Hundreds of students at Pabna Medical College are failing to relate their academic lessons to practical healthcare as the medical college has no adjacent hospital where the pupils can receive hands-on training.
Pupils after completing their five-year academic career now have to go to Pabna Sadar Hospital, about six kilometres away from the college, for doing their one-year internship to attain the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree.
"We have all the facilities at our college including laboratories and equipment but no adjacent hospital there. I think it is a big barrier for practical learning even before an internship," said Arman Ali, a third-year student at Pabna Medical College.
Students, teachers and public health experts said that an adjacent hospital to a medical college is a must for critical medical studies, without which the learnings remain incomplete.
Almost all the medical colleges across the country, including public and private ones, have adjacent hospitals. Many of them have a good reputation as well.
Arman said intern-students face many hurdles to go to the Pabna 250-bed Sadar Hospital due to the terrible road condition there.
"The lack of an adjacent hospital to the medical college hampers our actual learning, quality of education," said Masum Hossain, an intern-doctor at the college.
"We do not find our teachers from whom we learn in classrooms during internship training. We have to do the final training with some junior consultants at the 250-bed hospital," he said, adding they hardly get senior and skilled consultants at the hospital.
"If we had our adjacent hospital and got our teachers in practical training, we could have validated our learnings and become more skilled physicians," said Masum.
They urged the authorities concerned to establish a hospital for the medical college as early as possible.
The Pabna Medical College was established on a 30-acre land, allotted from the Mental Hospital Pabna, at Hemayetpur village of Pabna Sadar upazila in 2008. It started academic activities in 2013 and currently has a total of 210 students in different batches.
Pabna Medical College Principal Dr Bulbul Hasan said they sent multiple letters to the ministry seeking an adjacent hospital to the college, but to no avail.
"We are yet to get a good response," he added.
"We cherished a dream of serving people, as well as providing hands-on training to the medical students, with a hospital here. However, our dream did not come to light even after a decade," said DrShafiqulHasan, an associate professor at the medical college.
Amid the limitations, the college is doing well in professional examinations under the University of Rajshahi. Last year, a student from the college stood first in the final professional exam.