IMA to launch nationwide protest against Centre’s exit exam proposal

Proposal makes it mandatory for medical students to clear National Exit Test (NEXT) to receive academic title ‘Doctor’

exam doctors

Indian Medical Association (IMA) will launch a nationwide protest on February 1 against the Union Government’s plan to introduce exit exam after completing Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science (MBBS) degree.

On December 29, 2016, the Union Health Ministry announced the draft Indian Medical Council (amendment) Bill 2016, which makes it mandatory for medical students to clear National Exit Test (NEXT) to receive academic title ‘Doctor’.

As per government officials, NEXT will improve quality of medical education in India, but this proposal has been opposed by doctors across the state.

“IMA will protest the illogical proposal, which will further burden students across the country. In Mumbai, we are planning rallies to protest against the decision,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, Chairman, Youth IMA –Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) said NEXT will reduce number of practicing MBBS graduates and further distort doctor-patient ratio.

“MARD strongly opposes NEXT as it will overburden medical students. Government and private colleges in India are affiliated to universities and Medical Council of India (MCI). Presently, students have to work hard to get into MBBS. After passing four university exams and undertaking a year of internship, students become doctors. Ministry should show faith in MCI and universities of our country and withdraw the exit exam proposal for Indian students,” said Dr Yashowardhan Kabra, President, Central MARD.

He added that the government should introduce such exams for other courses and streams.

“As of now, medical students have to clear over 10 exams to become a specialist of any medical branch. Why add one more exam? Why only medical stream needs the exam and not engineering or other streams,” questioned Kabra.