Within the rural sector, specialist medical doctors do not need to be a rarity under the current mandate that makes it mandatory for postgraduate medical students pursuing MD / MS to have a mandatory 3-month stay in district hospitals. This is the brand new Directive that will be adopted in the 2020-21 session curriculum.
Under the brand new laws for medical schooling, the district residency program for PG students has been launched. Students might be posted as a ‘district resident’ in a district hospital in their third, fourth, or fifth semester as half of their 3-year PG program, the notice from the federal government gazette said.
Except for Community Medicine students, the latest mandate was never part of the PG medical curriculum. This is unlike the MBBS course in which, in their third year, students have to attend mandatory rural and community specialist posts.
The stint would send the district hospital ads to the longer-term specialists, thereby studying the grassroots needs. As they work with a team led by local experts, the specialization residents (PG students) will improve the services at district hospitals. Highlighting that there are close to 38,000 PG students across the nation and about 1300 district hospitals, the current mandate, if systematically intentional, would ensure steady availability at any given time of around 6-eight resident specialist medical doctors in each district hospital and around 9,000 PG medical doctors working within the villages.
While the standard was defined in 2019 and approved for further implementation by the Central Council for Health & Family Welfare, the lack of specialist medical doctors and frontline healthcare professionals is likely to be even more helpful in cases of Coronavirus.
The 3-month stint is part of a long-term initiative to include ground-level instruction and introduce residents to popular clinical scenarios regularly. PG students may be exposed to a wide variety of clinical environments because the scope of clinical conditions is different at the district level compared to medical schools.
The coaching process raised by the applicants would have to demonstrate a passable completion of their residency program as it is likely to be a crucial pre-requisite for them to appear during the last evaluation of their respective PG courses. As seen with rural internships for MBBS, there may not be marks to test the students, but a logbook-based completion method.