The health ministry is exploring the option of whether the proposed licentiate examination for doctors can be replaced with the final year MBBS examination, as demanded by the medical fraternity.
As per the meeting on January 12, the Ministry officials are considering make the final year examination fulfil all the various roles that the proposed exit exam would have played. Apart from qualifying doctors for licensing, it was also to have functioned as a screening test for foreign medical graduates and as a common entrance test for postgraduate programmes.
MBBS final tests students in only four subjects; many in ministry feel that an examination that will also test the suitability of a doctor to see patients cannot be that restrictive.
It would also mean, for all practical purposes, that the final year entrance examination — that would have to be conducted by the proposed National Medical Commission instead of individual medical colleges as it currently happens — would essentially become as decisive as the class-XII examination is in deciding a student’s choice of course and college, robbing doctors of multiple attempts at the PG entrance test in order to get a specialty of their choice.
According to NMC Bill that was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the recent winter session and immediately sent to the standing committee. “The Commission shall conduct a uniform National Licentiate Examination for students graduating from the medical institutions which are governed by the provisions of this Act for granting licence to practice medicine as medical practitioners and for enrolment in the State Register or the National Register, as the case may be,” says the bill.
According to a government source they are looking at 480 colleges, reconciling the academic schedules, payment of fees etc of all of them. If even one student goes to court, the entire process could come to a halt. Making the MBBS final exam double up as the licentiate examination would mean that the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) would have to continue as a separate entity. these are certain things that could be of concern as well.
Certain other problems and repercussions could also be under concern as related the matter above.
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