Allow famous doctors to teach, MPs tell MCI

With medical colleges facing a huge faculty shortage, lawmakers have asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the health ministry to allow "renowned doctors" to teach in the medical colleges.

Shortage of faculty in most of the medical colleges is a well-recognised fact even though there is no centralised database because individual states are responsible to keep a tab on the vacant posts in the colleges and fill them up.

But a premier centre like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, had a vacancy in 232 posts as on April 14, 2016, out of which 66 positions were for professors, 10 for additional professors, 23 for associate professors and 131 for assistant professors.

"Renowned medical specialists with an academic background in cities can be given the status of visiting faculty to teach UG/PG students as students generally love to have famous doctors of city teaching them the art of medical practice. It will also increase the pool of medical faculty," the Committee on Estimates stated in its report tabled in Parliament.

The MCI had received such a proposal, but it is yet to take a decision. Also, no decision has been taken to increase the teaching age of the faculty up to 75 years.

At present, there are 479 medical colleges that offer 57,138 MBBS seats and 25,850 postgraduate positions every year. Out of these 479 medical colleges, 227 are in government colleges and the remaining 252 are privately owned.

In the last few years, the norms for PG medical faculty were changed allowing professors to take more students.

Now one professor can take two PG students and one Associate Professor can take one PG student. The MCI has also agreed that each Assistant Professor can also take one PG student.

The MCI has also recommended that in five disciplines medical oncology, surgical oncology, psychiatry, forensic medicine and radiotherapy one professor can take up to three students instead of two.

The health ministry is in talks with the MCI to extend the opportunity in other postgraduate disciplines in order to quickly fill up the shortage of specialists.

The MCI has been to look at the existing norms to find out if new medical colleges can be permitted with existing busy hospitals with adequate well-trained teaching faculty so that PG courses right away without waiting for starting graduate courses first.

"Out of box solutions in line with international practices are required to tide over the shortage of faculty," the Committee on Estimates, chaired by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, said in its report.

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