Medical Education
The new syllabus is designed to include more curriculum on ethics and emphasizes patient-doctor communication skills as well.

For the first time in the past 21 years, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has decided to bring about a change in the MBBS curriculum.

The new syllabus, which will be introduced after much consideration, will incorporate more classes which will focus on mental health, public health, as well as on communication skills. The new course will also focus on counselling patients and their relatives about organ donation.

The new course will also have a set of ‘outcome-based’ classes including Attitude, Ethics, and Communication (AETCOM). AETCOM will be introduced to students right from their first year and aims to train students on how to communicate with patients and their relatives.

The new syllabus will also include a module on how to approach and counsel patients about organ donation and the benefits of the same, something which is not actively done at present.

MCI officials also believe that by exposing them to the various situations they may face as medical professionals from an early point of time, AETCOM will help avoid miscommunication between doctors and patients.

Students will also be taught about more mental health topics and will be trained on how to handle the same. In addition, a large emphasis will be placed on public health.

Students will also be evaluated on their ability to handle patient relations, with particular emphasis on how to handle sensitive subjects and situations as well as obtaining a patient’s consent. While students are only exposed to clinical learning from the second year of medical education, MCI believes that introducing such a syllabus from the first year itself will help solidify the foundation for students.

The revised syllabus is likely to be implemented from the next academic year, i.e. 2019. At the time of admission, the students will also have the option of selecting the subjects they are interested in.