MBBS internship program overhauled to make way for better-trained doctors
While practical training is being taken care of by colleges, theory too has undergone changes in the past two years.
Mumbai: The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic challenged the health sector to think on its feet and the crisis prompted the need for better training of medical students, not just in college but also during their internships. Picking the best of what they have learnt in the last two years, several medical colleges in the state have now started implementing changes to the internship program.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) introduced draft Regulations for Compulsary Rotating Internship rules 2021 with a focus on specific tasks across various departments of the hospital. Highlighting ‘competency-based’ training methodology, it pays attention to learning outcomes and prepping the intern for any situation that arises on duty, and colleges are now busy training their MBBS interns not just in theory, but practical as well.
“Basic first aid is what is expected from policemen as well, so the new internship regulations have been drafted keeping in mind the expected level of competency from all the MBBS graduates. While the pandemic forced medical colleges to bring all hands on deck, we are now ensuring everyone associated with the hospital is trained with basics,” said a senior official from the management of the Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, Pune.
Not only are medical students being encouraged to update their skills, but students from dental, physiotherapy and Ayurveda colleges too are undergoing basic training. A city-based dental institute has been training its students on how to intubate patients if required.
“Pandemic changed a lot for the health sector as well as the medical education sector and at present, we have managed to familiarise ourselves with online as well as offline classes in case we need to merge the two in the future,” Dr Varsha Phadke, dean, K J Somaiya Medical College, Vidyavihar.
She added that the batch of interns who worked through the two years of the pandemic might not have been as equipped as required at the moment, but they managed to learn more than any other batches of medical interns.
“Such was the learning of interns in 2020 and 2021, that we are bringing some of the former interns back on campus to interact with the new interns, and share their experiences,” added Phadke.
While practical training is being taken care of by colleges, theory too has undergone changes in the past two years. In August 2020, the board of governors (BoG), Medical Council of India released a pandemic module for colleges to implement starting August 2020.
“This pandemic management module is designed to ensure that the MBBS student acquires competencies in handling not only the illness but also the social, legal and other issues arising from such disease outbreaks,” stated the foreword of the module.
“The emergence of Covid-19 and its rapid spread across the globe has further underlined the need to develop these skills in our graduates. One of the desirable outcomes of the competency-derived education program is to enable medical graduates to be able to understand, investigate, treat and prevent new and emerging diseases,” added the foreword.
Put together by a team of experts and the academic cell of the MCI, the group of experts included the names of former director and Dean of KEM Hospital, Dr Avinash Supe, and other senior doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute in Chennai as well as officials from MCI.