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Natl Med J India. 2012 Mar-Apr;25(2):101-8.

Is there need for a transformational change to overcome the current problems with postgraduate medical education in India?

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Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry 605006, India.


In spite of the existence of a dual system of postgraduation, one under the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the other on a parallel track under the National Board of Examinations, postgraduate medical education in India is beset with several problems. For example, the curriculum has not been revised comprehensively for several decades. The diploma course under the MCI has become unpopular and is largely a temporary refuge for those who do not get admission to degree courses. The level of skills of the outgoing graduate is falling and the increase in the number of seats is taking place in a haphazard manner, without reference to the needs. In spite of increase in seats, there is a shortage of specialists at the secondary and tertiary care levels, especially in medical colleges, to share teaching responsibilities. Further, the distribution of specialists is skewed, with some states having far more than others. To remedy these ills and fulfil the requirements of the country over the next two decades, a working group appointed by the erstwhile governors of the MCI was asked to suggest suitable modifications to the existing postgraduate system. After an extensive review of the lacunae in the present system, the needs at various levels and the pattern of postgraduate education in other countries, it was felt that a competency-based model of a 2-year postgraduate course across all specialties, the use of offsite facilities for training and a criterion-based evaluation system entailing continuous monitoring would go a long way to correct some of the deficiencies of the existing system. The details of the proposal and its merits are outlined for wider discussion and to serve as a feedback to the regulatory agencies engaged in the task of improving the medical education system in India. We feel that the adoption of the proposed system would go a long way in improving career options, increasing the availability of teachers and dissemination of specialists to the secondary and primary levels, and improving the quality of outgoing postgraduates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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