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The Medical Council of India (MCI) plans to incorporate “medical professionalism” under the revised MBBS curriculum. As per an MCI note, “Medical ethics and professionalism forms the basis of contact between doctors and society.” MCI’s under graduate education working group, headed by Professor George Mathew, principal of Christian Medical College in Vellore, has strongly recommended its introduction. Professor Mathew told TOI, “The details are being finalised. We will formally introduce medical ethics in the curriculum.”

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Professor Sandeep Guleria, professor of surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and a member of the working group, added, “We will formally introduce lectures on medical ethics and professionalism under the new MBBS curriculum.” According to Dr Sita Naik, member of MCI’s governing body, the present MBBS curriculum is very subject-specific. Ethics are not being taught because they don’t come under any particular subject.

“Today, there are a lot of issues revolving around ethics—unethical drug trials, unethical organ donations, pharma-doctor nexus and over prescription of drugs. Hence, would-be doctors should be formally exposed to ethical problems,” Dr Naik said. According to Dr Naik, the biggest challenge faced by doctors is drug prescription. They have to be taught how not to be “influenced by drug companies and make unbiased decisions.”