March 22, 2011

Changes in MBBS course puts doctors in a dilemma

An eight-member committee of medical experts has recommended several changes in the MBBS course curriculum. The committee has suggested that the Medical Council of India (MCI) restructure the course and the duration of the undergraduate medical programme.

Currently, the MBBS course is of four and a half year in addition to one-year internship. If the recommendations are accepted, the duration of MBBS course, in the future, will be of four years along with an internship of one year. In addition, a six-month elective course will be introduced at the end.

The committee was formed to address the shortcomings of medical education and to suggest ways to increase the number of medical professionals in the country. The working group has advised the MCI to restructure the entire course by introducing the 4+1+0.5 formula in place of the 4.5+1 year formula.

The last six months will comprise elective subjects which includes bio-informatics, tissue processing, immunology, genetics, sports medicine etc. Students will have to choose from these subjects at the conclusion of their 5-year MBBS course.

Elaborating about these changes, a senior doctor said that the introduction of elective subjects won't be that easy for colleges and students. "All the colleges have to manage faculties for these subjects. Moreover, many subjects are of engineering disciplines," said the doctor.

He added that the committee has suggested other changes as well. They include, introduction of clinical practice from the first year instead of second year. It means that MBBS students will check the patients from the very first year of their studies. "This issue is highly debatable and students may find it difficult too," said another doctor, who is also a professor.

Many doctors feel that it is not necessary to follow the trends of other countries while introducing clinical practice in the very first year. "UK has already done that but it is worth noting that they failed in that," opined a city-based senior doctor.

Link: Original Article

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