This is an important news for all the candidates who hold Diplomate National Boards (DNB) degrees. Such candidates will feel a sense of loss in order to look for teaching post or even pursuing their academics. This is because of a recent notification of MCI dated June 5, 2017 that includes some changes related to the qualification for applying for the post of Senior Resident/ Assistant Professor in Medical Colleges across India.
These new regulations have been referred as “Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions (Amendment) Regulations, 2017”. According to this new regulation, MCI has defined new rules related to eligibility and promotion of medical teachers.
According to this notification, hierarchy will be followed in the field of medical education starting from the point of Senior Residency and going up till Professorship. It has brought a sigh of relief to many, however; it has spelt out major hardships for candidates who have completed their DNBs from organizations that are not recognized by MCI i.e. Medical Council of India (particularly the large hospitals that offer DNB courses). From now onwards, it will be really arduous and challenging for such candidates to join academia.
Amended Qualification Criteria:
Minimum qualification for teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998 has been bifurcated in order to pursue a career in medical education. This is as follows:
For candidates who possess their DNB qualification from central institute/ medical colleges recognized by MCI where there are no MD/MS courses, the minimum qualification is teaching experience of 3 years in the subject from a recognized medical college either at the time of DNB course or after completing the DNB qualification. The concerned candidates would also be asked to present one year additional teaching or research experience in the concerned subject from a recognized medical college after getting their DNB qualification.
For candidates who possess their DNB qualification from central institute/ medical colleges that are not recognized by MCI, the minimum qualification is teaching experience of 3 years in the subject at the time of DNB course or after completing the DNB qualification. The concerned candidate would also be asked present 2 years additional teaching experience as Sr. Resident/Research Associate (CSIR) from a MCI recognized medical college/central institute recognized by MCI in order to be eligible for becoming an Assistant Professor in an institute recognized by MCI.
Thus, candidates who hold DNB degrees from institutes not recognized by MCI have to additionally do 2 years of Senior Residency so that they can be eligible to apply for the post of Assistant Professorship.
The hassle for such candidates does not halt there. According to the rules for Senior Residency, all the DNB degree holders can join as a Senior Resident only if they have passed out from medical college/ central institute recognized by MCI. In case, a candidate holds a DNB degree from a medical college/ institute which is not recognized by MCI, they have to do 3 years of Junior Residency so that they can join as a Senior Resident to be further eligible for the post of Assistant professor.
A DNB degree holder from a non-MCI recognized institute thus need 3 years of Junior Residency and 2 years of Senior Residency, to be eligible for a teaching post of Assistant Professor. Hence, this implies a clear 5 years of additional service if one has a dream to pursue a career in Medical Academia.
The Main Issue
While the amended qualification criteria makes it challenging for DNB pass outs from non MCI recognized institutes to pursue a career in academia, this decision will surely affect a large number of degree holders who have pursued the DNB course based on the government declaration that DNB degree is equivalent to MD/MS degree for all the practical purposes.
This also casts light on a serious snarl-up in efforts of the country to address the shortage of doctors. To address the rising and pinching shortage of medical practitioners, Government has announced a series of measures to address the increasing and pinching shortage of medical practitioners. This series includes adding 5000 PG seats this year mainly by revising the ratio of teacher and student at medical colleges, thus putting pressure on existing medical faculty.
However, Government has also imposed restrictions and limitations on an army of readily available qualified physicians that can possibly join medical academia and alleviate the pressure in addressing this major issue of shortage of medical practitioners in the country.
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