Most MBBS graduates have only one dream: migrating to a developed country and getting rich. But students from the Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) are different.
PAHS has a strict rule which requires students to travel to rural villages and live there for two weeks after each semester and for six months after completing their degrees. They are allowed to take toothpastes, brushes and towels with them, but they have to eat whatever the farmers offer them and sleep on the floor. Students are given their MBBS certificates, only after they successfully complete the trip.
Vice chancellor Arjun Karki says this policy was created so that students have a better understanding of the harsh realities of life outside the Valley. In addition to the trips, students who are on full scholarships must work for four years in rural areas and those on partial scholarships must complete a minimum of two years.
"Urban students who have grown up with privilege don't go to rural areas once they become doctors. However, we believe those students who are willing to work in villages go on to become good healthcare providers and be committed to improving the health of Nepalis living in remote corners of the country," explains Karki.
PAHS is also unique because it is the only MBBS college specialising in surgery which gives priority to women, Dalits, students from remote areas, and backward or indigenous communities during admissions.