November 05, 2010

DNB degree-holders can now teach medicine

Doctors with a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examinations (DNB) degree can now teach in medical colleges.

In a major decision, the Union health ministry has approved the Medical Council of India's (MCI) proposal to allow doctors, who have a DNB degree, to teach just like those with a MD/MS degree.

The move will help the nation to 3,000 new medical teachers who obtain a DNB degree in 54 subjects. Till date, DNB was never recognized on a par with other PG medical degrees like MD/MS.

The latest rule will allow those DNB degree-holders, who have been teaching for several years to be automatically recognized as faculty members. Those doctors who pass out with a DNB degree from a medical college will get the same status.

However, DNB degree-holders who have passed out from private or non-MCI recognized medical colleges will have to have experience of an additional year of senior residency in a teaching medical institution to be on a par with a qualified MD/MS candidate.

Dr Gautam Sen, MCI board member, told TOI, "This is primarily because those with MS/MD degree from a medical college have the experience of teaching undergraduate students when they are senior residents. A DNB doctor does not have such a teaching experience." Dr Devi Shetty, another MCI board member, added that the new rule would increase India's pool of medical teachers in a big way. "The ministry has been wanting to allow DNB doctors to teach. However, earlier the MCI board didn't approve it. DNB doctors can not only start teaching but also perform surgeries soon after passing out," Dr Shetty told TOI.

Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of the National Board of Examinations (NBE), which grants DNB degrees, welcomed the ministry's decision. However, he harbours few concerns. He told TOI from Boston that "while an additional year of senior residency has been recommended for a DNB doctor passing out of a private or non-MCI recognized medical colleges, it is difficult to envisage how medical college hospitals will offer such a limited period of senior residency when they would prefer to select candidates for a full three-year period.

Further, candidates, who have done DNB in super specialities like cardiology or neurosurgery, are unlikely to go in for an additional year of senior residency." With regard to teaching and research experience, Dr Reddy added that DNB now has a compulsory thesis while DNB training hospitals do not usually provide their candidates with undergraduate teaching experience.

"There are also several medical colleges which don't have UG component such as SGPGI, Lucknow; and PGI, Chandigarh. Therefore, absence of an UG teaching experience should not be a disqualifier," Dr Reddy said.

Link: Original Article

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