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Tuesday, June 3 1997

Medical council's new rules for MBBS

Anuradha Shah

PUNE, June 2: In a far-reaching change towards practical-oriented medical education in the country, the Medical Council of India (MCI), after a gap of 25-odd years has introduced a set of rules to be implemented by over 150 universities from the academic year 1997-98.

Not only has the MCI introduced a new curriculum emphasising ``problem solving learning'' but specified goals have been listed for practically each subject. For the first time ever, a state with more medical colleges and universities will now have to conduct a competitive examination for admitting the student to the first year MBBS degree course.

A vital change in the duration of the four-and-a-half year MBBS course, is the allotment of time given to the first year student. The time span for the first year MBBS student has been reduced from one-and-a-half years (three terms) to one year (two terms). The reduction in the duration of the first year, however, has necessitated that all admissions should be completed by July end so that the course starts on August 1. Similarly, universities will have to hold examinations on the scheduled dates.

The MCI published the rules in the gazette of India on May 7 after experts conducted a series of deliberations since 1992. MCI secretary M Sachdeva later issued a letter informing the vice-chancellors of all universities (with a medical faculty) in the country about the changed set of rules. When contacted, Dr V N Karandikar, principal of the Bharati Vidapeeth deemed university's medical college said the VC, Dr U B Bhoite, had received a letter to the effect on May 25.

Internal assessment has been introduced for the first time and while students were allowed to keep terms (ATKT) from the second year to the final year MBBS, according to the new rules this provision has been scrapped. Earlier whether the student passed the second year MBBS or not he was allowed the ATKT rule. Now he/she will have to clear the subjects before admission to the third year MBBS, Karandikar said. While the second year MBBS course remains for the same duration of one-an-a-half years, the third year has been changed from one-and-a-half to two years where the 6,7,8,9 terms will be completed. Part I examination will be held after the sixth and seventh term while the Part II examination will be held at the end of the ninth semester. While the first year includes subjects like anatomy, physiology and bio-chemistry, the second year includes pathology, microbiology, pharmacology and forensic medicine. The third year includes medicine, surgery and allied subjects. The MCI has effected a change in the age criteria of the student who earlier was expected to have completed 17 years on December 31 of the year he/she was admitted to the course. As per the new rules, the student should now have completed 17 years on July 1 of the year of commencing the course. Students are also required to have obtained 50 per cent in English and 50 per cent together in Physics, Chemistry and Biology subjects. Earlier, the marks of English and PCB were taken together as 50 per cent as a pre-requisite for admission.

Migration of students at the time of passing first year MBBS from one recognised medical college to another will be subject to MCI approval.

Similarly, the Medical Council of India has made it mandatory for each medical college to establish a ``medical education cell'' and the respective universities will be required to monitor the implementation of the new curriculum. Eighty per cent attendance of the student is required in hospital teaching with clinical/hospital posting being effected from the third semester itself. While the period of internship remains a year, earlier it was categorised to six months each at an urban and rural area. Now a student will have to work as an intern for nine months in an urban hospital with a month's elective posting. Out of the remaining three months, the student will have to do apprenticeship for two months at a rural primary health centre and one month with a practising family physician.

Copyright © 1997 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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