Think Beyond Traditional Professional Courses
Gone are the days when a professional course meant a engineering, medical or law. Now the spotlight is on medical and dental courses widening to accommodate an array of health sciences that are in huge demand these days. With the government, multinationals and NGOs scooping up paramedical professionals, students are now making these innovative courses their first choices.
“The most popular bachelor’s course has to be the BSc in Allied Health Sciences which offers 11 different specialties in the Physicians’ Assistant programme.
The Bachelor’s in Audiology and Speech Pathology is also a hot favourite going by the demand for these professionals in the fields of music and special education,” said Dr Kalpana Balakrishnan, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health at Sri Ramachandra University here.
“Physicians’ Assistants are in great demand in the private sector, and I receive calls from hospitals that are even willing to take on interns from the field.
The shortage of junior doctors, who prefer to go in for higher studies, has led to a boom in the recruitment of PAs,” said Dr Philomena Mariadoss, dean of the Madras Medical Mission College of Health Sciences that started churning out PAs 16 years ago, after hospitals in the Middle East and USA began recruiting the professionals.
In hospital hierarchy, physicians’ assistants are just one step below doctors. They are trained to write case summaries, assess patients’ medical histories, interpret laboratory tests and also examine patients.
The BSc in Emergency and Trauma Care Technology is another popular course with immense scope in India and abroad. All the degrees are three-year courses, followed by one year of internship.
“Apart from being innovative, these courses ensure students good jobs. Other than in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centres, our students are also recruited by medical equipment companies like Siemens and Philips.
Diagnostic centres lap up laboratory technicians. Paramedics are also in demand for home healthcare to take care of elderly patients or children with special needs,” explained Dr Balakrishnan.