The Medical Council of India (MCI) has introduced a month-long ‘foundation course’ that will teach students the necessary skills, and attitude required for medical training. The course, according to the MCI, will have a special emphasis on professional and ethical behaviour.
While the MCI has provided each college or medical institute with a booklet including the guidelines and outcomes intended from the course, each institute is adviced to create their own foundation course keeping in mind the local needs. The MCI also asked institutes to share their ‘best practices’ and feedback for the further evolution of the programme structure.
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“Medical students come from varied backgrounds and require a bridge that will smooth their transition from school to a professional course,” said MCI in a circular adding, “The (MBBS) can be demanding and requires the learner to respond to the challenges of continued learning and improvement.”
The course is divided into five parts — orientation, skills module, enhancement skills, sport and extracurricular activities and professionalism and ethics. Maximum teaching courses will be dedicated to professional development including ethics and enhancement of language and computer skills with 40 hours of teaching each. The course will constitute a total of 175 teaching hours.
The orientation course will be completed as a single block in the first week while the skill enhancement courses among others will be available throughout the one-month long course. Sports will be for a mandatory four hours per week and extra-curricular activities two hours per week, as part of the course.
The foundation course will be organised by co-ordinator appointed by the dean of the college and will be under the supervision of heads of preclinical department, as per the MCI.
The MCI has also made an 8-weeks online course in research methods called ‘Basic Course in Bio-medical Research’ mandatory for all postgraduate students as well as for faculty who has no prior formal training in research. These changes are part of the MCI’s initiative to improve the curriculum for medical education in India.