Ritwika Mitra, NEW DELHI, Dec 02, 2014, DHNS:

The current MBBS curriculum is not adequate to train medical students in handling cases of trauma, said experts.

Despite the rising number of accident cases in which patients need immediate care for trauma, there is a lack of knowledge among doctors who have not gone for further specialisation on how to attend to these patients, said members of the Indian Orthopaedic Association of India (IOA).

The association has written to the Medical Council of India and the Health Ministry recently for a need in change in curriculum in the undergraduate programme, said a senior member.

“There is no separate chapter on orthopaedics under the current curriculum. During emergency cases, when there are no specialised doctors available, those who have passed the undergraduate programme are often unable to provide the basic care needed for orthopaedic cases,” said Dr Anil Jain, Professor and Head of the Department, Orthopaedic Department, University of Medical Sciences, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital.

Currently, the IOA has over 9,000 registered orthopaedics as members. “Even if there are roughly 20,000 orthopaedics in the country, it is not enough for an entire population. So there is an immediate need to equip the MBBS doctors with adequate training,” said Dr Jain.

The need is especially in small towns and villages where primary health care centres form the backbone of the existing medical facilities. There is a dearth of doctors with specialised degrees in these areas. Till the time patients are shifted to hospitals, the damage is already done. It does not strike the doctor which position should the patient be transported in or it is a life-saving or minor case.

“Recently, a patient with vertebra fracture was brought to us in a curled up position. The mode of transport in which the patient was brought was also not ideal. There was not much we could do to help the patient,” said Dr Sudhir K Kapoor, President Elect, IOA.

“We are floating the idea to initiate a change in the MBBS curriculum,” he added.
The other major changes that the orthopaedic fraternity has raised is making bone banks a common idea across hospitals.

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