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Medical students to learn about sex reassignment

Medical students to learn about sex reassignment Published Date : 28 Nov 2017
Mumbai: In the wake of woman constable Lalita Salve seeking a sex-reassignment operation, the state department of medical education and research (DMER) will now introduce in the MBBS curriculum a detailed topic on gender sensitivity, which will cover sex-reassignment surgery (SRS). In doing so, Maharashtra will become the first state in India to include the topic in the MBBS curriculum.

The new addition to the curriculum, under the topic ‘Gender Sensitivity,’ will be introduced in the ongoing academic year itself.

Ms Salve (29), attached to Beed city’s Majalgaon police station, has sought permission to undergo sex surgery. She has sought government assistance for the surgery and also that she be allowed to keep her job in the police force.

Talking to The Asian Age, joint director of DMER Dr T.P. Lahane, said, “The issues related to gender sensitivity were there but it was not in detail. It was taught but now students will be given proper assignments in addition to being taught about everything that comes under this topic. Maharashtra is the first state to introduce the topic in the MBBS curriculum.”

When asked if the move to introduce the topic was made in the wake of Ms Salve’s plea seeking government permission and assistance for a sex-reassignment surgery at the state-run J.J hospital, Dr Lahane said, “Yes, but we should see to it that the students learn all the aspects related to such issues. They should have deep knowledge about all topics because that is what they’ll be dealing with after completing their course.” He said, “The doctors should be able to help such people suffering from such ailments.” If doctors are educated about the subject, it will ease things on ground level, he said.

Source said that a decision to introduce the topic in the MBBS curriculum was taken after several meetings were held in the DMER on issues related to transgenders, whether they be male or female transgenders, and their problems related to gender identity disorder.

The new curriculum on gender sensitivity that includes SRS recently got a green signal from the academic committee of the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences.

The topic will be taught to all government and civic-run medical colleges and part of the exercise will be led by the heads of departments and professors from gynaecology, forensic science, internal medicine, community medicine, psychiatry, paediatrics and other surgery departments of government-run medical colleges.