Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018
Though the Medical Council of India (MCI) has revised the MBBS syllabus after 21 years, however, there is still a room for more changes. Dr VK Paul, member of NITI Aayog and Chairman of MCI, highlights the lacunae in the system that restricts the formal teaching from touching upon issues like ethics, soft skills, patient confidentiality and more.
“At the moment, medical education in India does not equip a student with the skills to handle ethically sensitive decisions. Even in contemporary times, doctors serve their duties on the basis of centuries-old Hippocratic Oath, but there has been no formal setup to teach the students about concepts like medical confidentiality and non-maleficence,” says Dr Paul.
Law and social acceptance, says Dr Paul, are two crucial aspects that students find difficult to prioritise. For instance, if a malformed female child is born and the parents force the medical authorities to stop treatment, the doctor will have no option but to give them a discharge. However, this does not align with a doctor’s legal responsibilities.
“Earlier, such concepts were implied but now, MCI is working towards making them explicit regulation with a pragmatic approach,” adds Dr Paul. About the recent reforms in the medical syllabus at the undergraduate level, Dr Paul says, “21 years is a long time for the medical education system to go on without major changes. Curriculum should be dynamic enough to incorporate new topics and discard obsolete courses, so as to be in sync with advancing science, researches and societal needs.”
Introductory pieces of training for teachers are planned to be conducted in the next 100 days through nodal centres and colleges’ medical education units. “By March 31, 2019, dissemination, diffusion and capacity building training will be completed. The curriculum will be in full-fledged implementation by the next academic session,” says Dr Paul.
Entrance examination pattern needs to undergo changes as per the new competency-based UG syllabus, which includes modules to teach communication skills and ethics. In affirmation, Dr Paul says, “Students focus more on topics and concepts relevant for exams. Hence, newly-added components which will be taught in MBBS courses will be tested in the upcoming UG-NEET examination and other relevant exams.”
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