Indian Journal of Urology
: 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 166--167

Editorial comment

Rajeev Kumar 
 Editor, Indian Journal of Urology, Professor of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajeev Kumar
Editor, Indian Journal of Urology, Professor of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

How to cite this article:
Kumar R. Editorial comment.Indian J Urol 2018;34:166-167

How to cite this URL:
Kumar R. Editorial comment. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Jan 31 ];34:166-167
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Full Text

“We don't need no education,” wrote Roger Waters in 1979;[1] a part of an anthem that spoke up against derisive teachers and thought control. Clearly, what Goel and Kumar highlight in this editorial is neither new nor unique to us.[2] This, however, only reinforces the need to keep addressing this issue to make sure it does not continue unabated. To cure a disease, addressing its etiology is generally more important than treating the symptoms. The behavioral aberrations may well be the symptom of a greater underlying problem, one of control and privileges.

Why do mature, adult physicians join a residency program often even years after starting practice? What drives them to work under strict academic and administrative controls when they could possibly be their own masters? It usually boils down to two reasons – the need for practical experience and the need for a degree.

The provision of training and learning opportunities is a basic expectation from any residency program. Unfortunately, resources are often limited even at the best of institutions. In such circumstances, the faculty has control on who gets the opportunity, and this is exploited by both the teacher and the student. This phenomenon is not unique to medicine and exists in every apprenticeship-based training. The favored student gets more chances; it is considered acceptable if the favored status is based on competence and unacceptable if other factors determine this. While there is no easy way to end this, log-books and their scrutiny, periodic assessments, and feedback would contribute to ensuring a minimum standard. Just as institutions are regularly assessed for their infrastructure, assessment of actual training could ensure compliance.

Many training institutions conduct their own examinations and award degrees based on these exams. Faculty from within the institution serves as internal examiners and has a significant influence on the outcome of the examinations. This works both in favor and against the students. While teachers, at times, make it a matter of prestige to ensure that even the most undeserving of candidates passes, this influence on the examination gives them control over the students which could encourage malpractices. A teacher's job is to provide learning opportunities, not guaranteeing a degree (taking a horse to the water…). If the teaching is good and the student is capable, passing should be spontaneous and not contrived. Would a central examination be an acceptable solution?

Goel and Kumar's argument for treating residents as adults is unquestionably true.[2] Residency programs are salaried employment, and it is legally binding on residents to provide service in the hospital. Thus, working is a requirement, but learning is optional. They must be allowed to accept responsibility for their work and learning while teachers must accept responsibility for providing an environment conducive for both.


1Another Brick in the Wall Lyrics. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Jun 11].
2Goel A, Kumar S. Need for correction! The equation between teacher and adult learner in India. Indian J Urol 2018; 34:165-6.