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Talking Point: Should final year MBBS exam be considered as an entrance exam for PG

Posted on Monday, July 29, 2019

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019 proposes final year MBBS exams to be treated as an entrance test for PG courses. Sheetal Banchariya spoke to stakeholders get their insights on Bill's pros and cons

More focus on internships

The final year MBBS assessment includes a theory exam and an internship. Most of the students are extremely caught up in preparing for NEET-PG that they are unable to focus on acquiring the skills through the internship. In medical profession, practical skills are more important than theoretical knowledge. If the final exams are treated as an entrance for PG courses, students will have to focus on only one exam and it will allow students to focus on their internships. Maintaining uniform standards of examination, evaluation and teaching in around 450 medical colleges will be a challenge.

Dr VN Jindal, former dean, Goa Medical College and member of Executive Council, Medical Council of India (MCI)

Uniformity is a must

Entrance exams are conducted with a purpose to check a student’s knowledge of MBBS course as a whole. Hence, focussing on only final year exam will not justify the assessment for the PG entrance exam. Final year exams are theory based and assessment with subjectivity has more chances of bias during evaluation. All the medical colleges across the nation have different standards of examination and evaluation; hence, any national level exam should have a uniform pattern to provide fair chance to all the students.

Dr VB Singh, principal and controller, Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Medical College, Ajmer

Need to develop soft skills

Medical students aspire for postgraduate courses for career betterment but with entrance exam being the key to get into these courses, students often neglect development of patient treating skills and devote their time in preparing themselves for exam oriented studies to excel in the entrance examination. Competitive entrance exams and skill-based tests should be coupled with assessment of communication skills, scientific and rational approach towards the patient.

Dr Sandhya Satish Khadse, dean, Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, Mumbai

Exam system needs to evolve

The final year MBBS exams are not completely indicative of the level of understanding of the student. The exams are divided into a written and a practical one. The written exams revolve around bookish knowledge and the practicals only manage to scrape the surface of practical skills. Thus, a distinction of merit made on the basis of final year exams in MBBS would be unfair. Our medical entrance examinations system needs to take a cue from the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to design an entrance exam that gauges a student’s ability to render a well-rounded approach with a real-time perspective rather than rote learning that helps neither the candidate nor the healthcare ecosystem in the country.

Rishabh Shetty, MBBS degree holder and PG aspiran

 

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