Saturday, March 12, 2011

Docs must pass 'skills test' to practice

What an undergraduate medical student learns in one-year compulsory internship after appearing for MBBS examination will now decide whether he or she gets permanent registration to practice. Medical Council of India (MCI) is making it mandatory for medical students to appear for a new skills test after their internship programme. It will test their skills to analyze patients and diagnose conditions. At present, students get their provisional MBBS degree after appearing for the examination at the end of four-and-a-half years. Permanent registration is given after internship.

"Medical education is not about theory but practice. The new curriculum and post-internship test will prepare new doctors to deal with real patients and diseases," chief of MCI's governing body Dr. S. K. Sarin told TOI. Governing body member Dr. Sita Naik added, "Now, no tests are in place to see if they take this year-long internship programme seriously. Most of the students use this time to prepare for their postgraduate examination. Since PG is a multiple answer theory paper, they think this clinical experience from internship is a sheer waste of time." Dr. Naik explained that new skill tests will make an assessment of their clinical acumen. If they fail to pass this, they will be denied their permanent registration to practice.

Governing body member Prof. Ranjit Roychoudhury said the crucial meeting to finalise the UG and PG curriculum will be held on March 29. Union Health Secretary K. Chandramouli will chair the meeting, which will be attended by top academicians and vice-chancellors. "We intend to announce the new curriculum on March 29," Prof. Roychoudhury said. According to Prof. Roychoudhury, the new curriculum will focus on hands-on teaching. "Passing the MBBS exam will not be enough. They have to pass the skills test, and show that they are ready to take on the real world of medicine and patients," he said.

Source: The Times of India, March 12, 2011
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