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6 months training-not sufficient for sonologist

6 months training not sufficient for sonologist says NMC .

National Medical Commission which is the apex body regulating medical education as well as professional conduct of doctors in India has come up with a press release dated 05th October 2023. In this Press release National Medical commission has stated that 6 months training “does not permit him to practice as a consultant radiologist/sonologist in areas beyond his certification”.


In this press release National medical commission has given an example of Dr R (whether it is real or hypothetical is not clarified). Who according to NMC “was practicing as a Consultant sonologist without a Postgraduate qualification. He had obtained 6 month ultrasonology training certificate according to Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994 (PCPNDT Act, 1994). A petition was filed by IMA against him in the State Medical Council (SMC).SMC removed his name from the State Medical Register for 2 months. Dr. R appealed against this order in the Hon’ble High Court which redirected the matter to the Ethics & Medical Registration Board (EMRB), National Medical  commission (NMC). EMRB, NMC pronounced its verdict after hearing Dr. R.

National Medical Commission has given summary of the case as below

Dr. R was in private practice as a Consultant sonologist since 2004 without the required qualification/ training. After obtaining an MBBS degree, he did 6 months of certificate training in ultrasound according to the PCPNDT Act. However, such training does not permit him to practice as a consultant radiologist/sonologist in areas beyond his certification. However, he was performing ultrasound for other llnesses beyond the scope of this specific certificate training under the PCPNDT Act. The IMA took cognizance of this malpractice and filed a complaint with the SMC. SMC after due deliberations removed his name from the State medical Register for 2 months and warned him to refrain from practicing as a  consultant Sonology/Radiologist. Despite an order of SMC, Dr. R continued to perform ultrasound for other indications beyond his training and use the title of consultant sonologist and appealed in the Hon’ble High Court against this order. The Hon’ble High Court directed the case to EMRB, NMC.

After hearing and due deliberations, EMRB, NMC directed Dr. R to submit an undertaking to not go beyond the PCPNDT Act and refrain from using the title ‘Consultant sonologist’ in the future.

In the Discussion NMC wrote


“With the introduction of short-term certificate courses in ultrasonology for specific purposes, many Medical Practitioners misuse this certification to extend their expertise to areas beyond the scope of training. This can be intentionally misleading to the patient who is not in a position to verify and discern the qualification and can lead to wrong diagnosis and harm to the patient. This unethical practice can jeopardize the reputation of the medical fraternity in the eyes of the public and undermine trust in the profession. Medical  ractitioners may acquire skills and training in various areas related to a particular field to benefit the patient. However, the use of the title ‘consultant/specialist’ should be restricted to those who

are qualified in the particular specialty. Care should be taken not to mislead the public through sign boards, visiting cards, announcements, etc.


Finally, NMC concluded that

A physician shall not claim to be a specialist unless he/she has a special qualification in that branch, according to clause 7.20 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002. In view of this clause, Registered Medical

Practitioners should register their additional qualification with the respective medical councils. According to clause 7.13 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, it is improper for a physician to use an unusually large sign board and write on it anything other than his name, qualifications obtained from

a University or a statutory body, titles, and name of his specialty, registration number including the name of the State Medical Council under which registered. The same should be the contents of his prescription papers. It is improper to affix a signboard on a chemist’s


shop or in places where he does not reside or work.

SO National Medical commission in no ambiguous terms have concluded in this press release that MBBS doctors with 6 months training should not call them consultant sonologist otherwise they can face disciplinary action including suspension of registration and right to practice. 

Below is the relevant pages reproduced for the readers.

NMC says MBBS with 6 months training cant work as sonologist
NMC says MBBS with 6 months training cant work as sonologist
NMC says MBBS with 6 months training cant work as sonologist

To read whole press release click here

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