District residency made mandatory for medical PG students

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/20/2020 12:48:37 PM

NEW DELHI, Sep 19: The district residency of three months in the district hospitals or health system has been made compulsory for all postgraduate medical students pursuing the MD or MS course with immediate effect from the current year, to be eligible to take the final examination.
The new regime is applicable to all MD/MS students admitted from the academic session of 2020-21 under a Gazette notification issued on September 18 by the Board of Governors in supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI), detailing the Post-graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2020.
The notification says the main objectives of the District Residency Programme (DRP) are: 1. Involve PG students in health care services at the district hospitals for learning while serving, 2. Acquaint them with planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment of the national health programmes at district level and 3. To orient them to promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services. In doing so, the PG students will also strengthen the district health system as specialty resident doctors working as members of the district teams.
Preamble of the DRP says two essential tenets of PG medical training are learning experience to meet the needs of the community and training them in diverse settings including those close to the community. It says the district health system is close to the communities than most medical colleges and a major source of the health facilities for the people.
The district hospitals where the PG students can be posted could be a public sector or the government-funded hospital of not less than 100 beds with facilities for the designated specialities at that level.
The DRP requires the PG students to undergo a compulsory residential rotation of three months in district hospitals as part of the course curriculum and such rotation shall take place in third, fourth and fifth semester. The students undergoing the training would be designated as District Residents.
The District Residents will be posted with the concerned/aligned specialty team/unit at the District Hospital, and will be trained under the overall guidance of the District Specialists. The clinical responsibilities assigned to them would include serving in outpatient, inpatient, casualty and other areas, and encompass night duties.
The postgraduate students of pre/para clinical disciplines (namely, Anatomy; Biochemistry; Community Medicine; Forensic Medicine; Microbiology; Pathology; Physiology; and Pharmacology) will be trained within the available avenues in coordination with the District Health Officer/Chief Medical Officer in diagnostic/laboratories services, pharmacy services, forensic services, general clinical duties, managerial roles and public health programmes etc., as applicable. They may also be posted in research units / facilities, laboratories and field sites of the Indian Council of Medical Research and other national research organizations.
During their district residency, they shall continue to draw full stipend/salary from their respective medical colleges, one weekly holiday by rotation and leave benefits as per the rules of the parent college. They may be provided additional honorarium by the state governmeent as a token of recognition of their contribution to the healthcare services of the state. The state government is required to provide the amenities to them, including suitable accommodation, transportation and security, especially for the lady residents.
The state governments may also incentivise the postings to remote and difficult areas and encourage volunteering by the students to serve there.
The regulations make it clear that "satisfactory completion of the District Residency shall be an essential condition before the candidate is allowed to appear in the final examination of the respective postgraduate course" and the certificate of the satisfactory completion of DRP will be issued by the district residency programme coordinator (DRPC) in a prescribed format to the concerned medical college.
The medical colleges will be allowed to increase their admission capacity to compensate for the potential compromise of work at its teaching hospital due to out-posting of the PG students/residents for the district residency programme. A designated official of the state government has to declare the placement schedule of the PG residents due for rotation at least six months in advance and redress any grievances in this regard.
The regulations permit posting of the PG residents in other states if they cannot be absorbed in their own state. As regards students from the North East zone, they can undergo the district residency programme in their respective states. They also provides for constitution of the national and state oversight mechanism in consultation with the health ministry to oversee implementation of the district residency programme.

 

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