Friday 2 March 2018 2:31 AM UTC
By Jeevan Vipinachandran
Change is the one constant in the profession of medicine, as new technologies, techniques and practises are discovered and become used by all medical professionals, as mentioned in a February 12 2018 Economic Times newsletter.
The most recent significant change is the shift to regenerative medicine. This is an interesting new field where the body is empowered to heal itself through contemporary technologies.
Stand out examples of this include the use of stem cells, bio-engineering, 3D printing, computing and robotics. In short poorly functioning body parts can now be grown in dishes in the lab, opening the way for exciting and potentially revolutionary treatments.
According to Dr Anan Shetty, Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) ‘’a patient with arthritis would opt for hip and knee replacement. But these days we are teaching the surgeons to use cell technology without resorting to the use of metal and plastic.
Similarly in corneal injuries the earlier practise involved corneal transplants from cadavers, but in today’s world surgeons are being trained to grow the cornea through technological means using robotics and computing.’’
In the UK doctors normally take six years to complete their training to specialise in areas such urology, ophthalmology or regenerative medicine among other fields. However there is another option available.
A Masters in Surgery (MCh) offered at CCCU in otorhinolaryngology, orthopaedics and regenerative medicine, urology and ophthalmology, Indian doctors can pursue a one-year’s surgical degree in the UK, while doing their surgical training.
Indian doctors seeking admission to this course must have at least three years practise as a clinician under their belts, and an IELTS score of 7.5 to secure General Medical Council registration, which will allow international medical graduates to practise in the UK. IELTS is the Standard English language test for foreign workers.
However Dr Shetty acknowledges that there is an alternative route into the MCh degree, without needing GMC approval. This is where the ‘practioner would be allowed to gain admission at the university and enrol as an observer without being allowed to do any surgery and in that the clinician should have an IELTS score of 6.5.
The MCh in surgery with its four specialist surgical pathways is aimed at doctors who are at ST 1 level (basic Specialty Training level) and above and provides an added educational component for them while they are progressing in their surgical training,” he says.
One advantage of this course is that Indian clinicians traditionally need to take PLAB 1 and 2 exams (Professional & Linguistic Assessments Board exams to test the doctor on their professional and language skills prior to being allowed to work in the UK) which are conducted by the General Medical Council, this is not a requirement.
International graduates in medicine can gain GMC registration while studying at the university with support from the professors.
There are caveats. This medical course is very expensive. The tuition fee is £21,578 per annum. According to Dr Shetty upon conclusion of the course Indian origin doctors can go onto ‘super specialisation’ in the UK or return to India. Should they choose to return, they can join corporate hospitals to further their career.
Dr Shetty believes that Indian doctors are highly prized in the US and UK because they are ‘hardworking. …This is the reason 40 per cent of doctors in the UK are of Indian origin. As for doctors in India “they are talented but need to be uniformly trained”.
Jeevan Vipinachandran is a political analyst and writer, specialising in political violence and counter-terrorism. He graduated from LSE with a Masters in Comparative Politics: Conflict Studies.
He has written for the Conservative Party, Future Foreign Policy and the Times of Israel. Regular updates can be found on Twitter on @jeevanvc and www.jeevanvc.com. Jeevan also blogs on business development and holistic lifestyle growth at www.my-wise-owl.com.
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