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Crash course on ethics for budding docs

Changes made in the MBBS syllabus will be implemented from August 1 across the country

Published: 24th July 2019 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2019 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Nearly 7,000 young doctors (MBBS students) from Karnataka, along with all other medical students in the country, will go through a one-month foundation course on ethics, doctor-patient relationships, a doctors’ role in society, and more, from August 1. This is the first time since 1997 that the Medical Council of India (MCI) has come up with a new syllabus. Dr B N Gangadhar, director, NIMHANS, along with many experts from other states, were involved in coming out with this curriculum.

“This foundation course is part of the new curriculum and is compulsory for all MBBS students across the country. The change in syllabus had to be made, as it brings attention to issues such as ethics and humanity,” said T A Veerabhadraiah, member of the Karnataka Medical Council.
The new curriculum is expected to bring in a paradigm shift in medical education with focus shifting on skill-based learning instead of subject-wise learning. It is also more learner-centric, patient-centric, gender-sensitive and outcome-oriented. The MCI’s academic council has worked on the syllabus for more than two years.

“It is an extremely well-thought out move. There have been several discussions and meetings over this. Doctors are not just graduates, but physicians too, and they should know how to interact with patients, their kin, etc, which is why humanity as a subject is important,” Dr Gangadhar told TNIE.
According to doctors, the council substantially revised the syllabus to reflect the latest challenges facing the healthcare industry/professionals in the country. It submitted its recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare earlier this year, which then was approved. 

“Medical students come from various backgrounds and MBBS is a highly challenging programme. These kind of courses at the beginning of one’s career prepares the students for a lifetime of altruistic care. This will also instill professional and ethical behaviour in them, Veerabhadraiah added.  
Appreciating the move, a health department officer said, “The longitudinal programme based on attitude, ethics and communication competencies will be of great help in dealing with families of patients and also curb several ill practices in the field.”

Speaking to TNIE, the medical college authorities also said that faculty members are ready to shift to the new curriculum. “Our faculty is ready to welcome the change and make a shift in the way medical education is being taught. The rigid pattern which is followed in this field will be changed,” a faculty member of a private college said. 

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