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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Competency-based psychiatric education for Indian medical undergraduates

Sparsha, Bharathi Clinic, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication20-Jun-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vijayalakshmi Pernenkil
Sparsha, Bharathi Clinic, Vijayawada - 520 010, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AMH.AMH_10_19

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How to cite this article:
Pernenkil V. Competency-based psychiatric education for Indian medical undergraduates. Arch Ment Health 2019;20:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Pernenkil V. Competency-based psychiatric education for Indian medical undergraduates. Arch Ment Health [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Jan 29];20:1-2. Available from: https://www.amhonline.org/text.asp?2019/20/1/1/260769

The Medical Council of India (MCI) in an effort to sculpt an Indian Medical Graduate (IMG) having the same set of competencies all over India, while being locally and globally relevant, has rolled out an ambitious competency-based Curriculum Implementation Support Programme, this year. Several topics for each subject were selected, and a number of competencies were framed for each topic. Right now, it is training faculty through the nodal and regional centers, who will have to come to a consensus regarding the objectives for each competency, the teaching–learning method, and the assessment method to be used. The MCI after deliberations with the experts has also provided the levels at which the competency has to be gained. These levels are in accordance with the Miller's pyramid of clinical competence.[1]

The topics that have to be taught in psychiatry are 19 and the competencies are 117.[2] Most of the competencies are from the knowledge domain and a few are from the skill and attitude and ethics domains. Most of the competencies in terms of the Miller's pyramid are of the knows or know-how level. There are very few of the show-how level. That is, a lot of theory in psychiatry should be imparted in an interactive way, using small group teaching methodology and audio–visual aids. This should be done in the 20 lecture hours and 2-week posting in psychiatry that an undergraduate has to wade through.

Although there are no skills that require certification, there will be formative assessments to see whether the students have improved on the attitude domain. The students are supposed to exhibit rapport, breaking bad news and confidentiality in addition to history taking and mental status examination of all the common psychiatric disorders and family education for the caregivers. Another change is that the internal assessment marks will be furnished in the marks memo along with the university examination marks. The student has to secure a minimum of 50% to pass in either the internal or university examination. If the student fails in the internal examination, he/she has to be remediated by offering him/her another internal examination till such time that he/she clears the examination.

  Benefits Top

  1. It is more objective and standardized
  2. Assessment for learning is in the form of formative assessments
  3. Didactic lectures will be reduced
  4. More student-centric method of teaching will be introduced in the form of small groups
  5. Importance will be given to formative assessments by students.

  Disadvantages Top

  1. More trained faculty will be required
  2. The total number of remediation in internal assessment is not mentioned
  3. The student has to secure 35% marks in the internal examinations to be able to qualify for writing the university examinations, but he/she cannot be considered to have passed if he/she clears the university examinations but fails in the internals
  4. As the MCI has said that it will not come for inspections if the medical colleges do not follow the Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) framework, one wonders whether this will lead to more documentary evidence rather than actually following the curriculum
  5. As there are no certifiable skills, will the students be motivated to learn?

Only time will tell us about the feasibility of this curriculum. The MCI has prepared the CBME recipe after going through other Western recipes. Now, we have to implement it using our indigenous ingredients and make the end product – the IMG – a tasty dish. India being culturally so diverse, I am sure each region will add its own flavors.

  References Top

Available from: https://www.mciindia.org/CMS/information-desk/for-colleges/ug-curriculum. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 5].  Back to cited text no. 1
Wass V, Van der Vleuten C, Shatzer J, Jones R. Assessment of clinical competence. Lancet 2001;357:945-9.  Back to cited text no. 2


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