According to news, The Association of Health Universities of India will write to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to make professionalism and a code of ethics part of the MBBS course, which will be assessed through an exam.
Medical ethics though being taught to students of MBBS, there were no scale to access them. However, it becomes a good idea to add a course into the curriculum with can be accessed through exams.
The same happened to be one of the debated sessions earlier at the third conclave of vice-chancellors of health universities of India, hosted by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS).
A faculty of MS Ramaiah Medical College, which runs a certificate programme on ethics for its interns, spoke of the need to introduce the programme for students and faculty. “We had done a survey on students some years ago. We realized they come to medical college with high ideals. But as years pass, their principles erode and towards the end, many are ready to compromise on their values,” said Dr Venkatesh D, director, medical education unit, MS Ramaiah Medical College.
MS Ramaiah has been running a certificate programme for interns for the past three years. The one-year programme has one module per month, followed by an assignment. Around 80% of students take up the programme.
The real scenario is different to classroom training. Even while some topics are taught in universities, not many (as in RGUHS) are assessed. Also, while most universities have lectures on ethics, little is interpreted in real terms.
The body aims to add the skills to the students. Batting for a uniform syllabus for ethics across the country, Dr Arun V Jamkar, chairman, Association of Health Universities of India said: “MCI has been mooting it. We want it to become a reality. We want students to be assessed on it along with their practical skills. Faculty should also be trained.”
To add such a course is the need of the hour. The universities will also bat for an ethics programme for faculty. “To have such a course is the need of the hour. Right now, we have an orientation programme on ethics. We need both students and trainers at these courses mandatorily. They need to be uniform across the country,” said Prof Amit Banerjee, vice-chancellor.
All universities seem to be taking the medical values course seriously. They will try to implement it as soon as possible.