Madras Medical Mission College of Health Sciences (MMMCHS), Chennai, offers niche courses for students who wish to take up a career in medicine, but not become doctors. Madras Medical Mission (MMM), which began in 1987, aims at providing first assistants to doctors. In 1992, the council of MMM was established and a postgraduate diploma in physician assistance was started. “Physician assistance is a concept in the West where the physician assistant handles all cases before a doctor sees them”, says Dr Philomena Mariados, dean, MMMCHS.
In 1993, they collaborated with Birla Institute of Technology and Science to offer master’s programmes. Postgraduate and diploma in management was also established in medical microbiology, medical lab technology, and medical sociology between 1994 and 1998. Later, all physician assistance programmes were collaborated with BITS-Pilani, Rajasthan. “The shortage of junior doctors to serve in the healthcare sector is compensated by employing physician assistants. They work in the outpatient department and clinically examine patients. Assistants bridge the gap between doctors and patients and save the doctors’ time,” she says. All regular courses are affiliated to The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University. They also have a tie up with Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore.
The regular programs offered are BSc physician assistant, medical sociology, operation theatre and anesthesia technology, dialysis technology, cardio pulmonary and perfusion technology, MSc medical sociology, medical lab technology, clinical nutrition, MBA hospital and health system management. The fee for BSc dialysis is `1,80,000 totally. Those who have studied biology in Class XII can apply before June 15. Scholarships are offered to the needy on the basis of their economic and academic status.
There are about 20 full-time faculties and MMM doctors also take classes apart from guest lecturers. The college caters to more than 100 students with five-20 students in each class. MMM is a multi-specialty hospital with 11 floors, 8 operation theatres and 300 beds. The college has 20 classrooms, three labs, an anatomy museum, two A/C seminar halls, a hostel for 70 students and a cafeteria. Transportation is also provided.
The students are divided into four groups for sports and cultural activities. “Even lecturers participate in fashion shows and musical chairs during culturals,” says Dr Kishore Kumar, a faculty member. The college also houses dramatic and literary clubs. Debates and seminars are conducted weekly.
Students receive motivational talks, seminars, monthly assembly, and also parent-teacher meetings are held. “Some rules might appear strict but it is good for us”, says Nihal, a final-year BSc student of MMM. The next two years would be dedicated to expanding the infrastructure. Applications can be downloaded from www.mmm.org.in and sent along with a DD of Rs 450 by post. Last date for submission of application forms is June 15 and interview is on June 26 at the MMM auditorium.