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Engagement of National Board of Examinations in strengthening public health education in India: present landscape, opportunities and future directions



Engagement of National Board of Examinations in strengthening public health education in India: present landscape, opportunities and future directions



Indian Journal of Public Health 58(1): 34-39



A trained and adequate heath workforce forms the crux in designing, implementing and monitoring health programs and delivering quality health services. Education is recognized as a critical instrument for creating such trained health professionals who can effectively address the 21 st century health challenges. At present, the Public Health Education in India is offered through medical colleges and also outside the corridors of medical colleges which was not the scenario earlier. Traditionally, Public Health Education has been a domain of medical colleges and was open for medical graduates only. In order to standardize the Postgraduate Medical Education in India, the National Board of Examinations (NBE) was set up as an independent autonomous body of its kind in the country in the field of medical sciences with the prime objective of improving the quality of the medical education. NBE has also played a significant role in enhancing Public Health Education in India through its Diplomat of National Board (DNB) Programs in Social and Preventive Medicine, Health and Hospital Administration, Maternal and Child Health, Family Medicine and Field Epidemiology. It envisions creating a cadre of skilled and motivated public health professionals and also developing a roadmap for postgraduate career pathways. However, there still exists gamut of opportunities for it to engage in expanding the scope of Public Health Education. It can play a key role in accreditation of public health programs and institutions which can transform the present landscape of education of health professionals. It also needs to revisit and re-initiate programs like DNB in Tropical Medicine and Occupational Health which were discontinued. The time is imperative for NBE to seize these opportunities and take necessary actions in strengthening and expanding the scope of Public Health Education in India.

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