Bhutanese Traditional Medical Education

Wangchuk, Phurpa, Gyeltshen, Tempa, and Tobgay, Tashi (2016) Bhutanese Traditional Medical Education. In: Schuelka , Matthew J. , and Maxwell, T.W., (eds.) Education in Bhutan: culture, schooling, and gross national happiness. Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: issues, concerns and prospects, 36 . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 91-108.

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Abstract

Bhutanese g.so-ba-rig-pa [pronounced as So-wa Rig-pa], or Bhutanese traditional medicine, is one of the rich cultural heritages and oldest tertiary education sectors in Bhutan. It was initially taught in the monastic institutions that were established by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1616. A separate g.so-ba-rig-pa medical dispensary was established only in 1968 after the Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, introduced the health integration policy in 1967. Since then, g.so-ba-rig-pa medicine has expanded its services by establishing 54 traditional medicine centers alongside allopathic hospitals and basic health units in the country. Today, it has become a reservoir of knowledge and employment for Drungtshos [traditional physicians] and smen-pas [traditional clinical assistants], a cradle of health and cure for patients, and a source of income for farmers and herbal traders through medicinal plant programs. The Faculty of Traditional Medicine (FoTM) under the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan is the pillar of these developments as its graduates form the core human resources of the system. This chapter describes the historical aspects of the Bhutanese g.so-ba-rig-pa medical education system and highlights its present practices including policy, governance, institutional and structural developments, teacher and student recruitments processes, curriculum development, teaching learning methods, types of degree courses offered, changes in learning tools and resources, internships, and the student assessment system. It also discusses the scope and the challenges of the FoTM and recommends the ways forward for achieving its long-term sustainability as a tertiary education provider.

Item ID: 46844
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-981-10-1647-9
ISSN: 1573-5397
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 22:21
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified @ 30%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development @ 40%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 20%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development @ 50%
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