Published on: March 18, 2019

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has now added the missing link. It has included palliative care in undergraduate medical curriculum as part of its new AETCOM (Attitude, Ethics and Communication) module. Please see

We call it the missing link for a reason.

Though the Government of India had created the National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) in 2012 and though the Indian Parliament amended the draconian NDPS Act in 2014, all that had little impact because medical students were still not learning palliative care and were qualifying without seeing or learning pain management, leave alone all aspects of palliation.

Now we can fly!

And fly, we will.

Thank you, Professor Naveen Salins, head of Palliative Medicine of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), for gifting us your analysis of the AETCOM module, indicating which disciplines the various aspects of palliative care will be taught in. Precious work! As usual, you combine brain power with sheer painstaking hard work. Your work is a great gift to our country.

3 responses to “Medical Council of India includes palliative care in undergraduate medical education”

  1. Dinesh Kumar says:

    Though the news sounds great, its just a silver lining. The module is available for last 2 years. The module will focus only on communication skills and Ethics. Though it is a good beginning, being part of a Nodal Centre for Medical Education, I still doubt the implementation of module in true spirit. Though MCI will start the implementation from this academic year. However it does provide an excellent window of opportunity for palliative care champions especially those associated with medical colleges to introduce concepts of palliative care to our colleagues and students, while administering the modules as most of the content is related to palliative care communication. We can use the excellent case studies to bring in concepts of palliative care. Also the module provides for self directed learning opportunities, these can also be used optimally to provide the missing concepts. Overall great opportunity.

  2. Ravi says:

    See PALLIATIVE SPECIALITY needs tremendous involvement of doctors themselves before preaching students.
    I have graduated in 1968 .postgraduate 1972 and went on to become professor and department of surgery
    Have you ever surveyed terminally ill patients indoors
    And opd.

    u your self would realise the present situation and problem

    Sincere supervision of all such centres meticulously to see that terminally ill patients who are at receiving end of life ARE GIVEN THE BEST SEND OFF FROM THIS WORLD



  3. Dr Ravi Prasad Varma says:

    The move is definitely very positive. Of course, these domains are not limited to palliative care alone and extend to curative treatments, surgeries, vaccinations, lifestyle modifications and health promotion – but, as such, palliative care based case studies blend into these themes of attitude, ethics and communication seamlessly.

    It is now up to institutions and individuals to use this opportunity to the best extent possible. I know of several persons trying develop teaching programmes with a difference – this approval document will definitely help teachers make a point on curriculum updating and innovative teaching methods in intra- and inter-departmental meetings.

    Today’s students are tomorrow’s teachers. With around 50000 students graduating each year what we need are doctors with a difference rather more doctors. Even 0.1% change will be great – we will get 50 doctors who think differently each year – that will be 500 in 10 years in different specialities, some of them teachers – enough to take things to the next level.