Medical students to study pandemic management in MBBS

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Published on Aug 28, 2020 12:37 AM IST
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By, Mumbai

Weeks after its decision to introduce a new pandemic management module for undergraduate medical students, the board of governors (BoG) of the Medical Council of India (MCI) on Thursday released the official document for colleges, directing them to start the module starting August 2020.

“The 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,” states 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 programme is to enable the medical graduate to be able to understand, investigate, treat and prevent new and emerging diseases,” added the foreword.

The module was put together by a team of experts and the academic cell of MCI. The group of experts included former director and dean of KEM Hospital Dr Avinash Supe, along with senior doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute in Chennai, as well as officials from MCI.

According to details mentioned in the newly-launched module, it has been arranged in a phase-based manner and is expected to be covered by an interdisciplinary team under the supervision of the Institute-level curriculum committee. The course not only covers disease/epidemic management, intensive care, research and control, but also includes a chapter in communication with media during a pandemic.

“It is expected that this longitudinal module extending from the foundation course to the final-year graduate programme will help in ensuring the creation of a medical graduate who will serve as a doctor, leader and a healer during a pandemic,” highlights a statement from MCI.

“Work on upgrading the MBBS curricula has been on for over two years and the fact that globally we have faced a series of pandemics in the last few years led to the need for an exclusive inter-departmental module on pandemic management,” said Dr Supe. He added that the module looks at minute details of how to be prepared for a pandemic. Experts are currently also working on putting together a module on psychological effects of a pandemic. “This too will be released soon,” he added.

Parents and students feel this module will better prepare the future generations of doctors for such situations.

“The initial phase of a pandemic is when it can be controlled best, and being prepared for such a pandemic is the necessity of current times. Hopefully this new module will help mould better-prepared doctors and health experts in the future,” said Brijesh Sutaria, parent of an MBBS student.


    Shreya Bhandary is a Special Correspondent covering higher education for Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Her work revolves around finding loopholes in the current education system and highlighting the good and the bad in higher education institutes in and around Mumbai.

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