This idea (below) not only emerged from the recent discussion on developing an MD-Phd program in India but also with a subsequent realization that there was a large population of MSc and MBBS graduates who were unable to join Phd or MD programs in India due to the standard entrance bottle-necks and they could benefit from an entrepreneurial career path.
The idea is to develop an entrepreneur program for this large segment of students that enables them to stand on their own feet and helps India to stand on its own feet. Perhaps one can write a DBT/DST/ICMR project proposal to gain permission for beginning this?
The focus of this program would lie in answering patient health-care requirements through innovative low cost solutions that the student entrepreneurs would develop and incubate through a start up that can be supported by the DBT/DST/ICMR funding (or bank loans obtained by the student entrepreneurs). This can by backed by an Institute providing the bench/laboratory with academic guide (such as Indian Institute of Science, PGIMER or IIT etc) as well as an Institute providing the bedside clinical platform with clinician-academic guide (my university in Bhopal where i practice?).
Brief outline of Structure/Curriculum:
At the very beginning of the TCSE program students can be coached through a clinical rotation to identify requirements (problems that require doable solutions) in specific patient-populations.
Through a case study approach, these students could make attempts to find which of these patient-problems can be offered optimal innovative solutions by the MSc or MBBS students themselves. Here is a brief outline designed by us on the different clinical areas these students would need to touch on in order to get a good idea of the patient's requirements: http://journals.bmj.com/site/
Although the outline highlights what medical students may learn on a short elective, it very much covers what is essential clinical learning to approach any clinical problem. This is detailed further in a recent lecture to KMC Manipal here:http://www.pitt.edu/~
We have already incubated an entrepreneurial solution to patient-problems using a web based information sharing platform http://care.udhc.co.in/ that engages a “Trained Community Health Entrepreneur”(TCHE) under an income generating, social-enterprise model for rural India (details here: http://www.missionarogya.org/
This course may not have a fixed time bound curriculum and the TCSE can choose to take the necessary amount of time required to achieve his/her entrepreneurial aspirations that would depend on a) his/her identification of the problem for which s/he would like to develop a solution ( this would be during the clinical rotation phase in an Institute providing the bedside clinical platform and clinical academic guide) b) Developing the solution (the bench phase in an institute providing the bench/laboratory and academic guide) and c) marketing the solution to the identified patient population( a large fraction of who could be tapped from the patient population in the institute where the TCSE learned to identify the patient problem).
Do let me know your thoughts.