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Medical graduates will have to take two tests before they can pursue post–graduation, if a new proposal of the Medical Council of India (MCI) gets the nod.

In a recent meeting, the MCI proposed that the entrance exam for postgraduate courses, which assesses the the oretical knowledge gained during graduation, should be held immediately after the final MBBS exam and before the beginning of internship. Graduates will be expected to take the licentiate exam, which will test them on practical understanding of medicine, after their internship. At present, the PG entrance exam is held after internship and there is no licentiate test.

The decision to advance the PG entrance exam stems from numerous complaints that MBBS students don’t take their internship seriously but instead get busy preparing for PG entrance tests.

The last year of the five and a half year MBBS course is set aside for internship.

MCI PRESCRIPTION

Medical aspirants are elated at the Supreme Court’s decision to review its July order to strikedown the National Eligibility – cum – Entrance Test (NEET). Most believe that a singlewindow entrance test is an ideal way to preclude private medical colleges in Maharashtra from charging extortive capitation fees.

Medicos may Have to Take 2 Exams to Pursue PG Courses

Yoshita Sharma (29)is yetto getthe discipline of her choice despite cracking the state–conducted postgraduate medical entrance exam twice.On both occasions, she did not figure among the top 100. And it is usually the toppers who walk away with popular specialisations, such as radiology, orthopaedics and medicine.The rest haveto settle for other disciplines or look to private medical colleges.

But for those without deep pockets, the 200 PG seats in private–run medical colleges are out of the question. “It is an open secret that the most sought–after disciplines in private colleges are sold for Rs 1.5–3 crore. The rates have increased over the years and nothing has deterred private colleges so far,” the Kalina resident added. The amount is usually charged under the garb of management quota and capitation fees, which are above the tuition fee that runs into lakhs.

As a consequence of the malpractice, 50,000–70,000 students compete for the 1,100 PG seats offered in government colleges.

Another postgraduate aspirant said the state’s medical education system is akin to the real estate market. “In most private colleges, booking for seats starts a year in advance so that payments can be made in easy instalments. The principle is similar to what clients follow in under–construction building projects,” an aspirant from Chandivli said. He recounted how a friend who had got into a similar arrangement with a private college sold off his “seat booking” to another friend after he bagged a seat in a government college.

“Bringing private colleges under the ambit of NEET is a practical way of tackling the unbridled commercialisation of private colleges. Even if students clear private colleges’ entrance exams, they are seldom called for counselling once the management finds their financial strength to be poor,” said Dr Santosh Wakchaure, president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors.

Source
Times of India
26 October 2013,
Bangalore / Mumbai, India
by - Sruthy Susan Ullas & Hemali Chhapia

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