BANGALORE: Postgraduate courses in radiology and radio diagnostics will continue to be in demand for the next 20 years, say medical experts.
Medical Council of India’s data on various colleges seeking a hike in number of seats and permission for new courses for the academic year 2015-16 shows an increasing demand for radiology courses.
Currently, there are 35 PG seats in radiology in all the institutions across the state. Usually, MCI approves enhancement for a maximum of three seats in a year, according to Dr Sachidanand, Registrar (evaluation), Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore.
According to documents available with Express, out of the 18 postgraduate medical institutes that applied for enhancement of seats and permission for new courses in the state, 10 preferred courses related to radiology.
Speaking to Express, Dr Balakrishna P Shetty, vice- chancellor, Siddhartha University, Tumkur said, “Looking at the present trend, we can say that the course will be in demand for at least the next 20 years.”
He said the reason for the popularity of these courses is that radiology jobs are less risky. “They do not need to worry about emergencies or attending to patients at night,” he added.
Dr C N Manjunath, Director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology said, “Radiology is a non-clinical course and a lot of money is involved in it. Though there is no shortage of radiologists, the demand for the course is increasing every year.”
He said radiologists get paid a lot. “They get high consultancy charges in European and American countries. Compared to India, they will be paid 30 times more in such countries just for their opinions,” he said.
A Health Department source said a beginner can earn anywhere between `60,000 and `1 lakh per month. Some of the institutes have applied for radio diagnostics and radio therapy. Some colleges have also shown an interest in starting a diploma in radiology next year.
Out of the 10 colleges, three have applied to start a new course in radiology. They are: Sri Basaveshwara College of Medical Sciences, Chitradurga, Khaza Banda Nawaz Institute of Medical Sciences, Gulbarga and Nijalingappa Medical College and HSK Hospital and Research Centre, Bagalkot.
Seats in radiology courses are sold for up to `3 crore in some medical colleges in the state. “As they can earn well, candidates are ready to pay heavy amounts to get seats,” said a professor from Bangalore Medical College.
Status of Seats
As per information available from the Consortium of Medical Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK), PG seats in radiology will be filled by the top 15 rankers. A S Srikanth, Chief Executive of COMEDK, told Express,”The majority of students appear for a PG entrance test just to get admission to a few courses and radiology tops the list.”
Other Courses in Demand
After radiology, courses in demand are dermatology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, OBG, general medicine, general surgery and anaesthesiology. “There is a need for more pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and endocrinologists, and the institutes need to concentrate on training in such specialisations,” said Manjunath.