NBE-accredited DNB DipNB MNAMS FNAMS degree to be on par with MS, MD
- Govt steps in to meet docs’ shortage
- NBE-accredited degree to be on par with MS, MD
- Nearly 50,000 candidates to benefit
New Delhi, February 11
Nearly 50,000 medical graduates pursuing or holding PG and postdoctoral degrees of the National Board of Examinations (NBE) can finally hope for better future.
Discriminated against by the Medical Council of India (MCI) rules which don’t treat NBE degrees on par with PG degrees offered by Council-approved medical colleges, NBE passouts will now get equivalence with their MD/MS counterparts in medical specialties and DM/MCh counterparts in medical super-specialities.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has instructed the MCI to grant such equivalence in the wake of medical faculty shortage in India.
“NBE degree is not inferior to MD and MS. In fact, we conduct a nationally standardised entrance test annually to select students who undergo practical training at reputed hospitals like Gangaram where they get fine clinical exposure. Our assessments, unlike those for MD/MS students, are external and fairer,’’ Dr K Srinath Reddy, President, NBE, told TNS.
The NBE got autonomous status under the Health Ministry in 1982 and was tasked with ensuring uniform standards in PG medical education.
India has over 150 recognised medical colleges offering UG and PG courses but the quality of instruction is not uniform.
NBE’s PG medical degree called Diplomate of National Board (DNB) is a standardised degree for postgraduates in medicine and surgery. This year, 4,000 students have passed out of the 650 NBE-accredited institutes which offer PG and postdoctoral courses in 61 specialties; 25,000 students are pursuing DNB.
But the MCI, since 2004, has been blocking equivalence for DNB students, preventing them from getting jobs as specialists and teachers like MD/MS holders get. The council says that a DNB graduate from an institute that does not offer MD/MS courses must get a year’s research experience from any ICMR, CSIR or medical institution.
Those who get DNB from non-medical institutions like Gangaram or Fortis hospitals are required to get two-year additional experience for their degree to be treated on a par with MD/MS offered by MCI-approved colleges.
Simply put, DNB holders from reputed institutions running NBE courses including Gangaram, Delhi, Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Ganga Hospital in Coimbatore (world famous for orthopaedic surgery) and Sancheti Hospital, Pune (whose Founder KH Sancheti just got a Padma Shri), are not good enough for the MCI.
Importantly, the Health Ministry had, on February 20, 2009, resolved the issue and notified the equivalence for DNB holders. The MCI got the notification revoked.
The notification said, “DNB qualifications will be equivalent to MD, MS (in case of speciality courses) and DM and MCh (in case of super-specialty courses) for all purposes including appointment to teaching posts in medical institutions. Experience gained while pursuing DNB courses will be treated as teaching experience for appointment to teaching posts.”
NBE’s executive director Bipin Batra said the board wants the notification restored. “MCI policy is affecting close to 50,000 students. Since 2004 to 2010, about 2,000 students graduated annually with DNB. The number now is 4,000; 25,000 students are presently enrolled,” he said.
- * Since 2010, 4,000 medical graduates pass out annually with NBE’s PG degree called Diplomate of National Board
- * MCI doesn’t regard DNB equal to MD/MS
- * In 2009, the government notified that DNB qualifications in specialties would be equal to MD/MS and DNB degrees in super-specialties will be equal to DM/MCh. MCI resisted the move
- * Azad has now told MCI to resolve the imbalance