They are not eligible to teach in medical colleges

Doctors with postgraduate diplomas who are employed in government medical colleges are a disenchanted lot. With no opportunities for promotions in sight, they have been demanding revision of the promotion policy so that they too can start teaching in medical colleges.

The doctors who have diplomas are appointed as senior resident doctors in medical colleges and they retire with the same designation at the age of 70. Because they haven't obtained a postgraduate degree, they are denied promotion.

The All-India Association of Teaching Postgraduate Diploma Doctors has demanded that diploma holders get the opportunity to be promoted. G.P. Ramanath, faculty at Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences and an office-bearer of the association, said that the association had come into existence to fight for the rights of diploma holders.

According to Medical Council of India (MCI) norms, diploma holders cannot be promoted beyond the post of senior resident doctor. As per the norms, only those with a three-year postgraduate degree are eligible to become assistant professors, associate professors and professors.

Common test

Admission to postgraduate courses is through an entrance test. The test is common for both PG degree and PG diploma.

Ramanath, who has a diploma in anaesthesia, said that if he wanted to be promoted he had to appear for the entrance examination again.

“I have already acquired knowledge in the field of anaesthesia. But I am not sure of getting a chance to study the same in PG after appearing for the entrance test.

If I get a seat in some other discipline, my diploma will go to waste. Moreover, I have to spend another three years in college,” he said. The association has demanded that the MCI revise the promotion policy so that diploma holders also get promotions.

“The difference between the three-year PG course and two-year PG diploma course is not much.

Those who pursue the degree spend the last year in research. Except for that, both courses are by and large similar. We want the MCI to introduce a system wherein diploma holders are given an opportunity to do research for a year and be eligible for promotions,” said Poornachandra, senior resident doctor, HIMS.

The diploma holders are also crying foul because those who have a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery (BDS) are promoted to the post of assistant professor in medical colleges. Similarly, those with non-medical degrees such as MSc. employed in medical colleges are also eligible for promotions. “If BDS candidates can become assistant professors, why can't we,” asked Dr. Poornachandra.

“We will accept it even if we are asked to serve for more years than the PG-degree holders to get promotions,” he added.

If the change in policy occurs, it will benefit 22 teaching staff in HIMS and more than 900 faculty in the State.

Staff shortage

The government medical colleges, particularly new ones, have been facing acute shortage of staff.

According to a faculty member, who did not wish to be named, during MCI team inspections, the Medical Education Department transferred a few teaching staff from other medical colleges to HIMS only to show the strength. They were transferred back to their colleges immediately after the inspection was over.

“Such an exercise can be avoided if the transfer policy is revised so that more diploma holders see teaching in medical colleges as a good career opportunity,” he said.

  • As per MCI norms, diploma holders cannot be promoted beyond post of senior resident doctor

  • Only those with PG degree are eligible to become professors, assistant or associate professors