Third year resident students who are currently on covid duty got united across the country to demand the scrapping of their final exams. They also demand to be directly promoted as senior residents without attending any exams. These doctors are currently preoccupied in rendering their service to treat COVID-19 patients and help the country battle the second wave of coronavirus. Federations, organizations, and association all over India have stated that the COVID wards in hospitals are being functioned by postgraduate students in their final year. The same practise has been followed for more than a year while the country was suffering from the effects of the virus.
More than 8000 doctors and residents are currently suffering from extended services and an impending postponement of their final exams. Under these circumstances, the medical professionals are waiting for the government to acknowledge their services, efforts and contribution. After doing so, they must directly be awarded the post-graduate degree, promoting such doctors as senior-residents and subsequently, increase their pay-scale.
National Board of Education (NBE) on Tuesday, May 04, 2021, announced the extension of services of all DNB, FNB and DrNB trainees beyond their compulsory three-month extension. These trainees belong to the 2018 and 2019 batches and are currently, working as residents. They shall continue to do so till the time fresh batches are not admitted for the 2021 academic session or the NEET PG 2021 counselling session does not conclude.
Residents however, erupted in a fury after hearing this announcement. According to them, final exams for third-year residents were scheduled in May 2021 but were later pushed to June 2021. Authorities further postponed the exams for an indefinite period. Doctors do not want to stop working because of the current, troubling circumstances. However, they were at the forefront of the country’s fight against COVID and hence, their efforts must be recognised and respected by awarding them their degrees, a PG (dermatology) student from Vijaynagar institute of Medical Sciences, reiterated.
The residents, in their letter addressed to the Prime Minister, also stated that multiple post-graduate diploma students are expected to serve a tenure of two years. However, due to the pandemic, their service has been extended to three years. Such students are also suffering from the postponement of exams. Hence, they must also be considered equal to MD/MS students who have a compulsory tenure of three years.
Dr.Partha Bora, president of the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association India (FORDA) commented that the purpose of final exams is to evaluate the overall knowledge of students. However, students have already portrayed their competency by helping this nation battle the pandemic. Moreover, these exams require months of preparation time which have been interrupted and derailed by Covid duty.