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Academic emergency medicine in India


  • Sohil Pothiawala, FAMS (EM), MRCSEd (A&E), MMed (EM), MBBS, Associate Consultant; Venkataraman Anantharaman, MBBS (S'pore), FRCP (Edin), FRCSEd (A&E), FAMS, Senior Consultant.

Correspondence: Dr Sohil Pothiawala, Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 169608. Email:



Emergency medicine (EM) was recognized as a specialty by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in July 2009. As India undergoes urbanisation, cost-effective transition from managing infectious diseases to emergency management of trauma and cardio-respiratory diseases is crucial. Trained emergency healthcare workers are needed to respond effectively to these challenges. The objective was to determine the current status of academic EM training and related issues in India, and to discuss those that need to be addressed.


The authors conducted electronic literature searches for articles published over an 18 year period from January 1994 to February 2013 using PubMed, Google and Yahoo databases. The references listed in the publications identified from these databases were also reviewed.


Electronic literature searches revealed a multitude of 1 to 3 year training programmes, many affiliated with various foreign universities. The majority of these training programmes are offered in private healthcare institutions. MCI recognition has opened the doors for medical colleges to set up Indian specialty training programmes. Two separate Academic Councils are currently looking at EM training.


The variety of programmes and separate efforts on academic development begets a need to address the issues of short-term courses being passed off as specialty training programmes, and a need for working together on national curriculum development, certification, accreditation systems and common examinations. The different organisations and academic councils could collaborate to give EM a unified scope for development.