Doctors list down discrepancies in draft feeder qualifications for DM courses, write to NMC
Delhi: Pointing out the errors, discrepancies as well as disappointments in the recent NMC (National Medical Commission) draft regulations regarding the feeder qualifications, doctors have now written to NMC Chairman to revisit the document again.
This came after the NMC while releasing the draft regulations, invited comments from the public and various stakeholders.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the draft regulations spell out the feeder qualifications for all DM and MCh courses.
However, the doctors and the umbrella of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), have now come out pointing towards deficiencies noted by them on the new draft on Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2021. The doctors have cited that those discrepancies in the regulations might affect many of the super-speciality PG aspirants especially MD/DNB paediatrics.
Some DM courses not mentioned in the NMC Draft Regulations
Dr. Rohan Krishnan, Vice President of FAIMA told Medical Dialogues, "It is necessary to initiate some changes in the new draft. Some of the super specialities like DM (Infectious disease, DM (pediatric neurology), DM (Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care) are not even mentioned in the draft.
Wrong feeder qualifications for DM Cardialogy
"Under the tab DM cardiology eligibility, it is written MD (cardiology) as a prior requirement, no such degree exist. Pediatric medicine and Pulmonary medicine degree as feeder subject along with Internal medicine degree should be added," Dr Krishnan further said
Consider MD (Pediatric medicine) as feeder qualification for other DM courses
In the letter directed to Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma, the Chairman of NMC, the association stated, "The main pitfalls noted is that MD (Pediatric medicine) are eligible to all Adult DM Superspeciality branches in previous years and rules as Pediatric super speciality seats all over India are comparatively less and many seats of different adult super speciality branch remain vacant. Hence, Considering a pediatric medicine degree as a feeder subject for those super speciality exams will not affect other PG aspirants."
Pointing out that MD (Pediatric Medicine) is only given as a feeder/pre-required branch in Clinical Haematology, Endocrinology, Immunology and Rheumatology, the doctors' body has requested NMC to reconsider this decision and include MD pediatric medicine as a feeder subject for some other super speciality courses including Cardiology, Medical Gastroenterology, Medical Genetics, Medical Oncology, Neurology, Nephrology and Hepatology.
"The doctors get into super specializations through the common entrance exam NEET SS, which does not have any reservations and is purely based on merit; and where questions are asked on the super specializations that the candidate wishes to pursue and not on the PG degree that they have done. Thus, it is not correct to put such restrictions on feeder qualifications and prevent doctors from pursuing super specializations of their choice," Dr Krishnan told Medical Dialogues.
"More clinical branches should be eligible for clinical super speciality branches, as many DM./M.Ch./DrNB seats are going vacant in last years so that maximum utilization of these seats can be done and more specialists can be produced to provide better health care", added FAIMA.
Include DNB/DrNB as feeder qualifications to make the regulations more clear
The doctors also demanded to add degrees provided by the National Board of Examination (NBE) as in DNB/DrNB in the required qualifications as well to make it more clear to aspirants.
Dr Krishnan also mentioned that earlier MD Radiotherapy was also a feeder qualification for DM oncology. However, now according to the new NMC regulations, MD Radiotherapy students are not eligible for DM oncology.
"NMC's new draft has limited the scope of recruitment for many doctors. A lot of seats will remain vacant in some super speciality courses after decreasing eligibility criteria. All the clinical subjects should be considered as feeder subjects for some other super-speciality courses because the aspirants will only be considered for the course when they pass the exam. The questions in the exam will certainly be framed considering the super speciality courses which they want to pursue and if they can upgrade themselves to pass the exam by acquiring the knowledge necessary for the course, then why imposing the eligibility criteria. I am not saying that one should be allowed to pursue any super speciality, for example, an orthopedic cant pursue cardiology but the eligibility criteria should not be made this strict, " Dr Krishnan stated.
"At a time like this when there is a scarcity of doctors, this will be a wrong decision to change the system as eligibility should be determined by exam and not even allowing them to seat for the exam doesn't make any sense", added the doctor.
"If possible amendment in any current rule and guidelines should be deferred for this session as exams are delayed and people are in the preparation phase of the exams, to avoid unnecessary panic to medical students already going through tough times," the association further stated in the letter.