Thursday, 20 June 2013

Can reducing MBBS course to three years be the answer?

One of the suggestions is to make MBBS a 3-year course on primary care with all subjects taught but with the intention of providing primary GP medical care.

For example, have only six months of basic anatomy in primary program and those who want to enter surgery get another three years of education with one year of anatomy classes linked to surgery. Why should every one learn all about advanced medicine including anatomy or physiology in MBBS?

Complete skeletal anatomy should be taught only to those who opt for orthopedics post MBBS. Same is true for advanced eye anatomy.

One can have basic MBBS course in every district in the country. For postgraduation they may have to enter a medical college.

In the US also, some universities have shortened medical school programs from four years to three.

Three-year programs generally are offered as an incentive for students to pick primary care, in order to prevent shortages of primary care doctors. Rather than having to spend two years taking basic courses and two years of doing clinical work in different specialties to determine their preferred fields, students in accelerated programs finish in three years because they spend only one year doing clinical work as they already have chosen primary care.

In nursing also, we have two courses: Basic Nursing and BSc Nursing. A similar experimentation can be done in MBBS.


  1. Sir , I feel the basic problem is the inability of the Govt of India & State Govt . to utilize the existing qualified Doctors , in a proper way. There is lack of incentives & lack of proper infrastructure in the rural areas , including social development. Govt. does not utilize the graduates coming out of medical colleges, there are no jobs offered to them by the Govt. This is just a way to divert attention from the real inadequacy of the Central & State Govt. reducing the tenure , or introducing down scaled curriculum may really not benefit anyone.Emphasis should be laid on proper utilization of human resources available in the country, proper infrastructure planning & utilization & social development.

  2. i am of the opinion that 3 yrs degree course in medicine for posting doctors to rural area is apt in present conditions, since majority of rural health centers donot have adequate health facilities like equipment, building and ancillary staff. it will be a wastage posting specialist doctors MD/MS in these centers.
    2. it will be worthwhile starting a 5 year integrated UG/PG course in subjects like ophthalmology, ENT ,Anesthesia ,Pediatrics, Obstetrics and gynecology and subjects like lab medicine by MCI.

  3. This can never be the answer. We are already fighting to save medicine and provide adequate care to the patients from the hands of quacks.By doing this we will be creating more qualified quacks which is very unsafe for the public. Public health is the most important of all branches of medicine and you prefer to put so called doctors with suboptimal knowledge to provide it!! cant be the way to go. In uk GP practice is a seperate specialty. Any government which cares about the safety of the people will never ever take a stupid decision like this to shorten the MBBS course and collapse the entire system. The doctor to patient ratio may look good on paper but the innocent public are the sufferers.

  4. hello every one,
    dr selva has given great statement.
    if u look at the quality of the MBBS doctors that are passing from private medical colleges, u will never get yourself treated by them. that means even 5 year program is not enough. so we should change the pattern and sincerity of course and results with vision.
    actually we need good doctors at base level, who have good basic knowledge of every specialty e.g. if a patient with fracture goes to an MBBS doctor and complains of pain, he should be able to diagnose the cause of pain as fracture and refer him to orthopaedician. so the MBBS doctor should be wise enough to do a good 'triage' and quick referal.
    we have got so many examples where non-competent doctors compete with good doctors/specialists for patients to earn money, just money, they are not concerned with the ideal treatment.
    if u look at the system in west, it is also not very good. sometimes patient has to wait for long duration to get consultation with a specialist. as compared, the system in India is good, that a patient is free to consult any doctor any time.
    so a better idea is to improve the practice of referral among the doctors, especially at primary level [i.e. MBBS] and to improve education of public to get health care in time. in India 75% of cancer patients present in advance stages of malignancy, not because of non-availability of doctors, but more because of unawareness of people.
    as dr rajeev said already, better perks will attract doctors to govt. job. there are many problems with government jobs. actually government [including IAS and politicians] consider doctors as public 'servants', nothing else. i have a lot of examples regarding this. i did not get salary for initial 3 months in my govt.job and so i was forced to leave the govt. job for financial crisis.
    making roads up to every village to improve transport and providing electricity are more needed then to provide them with uneducated degree holder doctors.