The changes that have been proposed in the current MBBS curriculum by the Medical Council of India (MCI) have been opposed by postgraduate students, medical teachers and doctors. The proposed document 'Vision 2015' states that 78 subjects, including forensic medicine and toxicology, orthopedics, anesthesia, radiology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, ENT, skin and venereal diseases which were earlier mandatory have now been made optional or can be considered elective to be taught during the 2nd or 3rd year of the MBBS course. According to the medical fraternity and students the new syllabus that also proposes to reduce the duration of the course by 1year is disastrous. To protest against these proposals senior doctors and students across the state and civic hospitals wore black badges. By making subjects like forensic medicine optional, medical graduates will not have enough knowledge to deal with medico-legal cases.
General Secretary of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), Dr. Mangesh Lone said, "The MCI should think of increasing the number of teachers to increase the number of students. Such steps will only make the quality of education substandard and will prove beneficial only to private medical colleges, who face a problem finding teachers for these subjects."
The protest by teachers of the forensic department came out to be stronger. Making this subject optional will further make the situation of medico-legal cases in India substandard. Out of 6,000 experts that the country needs, only 20% of the demand has been fulfilled. Due to this shortage of forensic experts; the rape, assault, injuries and suicide cases are handled by MBBS doctors. Dr. Shailesh Mohite, head of forensic medicine department at BYL Nair Hospital, said, "The shortage will worsen as not many students would want to specialize in a subject that is optional." To decide on the proposed curriculum, doctors from civic and state hospitals have decided to hold meetings.
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