The Institute of Medicine (IOM), established in 1972 at Tribhuvan University, was entrusted with the responsibility of training health care workers at all levels for the health care needs of Nepal. Within the first decade of its establishment, the IOM developed 12 campuses scattered over the country: three campuses in Kathmandu and nine outside the Kathmandu Valley.
Initially, the emphasis of IOM was on the training of middle-level health workers. Programmes serving this purpose include ANM, CMA, Proficiency Certificate Course in General Medicine, Pharmacy, Radiology, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Health Laboratory and Traditional Medicine.
The institutional goals of IOM have continued to change. The mission of the IOM expanded into training tertiary-level health professionals. By 1977 it had at the graduate level two-year Bachelor programmes in Community Nursing, Paediatric Nursing and Adult Nursing.
In 1978, a community-oriented integrated MBBS programme was started with intake of 22 students. Subsequently, the class size was increased to 60, and in 2013 it was further increased to 76. In a groundbreaking moment for the institute, Professor Prakash Sayami was appointed as the new dean of the Institute, prompted by a second fast-unto-death by Professor Govinda K.C. This brought a change to the system of appointment of the officials on the basis of political affiliations and promulgated the system of seniority in the Institute.
Mounting pressure from the Tribhuvan University officials on political appointments and provision of affiliations to resource-poor hospitals led to the resignation of Professor Prakash Saymi. He was succeeded by political appointee Prof. Sashi Sharma. Sharma is alleged to be involved in embezzlement of large amounts of money during his term as the vice-president of Nepal Medical Council and was subjected to investigations by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). In reaction, Professor Govinda KC, the philanthropist orthopedic surgeon, announced a fast unto death in January 2014. IOM offers 45 scholarship seats in MBBS every year.
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