As many as four postgraduate students from the gynecology department of Government Medical College (GMC) have left their course midway. It is said that long working hours due to the shortage of adequate staff besides senior faculty members avoiding their duties sometimes are the reasons behind students leaving their courses midway.

Postgraduate students also double up as junior resident doctors and they are the ones who are in direct contact with patients and their attendants. The instances of people manhandling junior residents or senior residents are also reported frequently.

“As they are the only category of doctors available at all times, they are often at the receiving end. For all shortcomings on the part of the government and senior officials, junior residents are held responsible,” said a faculty member.The juniors say that the MCI norms stipulate a maximum of 48-hour work a week and no shift extending beyond 12 hours is allowed. “The problem is very much genuine. The first year, the PG students remain at duty stations round the clock. There are no holiday and no leave for them,” said Dr Gagandeep Shergill, president, Resident Doctors’ Association, Punjab. He said many times cases of suicide by junior residents have been reported.

“In extended duty hours, no person can concentrate on his or her work. Junior doctors are highly stressed. That is why people often complain of rude behavior. They cannot afford to say no to their senior officials as they have to get the degree,” said another faculty member, who didn’t wish to be named.Meanwhile, Principal Dr Sujata Sharma said, “The students who left their courses had their own personal issues. The rules followed at the college are the same which are being followed by other colleges.”She denied that junior residents were made to work overtime. The staff are adequate and there is no need for more manpower, she added.

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