PG medical students will have to spend 3 months in district hospitals

PG medical students will have to spend 3 months in district hospitals
  • To ensure availability of specialist doctors in rural areas, the Centre has made it mandatory for all medical students pursuing MD or MS to undergo compulsory posting for three months at district hospitals as part of their medical course curriculum starting from the 2020-21 academic session. 
The government has introduced a new district residency programme for all PG students under the new medical education regulations. Satisfactory completion of the district residency will be a vital condition before the candidate is allowed to appear in the final exam of the respective PG course.

PG medical education is a three-year programme and students will be posted at a district hospital in their third, fourth or fifth semester. 

“All postgraduate students pursuing MD/MS in broad specialities in all medical colleges/institutions under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 shall undergo a compulsory residential rotation of three months in district hospitals/district health system as a part of the course curriculum,” read the gazette notification
issued by the government through the MCI Board of Governors (BoG), headed by NITI Aayog
member Dr V K Paul.

Officials said the move will not only help ensure availability of specialist doctors in rural areas across the country but will also help in better on-ground training of doctors.

“The scheme enables training of future specialists in settings of district hospitals where higher priority clinical conditions are dealt with. This makes the training more grounded, deeper and contextual. Equally importantly, the district hospitals will get strengthened for care with deployment of specialty residents to team up with district specialist teams. Each district hospital in the country would eventually have four-eight residents at any time, thus augmenting workforce leading to gains in quality and volume of care. It is a win-win program,” Paul said.

“This rotation shall be termed ‘District Residency Programme’ (DRP) and the postgraduate medical student undergoing training shall be termed as a ‘District Resident’,” the notification said.

The scheme is also likely to open up more PG seats in medical colleges because a quarter of the PG batch will be away at all times once the programme starts and medical colleges will be allowed to apply for extra seats to compensate for reduced student presence on the campus.

“Medical colleges may send an application to the MCI BOG for the enhancement of seats, as hospital work may be affected due to out-posting of students. Colleges can apply for it after one year of the implementation of the District Residency Programme,” says the notification.

Last month, the health ministry had allowed two-year post-graduate (PG) diploma courses in eight specialities that applicants can pursue after completing their MBBS. 

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