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Change in MBBS Syllabus After 21 Yrs, More Focus on Communication

For the first time in 21 years, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has decided to bring about a change in the MBBS curriculum.

The new syllabus ‘Competency-based UG Curriculum’ will include a new course called Attitude, Ethics and Communication (AETCOM). This will focus on mental health and public health. It will help the doctor communicate better with patients. It will also include a module on how to counsel patients and their relatives about organ donation.

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The Medical Council of India finalised the new undergraduate curriculum, which will roll out nationally from the 2019 session starting August.

Terming it “long overdue”, Dr MK Ramesh, Registrar (Evaluation), Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) told Deccan Chronicle that educating doctors on how to communicate better is crucial.

“Most problems occur when the doctor-patient-bystander rapport gets affected due to misread messages and AETCOM will help bridge this gap. The introduction of the month-long mandatory foundation course will turn out to be a game-changer as it equips each student with an exposure to what the domain is in terms of the environment, culture and challenges of the work they would do from then,” he said.

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The revised document uploaded on the official online portal reads, ‘Keeping this objective as the core ingredient, MCI, with the help of panel of experts drawn from across the country, has laid the basic framework for the revised undergraduate medical curriculum. Over the past four years, a group of highly committed medical professionals working as Members of the MCI Reconciliation Board developed this information into a document incorporating appropriate teaching-learning strategies, tools and techniques of teaching, and modes of assessment.’

‘The new UG curriculum regulations are more learner-centric, patient-centric, gender-sensitive, outcome-oriented and environment appropriate. The result is an outcome-driven curriculum which conforms to global trends,’ reads the document.

“In particular, the curriculum provides for early clinical exposure, electives and longitudinal care. It also reinforces skills training by necessitating certification of certain essential skills,” experts say, Tribune quoted. Use of skills labs, simulated and guided environments has been allowed for this purpose.

Lakshmi Murthy, Program Head (Medical Excel), BASE Educational Service told Deccan Chronicle that this would help India adopt global standards in providing quality medical education. “she said.

These changes will hopefully bring about a radical shift towards holistic healing and preventive health care in the country.
Lakshmi Murthy, Program Head (Medical Excel), BASE Educational Service to Deccan Chronicle

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Updated: November 10, 2018 — 3:13 pm
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