Exchange report - incoming teachers
Home university: Christian Medical College, Vellore
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2008/2009
Duration: 22
Name: Paul Jacob
Email address:


The accomodation was arranged with the help of the International coordinator who gave me the email link to the University Accomodation Centre. This was quite straightforward and all preparation was by e mail. I got useful living information from the accomodation centre directly. I also looked up the tourist websites as suggested for weather and appropriate clothing. A warm jacket, gloves and head cap were essential as commuting by bus required walking in open air. I was provided with a well equipped apartment with kitchen and was very happy with the standard. Provision of television and wireless internet was much appreciated. I shopped at the local ICA store on the way back from hospital. Laundry facilities were very convenient.

Language and Culture

I am fluent in English and used the same for all my interactions. I do not know any Swedish, the medical students very kindly switched to English for my benefit and they managed very well. The locals were very easy to communicate with. I have been to Sweden before so it made my adaptation easier.

Leisure time

The members of my host department made special arrangements for me, I was invited to four dinners at homes and was taken on a guided walk of Gamla Stan. I also had two previous contacts whom I met with. I visited one museum but the weather in late winter was not conducive to much outdoor activity or local travel.


I think it is a very good programme and fosters the exchange of ideas and methods.

Other activities

I visited the Centre for Molecular Medicine and the Pathology laboratory.

I participated in a research seminar at the Department of Surgery.

I plan to collaborate on the Case based method of teaching.

I attended a meeting of the European society in my field conducted at Lund during my visit. The department kindly facilitated my participation and I presented a poster and interacted with the other delgates at the meet.

I made a study visit to the Univeristy of Uppsala while at KI also.

I have made contacts with the research team for future collaborations on molecular research in endocrine tumours.


I met the Chairman of the International exchange programme on his visit to my institution and he suggested I apply for the programme. I had no special preparation for the visit except gathering information about my own institution education programme to share and compare. No links to suggest.


I have been impressed by the case based method and the critical appraisal techinque.

I am in the middle of planning the introduction of case based video teaching and I got some good ideas during my exposure at KI.

The work of Lennart Nilsson was inspiring for this purpose.

I feel medical education is a casualty of high levels of specialization and it is good for clinicians to combine general and special care to facilitate undergraduate teaching.

I think the teacher-student close interaction is being lost and this does not permit the mentoring of students which is very crucial in medical teaching. I will strive to maintain the mentoring approach.


The Karolinska approach to undergraduate teaching is more self directed than my home university.

We employ formal lectures and bedside as well as clinic discussions with patients as our main teaching method with incorporation of problem based teaching, integrated teaching between disciplines and clerkship or residential programmes for emergency, obstetric and continuity of care exposure. My home university has a compulsory residential system with a very close teacher-student interaction at professional and personal levels which facilitates a mentoring approach.


At Karolinska I did not see formal lectures and bedside teaching was limited. The main focus was on problem, case based and critical appraisal techniques. The students were more involved in the learning process through these techniques and showed more responsibility for their own learning than I have seen. More students were involved with research at a very deep level than I have seen at home. 

The course structure at Karolinska is in transition to a system based approach than a subject based approach which we employ in my University. The preclinical subjects are given a lot more time proportionally at home.

Teaching hours

Teaching was limited to a maximum of 10 hours per week with induvidual discussion, participation in Critical Appraisal Technique, Seminars and teaching in the operating room and clinic. I spent more hours with the faculty and postgraduate sudents, giving presentations and involving in pathology and radiology conference discussions.