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MCI knocks DNBs out of academia
New Delhi: Diplomate of National Boards (DNB) degree holders will find themselves at loss in looking for a teaching post and perusing academics because of the implications of the recent MCI Notification of June 5, 2017 that defines the candidates qualification for the post of senior resident/ Assistant professor in medical colleges across...
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported through a gazette notification dated June 5, 2017, MCI was seen amending Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998 calling the new regulations as "Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions (Amendment) Regulations, 2017. Through the said notice, new rules on the eligibility as well as promotion of medical college teachers were defined
TO Read the details of the Gazette check out at Medical Dialogues: MCI relaxes Minimum Qualifications for PG Medical Teachers
As per the rules, there is a straight forward hierarchy in the field of medical education, that initiated from the point of senior residency, going up till professorship. The notice while on one hand has brought relaxation to many, it has spelt out major difficulties for those who pass out their DNBs from institutes that are not MCI recognised medical colleges ( namely the large hospitals which offer DNB courses) Such students may find it extremely difficult to join academia with the current scenario.
The Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998 spell out the minimum requirements for DNB pass outs to pursue a career in medical education. These can be divided into DNB pasts from MCI recognised institutes and those who pass out from institutes other than the MCI recognised Medical Colleges/ Central Institutes. The regulations for the two can be summarised as follows
- For the candidates processing DNB Qualification from MCI recognized medical colleges/central institutes where there are no MD/MS courses running. The minimal qualifications are – "Three years teaching experience in the subject in a recognized medical college either during the DNB course or after possessing DNB qualification. The concerned candidate would also require one year of additional teaching/research experience in the concerned subject in a recognized medical college after obtaining DNB qualification.
- For the candidates possessing DNB qualification from Centers other than of MCI recognized medical colleges/central institutes.the minimal qualification are- Three years teaching experience in the subject either during the DNB course or after possessing DNB qualification. The concerned candidate would require two years additional teaching experience as Sr. Resident/Research Associate (CSIR) in a MCI recognized medical college/central institute" to become eligible for becoming an Assistant Professor in an MCI recognized institute."
Its clear, that those who pass out from private hospitals which are not recognised by MCI as medical colleges would have to additionally do two years of Senior Residency to be eligible for post of Assistant Professorship.
The problem for such DNB pass outs does not end there. Rules for Senior Residency states that DNB degree holders they can join as a senior resident only when they have passed out for MCI recognized medical college/ Central institute. If they have passed DNB degree from a non MCI recognized medical college/ institute they have to do 3 years of Junior residency to join as a senior resident to be further eligible for a teaching post of assistant professor.
Considering the above scenario, a DNB degree holder from a non-MCI recognised institute shall require 3 years of junior residency and 2 years of Senior residency, to be eligible for a teaching post of assistant professor, implying a clear 5 years of additional service if they dream to have a career in Medical Academia.
While the legalities make it difficult for DNB pass outs from non MCI recognised institutes to pursue a career in academia, this decision likely affects a large number of degree holders who have pursued the DNB course based on the government declaration that DNB degree is equivalent to MD/MS degree for all practical purposes.
It also brings to light a serious bottleneck in the country's efforts to address the shortage of doctors. To address the rising and pinching shortage of medical practitioners, government has announced a series of measures including adding 5000 PG seats this year primarily by revising the teacher student ratio at medical colleges, thus putting pressure on existing medical faculty. However, at the same time, the government is imposing restrictions and limitations on an army of readily available qualified physicians that can possibly join medical academia and ease pressure in addressing this major issue of shortage of medical practitioners in the country.
Meghna A Singhania is the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Medical Dialogues. An Economics graduate from Delhi University and a post graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science, her key research interest lies in health economics, and policy making in health and medical sector in the country.She is a member of the Association of Healthcare Journalists. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751