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When MBBS students go to medical college this year they'll have to carry yoga mats, bats and rackets along with their white coats and stethoscopes. The Medical Council of India, the statutory body regulating medical education, has made yoga and sports a part of the undergraduate medical education curriculum. The Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 2012 released by the MCI allot nearly 4% of the total teaching hours in the first two years of MBBS to sports and extracurricular activities including yoga. "Our medicos will no longer be dull boys. They will be able to unwind on the playground. We will teach students how they can stay healthy and fit by practising yoga and participating in sports," said a senior member of MCI.
At the MCI's national summit in September 2011, vice-chancellors from medical universities from across the country were informed that certain alterations would be made to the MBBS course with a focus on students. The MCI made it mandatory for students to undergo a two-month foundation course, which will include yoga and sports, at the beginning of the academic year. Though most medical colleges have cultural programmes and sports, the MCI has now made sports part of the academic curriculum. Under the new regulations, 78 of the total of 1,880 academic hours in the first two years will be allotted to sports, extracurricular activities and yoga. Medicos usually have few activities outside academics, said Madras Medical College dean Dr V Kanakasabai. "Physical education was neither a priority nor was it mandatory for medical students," he said. Sports experts say they expect medical colleges to take physical education more serious than schools. "Most medical colleges have huge playgrounds that conform to national standards. If professionals are appointed as trainers, they can help students stay fit," said Dr. Madhu Thottappillil, consultant to BCCI. The modifications in the curriculum have been welcomed by academicians. "It's a good thing that students will not have only lessons once they enter medical college," said Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University vice-chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan. Medicos will be taught about national health priorities and policies, universal vaccinations, ethics, patient safety including cost of treatment, healthcare financing, language and interpersonal skills and use of information technology in healthcare services. "India was the only country where ethics was not part of the medical curriculum. Our doctors should be on par with the best in the world," said a senior MCI official.
Courtesy: Times of India
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