BENGALURU: In a bid to train medical students to graduate as good communicators as well, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has revised the MBBS curriculum after a long gap of 21 years.
The Board of Governors (BOG), which approved the changes titled ‘Competency-based UG Curriculum’, will include a new course called Attitude, Ethics and Communication (AETCOM) for students across years of their undergraduate medical education.
Outcome-based learning with importance to nurturing skills expected from each medical graduate is another update of this syllabus revision.
Terming it “long overdue”, Dr M.K. Ramesh, Registrar (Evaluation), Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) told this newspaper that educating budding doctors on how to communicate better with other stakeholders has of late become 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. He added that foundation courses were put into practice by many colleges in the state in the recent past.
According to the revised document uploaded on MCI’s official online portal, Competency based Medical Education provides an effective outcome-based strategy where various domains of teaching, including teaching learning methods and assessment form the framework of competencies.
“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,” reads the document.
The revised syllabus, to be implemented from the next academic year (2019-20), will also offer elective subjects allowing students to pick according their interests. Dedicated time will be allotted for self-directed learning and co-curricular activities as well. Clinical exposure courses will begin from first year itself instead of the second.
Reacting to the development, Lakshmi Murthy, Program Head (Medical Excel), BASE Educational Service remarked that this would help India adopt global standards in providing quality medical education. “These changes will hopefully bring about a radical shift towards holistic healing and preventive health care in the country,” she said.