March 16, 2011

MCI too againstequating DNB with MD

While the issue of equating the Diplomate of National Board (DNB) examination with other post-graduate courses in super specialties in medicine by the board of governors of Medical Council of India (MCI), an ad hoc body of the council, has generated a debate on the subject, the autonomous 60-member council too was against any parity between the two.

MCI had debated the issues at length and decided against equating the two. Former academic cell chairman of MCI from city Dr Ved Prakash Mishra told TOI that the general body of MCI had debated the issue at length and decided against equating the two. However, the council had allowed parity of DNB to regular PG qualification only in case the incumbent had one year research associateship to his/her credit along with three years of tutorship in concerned specialty in a recognised medical college," he said. "During PG course students are entitled to teach undergraduate students and this teaching was counted as 'teaching experience'. Such a situation does not exist in non-teaching hospitals," added Dr Mishra.

Former MCI officials tell that the though the government of India had started the National Board of Examination through a parliamentary enactment to meet paucity of avenues for post-graduate education and also avail of infrastructural facilities in non-teaching hospital for academic usage, the primary aim for the said board was to have a national unitary examination for purpose of conformant of DNB in the prescribed super specialties at par with PG degree only in case 'a research associateship' of one year was gained by the student in a recognised medical institution.

However, many senior practicing doctors called up TOI on Thursday expressing views in favour of equating DNB with MD/MS. Dr Rajesh Swarnakar, a senior chest physician, categorically stated that DNB was definitely a superior degree than PG and hence there was no question of equating the two. "The standard is so high that merely 5-15% clear the exam. DNB admissions are centralised and there is no scope for any manipulation. Hence DNB is not equivalent to MD/MS but is much superior," he said. Dr Swarnakar pointed out that the DNB examination had much more recognition abroad as compared to other PG degrees in medicine from India.

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