Continuing professional development is important for doctors as technology is constantly evolving, and upskilling is important for Doctors as it helps them stay competent in their chosen area of expertise. According to a study by the Indian Journal of Public Health, in order for India to achieve a good doctor-population ratio of 1:1,000, it has to produce 2.07 million more doctors by 2030. Every year, India produces about 50,000 doctors and practicing doctors are about 800,000 in India at the moment, which is lower than what the country currently needs.

Why Doctors Must Upskill

The number of skilled physicians at primary healthcare level in a developing country like India is low, and doctors must be trained in order to cater to the huge population. The scarcity of trained doctors in a country where non-communicable diseases must be identified and treated quickly, points to an urgent need for upskilling and reskilling programs in both urban and rural areas. In order to treat patients in an optimal manner, doctors in India need to enhance their skills and keep pace with current treatment standards.

The field of medicine is fast-evolving, and the west is adapting to technological advancements quickly in order to ease the treatment process for their patients. No matter what the specialty is, there is always room for more knowledge and expertise. Indian doctors must also maintain medical standards to ensure that their skills are on par with the rest of the world. This is possible by upgrading skills and choosing courses that add to your knowledge of the profession.

Upskilling has various benefits like employability, growth in career, deeper understanding of the profession, etc. Due to the advancement of web-based technology, doctors can now access online courses and resources that can help them with new information. However, it is important to learn from experienced professionals and credible sources.

Technical Skills Are Key

In a digital world, technical skills are key differentiators that set experts apart. A lack of knowledge and periodic training will lead to stagnation in medical practice. Technological advancements that improve the standards of diagnosis and treatment of illnesses are increasing every year. Upskilling is important for Doctors as it helps them to learn new technical skills to use these innovative techniques and treat their patients more efficiently.

It takes more than proficiency in operating computers to stay successful in a technology-infused world. Now, the medical industry uses data analysis, electronic health records, and other technology on a daily basis. Medical professionals also schedule virtual visits to cater to patients. Advancements in specialties and branches have given rise to new technology or treatment methods. Specialists must keep pace with any new developments in their respective fields. Acquiring new skills can help doctors have a competitive edge, increase their employability, do more for their patients and increase revenue in the process. The development of skills can be in both medical and non-medical competencies that help a doctor provide the best service to their patients.

How Doctors Can Upskill

Basic knowledge in interpreting ECG, basic life support and diabetes management is vital for doctors that want to upgrade their skills. They can either upgrade the skills in their chosen specialty or as a general physician by taking up additional courses online.  

Experienced specialists usually share their expertise and knowledge about the latest technology, innovative drugs or treatment options via virtual sessions and seminars. Some new skills that doctors can imbibe in addition to their specialty include data science, nutrition and disease prevention, ultrasound training, knowledge of new telemedicine tools, etc.

Online courses and tutorials are flexible by nature and doctors can learn relevant skills at their convenience. These courses are also relatively inexpensive as compared to traditional methods of learning. To save time and develop knowledge at the click of a button, both rural and urban physicians can take up virtual courses to upgrade their skills regularly.


Dr Sanjeev Mehta MD, FCCP, FAPSR Founder LIFE (Lung India Foundation) CHEST (American College of Chest Physicians) Specialist in Chest, Allergy and Sleep medicine Lilavati & Arogya Nidhi Hospitals Mumbai