Ritika Bhoora

The Medical council of India (MCI) finally revised it’s MBBS syllabus after 21 years, realising that students not only have to be trained to be good doctors but also good communicators.

The new curriculum will roll out nationally from the 2019 session starting in August. About 91,000 MBBS students pass out every year from 348 colleges in India.

The new curriculum that focuses on doctor-patient relationship and medical ethics is called “Competency-based UG Curriculum for the Indian Medical Graduate.” This is the first time that India’s MBBS syllabus will incorporate and acknowledge the importance of ethics, responsiveness and communication skills to help the patients.

Dr VK Paul, MCI BOG chairman is quoted to have said, “The new MBBS curriculum has a course called Attitude, Ethics and Communication (AETCOM) which will run across years. Students will be assessed for how they communicate with patients; how they counsel people for organ donations or other challenging procedures; how sensitively do they offer care and obtain consent. All these things will count along with competencies and skills.” Elective subjects have also been introduced in the new curriculum. Students can now pick subjects of their choice and sufficient time has been allocated for extra curricular activities and self study.

For the first time, the professional course will provide medical exposure to students in the first year itself. A month long foundation course will be introduced to help students to cope with high pressure and prepare them for the MBBS course. The new curriculum also supports the use of medical mannequins for clinical learning. However the use of human cadavers will continue as usual.

The new under graduate curriculum is designed to conform to global standards. It is more patient-centric, learner-centric, gender-sensitive, outcome oriented and environment appropriate.

The new syllabus ensures that we train our students to not just be good at what they do but also trains them to have empathy for their patients and supports an equal and balanced doctor-patient relationship. That in itself is a game changer.