In July 2010, the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI) convened two Working Groups, one each on undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) medical education, in an effort to develop a roadmap for achieving targets set forth in its “Vision 2015” statement on improving medical education. The Working Groups were tasked with assessing the present status of medical education, comparing the current situation with global trends and needs, and developing appropriate strategies for achieving reforms in both education and practice. Medical educationists from throughout India with the “vision and expertise” to address these issues were invited to participate, including FAIMER faculty members Payal Bansal (PHIL 2007) and Rita Sood (PHIL 2005), and Director of the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute Avinash Supe (PHIL 2002). Dr. Bansal served on the UG Working Group; Drs. Sood and Supe served on the PG Working Group.
The groups met over the course of three weekends, taking part in day-long meetings that included much intense discussion and brainstorming. Each group prepared a report, submitted to MCI for review and implementation, with recommendations for both short- and long-term reform and restructuring within an overall timeframe of 10 years. Areas addressed in the reports included admissions, curriculum, examinations, the supply of and demand for doctors, and continuing professional development. Dr. Supe indicated that FAIMER principles and methods were useful in developing ideas proposed in the groups’ recommendations. He added that the meetings were a great experience and a welcome opportunity to contribute to the improvement of medical education in his country.
The Academic Cell of the Medical Council of India (MCI) recently initiated efforts to advance medical education units at Indian medical colleges through a formal, nationwide faculty development program. As part of this program, MCI identified ten schools to support faculty development activities in their respective regions. These schools will teach workshops on various aspects of medical education to faculty from schools in their region, focusing on faculty members from each school’s medical education unit. These faculty will in turn lead workshops in education for teachers at their own schools.
A subset of the ten schools, including two that are home to FAIMER Regional Institutes, will serve as resource centers for the other designated centers. Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, home to the CMCL-FAIMER Regional Institute, led its inaugural workshop for faculty in September 2009. The other nodal centers, including Seth G.S. Medical College, home to the GSMC-FAIMER Regional Institute in Mumbai, will begin conducting workshops shortly.
In addition to establishing nodal centers, MCI has required that all faculty in India take a basic course in medical education. Together, the requirement for basic medical education courses and the support and direction of specified education centers provide a national framework for faculty development in India. These advances have come about, in large part, as a result of the leadership and advocacy of FAIMER Fellows in India and the example set by FAIMER’s Regional Institutes.
(posted October 30, 2009; updated November 23, 2009)