The directorate of medical education is likely to open a new medical college in Sivaganga this year, an institution that will admit 100 students to the first year of the MBBS course. However, as in most medical colleges in the state, the students may not have qualified professors in anatomy and forensic medicine. Under MCI guidelines, 41% of the class time for first year medicos is devoted to anatomy, which includes 350 hours of practical sessions and integrated learning. But state-run medical colleges in Tamil Nadu face a 30% shortage of teachers in anatomy. It's worse in forensic medicine, with the 17 government medical colleges having only half the number of teachers they need. "In some colleges in the south, students learn from specialists of other departments or learn by rote from textbooks," said a senior professor of anatomy. There is no teacher for forensic medicine in Government Medical College, Thanjavur, and Government Medical College, Trichy, he said. Officials of the directorate of medical education said government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu have only 57 anatomy teachers against the required 82. There are 23 forensic medicine teachers, including six in Chennai, in government medical colleges in the state. Senior doctors say the shortage of teachers is a problem that besets most medical colleges in India. They suggest that MCI should relax the rules and increase the number of postgraduate seats as a longterm plan to increase the number of professionals from which teachers can be drawn. As a short-term measure, they say, MCI should permit qualified teachers of other medical subjects to teach anatomy and forensic medicine. "Professors of general surgery, who are well trained in human anatomy, should be allowed to teach anatomy and professors of pathology should be allowed to teach forensic medicine," said Dr S Vinayagam, former director of medical education. "We have raised this point several times with the MCI, but it has never been open to the idea." The council's Undergraduate Education Working Group in 2011 looked at the problem of teacher shortage. The working group said departments like anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology and forensic medicine have a shortfall of 500-1,500 teachers. More colleges but too few teachers - The Times of India ____________________________________________ Seriously though, what kind of doctors is the govt expecting to produce anyway with this quality of education?