The Medical Council of India has made yoga and sports a compulsory part of the MBBS medical curriculum. The new regulations dictate that nearly 4% of all teaching hours need to be spent on the playing field or on extra-curricular activities.
The Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 2012 released by the MCI allot nearly 4% of the total teaching hours in the first two years of MBBS to sports and extracurricular activities including yoga.
‘Our medicos will no longer be dull boys. They will be able to unwind on the playground. We will teach students how they can stay healthy and fit by practising yoga and participating in sports,’ said a senior member of MCI. The MCI made it mandatory for students to undergo a two-month foundation course, which will include yoga and sports, at the beginning of the academic year.
Cultural programmes and sports has always been part of the academic curricula however under the new regulations 78 of the total 1,880 academic hours will be allotted to sport, extracurricular activities and yoga.
Sports experts say that medical colleges need to take physical education more seriously. “Most medical colleges have huge playgrounds that conform to national standards. If professionals are appointed as trainers, they can help students stay fit,” said Dr Madhu Thottappillil, consultant to BCCI.
Academicians have welcomed the decision. “It’s a good thing that students will not have only lessons once they enter medical college,” said Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University vice-chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan.
Medical students will also be taught about national health priorities and taught about national health priorities and policies, universal vaccinations, ethics, patient safety including cost of treatment, healthcare financing, language and interpersonal skills and use of information technology in healthcare services.
“India was the only country where ethics was not part of the medical curriculum. Our doctors should be on par with the best in the world,” said a senior MCI official.