December 31, 2011

Maharashtra University of Health Sciences to offer fellowships

Maharashtra University of Health Sciences will be partnering with private hospitals to offer fellowships to medical students in subjects that were earlier not offered in India

Noting that most medical students in the state prefer to abandon India for foreign shores to pursue subspecialty courses in medicine and surgery, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has decided to partner with the state's private hospitals to start fellowship programmes.

The MUHS has already identified around 25 subspecialty subjects -- including Endocrinology, Laparoscopy, Vascular surgery, Nuclear medicine, Geriatrics and Paediatric neurology -- in which the fellowships will be offered.

"Most students prefer to go to foreign universities to specialise in a certain field, after their completing their postgraduation studies. They do this because these subspecialities are not offered at recognised centres in India. Realising that a number of private hospitals in cities -- especially Mumbai -- have doctors practicing these subspecialties, we have decided to start fellowship programmes, which will be recognised by the MUHS," said Dr Arun Jamkar, vice-chancellor of MUHS.

The university has now created a fellowship board, with representatives of private hospitals on its rolls -- to draw up the course details. Dr Gustad Daver, medical director, P D Hinduja hospital, said, "All the courses will extend for a minimum period of one year and a maximum period of two years. The students will also receive a sum as stipend for the entire course period, in which they will get hands-on training. The university will conduct entrance examinations for admission. We are now busy working out the curriculum details."

"By this public private partnership, the untapped expertise existing in private hospitals will be tapped for the benefit of young doctors," he added.

At present, private hospitals only offer courses that are recognised by the Diplomat National Board (DNB). "The DNB norms are stringent, as a result of which we cannot offer courses in all the possible subspecialties. With the MUHS fellowships, students will be benefited by the wider variety of subspecialties on offer," added Daver.

Dr Anup Ramani, robotic uro-oncologist at Lilavati hospital, said, "When I completed my postgraduation in Urology from Sion hospital, there was no institution offering a subspecialty course in robotic uro-oncology. I had to go abroad for training. But today, there are surgeons in most private hospitals who have been received training in foreign universities and and are practicing here. They can turn teachers for our students pursing the subspecialties. These fellowships will help students save on money as well."

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