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FRI0607 Rheumatology Training in India – A Reflection and Comparison with United Kingdom
  1. P. Das1,
  2. A. Moorthy2,
  3. B. Dharmanand3
  1. 1Rheumatology, Kettering general hospital, Kettering
  2. 2Rheumatology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, United Kingdom
  3. 3Rheumatology, Sakra World hospital, Bangalore, India


Background Indian subcontinent is one of the largest growing economy in the world.The burden of rheumatic musculoskeletal disease among Indian population is overwhelmimg.Clearly,there is a demand for specialist rheumatology work force in India.In this era of biologics and biosimilars,rheumatology is an attractive speciality among aspirant doctors.Our previous observational studies have explored and identified the strength and weakness in the rheumatology training programme in UK,Canada1 and South Asian countries2. We aim to explore the perception of rheumatology training among specialist and current trainees in India,and compare with UK training.

Objectives 1.To explore the perception of rheumatology training in India.

2.To identify the strength and weakness and the areas of improvement in training programme in India.

Methods This is an observational questionnaire based study. A pilot study was conducted with 32 questions during APLAR conference 2015 in India. The re-designed questionnaire was circulated electronically to rheumatology trainees across India through their training leads. Our survey was directed towards exploration of rheumatology curriculum including content, training and research opportunities and job prospect. The results were analysed through smart survey.

Results Total respondents were n=77, 16% (40/240)from UK and 49% (37/75) from India. There were female predominance (55%) in UK and male predominance (71%) in India. Noted a wide variation in application process, structure and duration of training. In India, training duration is 6 years (3 yrs in GIM and 3 yrs in rheumatology), whereas it is 5 years for combined and 4 years for pure rheumatology in UK.The national rheumatology curriculum was designed by JRCPTB in UK, but multiple regional syllabus were followed in India with lack of adherence to national curriculum.

Trainees from both countries received weekly institutional teaching. UK trainees received structured supervision for joint injections, whereas Indian trainees received more training for crystal identification and immunological studies. Fewer cross speciality clinics were practised in India. Less exposure to MSK ultrasound skills was noted among the trainees, however the concept of MSK Ultrasound was clearly evolving in India.

Postgraduate research programmes and opportunities were available in UK, whereas Indian trainees need to complete a formal supervised dissertation project as a part of postgraduate qualification.

Mandatory training for generic skills were lacking in India. Training records were maintained electronically in UK and by paper log book in India. Although speciality exit exam was mandatory in both countries, the format was different including MCQ based in UK and theoretical and practical based in UK.

Conclusions 1. This is the first study comparing rheumatology training between UK and India.

2. Lack of structured Curriculum and homogenous rheumatology training exist in India.

3. Harmonisation of rheumatology training in India is essential, matched with developed nations.

  1. Das P, Moorthy A, Maksymowych W, Pope J. A comparative study of rheumatology specialist training across UK and Canada. Ann Rheum Dis 2014;73(Suppl2): 802

  2. Das P, Moorthy A, Chapman P, Suresh E, Sakthiswary R. Comparative survey of rheumatology training including UK, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. Ann Rheum Dis 2013;72(Suppl3):1037

Disclosure of Interest None declared

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