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MCI moots reforms in medical courses, exams


New Delhi : A common entrance test for all undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses, a licenciation exam after internship and a new M.Med. course for medical graduates are among the reforms mooted by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

Talking to reporters after a national meeting on reforms in medical education, S.K. Sarin, who heads the board of governors of MCI, said reforms aim at meeting the dual challenge of having more graduates and maintaining the quality.

“The most significant challenge for regulatory bodies like the Medical Council of India has been to balance the need for more medical colleges with the maintenance and improvement of quality standards,” Sarin said.

Sarin said that the common entrance test, which was supposed to begin this year, will start from 2012 for both undergraduate, post graduate and super specialty courses in medicine.

“National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for both P.G. And U.G. Courses will start from 2012,” Sarin said adding that the syllabus for the test will be decided after national level consultations.

An Indian Medical Graduate Licenciation Exam starting 2013 has also been proposed by the council which will be optional till 2017, and later mandatory for all willing to practice medicine in India, including those with foreign degree. The status quo of MBBS exam will be however be maintained.

The students starting the course from 2012 will also have to give an exam at the end of their course after five-and-half years in 2017.

As per the reforms mooted, while the total duration of the undergraduate course remains five years, restructuring of the syllabus will include a foundation course of 2 months before the first year to prepare students for the MBBS course.

Early clinical exposure is another important feature with clinical training beginning from first year.

Medical colleges will also be attached with the local health system including the community health centres.

At post graduate level, the board of governors plan a M. Med. (Master of Medicine) course which of two years, as first level of specialisation, unlike the present system of direct M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or M.S. (Master of Surgery) which will be equivalent to masters or M. Phil programme.

Graduates will be able to do MD or MS courses after M. Med.

Additional work experience after M. Med will also add on to candidates qualification for further courses and voluntary service of two years will give candidates additional weightage of five percent in entrance for postgraduate courses.