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Medical Council of India launches foundation course for MBBS students

The Medical Council of India - MCI has rolled out a mandatory one-month foundation course for all the MBBS students across the country.

"Most often, it is assumed that the students will acquire certain soft skills such as communication, empathy and professionalism with time and experience. However, it is imperative to formally teach these fundamental concepts to the students. The foundation course is a consequence of the focus on upgrading the medical curriculum," says VK Paul, chairman, MCI and member, NITI Aayog, in an exclusive interview with Education Times.

As part of the Professionalism and Ethics module, students will also learn about disability rights, disability etiquettes while addressing patients with disabilities along with medical and social models of disability. Professional attributes such as accountability, altruism, empathy, compassion and humanism will be extensively discussed.

"Ethics module has been incorporated in the course keeping in mind the nature of the profession where doctors face ethical dilemma all the time. Teaching about disability rights is crucial to produce aware and empathetic doctors," adds Paul.

Local language training will also be provided to the students to effectively communicate with the patients, depending on the geographical location of the institute. "Nowadays, students move from one state to the other for education and jobs. Local language is an important part of effective communication. The local language training will be conducted as per the need and may also continue beyond the foundation course," he adds.

To orient the students to the care delivery system, field visits to community and primary health centres along with interactions with health care workers, patients and their families have also been incorporated in the course. A module on sports and extracurricular activities has been integrated, with 4 and 2 hours per week allocated for sports and extracurricular activities, respectively, to make the students understand the work-life balance.

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