April 21, 2011

New 'quality' test for medical students

ndia will soon have two new examinations for medical students” one each for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

From 2013, Medical Council of India (MCI) has proposed the introduction of Indian Medical Graduate (IMG) degree ” a national examination to enhance credibility quotient, "similar to an ISI mark, guaranteeing quality".

This test will take place two months after an UG student appears for the MBBS examination. MCI governing body chief Dr S K Sarin on Tuesday said that this examination would be voluntary and any UG student can appear for it between 2013 and 2016. Plans are afoot to make it mandatory for all UG students from 2017.

MCI also recommended the introduction of a Master of Medicine (MMed) examination — a two-year course after MBBS — for PG students.

As per the proposal, doctors, who obtain the MMed degree, will become a specialist in any field they want. These PG students will be trained mainly to enhance clinical skills rather than basic research. Those opting for MMed can also choose to do a six-month rural stint within that two-year timeframe. MMed degree-holders will get an additional 5% marks when they apply for a doctor of medicine (MD) or master of surgery (MS) degree.

"Now, students, at times, miss a PG seat for MS or MD for only one mark. This additional 5% marks will give them an added advantage," Dr Sarin said. MCI is also giving utmost importance to the one-year compulsory internship that students do after they appear for the MBBS examination. For the first time, students will be graded on how they perform during their internship. Almost 50% of their MBBS marks will be on the internship, which will be added to their IMG theory score.

At present, there is no evaluation to figure out if MBBS students take their year-long internship programme seriously. Most students utilize the time to prepare for their PG examination.

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