Tag Archive: MBBS

A patient dies at the OT table. The doctors did what they could do. The head surgeon was good to follow the rules by the book while he carried out the surgery. He has no regrets. He did a good job. Other doctors agree. The operation was done “by the book”. But… the  patients is dead. And the relatives are furious. They want an answer from the doctors.. They hate the doctors. But it doesn’t matter… The doctor is right in his place. And the relatives are in theirs.. But the patient is dead.

Such is the case of NEET.. The lawyers, judges and the whole legal system did a good job. They did what they could do best.. Dramatic arguments. Flowery, nonsensical jargon. “Inevitable” delays. The judgment was long, but, sound and constitutional. Its just that the NEET was the patient, and we are the relatives..

I scurried through the long tedious judgment given by the “Honorable” judges.. All I could make out were as follows:

Religious and minorities are allowed to do whatever they want according to some Article 30. Take their own exams, choose their own students, according to their principles.. And when the question was asked, “To  what  extent  can  professional  education  be treated as a matter coming under minorities rights under Article 30”, respected Mr. Salve replied, “…  a  minority institution may have its own procedure and method of admission  as  well  as selection of students, but such a  procedure  would  have  to  be  fair  and transparent and  the  selection  of  students  in  professional  and  higher educational colleges should  be  on  the  basis  of  merit. The  procedure selected for admission by the minority institution ought not to  ignore  the merit of  students  for  admission  while  exercising  the  right  to  admit students by the colleges aforesaid, as in that event, the  institution  will fail to achieve  excellence. The  said  procedure  should  not  amount  to maladministration.” [point 25]

I found that line quite interesting (the one that I have highlighted in bold). It seemed to me that these judges and lawyers were immune to what was happening outside the Supreme Court..

 One more thing I noticed, although it might not be relevant to this, that most of the articles were cited from the constitution were amended or made eons ago.. 1956, 1964, 1976.. I saw one 1998-2000, but that was about the introduction of NEET, and, well, it is dead now.. Somehow makes me feel archaic.

Another point that caught my eye was Mr. Parasaran’s statement saying,  “the hard reality that emerges is that  private educational institutions are a necessity in the  present-day  circumstances. It is not possible today without them because  the  Governments  are  in  no position to meet the demand, particularly in  the  sectors  of  medical  and technical education, which call for substantial  investments  and  expenses. Mr. Parasaran submitted that  the  impugned  Regulations  were  not  in  the national interest and would only discourage good private institutions  being established by people dedicated to the cause of  providing  health  care  to all sections of the  citizens  of  this  country  and,  in  particular,  the marginalized sections in the metropolitan and rural areas.”[point 56]

Again, I highlighted the points that interested me. Think of it, and you know how pathetic it is. It’s inevitable that private companies work on profit, and high fees. Since Government has failed to fund the most important part of a country, it’s health system.. I have watched respected Dr. Gulati express his concerns on the issue of privatization of healthcare as a primary cause of all the corruption ever since his appearance on Satyamev Jayate, a show that was hosted by Mr. Aamir Khan. But, I don’t see anybody paying much heed to that..

Relevant to this I would also like to quote an article titled “Amartya Sen: India’s dirty fighter“. In it was written the following lines, “.. [Sen and Drèze] argue that India’s overriding preoccupation with economic growth makes no sense without recognizing that human development depends on how that wealth is used and distributed. What’s the purpose of a development model that produces luxury shopping malls rather than sanitation systems that ensure millions of healthy lives, ask Drèze and Sen, accusing India of “unaimed opulence”. India is caught in the absurd paradox of people having mobile phones but no toilets.”

I tried to look for the Financial aspect of the Healthcare and I was amazed to find the data (which I have put in my post “Health in India“. And I am sure that anybody would be shocked to look at the data. Just 1% of GDP invested by Government on health..

And then again, I was also wondering if Mr. Parasaran was talking about these private medical colleges, when he talked about discouraging “good private institutions”..

Inflation and corruption are inherent to a Monetary Based Economy, thus the whole fight seems pointless when seen from that vantage point. To most of us NEET had a promise of something good, but it now has been destroyed under the religious and minority humbug. But that’s fine by me. I mean, even they have their freedom, according to Article 30, or whatever. And using that as a cover, the corrupt private colleges will continue to do all the “business” they have been doing for so long.. And that would of course mean less of students getting selected by merit.. And one may ask, “how is that fair??!!” And the eloquent answer would be, “who said life would be fair!”

And there’s this another argument that MCI is not the proper body to be conducting the exam, because the only things that an MCI can do…..well, are things that it doesn’t do properly anyways, so of course carrying out one unified exam would be asking too much of it. MCI has had a past, with all those private colleges scams, director arrested, etc… So now when MCI wants to do something good, they are not being allowed to. So who is going to conduct the exam? That question stays unanswered..

I agree to one thing though. One cannot remove a faulty system and install another faulty system instead.. NEET may have been a good concept, but the pattern of the exam and the selection process was not proper.. Although people may argue that even CAT and USMLE exams are taken in such a way, but it must be noted that USMLE has 3 steps and CAT has the interviews.. Even these guys don’t solely depend on just the exam. So, NEET is just a half copied, incomplete pattern, for a proper merit based exam, per se..

And there’s another set of arguments that exams on different days may cause a different in markings and thus inappropriate rankings.. Tougher questions on a day may lead to a worse rank and easier on others may lead to better ranks.. This, I think, is a myth. Even USMLE, CAT, Manipal, and many others follow this pattern of online exam.. The Scaling is a bit complicated than one might usually think. Of course, considering the weakness in Mathematics (for most who had opted for bio), statistics could be bothering.. But a look at how CAT does the scoring, perhaps, may give one an idea at the complexity. I remember some even went out to do a survey with the DNB results to find out a co-relation, and never came out with any positive result.. Even I have been a bit skeptic about this method, but Mathematics, I know, is a strong tool, and can prevent any bias by proper use of statistics.. As they say, you are always afraid of what is unknown or incomprehensible to you. I have my faith with mathematics, and I happily let go off the paranoia now. But, like said before, the exam alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Another argument is what if we miss the day of the exam, there’s no other exam if that exam is missed due to unavoidable circumstances.. Well, I guess the answer to that would be a provision to take the exam on another day, provided valid reasons are put, etc.. But then again these are methods of correcting the NEET system.. These arguments, which SHOULD have been a part of the case, were not. Because the case was about religious and minorities fighting for their freedom and saying how India secularism, unlike American secularism is a “bowl of salad and not a melting pot”.

Of course there’s a set of questions I’d like to ask..

Court in 2010 had announced that NEET will take place around 2011. But then AIIMS said they won’t be able to conduct the test, it was postponed to 2012. Where were these private and minority institutes then? Why hadn’t they put their case then and there? Why wait till the completion of the exam in Nov 2012!!?? And if they had made the case in early 2012, why had the case been transferred and delayed till December 2012? What were they waiting for? Why harass the students? What was the actual motive behind all this hullabaloo?  Economic growth, was it? Empty Swiss accounts probably?

As a medical student, all I want is a fair exam and admission to an institution, private or government, for my higher education. And most would agree with me here. Even if the old system prevails of AIPGMEE and state exams, and each of them had a transparent process of examination and admission, no one would have any problem whatsoever. Its this deficiency of a transparent system at the state and private exam level that has caused this uproar from our side at least, that’s what I believe. It’s true that India faces a shortage of doctors, but how does one solve that issue? Such cases and harassment just make medical students like us wish we just get out of this country, furthermore adding to the deficit. And the quality of medical education just goes down day by day, making us inefficient doctors..

Nonetheless, hoping for a better future.

Peace and out.

Related Link:

NEET: Govt may file review plea

Health in India

Hello party people! 😀

Let me tell you a story to chill the bones and it’s not the song Dance of the Death by Iron Maiden.. 😀

Recently, a sting operation had uncovered the selling of medical post graduate seats in India. Can you believe that? I was quite shocked.. No, not because I came to know this for the first time that seats were being sold, but that the price they were being sold at, and that seat bookings were done for the future as far as 2016!!

CNN-IBN covered it live the other day.. These guys went in with a camera and asked these hospital people if they could get a seat in PG in their college. And these guys happily told them that they could get whatever they wanted.. Every department had their rate like some Continental Restaurant Menu card! Pediatrics, Radiology, Medicine, Surgery, etc.. Up to ₹2 crores!! 2 freaking crores.. 2,00,00,000!! That is ₹20million!! Approximately US$ 363,899! Donno what they’d be serving for desserts though! And that’s for one seat.. And then perhaps there’s some provision for early bird prizes, too! I mean bookings have be done for seats up till 2016!! Advanced booking… Something like a pre-release sale or something. Can you imagine how lucrative this business of seat selling is? And the best thing is that they won’t give a receipt.. So it’s tax free!! 😀

And then there was a lot of heated arguments of what the problem is.. And I think the problem comes to just few of the following very important things:

  • Doctor-Patient Ratio: India has an abysmal, to say the least, Doctor-Patient ratio. In my last post titled “Satyamev Jayate” I had given the data of how for every doctor there is 1953 patients in India as of 2012. Thus, the number of doctors are very less..
  • Medical Institutes: The number of Medical institutes are very less. There are 355 Medical Colleges in India.. Out of which 161 are Government colleges and 194 are Private colleges.. With even full turnover of doctors at 44250 doctors per year from these 355 colleges      the doctor patient ratio wont come down enough.. But that of course never happens..
  • Expenditure on Health: The % of GDP used in health services in India is 3.9% as of 2011!

%GDP expenditure on Health (total)

 And Government just uses 1% of GDP in health services.

%GDP expenditure on Health by Government

 The above 2 tables show the data compared to some other countries..

Now why won’t there be corruption!

Every student after completing their MBBS want to get into an MD/MS/Diploma course.. The total number of seats are 21282.. So, of the 44250 MBBS students per year, only 21282 students get into a post graduate course! Not even 50%!! And the expenditure on health by India is also very low!

What can be the solution to the problem?

Increase the number of medical colleges. Increase the number of post graduate seats. Increase the expenditure on health..

And in India it is mostly seen that the private colleges are profit driven and thus are corrupt.. India needs to open more and more government colleges. Indian government should increase their %GDP expenditure on health from a meager 1.2% to somewhere around 6%. Is it asking much?

Right now this fight for getting into a post graduate degree is causing all the corruption.. Like it’s said, Scarcity increases profits.. Make seats abundant, there’d be less corruption. No chance for making profits.. And moreover when the expenditure on Health will be increased, Institutes won’t be bankrupt to think about profits through illegal means!

And after that, even the education system needs to be polished, so that good doctors are produced..

Hoping for a better future..

[Sources: WHO and MCI websites]

6 Years

Happiness knew no bounds
When I got selected in PMT
With hopes of becoming a doctor
Started for a new life in a new city

New place, new faces
It was time to get acquainted
Cadaver, my first acquaintance
And I nearly fainted!

First Prof, mistaken as a soft breeze
Turned out to be a hurricane
Just three subjects
Which equally drove us insane!

Anatomy was all about artery, veins, nerve,
Organs, bones and muscle
No matter how much you learnt ’em
They seemed like a never ending puzzle.

Biochemistry was a mystery
I don’t understand it still
Complex chemical reactions never my cup of tea
It never was, it never will.

Physiology interested me a bit though
‘Cause of the logic that it followed
Nevertheless, it was too huge an entity
Too huge to be swallowed.

But I wont forget those beautiful days
New friendships blooming through
After-college parties and hangouts
And, of course, those midnight movies too.

Second Prof, infamously called
“The Honeymoon Period of MBBS”
Donno about honey and moon
But I was definitely a mess.

Pathology was all about diseases
And a lot of microscopic work
With half the microscopes not working properly
All I did was lurk in the murk.

Pharmacology was just medicines
Drug names and all
But I acquired dyslexia
When it came to chlorpheniramine and chloramphenicol!

Microbiology was anything but micro
So many of those invisible ones
What I can’t see, doesn’t exist for me
Enough said and done!

Forensic sounded interesting
I thought it’d be exciting
But all I learnt, that for proof in an MLC
You have to have it in writing!

But apart from studies there were better things
Like badminton, cricket and basketball
Not to forget, PULSE at AIIMS
And of course the College Carnival!

Playing the guitar, started a band
The first one in our college ever
We called ourselves the Raging Rockers
Most famous for our ‘Aadat’ endeavor.

With Third Prof Part One started clinical subjects
Call it the beginning of final lap
Even those who had barely started studying
It was time to start studying ASAP!

Preventive and Social Medicine
Even the name makes you shiver, u know?
Just programs, facts and definitions
I wonder who defined WHO!?

Otorhinolaryngology, though a never ending name
The syllabus was comparatively shorter, I’d say
‘Cause even I could complete
More than 2 chapters in a day!

Ophthalmology, was fine
It was about the eye
Although syllabus was tough
But not bad enough to make you die.

Friendship grew to different heights
Some romantic, and some as study partners
The lower ranks became obedient disciples
While the higher ranks attained the role of masters.

Third Prof Part Two, the worst nightmare
Very aptly named
Everybody lost their mind
And no one was to be blamed

The number of subjects, I’ve lost count
The syllabus for each was equally vast
But to complete the whole thing in just a year!
Impossible! Time went by devilishly fast!

For simplicity the subjects were divided into major and minor
As if THAT was gonna help
But after all ’twas the Grand Finale
And we felt one step closer to hell!

Medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology,
Orthopedics, dermatology, anesthesia, psychiatry
Radiology, oncology, the list endless
If I missed any, I’m sorry!

But still amidst all the commotion
We found our moments of happiness
Those parties, movies, lecture bunks, those friendly hugs
And those soft gentle caress.

Internship was a breeze, it really was
Most spent their time studying in library
Also included frequent visits to the hospital
But that wasn’t too scary.

Entrance exams for higher studies
With all those weird looking MCQs
Those who got selected chose departments
According to the ranks they were let to choose.

Realization dawns, college is over
And friends leaving town
The final goodbyes, the last minute hugs
Strained smiles hiding tender frown.

Sitting in this empty room
Even my roommate’s now gone
Just books scattered everywhere
I feel miserably alone.

6 years ago it was a new city,
Starting of a new life
A lot has changed since that time
‘Twas a summer of 2005.

As mixed emotions of sadness and joy fill my heart
Everything that happened here will be more than just a cherished memory
Soon it’ll be time for even me to leave
To start again, a new life in a new city.

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