Medicos flash fancy degree sans permit

'Diabetology' has no approval from MCI Some institutes charge from `60,000 to `1 lakh for one-year diab- etology course.These courses offer no practical knowledge. The Andhra Pradesh Medical Council has taken objection to displaying of medical degrees like diabetology, as it is not a course recognised by the Medical Council of India.

With AP being described as the diabetes capital, a display of this fancy degree is misleading. The council has found that a large number of doctors, along with their statutory degrees, are displaying extra qualifications and fleecing gullible patients.

"When their practice dips, doctors are found to be putting up extra degrees, of which diabetology is a common one. An additional degree makes the patients feel that they are going to a specialist in their neighbourhood," said APMC chairman Dr E.Ravinder Reddy. One out of 10 doctors in every lane is found to have attached the diabetology degree to their qualifications, a survey by the council said.

While the MCI does not recognise it, the APMC insists it must not be displayed. "They can write a diabetic clinic to attract patients, but mention of the degree is very misleading," said Dr Reddy.

A diabetology course is offered by Indira Gandhi Open University and also other universities in the country, but there is a dispute between them and the MCI. While universities argue that single specialist courses are required due to the high prevalence of the disease, MCI argues that endocrinologists can treat the patients. The dispute has left loopholes that are exploited both by institutions and doctors. The institutions charge from 60,000 to 1 lakh for a oneyear course online. A degree is awarded, but there is no practical knowledge.

"The government hospitals are flooded with patients suffering from diabetes. A course is required, but in a government-teaching hospital," said a government doctor.

Every day, Gandhi Hospital sees over 100 diabetic patients, Osmania General Hospital over 250 patients and NIIMS sees over 200 patients. "This shows that we do require young doctors to treat and also research on the subject," said Dr Srinivas K.Rao, who has diabetologist on his display board at A.S. Rao Nagar. He insists that display of terminology must not be objected as it is a clear indication to the patients that the treatment is for diabetes.
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