April 23, 2011

MCI mulls CME Credit Conferences

Medical Council of India (MCI) is all set to send doctors back to lecture halls, failing which they would lose their license to practice.

According to the new rules, which will be announced on Tuesday, MCI is planning to make it mandatory for all doctors to attend 30 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every five years. If they fail to attend CME, their registration to practice would be suspended.

The maiden national guidelines on CME Credit Hours will be unveiled at MCI's ethical committee meeting here on Tuesday.

Any paper published in "indexed national/ international" medical journals will entitle the author and the co-author to CME Credit Hours. Doctors pursuing post-graduate courses — like diploma, MD, MS, DNB and DM from recognized/ reputed institutions in India — will get four credit hours per year for the duration of the courses. The additional credit hours will be awarded for participating in departmental and institutional activities like journal club meetings, mortality conferences etc.

Medical associations or organizations caught issuing fake certificates to doctors — claiming they attended the conferences — will be barred. Doctors can attend international conferences. CME Credit Hours will be awarded following the submission of attendance proof.

If CME is organized by a drug/ equipment company for promotion of its product, then it won't be considered. Similarly, the ones organized by individual nursing home, hospitals and for marketing purposes won't get any credit.

Dr Arun Bal, chairman of MCI's ethics committee, told TOI, "We are ready with the national guidelines to make CME mandatory. At present, very few state councils have guidelines for CME credits. Only Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab have structured guidelines. However these guidelines are not uniform. For example, Maharashtra gives CME credits for papers published in indexed journals and for writing chapters in books."

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