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Exit exam for Medical Students made mandatory.

Dec 30, 2016

Medical students will now be required to do a little more than completing a five and a half year long medical degree to secure the ‘Doctor’ title. The Union Health Ministry on December 29th 2016 unveiled the draft Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2016 according to which MBBS students will now be required to qualify the National Exit Test (NEXT). The test is anticipated to create a level-playing field in Medical education which is progressively becoming privatized. A Central Government Official stated that National Exit Test (NEXT) will help enhance the quality of medical education in the nation and help benchmark students.

The Quota

The bill suggests that 50% seats in all government medical colleges should be reserved for Government/UT medical officers. Only the medical officers who have served in remote and difficult areas will be eligible for the quota. And after getting a PG degree through this quota, the candidate will be required to serve in difficult and/or remote area for 3 more years.

NEXT will substitute 3 tests

1. NEET for PG admissions 2. Foreign Graduate Medical Examination 3. Recruitment for Central Health Services.

NEXT will be an outcome-based test

The results of how candidates from individual colleges have performed in NEXT will be made public. In case a college has more than 90% of candidates qualifying NEXT, it will automatically serve as an indicator that the college provides quality education and candidates will then be able to make an informed choice while selecting colleges. Dr P Shingare, Head of State Department of Medical Education & Research stated that NEXT is a good move. He added that Students from different universities cannot be equated in terms of their medical competence and NEXT will bring about standardization in this direction. A professor stated that an inspection by authorities can merely rate the infrastructure of a college and the outcome of NEXT will serve as a tangible parameter to ascertain the quality of that college.

PrepLadder perspective

  • This exam will further reduce the number of MBBS graduates in India and distort the doctor patient ratio more. An exam like this is required for streams like engineering where lakhs graduate every year, not in Medicine.
  • Doing MBBS from India and abroad will not make any difference anymore, since the student will have to take the licensing exam in both the cases. So more students will chose to graduate abroad.
  • MBBS graduates who have not cleared NEXT will be left unemployed or they might be exploited by private hospitals at very low salaries.
The government has not yet finalized their decision on NEXT and it’s just a proposal. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) are asking suggestions from general public before they implement the MBBS exit exam (NEXT) and 50% quota in PG courses.
More Updates will follow. Stay Tuned ǃǃ
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