‘Waste of time’: Doctors bodies oppose AYUSH training for MBBS interns

IMA, FAIMA and FORDA have rejected NMC’s draft regulations on medical internships saying AYUSH training will promote “mixopathy”.

‘Waste of time’: Doctors bodies oppose AYUSH training for MBBS interns Doctors protesting in 2020
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Jul 15, 2021 - 12:58 p.m. IST
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New Delhi: The National Medical Commission’s bid to include training in alternative disciplines of medicine -- ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homeopathy and sowa rigpa -- or AYUSH, in medical internships has drawn criticism from doctors’ bodies.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Federation of All India Medical Associations (FAIMA) as well as the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Associations (FORDA) have opposed the NMC’s draft regulations on medical internships made public for comments on July 7. The draft provides for seven days of AYUSH training within the compulsory internship period at the end of a standard MBBS course.

In a letter to Dr. Suresh Chandra Sharma, chairman, National Medical Commission, IMA has condemned the inclusion of compulsory seven days posting in Indian medicine system during the rotatory internship period for completing MBBS.

"IMA fully opposes the inclusion of one-week exclusive elective posting which is contrary to the established norm, superfluous and an attempt to initiate mixopathy, IMA strives for purity of profession”, said the letter from Dr. Jeyesh Lele, honorary secretary, IMA. The IMA has opposed the push for what they describe as “mixopathy” and “crosspathy” in the NMC’s policy decisions earlier as well and led a strike over it in late 2020.

"It is not prudent for an intern trained in modern medicine to partake and practice a system of medicine which he has not learned in under graduation with know-how and show-how paradigms. And straightaway coming to do it in an internship is dangerous to the public and the system”, the letter further said.

IMA suggested inclusion of family medicine saying, "Family medicine is a speciality which is the need of the hour for catering to the common people with multifaceted, continuous, comprehensive, cost- effective, community oriented concept and values of family care."

AYUSH training ‘waste of time’: Doctors

In a letter written to Dr. Aruna V Vanikar, president of the undergraduate medical education board president of the NMC, FIAMA has requested a change in the draft for the rotatory internship during MBBS saying “the addition of seven days of elective posting in Indian medicine which they have not studied altogether in their graduation period and won’t be practicing in the future too will lead to waste of time and energy”.

Resident doctor agreed. “Deployment of MBBS Interns in the clinic of any other System of Medicine is apparently a waste of precious time & can be utilised in some other relevant speciality” said FORDA in a letter written to Vanikar adding, “The inclusion of posting in alternative system of medicine for a period of one week is unnecessary and should be omitted exclusively”

In the recently-released draft regulations on internships for undergraduate students of medicine MBBS, NMC has provided for a mandatory seven-day posting in any one of the AYUSH subjects as one of the 17 specialties.

FIAMA fears promoting mixopathy will clear the path for "complete inclusion of the subject in our curriculum.”

“Certain provisions in the draft have tremendous implications on trainee doctors and on the Healthcare system at large. We condemn the dangerous provisions preventing our interns from getting quality training!” FIAMA said in the social media post.

MBBS internship in same institution

Both FIAMA and FORDA are also against another provision in the draft guidelines: continuing internship in the same institution and not allowing internship at a different one.

FIAMA’s letter says: “The new provision that does not allow completing rotatory internship from other institutes under the guidance of parent institute is a tough call as earlier several students who faced different problems and due to their own personal reasons went to the other institutes for the same after completing their compulsory posting of community medicine from parent institute.”

“Like previously, the provision of allowing an intern to undergo internship at an institute of his/her choice, should be kept under the jurisdiction of the parent Institute itself,” said the FORDA letter.

The associations have requested NMC to make the changes before the draft is finalized.

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