MBBS students will have to complete internship in same institute, says MUHS
Putting an end to confusion, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has clarified that undergraduate medical (MBBS) students will have to complete their internship at the institute where they are pursuing their degree. Externship, where students can do their internship at colleges other than the institute they have enrolled in for MBBS, is not allowed anymore.
“The provision made available to students until last year where one could pursue their internship at other universities in India, including deemed institutes/universities in Maharashtra, is now being discontinued. Students will have to clear their 12-month internship at the university they are enrolled in,” a circular issued by MUHS on Monday said.
This statement comes weeks after students sought clarity, especially since many would be completing their final-year exams in May and were still unsure about the internship prospects.
In July last year, the National Medical Commission (NMC) released Draft Regulations for Compulsory Rotating Internship 2021, which said the otherwise existing provision of allowing students to pursue their internship at another university would be discontinued.
This, however, received flak from students, who were attending lectures online, or at colleges in their hometowns. Following students’ demand, the NMC in 2021 agreed to continue the provision for one year, considering the pandemic and lockdown.
“Considering the representations and the existing regulatory provisions, it is mandatory that internship should be completed in the teaching hospital affiliated to the medical institute enrolled by the student. However, in the event of any difficulty due to the current pandemic situation, this internship can be completed at another NMC-approved medical college hospital,” a statement released by the board in November 2021 said. This statement highlighted that this provision could only be accepted subject to the approval and satisfaction of the college and university concerned where the student was enrolled for MBBS.
While officials of NMC could not be reached for a comment on why this change had been brought in, an official from MUHS told HT that they were simply following the directives given by the apex body.
The principal of a private medical institute told HT that this rule could have come out of the high number of students opting to complete their internship at government-run institutes and hospitals instead of private or deemed institutes. “Many hospitals depend on interns for even basic work, so a smaller batch would not be very useful. Anyway, it is a myth that a student gets better experience at a government medical college compared to a private institute,” the principal, who did not wish to be named, said.
Many students were hoping for this rule to continue, to help boost their internship prospects in government institutions and hospitals. “The flow of patients is always high in government hospitals compared to private or even deemed institutes. This is very important for students who just want to learn the best during internship. Discontinuing this rule will put us in a tight spot,” Abhinav Tare, a final-year MBBS student, said.
Parents too feel such a change in rule will restrict students to colleges and areas where they won’t get exposure to patients. “The old rule was very student-friendly, where one could pay a fee to their institute and get permission to apply for their compulsory internship in another college under the same university. Changing this rule limits the options for students, and that is unfair,” Brijesh Sutaria, parent of a final-year MBBS student, said.
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