Three of the 13 cardiovascular thoracic surgery (CVTS) seats in medical colleges across the state have gone vacant this academic year.
Two of the three seats are in Sir JJ Hospital while one seat is at Bombay Hospital.
CVT surgeons conduct open heart surgeries, i ncluding bypass and vascular surgeries, and lung surgery. Vacancy in these seats will further aggravate the shortage of skilled surgeons in the field, say experts.
Post-graduate medical students, who are eligible to apply for such super-speciality courses, claim that the examination authorities announced counselling for the seats late, leaving them little time to submit their applications.
The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), responsible for conducting common entrance tests for super specialty courses, conducted the counselling round (seat allotment) last weekend (September 28 and 29).
“DMER notified on its website on Friday evening that the counselling would be conducted on Saturday and Sunday. Many students were not aware of it and hence could not reach on time, losing out on the seats,” said one of the affected students.
However, officials from DMER justified the step, saying they were pressed for time and had to conduct the round by September 30, as per Medical Council of India (MCI) norms.
Dr Nambore, the authority for admission under the DMER, said, “There was a court matter which was pending. Once the court gave us directions to go ahead with the admissions, we planned the round. We had students who refused these seats and hence it is incorrect to say that enough students could not apply.”
The Bombay Hospital’s CVTS seat has not gone vacant for the last few years. “We were surprised that our seat went vacant as no one applied for it. Now, the deadline for tak ing super specialty students is over, and we can’t do anything,” said Dr S Jairam, dean of the hospital.
Similarly, JJ Hospital’s CVTS seats have not gone vacant for the last three years at least.
“CVTS is a surgically demanding field. Nowadays students want quick money and opt for more lucrative less time consuming options Hence, these seats are going vacant,” said a senior state medical education department official.