Lesser number of Doctors opting for super-specialty courses
Lesser number of Doctors opts to become surgeons: – As per the Health Ministry Data, the number of doctors opting to become doctors has decline. As per the reports, these days very less number of doctors are taking training to become surgeons whereas non-surgical courses such as cardiology, endocrinology, urology, nephrology and medical oncology have emerge as a big source of attraction for young health professionals.
According to health ministry data, 189 of the 2,029 seats in the super-specialty courses had no takers, according to data on candidates who cleared the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to such disciplines during the academic year 2018-19. Around 15,000 candidates took the entrance test in 2018-19, of which 10,143 qualified on a 50 percentile basis. Of the 189 unfilled seats, 168 seats belonged to the four main surgical disciplines of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery (CTVS), pediatric surgery, plastic surgery and neurosurgery. Even during the academic year 2017-18, 290 out of 571 seats that had no takers belonged to these four surgical disciplines.
Dr NN Mathur, Principal of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, New Delhi said that the trend is a largely market driven phenomenon. He also added that, an increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cancers has caused rising demand for endocrinologists, nephrologists and medical oncologists.
“Open heart surgeries have been replaced with stents to open vessel blockages. There’s more demand for interventionists as there are more patients there. Same goes for other disciplines. This trend is totally market driven,” added Dr Mathur.
“A decade ago, CTVS was chosen by doctors with high ranks in the qualifying exam, but over the past few years, those opting for it are the lowest rankers,” said Dr Mathur.
According to Dr VK Bahl, dean of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, attributes the shift to advances in treatment modalities.
Faculty members at medical colleges also agree that most surgical disciplines are no longer the first preference of candidates applying for super-specialty courses.
The health ministry is also considering restricting the number of seats available in surgical super-specialty courses in medical colleges. As per the Health ministry official, “There is a shortage of medical seats in the country, so there is no point in increasing seats in those disciplines that doctors are not interested in pursuing,”.