Hyderabad: For the first time in two decades, the stage is set for introduction of a new MBBS syllabus for the fresh batch of medical students from August this year. The new syllabus dubbed ‘Competency Based Undergraduate Curriculum’ will for the first time in the country have dedicated topics on ethics, compassion, attitude and communication, which will be taught to medical graduates.
As part of introducing the new syllabus, the faculty of top State-run medical colleges including Osmania Medical College (OMC) and Gandhi Medical College (GMC) for the past one year have undergone several sessions of training from the syllabus committee of Medical Council of India (MCI).
“A few more training sessions are left, which would be taken up in June. We have a core committee of senior faculty who have already received training from senior members of MCI. The syllabus gives special thrust to ethics, moral values and compassion, which are very important subjects that have to be taught to medical graduates,” says OMC Principal Dr P Shashikala.
The new syllabus, apart from laying focus on ethics, also covers lot of ground in Public Health, Organ Donation, Mental Health and Communication. Dubbed as AETCOM, which stands for Attitude, Ethics and Communication, the new syllabus will stress on ethical values, responsiveness to patient needs and acquisition of communication skills through a dedicated curriculum time.
Medical students will be trained to effectively communicate with patients and their relatives in a manner respectful of the patient’s preferences, values, beliefs, confidentiality and privacy. “When we were taught medicine, ethical values came to us from our Gurus. However, over the years, people forgot about such things. In fact, we have introduced special classes on ethics but they were not part of the syllabus. In this day and age, such subjects are very important,” says former Principal of Gandhi Medical College Dr Pradeep Deshpande.
The new syllabus will teach medical graduates about professionalism, altruism and respect in professional relationships. Moreover, the syllabus also attempts to allow students from diverse educational streams and backgrounds to transition appropriately through a foundation course and also dedicated time to pursue co-curricular activities.
The last time the entire curriculum was changed for UG medicine was in 1997 through Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997. According to the Board of Governors of MCI, the ‘The Indian Medical Graduate, at the end of the undergraduate training programme, should be able to recognise ‘health for all’ as a national goal and should be able to fulfil his or her societal obligations towards realisation of this goal’.