The Department of Physiology, one of the three basic pioneer departments of the Government Medical College, Chandigarh had been given the responsibility to impart medical education to the first batch of medical students immediately after the inception of the college in 1991. The department has come a long way since then, under the headship and leadership of senior experienced faculty members having good teaching and research background. A number of faculty members served the department from time to time and played pivotal role in improving the department and taking it to new heights. At present the department has one Professor, one Reader, two Senior lecturers and five Demonstrators with good research and teaching skills. The department consists of the following teaching staff:-
Prof. K Sri Nageswari MD Professor & Head
Dr. Nandini Kapoor MD Reader (Officiating)
Dr. Gurjit Kaur MSc, PhD Senior Lecturer in Biophysics
Dr. Anita Malhotra MD Senior Lecturer
Dr. Rajeev Sharma MD, Demonstrator
Dr. Sonia Saulja MD Demonstrator
Dr. Navjot Kaur MD Demonstrator
Dr. Jasdeep Kaur MD Demonstrator
Dr. Komal MD Demonstrator
The academic programme at the department of Physiology is tuned to encourage maximum participation by medical students. Besides conventional teaching, emphasis is laid on active learning and problem based learning approach
The department imparts education and training to 50 students of 1st Prof. MBBS in the subject of Physiology in the form of lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials. M.Sc Physiology program started at the department during the year 2003 and two students are admitted each year. The department has four faculty and five non faculty teaching staff and ten supporting staff. Around 200 didactic lectures (of 1 hour duration each) are taken by the faculty in the subject of Physiology and the practical training including seminars (28 hrs), tutorials (30 hrs) and the innovative teaching programs described below is for 280 hours. The students are divided into two batches of 25 each for the practical classes. The teaching curriculum includes 6 lectures, 4 practical classes, 1 tutorial and 1 seminar per week. The students are assessed through Theory and Practical tests, Tutorials, Correction of the Manuals, Spotting tests, Undergraduate Projects, Seminars and Quiz Competitions. The department has departmental library, and the facility is utilized by the students and the staff. The Central library has about 200 books in the subject of Physiology and various journals.
At the department, the students are being trained for practical skills in Amphibian, Human, Haematology and Mammalian laboratories through practical demonstrations and instructions to perform the experiments themselves. The students are given practical demonstrations of Biopotential recordings like EMG, ECG, EEG, Pulse recording, Jugular Venous Pulse, Tests of Autonomic functions, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, Galvanic Skin Response, Nerve conduction velocity and Pregnancy detection tests. The other practical experiments are performed by the students themselves as per the syllabus prescribed by MCI. The medical students are also given practical demonstrations of Blood Pressure & Respiration recording in mammalian preparation (rabbit), perfusion of isolated mammalian heart and study of effect of drugs and ions, recording of the movements of isolated mammalian intestine and effects of drugs and ions. During the posting in Amphibian laboratory, the students are provided with various tracings/graphs/recordings of frog muscle-nerve preparation and experiments on frog heart and are asked to give their comments and the physiological basis for the observed effects/ phenomena. The recordings for the various experiments are done through various equipments like Physiograph, Polyrite, kymograph, the 16 channel data acquisition and analysis system (Biopac) and the portable ECG machine.
The department also has other sophisticated equipments like Deep freezer, Refrigerated centrifuge and Laminar Flow for carrying out Biochemical and immunological studies, Langendorff Perfusion Assembly for Mammalian Heart Perfusion and Benedict Roth Spirometer for Pulmonary Function Tests. The Dynamic Pulmonary function tests are demonstrated through the computerized equipment, Medspiror. During the posting at Haematology lab, the students perform various haematology experiments as per syllabus and are also given practical demonstrations of ESR, PCV, Osmotic Fragility of red blood cells, Platelet count and Reticulocyte count.
The department has initiated a number of innovative teaching programs like-Vertical Orientation Program, Quiz Competitions, Clinical Problem based learning, Learning through Video Presentations, CDROMs, Undergraduate projects, Computer based experiments etc. A detailed account of the various programs can be obtained from the paper entitled "Pedagogical effectiveness of innovative teaching methods-------" published in the American Physiological Society Journal, Advances in Physiology Education Vol: 28 p.51-58, June 2004. A brief description is given here.
The students are encouraged to procure latest information and recent advances on various topics allocated to them in the subject of Physiology through Internet search and prepare undergraduate research projects.
Vertical Orientation Programme
Keeping in mind the Medical Council of India recommendations for interaction of basic departments with clinical departments during phase-I of medical education, vertical orientation programme was introduced, starting with the 2000 batch students. Students visit the department of Transfusion Medicine for learning safe blood transfusion procedures and live demonstration, department of Pulmonary Medicine for getting introduced to the latest techniques and sophisticated equipments available for assessment of pulmonary function and the department of Medicine for getting acquainted with echocardiography and stress ECG.
After finishing a series of lectures on a particular system, a departmental quiz is organized by the faculty members and conducted by the undergraduate medical students. The quiz has been introduced into the teaching curriculum of the 2000 batch students. Around 3 quiz competitions are conducted each year
Relaxation training program for 1st year Medical Students
Yoga camp was organized for 2000 batch students for 15 days in Nov, 2001. The department also conducted Yoga training program for six weeks for 15 students at Government Yoga Organization, Chandigarh during Sept., 2002. Another 15 students participated in Brahmkumari way of Rajyoga meditation for three weeks at Brahmkumari Organization, Chandigarh. All the teachers of the department participated in both the programs.
Students as Project Cooridnators
Mr. Saurabh Uppal of 2002 batch won the best undergraduate paper award, Harish Gupta prize, for the work done in the department of Physiology, at the National Conference of Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India, 2002.
One of the students of the 2002 batch, Mr. Anshul Goel conducted research work for the department for the project "Cardiovascular Autonomic Parameters in Chronic Oral Smokeless Tobacco Users" during the year 2003
Publications and Presentations at Conferences
The faculty members of the department have a
number of publications in National and International journals
and also have presented papers at the National and International conferences.
All the faculty members are life members of Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India.
Research Publications in last one year
The department has completed various departmental projects and currently has a running ICMR project "Assessment of Antioxidant status " of which Dr. Gurjit Kaur, Senior Lecturer is the Principal Investigator.Practical Manuals
The Practical work book of Human Physiology is under publication by Jaypee Publishers and is for wide circulation among the students of medical colleges and allied disciplines in the subject of Physiology. The Haematology Practical Manual has been prepared and distributed to Medical Students. Both these practical manuals have been prepared by the teaching faculty of the department. The undergraduate and postgraduate students follow the same for carrying out various experiments.Thrust Areas of Research at the department
Medical Education, Oxidative stress, Bioelectromagnetics