Study of medicine is a collective duty, fardh kifayat. Each community must have an adequate number of well
trained medical professionals. They should be trained in basic as well as clinical sciences. They should also be trained to
understand illness in the holistic sense involving biological, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. They should
appreciate the need to integrate these dimensions so that a patient is a treated as a whole human and not as a collection
of pathological conditions. They should be balanced in attitude, committed to service, provide social and ethical leadership,
and should have excellent character. They should be seek to improve continuously and must have the self –confidence
to take charge of their lives. Social development should parallel professional development to produce a balanced professional
PURPOSE OF MEDICAL EDUCATION
The aim of medical education is producing physicians whose practice fulfills the 5 purposes of the Law (protection
of morality, life, progeny, intellect, and wealth) within a holistic tauhidi context.
On graduation the new physician should 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.
INTEGRATION and BALANCE
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.
COMMITENT TO 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 responding 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.
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.
Character, determined by personality, is internal. Its outward manifestation is behavior, good or bad. Consistent
observation of behavior over a long time reveals true character. The following are some of the components of a positive character:
Piety, generosity, charity, chastity, trust, humility, balance, moderation, patience, endurance, cooperation, forgiving, ignoring
stupid company, reconciliation, honor and dignity, shyness, modesty, integrity, courage, and wisdom. These traits are best
manifested in an atmosphere of positive attitudes, optimism, and behavior. Positive behavior includes: controlling appetites
(eating little, fasting, sexual self-control), fulfilling needs of others, mercy, good words and acts; and good deeds which
wipe out bad ones.
Self-improvement requires commitment, effort and action to achieve goals, taking responsibility, learning from
previous experiences (positive and negative), interdependence, pursing real needs and not mere wants, a positive attitude,
a futuristic outlook, assertiveness, self-confidence, and self reliance, and contentment.
Being assertive is learning to take control. A person who has self-control can stand up to the temptations of shaitan. The following are ingredients of self control: self-confidence, self-esteem,
self-reliance, self-discipline, and self-development. Self-confidence is to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses,
to be comfortable with what you are, and to be psychologically secure. Psychological security raises self-esteem. Self-help
and self-improvement are in essence taking charge of your life, relying on yourself in solving problems, and taking the initiative
to improve. Self discipline is needed for success and consists of control of whims and emotions, sticking to goals, acting
according to long-term and not short-term interests, avoiding impulsive acts, following the head and not the emotions, and
trusting your instincts.
Social development starts with selection of a spouse and starting a family. It involves learning to develop social
networks and taking social responsibilities in the community.
FURTHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The factors behind professional success are a good basic education, postgraduate training,
apprenticeship to a good mentor, setting goals and a time frame to achieve them, adopting a growth strategy, delivering quality
results in the work and not seeking cheap publicity. Professional networking involves identification of strategic partners
for mutual benefit and not manipulating or exploitation. Nurturing contacts is very important otherwise they get lost.