For MBBS (100 students per year), in addition to didactic teaching of a high quality, teaching methods employed include integrated teaching of basic sciences and clinical medicine, small group discussions and support programs for academically weak students. Clinicians take a series of case-based lectures relevant to Biochemistry for pre-clinical students during the first year of the course. Case-based discussions are also held in small groups to enable students to make clinical correlations with what they learn in biochemistry. These measures have helped in effective integration of the pre-clinical and clinical sciences. In addition, as part of its academic program for medical students, the department conducts a 3-weeks long integrated learning program (ILP), in collaboration with the departments of anatomy and physiology. This module integrates problem-based learning, clinical visits, interactions with patients, supplementary lectures and related laboratory work as part of the program. Faculty members in the department are also involved in teaching medical students in the clinical years of their course. The aim of all these interventions is to enable medical students to comprehend the relevance of biochemistry in medical practice and to be able to apply it in their work as health care professionals.
Nurture of students is an important feature of the teaching programme. Students in the MBBS course are allotted to mentors, who include faculty members in the department. The mentorship programme is clearly structured, with regular meetings and interactions, the aim of which is to provide academic and non-academic support for students. A support programme is also conducted for those with poor academic performances. Such students are identified, counseled and supported (in an effort to enable them to cope with the first year of the course.
The department constantly looks for ways and means to improve the teaching programme for the students. Throughout the course, the teaching programme is evaluated by students at periodic intervals and also at the end of it. The feedback is anonymised and gives the faculty valuable feedback on how students perceive the teaching and the teachers in the department. The information obtained each year helps the faculty make changes to improve the quality and standard of teaching and training. The department has been consistently rated highly in these evaluations.
There are 2 prizes in biochemistry awarded to MBBS students. These include the S.C. Devadutta prize, awarded for the best essay on any topic in biochemistry and open to all medical students, and the Amuthur G. N. Iyer prize for the highest marks obtained by a first year medical student in Biochemistry at the end of the academic year.