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For first time in India, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh, India’s premiere medical institute and also Institute of National Importance, is introducing a new 3 years degree course on Medical and Scientific Photography / Imaging under Department of Clinical Photography. The course will commence from September 2017 to teach various photographic applications in medical science along with digital Illustrations, medical animation and developing audiovisual content for patient care, medical education and research. In this B.Sc. course, named “Medical Animation & Audiovisual Creation”, students will also learn the basics of medical subjects like anatomy, physiology, pathology etc. for better understanding and communication. The 3-year degree course will have 15 seats, among which 10 students will be selected from a national entrance exam and rest 5 seats are reserved for sponsored candidates and foreign nationals. The national entrance examination will be held on 20-Aug-2017 at 10am at PGI Chandigarh and the result will be declared on 21-Aug-2017. This is the only course of its kind in entire Asia.

Brief overview about the course:

Eligibility: 10+2 (any stream) | Total seats: 15 (Gen – 5, SC – 2, OBC – 3, Sponsored – 3, Foreign nationals – 2) | Duration: 3 years | Session: September 2017.

To know more about the course, interested candidates / aspiring photographers can download the prospectus from here or here (Page 4, Sl. No. 7) and this is the link to get registered for the entrance examination.

WHAT: THE BACKGROUND

Medical and scientific photography/imaging is a specialized area of photography/imaging that concerns itself to produce accurate and objective scientific images/Illustrations of clinical presentation of patients, medical and surgical procedures for patient care, medical education and research. Simultaneously, medical animation, illustrations and audiovisual contents are essential part of medical education nowadays. A professional in this field is working closely with doctors, healthcare scientists and other healthcare professionals associated with the delivery of care.

Here is an interesting article on Medical Photography published by Down To Earth.

WHY: THE NECESSITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Global perspective:

Medical and scientific images are imperative part of patient care, education & research in overseas. This field also includes Illustration, animation and audiovisual contents development, which are now indispensable for medical education and research internationally.

In United Kingdom all the hospitals and medical institutes under National Health Services (NHS) are having a clinical photography department with adequate numbers of clinical photographers and illustrators, which is mandatory.

International Universities like John Hopkins School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Staffordshire University, University of Dundee, and University of Westminster etc. are running various courses in Medical and Scientific Photography/Imaging/Illustrations. All these course are affiliated / accredited by Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI), the international body providing license to the practitioners in this field.

Duke University is running an interesting course called “Documenting Medicine”, a program which pairs Duke physician residents and fellows with documentarians at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.

The prestigious Royal Photographic Society (RPS) has a special interest group dedicated specifically to Medical Photography and providing different qualifications & distinctions.

Indian Scenario:

Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations, 1999 states that any medical colleges in India accepting admissions of 50 or more students, must have a Central Photographic Section (Schedule I – A.1.7), but in reality there are very few institutes having such kind of department like PGIMER Chandigarh, AIIMS etc.

The minutes of the meeting by the Executive Committee of MCI (No. MCI-5(3)/2016-Med.Misc Dt. 13-Jan-2017) cites rejections of several new applications and renewal for permission by medical colleges (both government & private) across the country either because of the absence of the Central Photographic Section or for inadequate staffs in the department. The only reason behind this is the absence of trained professionals in this highly expertise field in this country.

Lack of trained professionals in medical and scientific photography/imaging in India is creating a bar for scientifically documenting the continuous development & progress of Corporate Healthcare industry in contrary against their counterparts worldwide.

To address this issue, the Department of Clinical Photography of PGIMER has conceived and designed this  graduation course to provide qualified Medical & Scientific Photographers for medical institutes for better patient care, medical education and research as well as introducing a different league of professionals to the Corporate Healthcare industry. Both possibilities in turn will generate substantial employment opportunities.

This course will also create an opportunity to pursue a career in academics and research on Medical and scientific photography/imaging in aboard.

Moreover, once substantial awareness is generated about this new field of study, other recognized medical systems of India under Ministry of AYUSH may also become interested to introduce such department in their academic institutes that in turn can generate more employment opportunities.

HOW: THE DEVELOPMENT AND EXECUTION

The regulation of MCI about the Central Photographic Section was amended in the pre-digital era of India (1999) that states “Central photographic and audiovisual sections with accommodation for studio, dark room, enlarging and Photostat work. Accommodation shall be provided for Artist and Medical Illustrators and Modellers. Facilities for microphotography and mounting shall be provided”. While designing this course in 2015-16, the Department of Clinical photography kept this lag in mind and articulated the syllabus as contemporary as possible in this digital age. The syllabus is comprehensive enough in terms of global scenario, yet will also cater the requirements in Indian perspective. This was possible because of valuable inputs by some well-known experts from abroad as well as tireless contribution by the existing faculties and staffs of the department.

A highly experienced team of the department faculties as well as professionals from India will primarily facilitate the course. The department is also in the process to finish the formalities to collaborate with some internationally renowned experts in this field, who will visit PGI at regular interval to mentor the students and will also do the workshops. The students will learn the basics of medical subjects from highly experienced and respectable faculties from various departments of PGIMER. Moreover, it will be a great opportunity for the students to gain practical experience in the well-respected clinical OPD, IPD, and laboratories inside PGIMER.

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