Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 441-447

How can the postgraduate training program in pathology departments in India be improved?

Department of Pathology, St. George's University, School of Medicine, St. George's, Grenada, West Indies

Correspondence Address:
Shivayogi R Bhusnurmath
Department of Pathology, St. George's University, School of Medicine, Grenada
West Indies
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.85072

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There exists a wide variation in the competence of the postgraduate residents trained in pathology in different institutions across India. This results in strong disparities in the clinical diagnostic skills, teaching skills, research capabilities and the managerial skills of the graduates. The end users of this training, namely the community, clinicians and health care institutions would benefit from a more uniform and better trained pathologist. The article reviews the reasons for the variation in the quality of the training programs. The main deficiencies include, lack of well-defined criteria for recruitment of residents, training facilities, faculty resources, curriculum with well-defined learning objectives and competencies, hands-on experiences in diagnostic and research activities, diagnostic specimens and medical autopsies, exposure to molecular pathology, pathology informatics, electron microscopy, research experiences, communication skills, professional behavior and bioethics, business practices in pathology and quality assurance. There is also a lack of defined career tracks in various disciplines in laboratory medicine, standard protocols for evaluation and regional and national oversight of the programs. The steps for rectification should include defining the competencies and learning objectives, development of the curriculum including teaching methods, facilities and evaluation strategies, communication skills, professional behavior skills, teaching skills, legal aspects of practicing pathology and the various career pathways to subspecialties in pathology. The training should include defined exposure to molecular pathology, electron microscopy, quality control and assurance, laboratory accreditation, business aspects of pathology practice, review of literature, evidence-based medicine, medical autopsy and medical informatics. Efforts should be made to share human and laboratory resources between regional cooperation. The oversight and accreditation policies should be evolved and well-documented. Web-based platforms need to be developed for easy interaction among residents, faculty and administrators on a national level.

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