The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kelaniya is situated on a spacious 35 acre campus at Ragama. It is one of eight state medical schools in Sri Lanka. The Faculty commenced classes with the admission of 120 students in September 1991. The first batch of students completed their five year course and graduated MBBS in September 1996. From 2004, the Faculty has adopted an organ-system based integrated curriculum. Today, the Faculty has approximately 1000 students on its roll. This includes several foreign students, mainly from other South Asian countries, who have been admitted on a fee levying basis.
The Faculty also welcomes students for elective appointments and many students from medical schools in Europe, USA and Australia have spent their elective periods with us. There is a permanent academic staff of approximately 110 and, in addition, there are over 40 temporary academic staff and over 60 visiting staff that includes consultants who are based in the affiliated teaching hospitals.
The Faculty comprises sixteen academic departments, a Medical Education Centre, a Computer Centre, a Centre for Tropical Medicine & International Health, and a Molecular Medicine Unit. The Computer Centre is dedicated to providing computer training; it aids in self directed learning, maintaining an intranet and providing internet connectivity. In keeping with the need to expand and improve allied health services in the country the Faculty established the Disability Studies Unit in 1993 and the Centre for Tropical Medicine and International Health, which conducts courses for primary health care workers, in 1999. The Molecular Medicine Unit was established in 2003 with the aims of improving molecular diagnostic facilities for infectious diseases and providing DNA ‘finger-printing. In 2007, the Disability Studies Unit was upgraded to the Department of Disability Studies, the only one of its kind in the South Asian region. Since 1991, the faculty has produced a large volume of research publications. Several of the staff have been awarded prestigious prizes for research papers presented at national and international scientific fora and Presidential Research Awards. The clinical and paramedical academic departments have been recognised as training centres by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo.
Postgraduate research degree programs – M. Phil, DM and Ph.D, are conducted by the Faculty under the auspices of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. In collaboration with the University of London, the Disability Studies Unit conducted a diploma course in Speech and Language Therapy; this course was upgraded into a Bachelor of Science Special degree course and the first batch of students based on A’ level results were admitted in August 2008. The Centre for Tropical Medicine and International Health conducts certificate and diploma courses in Community Health jointly with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Many of the departments have academic links with foreign universities. The Colombo North Teaching Hospital, which is one of the busiest tertiary referral centres in the country, is the main teaching hospital. University clinical departments have wards in this hospital. Other allied teaching hospitals include, the Ragama Rehabilitation Hospital, Welisara Chest Hospital and Base Hospitals in Negombo and Gampaha. The Faculty provides hostel facilities for most of its students. It also has an open air theatre, a sports ground, a multi-purpose court and a gymnasium. Funds are being sought to develop a sports complex and a swimming pool.
A Cultural Centre was opened in January 2009 and programmes in music, dance, art and photography are conducted. Yoga classes are held every Thursday afternoon. Tamil classes are conducted every year to enable our graduates to be able to practice in any part of the country. There is an elected student council and several other thriving cultural and literary student societies. From 2004 the faculty has adopted an organ-system based integrated curriculum. The MBBS course run by the Faculty is of five years duration, each academic year consisting of three 10-week terms. The medium of instruction is English. There are three professional examinations at the end of each Phase. Clinical training commences with the beginning of the third year of study. During their third and fourth years, students are expected to do clinical attachments in the mornings, returning to the Faculty premises for lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes in the afternoons. The clinical attachments cover a wide variety of specialties which include Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Anaesthesiology, Forensic Medicine, Rheumatology, Dermatology, Venereology, Neurology, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Radiology, Family Medicine, Community Medicine and Clinical Pathology. They vary in duration from two weeks to two months. During their fourth year, students carry out supervised research projects in Community Medicine and allied subjects. During the final year, learning is almost entirely hospital-based, with students assigned two-month clerkships in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Psychiatry in the University units of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital. The Final MBBS examination consists of the disciplines of Medicine, Psychiatry, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Paediatrics. After passing the Final MBBS examination, students must complete 12 months of internship to obtain full registration to practice medicine in Sri Lanka from the Sri Lanka Medical Council. The Faculty is listed in the World Health Organisation Directory of Medical Schools and the MBBS degree is recognised by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom.