Despite getting offers from two famous medical colleges in Ludhiana and Manipal, Garima Sharma (name changed on request) chose Delhi’s Vardhman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC), a government-funded institution located in the campus of Safdarjung Hospital, a 1,500-bed, central government hospital. Her reasons were simple. “Being in Delhi has a lot of advantages. You tend to perform better in a competitive environment. Though VMMC is one of the city’s youngest medical colleges, the faculty is quite experienced and has taught in institutions like MAMC and LHMC,” says Sharma, a second-year MBBS student.
Sharma is happy with the two years she has spent here. She is also proud to have scored well in the entrance test, which made her eligible for the subsidised fee of Rs 25,000 per annum instead of the regular Rs 1,10,000. “For PG admissions, VMMC students get preference over students from other colleges. We have about 130 PG seats reserved for (the total number of) 150 students in MBBS,” she adds. Consequently, almost all MBBS students can hope to do there postgraduate studies in the same institute — and that is a rarity.
Sharma, however, wishes the quality of teaching was as good as it was in the first year. “When we were in the first year, the teachers shared a good bond with us. But in the second year, we are expected to manage pretty much on our own,” she adds.
Famous for: It is one of the youngest medical colleges in Delhi. However, that means it is yet to make its mark.
Programmes: MBBS, MD, MS, diploma in medical lab technician (MLT), MLT apprenticeship training and a couple of short-term courses are on offer.
Extra-curricular: The college held its annual cultural festival ‘Nirvana’ last week. There are no regular extra-curricular activities.
There are some students who are keen on extracurricular activities as well as academics. “Not all students are studious and some of us like to play basketball or cricket. However, we don’t have any playgrounds. We also take part in dramatics, fashion and soccer competitions held in other medical colleges, but not very regularly because the college doesn’'t have a single cultural society,” says Sharma.
Infrastructure: The college is housed in a smart building. As you step inside, the spacious, air-conditioned lecture theatres present a soothing environment, which is in striking contrast to the crowded wards of the Safdarjung Hospital where VMMC students perform their clinical duties.
The hospital has well-quipped research and surgical centres that provide a training ground for budding doctors. Some of these centres are for disciplines such as orthopaedics, pathology (run by the Indian Council for Medical Research) and a lab for the study of sexually transmitted diseases. “In other hospitals, you will find a department dedicated to these specialisations. But here, we have full-fledged, government-funded centres,” says an orthopaedic surgeon and faculty member. “It has even been announced that a new hospital campus will be built soon, comprising three huge towers with nine storeys each. With that, Safdarjung will become the biggest hospital in Asia,” he adds.
Found on campus: “I joined this college last year because I didn’t get admission in any other medical college in Delhi. But now I am happy to be studying here because of VMMC’s good infrastructure, especially AC lecture theatres and a splendid building,” says Gagandeep Kaur, a first-year MBBS student.
“There should be an auditorium. If some workshop has to be organised, we have to conduct it in the lecture theatres,” says Meher Kalia (name changed on request), a third-year MBBS student.
“The boys hostel and canteen are quite far from the college building. I wish they were a bit closer,” says a first-year MBBS student.
The college was set up in the premises of Safdarjung Hospital in November 2001. The first batch of MBBS students commenced in 2002 and graduated in 2007. The college began on a very modest scale, in terms of infrastructure, which was carved out of one corner of the Safdarjang Hospital. Today, it is housed in a state-of-the-art, air-conditioned building. The college has more than 295 qualified doctors