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Byline: R. Hira, A. Gupta, V. Salvi, M. Ross
Background: There is hardly any structured study reporting the perspective of medical students, with regard to the medical education system in Maharashtra, which is facing challenges. Aim: A perception study of students was conducted to explore the situation, challenges, and consequent solutions of medical education in Maharashtra. Settings and Design: A descriptive perception study. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was e-mailed to 92 students, and interviews with seven key-informants comprising of faculty, administrators, and policy makers were conducted, to gather qualitative insights. Results: Thirty-seven student replies were received and analyzed. The satisfaction level of student respondents for various factors was as follows: infrastructure 18/37 (48.6%), quality of teaching 14/37 (37.8%), patient population 22/37 (59.5%), and administration 8/37 (21.6%). Ninety-two percent (34/37) of the students stated that the fundamental problem was the inability of the system to attract good, quality teachers. The reasons stated were low salaries, low level of job satisfaction, high level of bureaucracy, and high work load. Conclusions: The medical education system in Maharashtra is viewed as being stagnant. The respondents emphasized an urgent need for educational reforms, which should include better compensation for teachers, sharing of facilities between government and private medical colleges, and improved efficiency of the Medical Council of India. In the long run a public-private mix with sharing of resources may be a plausible solution.
The state of Maharashtra with a population of 90 million has a doctor to population ratio of 1:1328[sup]  compared to the national ratio of 1:1667.[sup]  In India, the concentration of doctors is heavily skewed toward urban centers, with six times as many doctors in urban India as in the rural areas.[sup]  Hence, the solution is the need to produce more doctors as well as provide incentives for them to stay in India and work in rural and semi-urban areas.
The medical education system in India is crumbling under pressure of the changed dynamics of our society.[sup] ,,, The total investment in the health sector is a mere 0.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP).[sup]  Maharashtra produces just over 4000 doctors annually.[sup]  However, nine of 17 private colleges in Maharashtra are reportedly short staffed by 50 - 63%.[sup] 
The medical education system in Maharashtra, which at one time was considered one of the best in India, seems to have deteriorated, and the 15 government (public) medical colleges and 22 private sector medical colleges have been under constant pressure for failing to meet the standards required by the Medical Council of India.[sup] 
Under such circumstances the need for finding out the …