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Education Plus

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Options after your MBBS

The options after MBBS are varied, especially if one chooses to explore areas such as medical science and technology, health administration, public health, KPO and so on.



Broader options: With seats for medical postgraduate courses in short supply, MBBS students can consider other higher-study options.

An MBBS degree by itself may not help you to reach professional heights. Postgraduate or even super-specialty qualifications have to be acquired for career excellence. However, there may be several constraints for medical graduates in securing admission to PG programs. The seats in PG Degree/Diploma or Dip NB programmes available are too few to accommodate all the aspirants.

There are indeed other avenues as well for the higher academic pursuits by medical graduates.

MMST

The days of keeping various disciplines in watertight compartments are over. Multidisciplinary programs assume great relevance in the emerging global scenario. Innovations in technology have led to spectacular advancements in modern medicine. To meet the challenges posed by medicine in the 21st century, the country needs a new breed of medical professionals who will be able to understand the fusion of medical science with technology and can bridge the two disciplines. With this philosophy in mind, The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur established the School of Medical Science and Technology in 2001. This centre trains physicians in technology under the time tested IIT system.

A three-year Masters in Medical Science and Technology (MMST) programme is offered for MBBS graduates, with a view to imparting engineering skills to medical professionals and training them for state-of-art medical research in the frontier areas of medical imaging and image analysis, telemedicine and Tele Surgery, biosensors and medical instrumentation, biomarkers and their applications in diabetes and oncology, reproductive biology, contraceptive development and infertility management, molecular biology and tissue engineering, preventive and promotive health-care, comprehensive health information system for disease management, development of cancer drugs, biomedical implants and devices, brain research and cognitive neuroscience, and nanotechnology and microelectro-mechanical systems in medicine.

Hospital administration

There is a global trend of transferring the administrative responsibilities of hospitals from medical doctors to those who have undergone hospital management courses. This ensures better utilisation of the specialist doctors’ time, and administration of the health-care centres by trained management professionals. Many institutions permit graduates in any discipline to pursue hospital administration programs. But certain institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, admit only medical graduates. Some of the institutions that run programmes in hospital administration are:

•Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Deonar, Mumbai

•Department of Management Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai

•BITS Pilani

•Institute of Management Studies, Devi Ahalya University, Indore

•All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi

•Faculty of Management Studies, South Campus, Delhi University, New Delhi

•Apollo Institute of Management Studies, Chennai

•Apollo Institute of Hospital Administration, Hyderabad

•School of Medical education, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam

•Dr. M.V. Shetty Institute of Health Sciences, Mangalore

•ASCI Hinduja Institute of Healthcare Management, Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad

Research

Medical graduates are in demand for study and research in various areas such as drug manufacture, biomaterials, tissue engineering, toxicology, medical imaging, and molecular biology. There are numerous avenues for research in reputed institutions / laboratories, a few of which are listed below.

•Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow

•JNU, New Delhi Bose Institute, Kolkota

•PG Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh

•Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

•Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

•National Institute of Immunology, Delhi

•International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, Delhi

•Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore

•Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Calcutta

•Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Lucknow

•Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh

•Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta

•Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow

•Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum

•Madurai Kamaraj University

•Various units of CSIR, ICAR, ICMR, and DST

Biotechnology/bioinformatics

These are two emerging disciplines that are primarily based on research. The premier path for admission is through the national-level entrance test conducted annually by the Jawaharlal Nehru University for the selection of candidates for the

M.Sc. and M.VSc. Biotechnology programs are being conducted in a number of universities in the country. Graduates in the medical stream can appear for the test. Admission to M.Sc. Biotechnology in many other universities / institutions is made through their own entrance tests or by other means.

Public health

Providing technical and consultancy service on public health issues to the public, NGOs, and the private sector is a social need. Professional service is essential for advancing knowledge of the social, biological, economic and behavioural dimensions of health, and for cost-benefit analysis and epidemiological studies. With these objectives in view, certain institutions run the Master of Public Health programme. Medical graduates can join the stream.

•Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram

•Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi

•The School of Medical education, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam

There is a Master of Applied Epidemiology programme in the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.

Nutrition

•Postgraduate certificate in nutrition in the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.

KPO

The possibilities in the domain of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) are well known. Usually work in BPO is confined to routine work such as medical transcription, call centre, back office, invoicing, and animation. However, Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) promises tremendous potential. Activities that call for greater intellectual skills, technical knowledge, and analytical abilities are covered by KPO. Research, financial analysis, and design are examples. The remuneration from KPO would be four or five times that from BPO. The professional background of medical graduates could be utilised in the domain of KPO. But they have to get themselves trained in handling computers, as well as in soft skills.

It may be argued that it is unfair to spare the services of medical graduates for work in this area. However, this would offer an attractive package to those who are frustrated with the lack of opportunities for professional growth on the strength of the first medical degree.

Studies overseas

For higher studies in the U.K., the passport is offered by the PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) Test. For the United States, it is the three-step USMLE that provides a common evaluation system for applicants for initial medical licensure. It is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States and the National Board of Medical Examiners. The test assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centred skills. These are important in ensuring safe and effective patient care. There are opportunities for higher studies in countries like Australia and New Zealand as well.

B.S. WARRIER

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