36.2.1 MEDICAL EDUCATION: CONTENT and ISSUES
Medicine is closely associated with all the 5 purposes of the Law: diin, nafs, nasl, aql, & maal.
Study of medicine is therefore fardh kifayat. Medical students should learn
basic and clinical sciences, the essentials of Islam, al ma’lum fi al diin
bi dharurat, ahkam fiqhiyyat relating to medicine, and the social background to disease causation and prevention. There
are 6 conceptual issues in medical education from the Islamic perspective: purpose of medicine and medical education, integration,
balance, service, leadership, and research.
36.2.2 THE ISSUES OF PURPOSE, INTEGRATION, and BALANCE
The purpose of medicine is to restore, maintain or improve the quality of remaining life. It cannot
prevent or postpone death because ajal is in the hands of Allah. The aim of medical education is producing physicians whose
practice fulfills the 5 purposes of the Law within a holistic tauhidi context. They will have the following characteristics:
health and not disease oriented, focused on quality and not quantity of life, humble to recognize limitations to their abilities,
holistic in outlook, understand society, scientific capability, clinical expertise, and leadership. European secular-oriented
medicine is fragmented by organ, disease process, and is not holistic. Islam can provide an integrative tauhidi paradigm to
replace the European non-tauhid world-view that is atomistic, analytic, and not synthetic. In the absence of an integrating
paradigm, European medicine lacks balance and equilibrium in its therapeutic approach. The Qur’anic concepts of wasatiyyat,
mizaan, i’itidaal, and tadafu’u provide a conceptual framework for balanced medical practice.
36.2.3 THE ISSUE OF SERVICE
Medicine should be taught as a social service with the human dimension dominating the the biomedical
dimension. Medicine should be practiced as of mutual social support. Medical education should prepare the future physician
to provide service to the community. This will require skills of understanding and responsing to community needs that can
be acquired by spending part of the training period in a community setting away from the high technology hospital environment.
36.2.4 THE ISSUE OF LEADERSHIP
The medical school curriculum and experience should be a lesson in social responsibility and leadership.
The best physician should be a social activist who goes into society and gives leadership in solving underlying social causes
of ill-health. The physician as a respected opinion leader with close contact with the patients must be a model for others
in moral values, attitudes, akhlaq, and thoughts. He must give leadership in preventing or solving ethical issues arising
out of modern biotechnology. He must understand the medical, legal, and ethical issue involved and explain them to the patients
and their families so that they can form an informed decision. He should also provide leadership in advocating for the less
privileged and advocacy for human rights.
36.2.5 REFORM OF MEDICAL EDUCATION
Admission decisions should in addition to academic competence consider comprehensive holistic approach
based on tauhid, a service vocation, ethical and community leadership, and motivation to get knowledge. The medical school
curriculum should be reformed in 2 ways: (a) more methodological content and less biomedical information (b) learning by apprecenticeship
by early involvement in patient care. The future physician must be a producer and not a consumer of knowledge. This will require
giving more time to basic research methodological tools and decreasing the amount of biomedical scientific information that
is either forgotten or becomes obsolete by the time of graduation. Student research projects are a good introduction to life-long
curiosity in science and discovery. Besides facts and skills, students learn values, attitudes, and assumptions from their
teachers and the environment. For apprenticeship to succeed the teachers must be good models and the ambience must be Islamic.
An ideal Muslim physician is a multi-dimensional character described as having iman, taqwah, amanat, and akhlaq.