Jubilant 50 years of Rajshahi Medical College
Abu Kalam Ratan and Mamun Abdul Kaioum
Rajshahi is called the education city of Bangladesh and the establishment of a government medical college has increased the reputation of this city. Rajshahi Medical College (RMC) is located beside the Barendra Research Museum, the first museum of Bangladesh in Rajshahi. Recently RMC is going to celebrate its golden jubilee. The institution was established in 1954 in East Pakistan, a second such institution after Dhaka Medical College .The institution has also been serving as the central provider of advanced health care in the northern part of Bangladesh with a 1000 bed hospital .Now RMC is affiliated with Rajshahi University.
RMC admits one hundred and seventy eight students each year for its Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) program. Its dental unit admits more 50 students for BDS. The dental unit is situated at Hetemkhan area of the city .Students are admitted in these programs to get a degree after 5 years of study and 1Year internship in the Government public hospital as per the law of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC). The institution also admits fifty post graduate students on eighteen diploma courses.
A number of dedicated people started a Medical School in Rajshahi City in 1954. A four-year course was started leading to diploma LMF (Licentiate of Medical Faculty) offered by the Dhaka State Medical Faculty. A total of eighty students were admitted in the first year of its foundation. In 1954, the then East Pakistan Government upgraded it into a government institute - Rajshahi Medical School.
Shortly afterwards, the government started a five-year course leading to MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree and thus in 1958 Rajshahi Medical College came into being. The Medical College was then housed in a small building of the Barendra Museum. It was later shifted to the present college building in the middle of Sipaipara and Luxmipur. In the first batch of RMC , 42 female students and 2 foreign students were admitted.
From the beginning, the college has been seeing steady progress. A lot of foreign students from Nepal, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya and Nigeria received MBBS degree from RMC. Currently there are a number of students from Nepal, Indian and other SAARC countries. Infectious Disease Hospital, hospital for tuberculosis and chest diseases, Leprosy control center has been established under the college.
A Nuclear Medicine Center was also established within the campus in 1970. Following the War of Liberation, the Medical College and Hospital have made considerable improvements in many aspects such as student's accommodation, extension of the college buildings, number of hospital beds, establishment of a modern auditorium etc. At present, besides undergraduate MBBS and BDS courses, postgraduate MD, MS, M. Phill, MPH and Diploma degrees are being offered in 18 disciplines at Rajshahi Medical College.
Already a handful number of successful doctors have achieved their postgraduate degrees from this college and are working in various field of their specialization with good reputation. There has been addition of new departments like Nephrology, Neurosurgery Coronary Care Unit, Radiotherapy and Gastroenterology. Recently the affiliated hospital is equipped with CT scan, MRI, angiogram and renal haemodialysis machine.
On several natural calamities like the cyclone Sidr, floods and starvation RMC family (doctors, teachers and students) distributes relief goods among the affected people. The humanitarian effort offered by RMC at the very beginning of relief works by different agencies was covered adequately .RMC family distributed goods of about 5 lakh taka among the Sidr affected people as well as treatment and medicine were under taken by the family.
RMC observes colourful students' week every year to keep up co- curriculur activities at campus among teachers and students. Indoor and outdoor games and other performances like debate and speech competition among students of the institution have achieved many champion trophies across the country. Rajshahi Medical College is also famous for it's debate team. In 2006 the team achieved two national championship trophies on National debate event among medical colleges and the universities with the leadership of Dr. Kudrat E Elahi. He is not only the pioneer of RMC debate arena, he is also a pioneer forming debate club on other six medical colleges.
RMC has a huge library with about 19,500 books and 1800 bound journals. There are about 100 seats for the students where students can read and get books from 9 am to 9 pm. A lot of foreign books and journals on medical sciences are available at the library. Internet facilities are also available at the library for students. Students of this institution achieve remarkable result on their courses among other five medical colleges under Rajshahi University.
RMC has a principal and a vice principal as the head of the administration. Besides that RMC has a total 163 teachers while it has about 1350 students under MBBS and BDS courses. A total of 7450 students graduated with their professional degrees from RMC.
Professor ABM Abdul Hannan is the present principal of Rajshahi Medical College. Academic committee of this institution runs the college according to the Health ministry act. Prof. Hannan is satisfied on the current state of academics and researches. He wants to run the institution more smoothly. He also expected to see RMC in better position after next five years with help and cooperation of all respective persons.
Many former students of this institution have brought national glory as well as international reputation showing intellect and wisdom in respective fields. Former director general of health Prof. Dr. Shamsuddin Sidiki, Prof. Dr. Mizanur Rahman, former Vice Chancellor of Bangabondhu Sheikh Muzib Medical University (BSMMU) Prof. Mahmud Hasan, former director of National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease(NICVD) Prof. Akhtaruzzaman, Prof. Nazrul Islam, former pro-Vice Chancellor of BSMMU Prof.Anisul Haque, Chairman department of nephrology of BSMMU Prof. Dr. Harun Ur Rashid, Prof. Kazi Tariqul Islam of Dhaka Medical College, Chairman department of hematology of BSMMU Prof. Zalilur Rahman among others are successful on their profession.
The present premise of RMCH (College and Hospital) contains 90 acres of land while present RMC premise is situated on 30 bighas of land. There are six students’ hostel in RMC campus with a big play ground. Shoheed Jamil Akhter Ratan hostel, Shoheed Shah Moinul Ahsan Chowdhury Pinku hostel, Shoheed Kazi Nurunnabi hostel are the male hostels and Polin Chhatrinibas, Falguni Chhatrinibas, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqua hostels are for female students. Every residential hostels of RMC consists a good environment of study and ensure the full fledged hostel facilities for every students of RMC as well as canteen, TV room, indoor games room and a guest room for all. There is also a gymnasium and two buses for students.
There is a canteen on RMC educational campus called ‘Charu Mamar Canteen’ which is a part and parcel of RMC's tradition. The canteen was established on campus before 45 years.
There are some voluntary organizations in RMC. Students of RMC work on Rotaract club, Blood donation, debate related organizations to serve the country. Every batch of this institution arrange picnic, tours and others program occasionally.
There is a luxurious auditorium in RMC campus named ‘Dr. Kayser Rahman Chowdhury Auditorium’. The auditorium is considered as the largest air conditioned auditorium in north Bengal of Bangladesh. There is also an exclusive mosque at the campus. Several department of this institution organize national and international seminar on medical topics where a lot of scientists and doctors attend from home and abroad.
The institution played a vital role in the time of our liberation war. At the time of liberation war six members of RMC family contributed their lives. They are Captain Dr. Faruque, Dr. SAM Monsur Rahman Sirker, M. Alamgir Mia, Kazi Nurunnabi, M Abul Amzad and Kazal Kumar Vadro.
To create, maintain and practice cordial relationship among the teachers RMC teachers established ‘Teachers Association’ in 1984. Rajshahi Medical college Teachers association in 2006 established a smritisoudho to remember the contribution of six members of RMC family who lost their lives in our liberation war.
Students, teachers, well-wishers of RMC hope that the institution will continue it's development and will improve in education and research sector to serve the nation.
(Abu Kalam Ratan is Rajshahi University Correspondent of The Daily Star
Mamun Abdul Kaioum studies Mass Communication and Journalism at Rajshahi University )