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Innovation in training medical students can transform India: Experts

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Innovation in training medical students
As we all know, the nationwide movement under 'Save the Doctor' took place in major cities like Bangalore, Guwahati, Hissar in Haryana, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai and Mysore for more postgraduate seats in medical colleges.

The main purpose of this rally is to meet the shortage of specialist doctors in India. The experts in the medical field feel that, bringing innovation in training medical students can transform India.

Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman of Narayana Health city, Bengaluru, tells how meeting the specialist's shortfall can save lives and medical education across India.

Read the following, to know how he explains the need of innovation in training today's medical students.

Dr.Devi says "The curriculum in India has not changed since, I was a medical student 40 years ago. Today, Medical students across developed world follow problem-based education wherein they get hands-on training from the day they join a medical college. We are very far of from the innovation. As a result, the quality of doctors who are graduating today in India has not improved significantly compared to 40 years ago.

The greatest short coming in medical education system here is the acute shortage of post-graduate seats. In the US, they have 19,000 undergraduate (UG) seats and 32,000 post-graduate (PG) seats. Even in the UK, the ratio of UG to PG seats is almost double. In India, we have 47,688 UG seats and 14,500 PG seats in clinical subjects. This has resulted in nearly two lakh students spending two to five years in coaching classes to mug up multiple choice questions to get one of those rare PG seats. If the trend continues, bright students, especially from working class and poor families, will not join medical college.

Till the shortage of medical specialists is met, maternal mortality and infant mortality across the country cannot come down. Also, hospitals won't come up in Tier-2, and Tier-3 cities since these hospitals will not have anaesthetists, gynaecologists, radiologists and paediatricians.

The government should equalise UG and PG seats. This does not require any regulatory changes. Medical Council of India (MCI) after assessing acute shortage of PG seats changed the norms for creating more PG seats. All that we now require is to implement those policies across the country in all medical colleges.

Unless the cities get saturated with medical specialists, doctors will not go to Tier-2, and Tier-3 cities, leave alone rural india. Only when doctors do not have the opportunity to practice in cities, they will decide to go to the next level of Tier-2 or Tier-3 cities. No regulation can push the doctors away to rural areas unless there is surplus skilled manpower.

India can transform the medical education in no time. All it requires is innovation in training programmes. We have phenomenal infrastructure to train young doctors, which is regrettably not adequately utilised.

Instead of concentrating on better innovations in creating new syllabus for better medical education, current policies are emphasising on acres of land, size of toilets in hospitals and size of professor's office room. Unless we make a major shift in the syllabus concentrating on physical infrastructure, will not improve medical education."

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