Madras Medical Mission start a course in M.Sc. Clinical Nutrition

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Madras Medical Mission start a course in M.Sc. Clinical Nutrition

Madras Medical Mission (MMM) has proposed to start a course in M.Sc. Clinical Nutrition that will be recognised by Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore.

The two-year programme commences in July, and already, 11 students have enrolled, says Philomena Mariados, Dean, MMM Academy of Medical Sciences.

The new course is in addition to several others that the institution conducts. Among other well-received courses are the B.Sc. programme in Physician Assistant and M.Sc. Medical Sociology.

The Physician Assistant course is a four-year programme in which the fourth year is devoted to internship. The course trains students to carry out preliminary investigation and direct a provisional diagnosis before sending the patient to the doctor.

The PAs function as doctors without licence and are placed in all departments in a hospital.

“The concept is based on the barefoot doctors of China in the 1960s. The programme was started in collaboration with BITS-Pilani in 1994 and almost 300 students have graduated so far.

Though technically the fourth year is the period of internship, placements are offered in the third year itself as there is much demand for the PAs,” says Dr. Philomena.

An average student can expect a minimum of Rs.8,000 a month and can be placed in the out-patient department, or learn to operate the ECG or treadmill. A student who finds placement as surgeon assistant in a prime position can earn about Rs.25,000 a month, she says.

Recently Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University recognised the M.Sc. Medical Sociology course conducted by the institution. Started as a diploma programme, it was later converted into a postgraduate diploma course.

With the World Health Organisation stipulating that all projects should have a medical sociologist these graduates have a number of avenues to explore. They get placed as organ transplant coordinators, conduct epidemiology studies, or are employed in malaria and tuberculosis research centres.

The graduates find jobs as social scientists or in community medicine departments.

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