Several years of clinical apprenticeship under close supervision and direction of eminent physicians besides strenuous study and precise knowledge about the theoretical perceptions expounded in the medical classics, form the basis for training of a traditional physician and sMenpa. The existing training programs emphasize on practical and clinical teaching as an integral part of the broad curricula. The FTM collaborates with clinical departments of the NTMH and different sections of PRU for practical training and attachment of the students.
Students are allotted three hours each in a week for practical training in NTMH and MSP. They are placed in different clinical departments of NTMH and different sections of MSP on a rotation basis, attached with senior Drungtshos and sMenpas. In the initial stages they observe their mentors practising and later begin assisting him in providing different services under strict supervision and specific instructions. This provides students with firsthand experience in patient management, dispensing, application of different therapies and so forth and directly prepares him for the professional responsibilities that lie ahead. The examination board assesses practical skills at the end of the semester through practical performance and demonstration.
In PRU, the students (under the guidance of the in-house consultant: chief traditional physician) observe and assist in production, formulation, and quality control activities. More importantly, they participate in research activities, familiarizing and equipping them with new technology and new ways of thinking so that they are able to investigate, find and present the knowledge of past in a manner applicable to the present. This provides an ardent means of improving innovative capacity of the students and strengthening their ability to explore the immense potential that the gSo-ba Rig-pa has to offer. It not only prepares Drungtshos and sMenpas to take up relevant jobs in the PRU but also enables to embark on new areas like production and quality control which traditionally was their domain.
As part of the training curriculum, students go for field trips to identify a wide range of materia medica and multitude of mineral springs and hot waters throughout the kingdom, demanding full time attendance. This is in direct connection to the core competencies of a traditional physician who recommends certain hot spring or mineral spring to supplement prolonged medication besides being able to identify medicinal ingredients correctly.
These add to dynamism of the programs offered by the institute, maintaining its relevance at a time when the interest and compatibility pattern of the patients are changing rapidly. It is for this reason that the programs were smoothly operated for the past many years.