New Delhi: Medical students will now learn about pandemic management along with its social, legal and other aspects in the MBBS course with India’s apex medical education regulator introducing a new module to better prepare doctors for challenges posed by pandemics like COVID-19.
It is expected that the pandemic management module extending from foundation course to the final year undergraduate programme will help in ensuring the creation of an Indian medical graduate “who will serve humanity as doctor, leader and healer in bleak times such as occurrence of a pandemic”, the board of governors (BoG) in supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI) said.
The move has been triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and aims to prepare doctors for challenges posed by emerging diseases.
The document containing details of the module to be adopted by colleges has been put together by a team of experts and the academic cell of the MCI.
“This pandemic management module is designed to ensure that MBBS students acquires competencies in handling not only the illness but also the social, legal and other issues arising from such disease outbreaks.
“The emergence of COVID-19 and its rapid spread across the globe has further underlined the need to develop these skills in our graduates,” Dr V K Paul, the chairman of the BoG said in the foreword.
The Medical Council of India has prepared revised regulations on Graduate Medical education and Competency based undergraduate curricula, accompanied by detailed guidance for its implementation.
One of the desirable outcomes of the competency derived education programme is to enable the Indian medical graduate to be prepared for the unknown – to be able to understand, investigate, treat and prevent new and emerging diseases as clinician, community leader and scholar, stated the foreword.
According to the foreword, “pandemic or disease outbreak calls in to play all the five roles envisages for the Indian medical graduate viz. clinician, communicator, leader and member of the healthcare team, professional, life-long learner and committed to excellence, is ethical, responsive and accountable to patients”
The competency-based undergraduate curriculum was designed to enable the Indian medical graduate to be prepared to meet new challenges – to be able to recognise, diagnose, investigate and treat newly emerging diseases as a clinician and community health leader.
The module is arranged in a phase-based manner and it is expected that the modules would be covered by an interdisciplinary team under supervision by the college level Curriculum Committee, the document stated.
The module covers history of outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, infection control practices, sample collection, microbial diagnosis, serologic tests and their performance parameters, vaccination strategies including vaccine development and implementation, therapeutic strategies including new drug development and care of patients during pandemics among others.