Bridging the Gap between Community and Cardiologists
Cardiovascular diseases are an emerging cause of morbidity and mortality in India. India produces less than 150 cardiologists annually leading to a gap between the need and availability of trained professionals. Three years cardiology training programme is available for post graduate doctors in conventional medical education system. Majority of the people living in rural/small town/district town of the country do not have any access to cardiac care because trained cardiologists are mostly concentrated in the metro or capital cities. To address this issue Indira Gandhi National Open University has designed and developed a two-year full time training programme in the area of non-invasive cardiology named Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Cardiology for medical graduates which is being offered through the open and distance learning mode. The objective of the programme is to train large number of medical graduates effectively to enable early recognition, management and prevention of common cardiovascular diseases. Learners have been given opportunity to train in different departments and posted in various areas like management of common cardiovascular diseases (6 months), ECG and Stress Testing (3 months), Echocardiography (3 months), ICU/CCU management (6 months), Paediatrics Cardiology (3 months), preventive cardiology (3 months) in this programme. Self learning materials, 33 video programmes (1260 minutes) and monthly live interactive teleconference (90 minutes) has been incorporated in this programme. Beside these, 50 theory counselling sessions, 25 guest lectures, seminars, journal club and case discussion has been taken care in every training center. Hands on skills training is provided to every learner as prescribed in this programme. The 72 credits programme is divided into 7 theory and 6 practical courses. Students need to pass in each course independently both in internal examination and term end examination. Minimum teacher-student ratio has been maintained strictly in both training and term end practical examination. The top most cardiac institutes/hospitals across the country have been identified as training centers as per the norms of the University. This programme has begun with 116 students in 16 training centers in 2006. 443 students have been enrolled in 67 training centres in 2013. More than 320 cardiologists are involved as academic counselors in this training programme. A total 1006 candidates have successfully completed their training and a many of them are providing services in small or district town of the country.
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