New Delhi: In a breather to all final year PG medicos, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has allowed an exemption on the completion of ‘Online Course in Research Methods’ for appearing in the final PG examinations 2022.
Granting exemption, the NMC has permitted all PG medicos who could not complete the Online Course in Research Methods to appear in the final examinations in 2022. However, the NMC has imposed a rider on this allowance and has mandated that all such medicos will have to complete the Online Course in Research Methods within six months. The result of such students will only be declared after completion of the online course.
The notification to this effect issued under the authority of Aujender Singh, Deputy Secretary at the NMC, clarifies the eligibility of the final year PG medical students (2019-20 session) without completing the Online Course in Research Methods for appearing in final exams this year of PG medical Programmes.
In 2019, the Board of Governors in supersession of the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI BoG) had stipulated that all postgraduate students admitted from the academic year 2019-20 onwards shall complete an online course in Research Methods, which is essential for appearing for the final examination of the respective postgraduate courses.
On the matter, the NMC’s Postgraduate Medical Education Board, PGMEB received a number of representations from various medical institutes as well as PG students seeking exemption from completing the ‘Online Course in Research Methods’.
Therefore, after examining the issue, the board has come to the decision of allowing students who could not complete the course to appear in the final examinations. However, imposing a rider on the said exemption, the NMC has directed that such medicos will have to complete the Online Course in Research Methods within six months for which the Dean will facilitate in registration of the course and the result of such students will be declared after completion of the course.
The NMC notification stated:
The matter has been examined in the meeting of Post Graduate Medical Education Board and the following has been decided:-
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that In order to improve the research skills of postgraduate (MD/MS) students and medical teachers, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has recommended a uniform research methodology course across the country. The online course, “Basic Course in Bio-medical Research”, is be offered by ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology (ICMR-NIE), Chennai. The course will explain fundamental concepts in research methodology. This course is being offered through SWAYAM programme of Ministry of Education through SWAYAM NPTEL.
“Evidence-based medicine is an integral part of medical practice today and facilitates providing medical practitioners with the best available evidence for health care. To comprehend the evidence published in biomedical literature, doctors need to have an understanding of research methods and its principles,”, the NMC stated.
The details of the course are as follows:-
For Postgraduate Medical Students: Acquiring competency in research methods is an integral part of postgraduate medical training in the country. To ensure that postgraduate medical students acquire the necessary skills, the Board of Governors in supersession of the erstwhile Medical Council of India notified amendments to the Postgraduate Medical Regulations on 11.12.2019 making it mandatory for all postgraduate students to complete an online course in Research Methods to be conducted by designated Institution(s) by the end of the 2nd semester of their course.
For Medical Teachers: Medical teachers have the responsibility of mentoring and training medical students and also carrying out research work and publishing their work as part of their academic pursuit. It is equally important that they too acquire these research skills. To ensure faculty can become competent to train medical students and improve their research capacity, amendments were made to “Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations” on 12.02.2020 making it essential for medical teachers to have completed the Basic course in Biomedical Research from designated Institution(s) for their promotions to various teaching designations.
The Designated Course:
1. The National Institute of Epidemiology of the India Council of Medical Research is the designated institution for the conduct of the ONLINE research methods course for postgraduate students and medical teachers in India.
2. The course allows a flexible time for the participants to register and start the course. However, the course completion requires the participants to appear for an online offsite examination, the timings of which would be notified by the designated institution on their portal from time to time.
3. An online e-certificate would be generated on successful completion of the course and examination. ONLY this document will be accepted as proof of completion of the course.
4. The course schedule, course content, qualifying criteria, registration process and examination details would be available on the website of the designated institution (http://nie.gov.in/niecer/bcbr/index.htm). A link for the same is also provided on the NMC website.
The course includes topics covering conceptualization of a research study, epidemiological and bio-statistical considerations in designing a research study, planning and conducting a research study, writing a research protocol and publication ethics (Course syllabus given below). The learning materials will include video lectures, presentation slides, reading materials and assignments.
Enrolment for the course
The course will be available on the website https://swayam.gov.in The above link will be made available in home pages of NMC (https://www.nmc.org.in/) and ICMR-NIE (http://nie.gov.in/niecer/bcbr/index.htm). Candidates should enroll for the course when the enrolment is open for each cycle.
The course is self-paced, and the assignments should be completed within 16 weeks of start of enrolment (before the deadline given in the course page at http://nie.gov.in/niecer/bcbr/index.htm).
Each lecture will have online assignments consisting of 10 Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs). A minimum of 50% in total assignment score is essential to register for the examination. The total assignment score will be released after the submission deadline.
Final proctored examination
Those found eligible (≥50% in aggregated assignment score) can register for the final proctored exam. The registration link for final proctored examinations will open after the assignment submission deadline. Eligible candidates will need to fill-up an online form and pay examination fees of Rs. 1000 online. The list of examination centres will be made available at the time of registration for the examination.
The final proctored computer-based examination will be conducted at designated centres in selected cities across the country and will comprise of 100 MCQs.
Candidates will be provided an e-Certificate only if s/he scores at least 50% in the final proctored examination.
Successful candidates will get an e-Certificate with the name, photograph and the scores obtained. The e-Certificate will depict the ‘Final score’ comprising the total assignment score (25% weightage) and the proctored examination score (75% weightage). It will be e-verifiable at a designated web address. No hard copies will be issued.
Candidates will be considered ‘Ineligible’ to register for the proctored examination if they score < 50% in total assignment score. They will have an option of re-enrolment for the course in the next cycle (Refer to important dates at http://nie.gov.in/niecer/bcbr/index.htm).
Candidates who score <50% in the proctored examination (but have scored > 50% in total assignment score) have to re-register for the proctored examination in the next cycle (Refer to important dates at http://nie.gov.in/niecer/bcbr/index.htm).
Course Co-ordination Committee
Dr Siddarth Ramji (MAMC, New Delhi), Dr Shally Awasthi (KGMC, Lucknow), Dr M. Jeeva Sankar (AIIMS, New Delhi) and Dr Manoj V Murhekar (Director, ICMR-NIE, Chennai)
1. Conceptualizing a research study
4. Planning a research study
1. Introduction to health research
2. Formulating research question, hypothesis & objectives
3. Literature review
1. Selection of study population
2. Study plan and project management
3. Designing data collection tools
4. Principles of data collection
5. Data management
6. Overview of data analysis
2. Epidemiological considerations in designing a research study
5. Conducting a research study
1. Measures of disease frequency
2. Descriptive study designs
3. Analytical study designs
4. Experimental study designs: Clinical trials
5. Validity of epidemiological studies
6. Qualitative research methods: An overview
1. Ethical framework for health research
2. Conducting clinical trials
3. Bio-statistical considerations in designing a research study
6. Writing a research protocol
1. Measurement of study variable
2. Sampling methods
3. Calculating sample size and power
1. Preparing a concept paper for research projects
2. Elements of a protocol for research studies
1. Publication ethics
Send queries to the course email or call 044-26136422 (10 am to 5 pm on working days).
Updated details regarding the current course cycle and important dates about the latest cycle can be obtained from the website http://nie.gov.in/niecer/bcbr/index.html