The MCI Board of Governors (BoG) has proposed a compulsory three-month service in district hospitals for all postgraduate medical students as a pre-condition to be eligible to appear in the final exam.
Presently, a three-months’ rotating internship in primary health centres or urban health centres is compulsory for students pursuing undergraduate medical courses.
The BOG is planning to implement the new provision from the next academic session onwards. The board has already asked the health ministry to develop guidelines for the programme in partnership with MCI and state governments, reports said.
Besides providing practical experience to future specialists in real-life settings of the country’s public health system, the internship service programme will also help address the shortage of specialist doctors in district hospitals in the hinterlands of India, where the paucity of specialist doctors is acute.
All postgraduate students will have to undertake a rotation in designated district hospitals/health system for a period of at least three months as a part of the course curriculum.
As far as postgraduate students of community medicine are concerned, they can get a posting at primary health centres to gain field experience, in addition to taking part in activities at the district hospital.
The satisfactory completion of this rotation shall be an essential condition before the candidate is allowed to appear in the final examination of the respective postgraduate course.
The health ministry has been requested to develop guidelines for the scheme within three months.
The program will cover district hospitals under the public sector and other publicly funded hospitals which have at least 200 beds, facilities for specified specialties , and are designated by the centre or state governments.
Medical colleges will place their post-graduates at the disposal of the government for the posting.
Guidelines for this rotation of postgraduate students of subjects such as Community Medicine, Forensic Medicine and pre-para clinical disciplines will be developed in accordance with their curricula and training needs.
Provisionally termed the District Residency Programme, it may be coordinated by Directorate General of Health Services as per a suggested plan for the implementation of the proposal. The plan will include preparing an annual roster for placement of postgraduate students.