Upon the lines of most of the countries in the world, the government of India, if latest rounds of news are to be believed, is going to institute an exit test for MBBS students across the country under a single window. Such change of stance may be attributed to the recommendations made by MCI– Medical Council of India and the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare- Union health ministry, which is planning to notify the NEET-PG as the common exit test, which will replace the myriad university-level examinations that MBBS students have to take before they start practising medicine.
It has long been held by the experts that the emphasis on entrance tests for courses takes away from the need to test students on their way out of the programme — which is when they actually start seeing patients. The HRD ministry is also looking at replacing the screening test for foreign medical graduates (FMGE) with NEET-PG and in turn effectively making it the only test that any MBBS student would need to take to continue in the field of medicine — as a practitioner or as a PG student.
It would mean that all the student would have to clear a centralized test before practicing medicine or applying for post graduate studies.
A ministry source says: “The proposal is to have foreign graduates, Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizens of India holding foreign medical degrees to take one test — the all-India PG entrance test — and become eligible to practise in India. One test will thus serve three purposes.”
“Those who secure a minimum 45 percentile in the PG entrance exam are eligible to apply for PG courses. This criteria can be fixed as the threshold for MBBS exit exam, which means graduates who touch this mark will be eligible to practise medicine,” a ministry official said.
It is suggested that there will be no additional burden on MBBS students. “The objective is to see if the graduate is good enough to practise medicine at the end of his course. We are, however, not proposing a new exam for MBBS exit. The existing all-India PG entrance exam conducted annually around November-end will be used for this purpose. The proposal is to use the PG exam for MBBS exit as also for testing foreign graduates who seek licences to practise in India,” a Health Ministry official said.
At present, there is a separate exam (Foreign Graduates Medical Exam) for foreign graduates seeking equivalence to practise medicine in India.