PG seats to be doubled in medical colleges

To meet the shortage of specialists in the country, medical colleges will train more PG students starting this year

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Sonal Matharu | May 4, 2010



With the beginning of new academic session this week, most medical colleges in India will welcome fresh batch of students for under-graduate and post-graduate courses. Under the new directives from the health ministry, however, the number of students for post-graduate courses will be doubled.

Earlier this year, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had announced that to meet the shortage of specialist doctors in India, the student-teacher ratio will be changed from 1:1 to 1:2. Working on the same guidelines, University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS), which comes under the University of Delhi, will have 145 post-graduate students joining from May 3.

“Last year the college had 71 PG students. This year, we will get additional 74 students,” said Dr. OP Kalra, Principal, UCMS. “The strength of students for MBBS had gone up to 150 from 100 from last year. This number won’t change this year.” He added that out of the three departments in the hospital - pre-clinical, para-clinical and clinical – clinical departments are happy with the new proposal as they’ll have more young doctors to work with them. But some resistance initially was faced from the other two departments.

“The para-clinical and pre-clinical departments generally do not have any immediate pressure from the patients. They’ll have difficulty in training more number of students. That is why they were not very excited to welcome more students,” said Kalra. Departments of anatomy, biochemistry, physiology etc, are pre-clinical and the departments of pathology, community medicine, pharmacology, microbiology, pathology are para-clinical departments in the hospital. On the other hand, clinical departments such as departments of medicine, surgery, gynecology, dentistry etc, cater to the patients directly and will have more helping hands now. With 18 different specialities in the hospital, the work load has increased over the last 25 years but the numbers of doctors in each department have not increased with the same speed, mentioned Kalra.

“Training more students adds to our burden but we also need more doctors. It is the need of the day. It is a fact that we are not able to meet the requirements of doctors in the country, especially the specialists. This move will help meet that requirement in a few years,” he said. The college gets Rs 65 crore annually from the University Grant Commission (UGC). For upgradation of infrastructure this year, it is getting additional Rs 58 crore from the state government. Rs 9.5 crore are also being given to the college for increasing the number of post-graduate seats.

Dr. Satish Bhargava, head of department, Radiology department, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital said, “Some departments, which I would not like to name, consider this move as a thrust. Resistance is human nature. But overall, I would say, most departments are happy having more students. In fact, there were some departments where the resources were going under-utilized. They needed more students. The training load will definitely increase. One professor, who was handling say two students, would now have to handle six. But we need more doctors. So this is a positive step by the government.” Besides training more number of students, the college is also planning to introduce new courses. MSc in Radilology will start from this year and a course in emergency medicine would be introduced in the coming years as it is still in the planning stage. Five candidates for the radiology course will start from 1st June.

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