STEM ( also known as SMET, eSTEM, STM) is an acronym for Science, technology, engineering and mathematics; is a vast terminology used for grouping these academic disciplines together. STEM was basically introduced by National Science Foundation of USA in 2001. It focuses on project based learning, activities that accentuate the practical applications of modern science/technology.
Director of STEM curriculum, Camsie McAdams about STEM spoke:
“It’s important that we approach STEM not just as a subject , but as a mindset”.
The globe is growing , children are becoming keener about the world around them , words in text books cannot quench their thirst for questions they are looking for. The STEM-scopy is what helps these future builders of our planet to understand science and it’s related with the world in a more detailed, empirical and pragmatic way. STEM-scopy is basically viewing the world with the glasses of STEM subjects. Learning their use and applying them.
This is what the future holds and demands.
MBBS and STEM correlates:
There is no universal agreement on which disciplines are incorporated by STEM; some of them include social sciences, psychology, biochemistry, economics, political sciences and many more.
Whether or not the field of medicine is covered by STEM is a topic of debate as per some authors
Health professionals are considered a separate academic population. However, the basis of any kind of science is evolved by process of observation, hypothesis , cross checking, research, rejection experimentation, modification and overtime acceptance which are common attributes shared by all the disciplines included in STEM and medicine.
MBBS since centuries has been a desirable field of study for many. Having chances of jobs, service, pay and working on public health has been an important insight of this field.
MBBS and it’s subspecialties (e.g nursing, DPT) are dependent on other sciences (e.g engineering, mathematics, computer science )in one way or another. For instance, medical professionals by gathering data from patients and provide this to more basic scientists working in labs (i.e microbiologist, biochemists, computer scientists ) for more minute details. It is hence impossible to avoid STEM in medicine.
MBBS curriculum and STEM:
Since STEM focus on introducing ideas to relate the outside world to the facts taught inside classroom. That’s actually what MBBS curriculum comprises. Human anatomy, forensic medicine, community medicine (has biostats) are the subjects taught in medicine to as to connect the thought process of health professionals to the public health improvement waiting for them.
Plus , MBBS has quite a practical approach during even the studying phase of degree i.e dealing with patients in wards, learning treatments to different diagnosis by actually diagnosing the disorder while being a pupil , this is the practical approach that STEM had to apply.
Med and STEM Education in Pakistan:
Our country has been putting out efforts for promoting and providing adequate and appropriate education which includes all the subjects like Science, technology , engineering and mathematics by different science projects exhibitions, National mathematics Olympiad,
Students getting to choose between STEM subjects in school and later on majoring in the these disciplines shows the growth of this kind of curriculum overtime in our academic system. Also, not only being taught in schools but later on students who in high school were taught Science, Tech Mathematics etc choose to major in MBBS while those not majoring in MBBS prove advantageous for improvement of health /medicine as well. Engineering works for promoting public health etc . Same goes for MBBS and STEM whose collaborations are a proof.
It is , therefore, observed in Pakistan that not only does the STEM education in Pakistan is being focused on, but also its useful applications are benefitting us.
By: Huwaida Saleh
Khyber Medical College .
2nd year MBBS.