Thursday, 27 February 2020
How a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (UK) Membership is a game-changer for Indian Doctor’s.
With a population of over 1.25 billion people, India produces less than 50,000 medical specialists each year. A meager 400 seats to do DM in cardiology against a need of 3,375 and 120 DM seats in Nephrology against a need of 2,000 kidney specialists a year, shows the dismal figures that paint India’s healthcare crisis and how far the government initiatives have fallen short.
India also has a dismal doctor-patient in ratio of less than one doctor for 1,000 people, the country lags far behind in the number of seats made available for post-graduate studies in medicine.
Presently, after completing MBBS, students start their practice as junior doctors in public and private hospitals undertaking a strenuous job. There are 518 medical colleges in India, in the hands of government and private domains.
The average admission capacity for post-graduate seats clocks at 31,415 across the country. In addition, there are 6,848 DNB seats – considered MD/MS equivalent.
Bridging supply and demand.
The necessity to bridge this gap in available seats against growing need for more specialists opens new avenues, such as an international degree in post-graduation – one that is recognized by international professional bodies, most notably by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom.
Among Commonwealth countries, a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons is technically a college with Royal patronage and permission to use the prefix Royal. The educational institute is usually granted permission through a Royal Charter.
Although incorporation is obtainable more easily, the distinction of a Royal Charter makes it still the most sought by and granted to educational institutions, those specifically considered to professional societies in the public interest.
As its recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI), a certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (UK) is considered as an equivalent to a post-graduate medical degree in India.
Localizing international recognition
Gone are the days when one had to travel overseas to take these examinations, anyone wanting to appear for a PG diploma from Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (UK) can attend at any of the metropolitan cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
To ease the number of candidates appearing in each schedule, dates are allotted 2 -3 times a year in these centers, often falling on February, May and November each year.
Details on enrollment and examination schedule are rolled out 3 months in advance before the exams are held. The following are the various Royal College (UK) Memberships awarded for Physicians and Surgeons:
– MRCP – Member of the Royal College of Physicians
– MRCS – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons
– MRCOG – Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
– MRCPCH – Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
– MRC Path – Member of the Royal College of Pathologists
– FRCR – Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists
– MRC Psych – Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Indian doctors who wish to get the above-mentioned certifications need to enroll as soon as the dates are announced to ensure they are not pushed to the next intake.
Each of the aforementioned qualifications has two or three theoretical papers which a doctor has to pass before appearing for a final oral and clinical exam. Fee to take these tests are ranging 500 to 1000 British pounds per exam.
Doctors with one year of experience at a clinic, preferably associated with a teaching hospital such as DNB approved or affiliated to a medical college, can attempt the first part of each of these exams individually.
- By Muzaffar Khan
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