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Guest Editorial

Skills and practices for the postgraduate

trainees of community medicine, public
health, and hospital administration courses
in India: Learn to demonstrate and imbibe
Training ideally should enable people to perform their
present duties effectively and at the same time, prepare
them to shoulder greater responsibilities in future. The
ultimate objective of personnel training is improvement
in the performance, thereby facilitating achievement
of organizational goals. The development and growth
potential of an individual are directly correlated with the
depth of knowledge, positive attitude, and diverse skills
she/he possesses and demonstrates. Depending upon
the subject, medical personnel is exposed to acquaint
clinical/surgical/allied and administrative skill during
training period. Administrative skill could be grouped into
technical skill, human skill, and conceptual skill. The skill in
one domain does influence the acquisition and assessment
of skills in other domains. For the last couple of decades,
emphasis has increased from acquiring knowledge of a
subject for demonstration of various kinds of skills.
Skill in relation to professional training is further classified
into (1) skill acquisition, (2) skill competency, and
(3) skill proficiency.[1] Skill acquisition: The trainee knows
the steps and their sequence to perform the required
skill or activity but need assistance. Skill competency:
The trainee knows the steps and their sequence and can
perform the required skill or activity. Skill proficiency:
The trainee knows the steps and their sequence and
efficiently perform the required skill or activity. Given
that in English language, competency can be used
interchangeably with competence; however, in medical
education and assessment, the term competency should
strictly be used for the skill itself while competence is
the ability to perform that skill and the attribute of the
performer.[2,3] For instance, the skill of nasogastric tube
insertion is the competency while the person who is able to
perform this has the competence to do this activity. Hence,
an assessment tool designed to test the ability to insert the
nasogastric tube is a competencybased assessment tool,
which assesses the competence of the person performing it.
The teaching and training program in India revolves
around mix of theory, practical, and community/clinical/

field/administrative exposure with observance, assistance,

feedback; conduct of activity under supervision,
guidance, and independently over time while making
presentations/seminar/journal club, group learning, and
maintenance of records of daily activity in log book. The
performance of an individual depends on multitude of
factors, and structured learning of definitive duration
is followed by evaluation(formative and summative) of
candidate before award of degree. In addition to traditional
evaluation methods, newer and innovative methods are
being advised, formulated, tested, or prescribed.
During postgraduate training period, authors were
always perplexed with what are the set of visible
and quantifiable skills and practices to be acquired
for professional advancement. It is no surprise that
reasonable learning now has occurred in later years of
life after diverse teaching, training, and administrative
experience, extensive travel, and graying of hairs. Table1
depicts list of minimum essential skills and practices
for postgraduate students in the subject of community
medicine, public health, and hospital administration after
obtaining MBBS degree. For the sake of convenience, these
are grouped under selfexplanatory subheadings. These
components are though inbuilt in teaching curriculum
and encompass the broader vision of regulatory bodies
such as Medical Council of India and National Board of
Examination yet are delivered in a fragmented, scattered,
unrecognizable, and often in a nonquantifiable manner.
There have been definitive developments both in quantity
and quality in undergraduate and postgraduate training
in India over the last couple of years based on global best
practices, yet critical gaps still exist.
In adult setting, learning is largely selfdirected and
lifelong while it may not be humanely possible to
acquire entire skill set and practices even using checklist;
however, it is necessary to be exposed to majority of
them depending upon type of individual personality,
timeconstraint, available resources, setting, and
circumstances. Having said that still the larger and

2016 Journal of the Scientific Society | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow


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Sachdeva and Sachdev: Skills and practices for the post graduate trainees

Table1: Selected skills and practices applicable for community medicine, public health, and hospital administration
trainees in India
Holding conferences, workshop, quiz;
Health management planning,
Concept note, project, and
debate, anchoring, and stage and audience
organizing, staffing, training, directing,
proposal buildup including
decisionmaking, controlling, supervision,
budgeting, staffing, and activities
Screening including community/rehabilitation/
interview, recruitment, appraisal,
File drafting
disability/occupational camps;
retention, and feedback; termination
Agenda setting, conducting
Preplacement and periodic medical
Disaster management, triage, base setting, administrative, and functional
examination of students/staff
resource mapping, shelter, sanitation
meetings toward actionable
Conduct of rapid assessment surveys
arrangement, transportation
Need assessment; drawing up
Drafting letters, reminders,
equipment/furniture/drug specification;
memorandums, feedback report
bid purchase; tendering procedure,
Conduct of preliminary enquiry,
purchase/supply order; receipt;
audit, disciplinary, infection
inspection; quality control; installation;
control, and other committee
maintenance, condemnation, and disposal proceedings
Banking, taxation, and financial handling
Medical audit
Quality management, control, circles,
Developing program schedule
assessment, practices, evaluation
and itinerary plans
Resource mobilization
Inventory control
Biomedical waste management
Epidemiology, surveillance, and outbreak Research methodology
Research methodology including
Hazard identification and risk assessment review of literature, drafting
Body movement
objectives, study design, sample
Soft skills
size estimation, and sampling
Basic and advance statistical
Data management, statistical
and software handling (Excel;
Clinical practice
Personality development
Teaching and training
Clinical, diagnosis, investigative, and patient
Selfawareness, motivation, leadership,
Teaching and training
management of common illness/national
drive, emotional maturity, anger control,
undergraduate and postgraduate
health program
and stress management
students; medical officers,
Vaccine/injection administration
Constructive politics
paramedical workers
Midwifery skills, contraceptives, and conduct
Spiritual practices, yoga, and meditation
Training needs assessment,
of delivery
Time management
curriculum development, content,
Proficiency in basic life support for critically
Ethical, social, and legal conduct
and objective buildup
ill patient and emergency care
Active listening and critical evaluation
Drafting question paper/
Nutritional assessment, counseling, and advice Comprehension, detailing, and
multiplechoice questions;
pre and posttest evaluation
Assertiveness practices
Conducting mock test, vivavoice,
practical and university
Delivering health talks, seminar,
and journal club presentation
People management
Information technology
Community engagement, motivation, and
Computer and teaching/training
Technical/policy report writing
technology aid usage (social media,
Research publications
Appreciate and acknowledge others
projector, fax, photocopier, scanner,
Setting/formulating technical
Collaboration with peers and team formation
data transfer, telemedicine, video
Networking and relationship building
conferencing, etc.)
Health management information system
including international classification of

pertinent statement would be to network and remain

connected with people and experts having desired skills.

In the current era of cut throat competition, technological

advancement, and challenging circumstances, innovative

Journal of the Scientific Society, Vol 43 / Issue 3 / September-December 2016

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Sachdeva and Sachdev: Skills and practices for the post graduate trainees

solutions would remain at the core of decision matrix and

a disciplined individual would sail through all weather
conditions. Needless to say, this would in turn steadily
improve the confidence, popularity graph, and financial
health of the individual and effectively assist them in
workplace locally or internationally in a multicultural
Sandeep Sachdeva, Tilak R Sachdev1

Department of Community Medicine, North DMC Medical College

and Hindu Rao Hospital, 1Department of Community Medicine,
VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital (Formerly),
NewDelhi, India

Address for correspondence:

Dr.Sandeep Sachdeva, Department of Community Medicine,
North DMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital,
NewDelhi110007, India.

3. KhanK, RamachandranS. Conceptual framework for performance

assessment: competency, competence and performance in the context
of assessments in healthcareDeciphering the terminology. Med Teach
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1. GuptaJP, SoodAK. Contemporary Public Health Policy, Planning,
Management. NewDelhi: CBS Publishers; 2005.
2. HagerP, GoncziA. What is competence? Med Teach 1996;18:158.

How to cite this article: Sachdeva S, Sachdev TR. Skills and

practices for the postgraduate trainees of community medicine,
public health, and hospital administration courses in India: Learn to
demonstrate and imbibe. J Sci Soc 2016;43:109-11.

Journal of the Scientific Society, Vol 43 / Issue 3 / September-December 2016