biochemistry are taught.
The classes by retired professors of medical colleges from anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry are taken through the WhatsApp group on all Sundays for two hours helping the students immensely. Each doctor has been designated to mentor 20 students.
A senior doctor, who is a serving professor at a government medical college, said: "English is not an obstacle and students from government school background should not be cowed down by the difficulty in that language and hence we chipped in. The students need to learn medical terms and we have planned to teach the basics for the first three months."
He also said that the classes they take supporting the students and the WhatsApp group are in turn helping these doctors as stress busters from their daily routine.