The main commitments are in relation to the faculty's MBBS course during which students study Medicine for three year, from the third year onwards. The Department is also involved in training postgraduate students of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine preparing for the MD (Medicine) and specialist board certification. Academic staffs also take part in the teaching programmes of the Speech and Hearing Sciences degree course.
The Department has a strong research culture. Special areas of interest are Tropical Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Neurology, Haematology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology and Pulmonology. The Department has three research and service oriented laboratories: one dedicated to clinical Neurophysiology with facilities for electromyography, nerve conduction studies, and EEG, the second dealing with Haemoglobin Disorders and the third is the Rickettsial Research Laboratory. Research output is prolific, and papers originating from this Department are published regularly in prestigious journals. Staff members have contributed chapters to specialist monographs and function as editors of medical books and journals.
Academic staff provide services in an honorary capacity to the Professorial Medical Unit (Wards 21 and 22) of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital. The Department together with the Faculty's Department of Surgery recently initiated the Colombo North Liver Transplantation Service, and it also provides services to adult Thalassaemia patients at a special centre.