The Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram is the premier public health training and research institution for medical professionals in the state of Kerala, India. The prime objective of the institution is to produce quality public health professionals, capable of playing major roles towards the realization of complete health and wellbeing in the state of Kerala and the country as a whole. Established in 1953, the department is the first of its kind in India.
The department offers two postgraduate courses for medical professionals; MD in Community Medicine (3 years) and Diploma in Public Health (2 years). In addition, the department sensitizes the undergraduate medical students towards being public health minded while pursuing their career. The department promotes quality medical research and collaborates with governmental and non-governmental agencies in carrying out public health activities all over the state.
The history of the Department of Community Medicine is closely linked to the History of Medical College Trivandrum which goes back to 1951, when the institution was established with minimum infrastructure. Very soon it grew to become one of the most prestigious institutions in the entire country and the department of Community Medicine stands out from the rest of the departments to tell its tale of triumph. The department of Community Medicine, Medical College Trivandrum owns the proud privilege of being the first of its kind in India. Established in 1953, the department was spearheaded by the then director of public health, Dr. Krishnan Thampi. Our department along with other departments of this college conducted an innovative community survey of the disabled, in collaboration with the Loyola Institute of Sociology. Another important landmark, was a study of social factors relating to demography and family health. This study evolved as a national model for adoption in India and abroad. Worth mentioning is the Indo-Norwegian Medical Health unit, which was situated in Neendakara, Kerala. It gave proper exposure to the students about community life in villages. This project also contributed a lot to health education programs, family welfare, child health activities etc. Dr. A.R.Sundaram, Dr. K.P.Joseph, Dr. Chithra Gopalan. Dr. C.P. Madhavankutty, Dr. Molly Philip, Dr. Elizabeth Vargheese, Dr. K. Lathika Devi, Dr. K. Leelamoni, Dr. K. Ushadevi, Dr Girija, Dr Jeesha. C .Haran, Dr K.R. Leela Itty Amma succeeded Dr Krishnan Thampi as the heads of the department. Presently the department is headed by Dr Vijaya Kumar K .
Field training of the students has always been one of the major activities if our department. To begin with, a Primary Health Centre was established in July 1953 at Cheruvikkal as a field practice area, which was shifted to Pangappara in 1964. Initially interns training were conducted at Indo Norwegian MCH unit Neendakara. At present ten primary health centers of Thiruvananthapuram District are utilized for the training programme.
The academic activities of the department include teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate students in community medicine. A postgraduate diploma course in Public Health was started in 1962 and ours is the only department presently having such a course in the whole of India. Later on a post graduate degree course was also started in Social and Preventive Medicine in 1975. In addition to this, our faculty takes up part time teaching and training assignments for BSc Nursing. BSc MLT, D.Pharm, M-Phil and PGDMCH Course under IGNOU.