New Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC) has clarified that medical colleges should have an atmosphere conducive for the medical students to achieve optimum personal and professional growth.
Such a direction has been issued by the Apex medical body while specifying the duties and responsibilities of medical students in the recent guidelines on “Professional Responsibilities of Medical Students”.
In the guidelines, NMC has also defined a support framework that the colleges need to ensure for optimal functioning and growth of the medical students.
Stating that the atmosphere of the medical colleges should help the students achieve the optimum personal and professional growth, NMC added in the recent guidelines that “Medical colleges must ensure that adequate and appropriately trained faculties are available for the education of students according to the prescribed NMC standards.”
The Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the National Medical Commission has also stressed on the need to ensure that the students have adequate clinical exposure.
In this regard, the Guidelines further state that “Community health exposure of students should be encouraged even beyond the boundaries of curriculum including encouragement for additional voluntary initiatives by students to get involved in community health services from the beginning under the guidance of doctors.”
“Even voluntary participation by students in health camps/ health awareness campaigns organised by registered medical organisations of repute for a certain number of days in an academicyear may be encouraged. This exercise is of utmost importance for preparing a medical student with “attitudes, values and responsiveness, so that she or he may function appropriately and effectively as a physician of first contact of the community” as desired in the IMG goal,” it added.
The commission has also specified that the medical colleges need to set up appropriate mentorship programmes, student counselling services and a referral system to take care of students’ stress and mental health issues. “Students in care must be assured of full confidentiality,” it stated while adding that the medical colleges must ensure that ragging is banned and the strictest action is taken in the event of breaches.
Regarding the process of examinations and certifications, the Guidelines stated that the colleges need to conduct the exams and certifications as prescribed by NMC with “integrity and honesty.”
“Cheating must be dealt with strict action. Colleges must not inflate internal assessment marks and students should expect a fair and impartial examination process,” it added.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that in the recently released guidelines on “Professional Responsibilities of Medical Students”, NMC discussed several issues related to the students including responsibilities related to academic growth, responsibilities related to personal growth, responsibilities towards society and national goals, and support framework to ensure optimal functioning and growth of medical students.
While specifying the responsibilities of students related to personal growth, NMC had disapproved of cheating in any form and also had advised the students to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other substances of abuse.
Reiterating the same requirement, NMC advised the medical colleges to encourage healthy lifestyle of the medical students by providing adequate sports & yoga facilities, gymnasium and healthy food options etc. within campus.
“In order to create awareness against tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse, institutes should run or support well designed programmes like ‘anti addiction campaigns’ in campus and involve students in educating others through `Nasha Mukti Abhiyan’ at the campus, hospital or community level,” it added.
Encouraging the medical colleges to take feedback from the students, the guidelines mentioned, “Regular student feedback should be taken by the college so that remedial action can be taken to improve the teaching-learning process.”
“These guidelines may serve to remind them of their social obligations even during the training period, in the spirit of human service and excellence and help them align with the goals of curriculum for Indian Medical Graduate (IMG). It is expected that these guidelines will be used by Teachers, Medical Education Unit (MEUs) and Institutions to instill a sense of responsibility in Medical Students rather than using them for punitive actions,” the NMC ethics board mentioned in the guidelines.