Dentistry students in the country will no longer be required to do 'internship' after their BDS final professional exams. Instead, the period for the final year professional semester has been spread over two years, including the time of one-year internship. Internship was so far mandatory for the award of degree.
The Executive Committee (EC) of the Dental Council of India (DCI) took this decision at a meeting earlier this week after it found the complaints about inadequate facilities for students during internship at private colleges true. Students were awarded the certificates without any clinical work during internship. The decision is likely to be made public next month-end, DCI sources said.
"Private colleges do not have enough patients in their hospital wing and even the dental material is limited. Thus students are awarded certificate of internship without actually doing the clinical work," said DCI-EC member, Dr AP Tikku. There are 240 dental colleges in the country whereas only 10 are run by the government. Each dental college produced at least 100 dentists every year. With the private colleges being in majority, the students get internship certificate without work.
To do away with the problem, the internship programme has completely been eliminated and the decision would be implemented from the coming session 2007-08 only. This decision was taken after a survey and report prepared by the Syllabus Review Committee of the DCI.
The change in the syllabus, however, would give students a chance to do clinical work during the extended semester time, especially during the final year professional when they have two years time. The committee is also thinking how to reduce the BDS syllabus to four-and-a-half years, so that six months can exclusively be devoted to preparation for MD entrance exams. The decision for a change in the syllabus would nowhere make a difference in the fee structure, even as the term for BDS is increased by one year.
The fee for the course shall remain the same, according to the EC. Another problem that has been targeted through the decision is corruption related with internship stipend at the college level. "Internship demands stipend from the college side. But at some private colleges the students are charged for providing them internship opportunity and a certificate, which is ethically wrong," Dr Tikku said. Some more changes in the syllabus include study of Dental Anatomy in the first year. This was a subject of second year. Similarly, Dental Materials will be shifted to the second year.