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 Table of Contents 
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 507-508  

The leadership crisis in the medical profession in India: What's to blame?

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
2 Department of General and Laparoscopic Surgery, Sarvodaya Hospital, Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand, India

Date of Web Publication18-Oct-2016

Correspondence Address:
Viraat Harsh
Department of Neurosurgery, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Bariatu, Ranchi - 834 009, Jharkhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.192354

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How to cite this article:
Gupta U, Harsh V, Kumar A, Srivastava RP. The leadership crisis in the medical profession in India: What's to blame?. J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5:507-8

How to cite this URL:
Gupta U, Harsh V, Kumar A, Srivastava RP. The leadership crisis in the medical profession in India: What's to blame?. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Jun 24];5:507-8. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2016/5/2/507/192354

Dear Editor,

The article regarding leadership crisis of medical profession in India made for a very interesting read.[1] We strongly feel that the author's ideas about the crisis and its impact on health system call for towing of attention of policymakers to bring amendments in the system and carve their path back to following The Hippocrates Oath rather than preserving their position and status quo. Reform cannot be brought about in 1 day, and there is no denying that it is the young doctors that must take the challenge to amend the situation, they should be given the power to do so. Statutory bodies such as National Human Rights Commission and regulatory bodies such as Medical Council of India are already functional, yet the crisis prevails. If the young doctors need to bring reform, they need to be involved in the system at an early stage, and if posts for young doctors may not be reserved in such management bodies, they should at least be consulted before policy decisions are made. Failure might come in few steps of the new reform, but it has been rightly said, “those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly” by John F. Kennedy.

Not all leaders are born, given the right opportunity, some are made, and leadership is not only about power in our hands but also about our knowledge regarding the management taking place globally, the dynamics, culture, and health environment from where we can generate integrated ideas for our health system. This can be achieved by awareness and participation of doctors in international exchange programs.[2]

India's biggest resource - its youth are also depleted by the disproportion of available seats for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and Postgraduate (PG) studies in India. There are about 50,000 and 23,000 seats, respectively, for medical graduation and postgraduation because of which there is a massive loss of energy, resources, time, and intellect in a scavenging race to have a desired seat to pursue ones dreams, part of which could be a boon for the prevailing leadership crisis. Today, when every doctor strives to be a specialist some 27,000 doctors are left behind in the race in postgraduation entrance examinations but they continue to prepare for the examinations adding up to the existing competition from the previous years only to miss the dawn of their youth and the leader within. These 27,000 doctors absorb themselves for 365 days for 24 h directed toward preparing for the competitive examinations leading to the loss of precious 27,000 × 365 × 24 or 236,520,000 man-hours every year, which could have been utilized toward effective national health service. Considering this as a loss from 1 year alone, the actual loss is much higher. A small population doctors who prepare for 3–4 years at a stretch eventually lose most clinical skills, the most important tool in the armamentarium of a doctor. Most of these doctors join coaching institutes and do self-study for 12–14 h on an average trying to memorize data and facts which are asked in the PG entrance examinations of which a very noticeable downfall of PG entrance process is that the system eliminates the graduate students rather than selecting them and does not give justice to the hard work of more than 5 years.

The mushrooming of innumerable coaching institutes throughout the country is a living epitome of the failure of either the medical education or the postgraduation entrance examination pattern or both in India. If they were a success, there would not be the necessity of these coaching institutes, students would study what they had to practice and practice what they had studied, and be asked the same in the examinations. The disproportion between these leads to loss of millions of man-hours invested by trained and qualified doctors into memorizing examination material when they could have gone into service toward the society and country.

The tedious input of graduate student throughout the course of MBBS cannot be judged on a 1 day examination, instead the opportunity for specialization course should be on the basis of their curriculum from the very 1st day they enroll themselves. On several instances, the PG students tend to vacate a seat for another desired seat in a different department in the following year, leading to wastage of resources as there is no law to utilize the vacant seat in the following PG examinations. Formulating a governing body to constantly update the examination bodies about the vacancy will reduce the great loss of time and resources.

One would often witness young doctors with the spark of determination to reform the system, only to be hit back by it and the determination sheepishly fading away with a lack of awareness and opportunity to serve in statutory and regulatory bodies where they would have had the power to amend the system.

It is our humble request that the youth should be involved in the system with such opportunity and power which may help in changing the state of affairs as they exist today. We strongly believe that the young doctors can rightly fill up the vacuum of leadership and bring about a revolutionary reform that you have so justly discussed. The youth may not be the sole panacea but do make a valid answer to most questions pertaining to the existing leadership crisis in the medical profession in India.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kumar R. The leadership crisis of medical profession in India: Ongoing impact on the health system. J Family Med Prim Care 2015;4:159-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Harsh V. International clinical elective rotation: Value added education. Int J Stud Res 2014;4:54.  Back to cited text no. 2
  Medknow Journal  


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