Beyond MBBS

An MBBS degree is not the only way to enter the medicare industry. Here are some courses that help you pursue a career in healthcare.

May 13, 2014 04:26 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 12:46 pm IST

Securing medical admissions has always been tough especially with only a few seats available in top institutions. But if one has an interest in medicine and wants to serve in this field, an MBBS degree need not be the only way to go about it. There are a number of peripheral roles in the healthcare industry for which there is high demand but not enough competent people. Frontier Mediville, founded by Dr K.M. Cherian, is a medical science park offering interesting undergraduate and diploma courses that help one find work in the healthcare industry.

According to Sandhya Cherian, vice-president, Frontier Mediville, “The idea was to carry out research in order to reduce the cost of our surgeries, especially where we have to import consumables/disposables. Dr. Cherian thus decided to develop indigenous products for surgeries.” She says this process led to the idea of getting some students involved, who were interested in this line.

Physician Assistant

One of the most sought after courses is B.Sc. Physician Assistant. The course, started by Dr K.M. Cherian, in 1987, is the first of its kind. Ms Sandhya says, “In this course, students are trained to assist the surgeons.”

“A surgeon may not be present in the theatre right from the start to the end. The PAs help them so that the surgeons can focus only on doing the most important part of the procedure. This way we can save on the cost and at the same time provide employment.” As part of this course, students have to do a two-semester internship to complete the course.

On the scope and career opportunities, Ms.Sandhya says, “This is a job-oriented course. Many of our students are working abroad. As soon as they finish the course, the cream of the crowd is absorbed in our hospital. The demand for these people is so high that these students are absorbed in any healthcare setting.”

“There is scope for pursuing higher studies such as Master’s or Ph.D, and the demand is good both at home and abroad.”

Another popular course is diploma in stem cell and tissue engineering technology. With stem cell technology rapidly expanding, this course provides the necessary training to pursue a career in this field with focus on aspects like stem cell biology, cell culture, tissue engineering and so on. Ms. Sandhya says, “We have done the maximum number of stem cell implants in the country. So there is hands-on training for students to observe the process, where we multiply the cells and send it to the hospital.”

Some of the other sought-after UG courses are B.Sc. programmes in cardiac care technology and the cardio pulmonary and perfusion care technology.

The former focuses on the work done in the cath lab assisting the cardiologists. Ms. Sandhya says, “The course is basically on imaging to detect the blocks, and students are taught how to do go about this process. On completing this course, students will be eligible for jobs in hospitals as qualified personnel for cardiac care.” As part of this course, students will have to do a clinical internship in their final semester.

Perfusion technologists play an important role in open-heart operations in operating the heart-lung machine and other sophisticated equipment used in the operating room. There is immense scope for this course, and students who graduate with cardio-pulmonary and perfusion-care technology are sought after in hospitals affiliated with large medical centres. There is scope for becoming a teacher or researcher in educational institutions.

The institution is affiliated to The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, University of Madras and Pondicherry University.

Students should have minimum 60 per cent marks preferably with biology as one of their subjects. After the screening process, students will have to take an entrance examination followed by a personal interview to secure an admission. Ms. Sandhya says, “Apart from good academic achievements, students must have good communication skills, as these are vital when interacting with patients.” The intake for most of the courses is around 20.

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