Internship in state must for medics with foreign degrees


KOCHI: From January 2018, medical degree holders from a foreign university would be required to do a one-year internship at a Medical Council of India-recognized institute in the country to make them eligible for medical practice in Kerala.

MCI doesn’t insist on internship in India. However, the Travancore Cochin Medical Council (TCMC), in its order on October 25, 2017, has made oneyear compulsory rotatory residential internship (CRRI) essential for those who seek TCMCpermanent registration from January 1, 2018. TCMC registration is essential to practice in Kerala.

This, TCMC registrar Bhadran S said, is because, most of them lack knowledge and experience about the Indian health condition.

“We also found that many do internship abroad in subjects that are not related to medicine, like literature or heritage. They are also not exposed to any of the training programmes of MCI and fall short when it comes to diagnosis of illness and treatment,” said TCMC member Dr V G Pradeep Kumar.

Every year, nearly 300 medical graduates with foreign university degrees approach TCMC for registration. So far they only needed to clear the mandatory Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) conducted by the National Board of Examination (NBE).

“MCI accepts internships done in foreign countries. However, since health is a state subject, TCMC can insist on internship here,” said MCI member Dr K Mohanan.

Sources said that in a recent council meeting, the members discussed how people with an ‘MD (physician)’ medical degree from Russia and Georgia, which is equivalent to MBBS in India, often creates confusion in the mind of the general public who mistakes them for a master’s degree (MD).

“To ensure that this doesn’t happen, it has been decided that they would be asked to place a board stating that their degree is equivalent to MBBS and also TCMC will issue a certificate to them stating the same,” said a member.
Also, the TCMC has asked hospital managements to ensure that their doctors are registered with the council, failing which action will be initiated them.

“The number of doctors with foreign degrees is increasing in the state. Their TCMC registration is verified before appointment in hospitals here. In few cases, they are appointed as “observership” (they can’t examine the patient) if they have failed to clear FMGE,” said IMA state secretary Dr N Sulphi.

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