Are Diplomate of National Board (DNB) Qualified Doctors Compromised Specialists from India?

Are Diplomate of National Board (DNB) Qualified Doctors Compromised Specialists from India?

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Highlights:
  • Diplomate of National Board (DNB) doctors received a setback with a judgment from the Supreme Court dismissing their plea for equivalence of their degree to the MD/MS degree in academics.
  • The Sankalp Association, which represents the DNB doctors, is likely to refile the case against the Medical Council of India (MCI) after correcting the technical issues.
A recent judgment by the Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by the Sankalp Association of DNB Doctors, Delhi which demanded that the DNB degree be considered equivalent to the MD/MS degree while recruiting a candidate for the post of teaching faculty in an MCI-recognized hospital. The Supreme Court's dismissal stated that:
Are Diplomate of National Board (DNB) Qualified Doctors Compromised Specialists from India?

"We find no ground to entertain this petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution. The writ petition is dismissed accordingly."

The Diplomate of National Board (DNB) is a postgraduate or postdoctoral degree awarded by the National Board of Examinations (NBE), which is under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The programs are conducted in several approved hospitals all over the country including some of the corporate and non-teaching hospitals. The admission is through a common entrance exam, followed by an interview at the hospital where the program will be conducted.

The current problem arose due to a change introduced by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in its Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations in 2017. It now requires doctors who have done their DNB from non-MCI recognized institutes, like private hospitals to complete 3 years of junior residency and 2 years of senior residency, if they wish to qualify for the post of an assistant professor in a teaching institute. The move was deemed as unfair by several doctors who had already completed their examination from such institutes, with the hope of getting a teaching job at the earliest. It also raised doubts over the continuation of service of several DNB doctors who were already in teaching institutes. Some claimed that the move could add to the crunch of vacant posts in medical colleges, and could affect undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

The Sankalp Association of DNB doctors plans to continue their fight against the discrimination of the DNB degree by refiling the case with some modifications, since the disqualification of the case by the Supreme Court was more on a technical basis.

While the tussle between DNB doctors and the MCI continues, the National Medical Commission Bill (NMC) 2017 promises relief for the DNB-certified doctors. The NMC bill that is due to being presented in the Indian Parliament and is being vehemently opposed by medical bodies due to several reasons supports the equivalence of the MD and the DNB degrees in the teaching line.

Reference:
  1. Supreme Court of India Record of Proceedings - (http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/supremecourt/2017/32846/32846_2017_Order_02-Feb-2018.pdf)


Source: Medindia
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