Medical Council of India moots Licentiate Test for MBBS graduates

In a major shift from the 60-year-old tradition in medical education in the country, those who wish to practice in future would have to follow up their MBBS course with a licentiate examination.

The idea is to allow only those who clear the licentiate India Medical Graduates(IMG) degree  test, after a one-year internship, to do medical practice in the country. This is part of the crucial reforms mooted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) which will come up for discussion at the national summit to be held at Manekshaw Centre, Parade Road, Delhi, on September 12.

If the proposals are accepted, MBBS graduates would have to complete a one-year internship in a hospital for appearing for the licentiate examination.

Director of Medical Education (Kerala) Dr V Geetha told Express that the principals from medical colleges in the State have been invited to the meet.

They are expected to give suggestions based on the local needs of the state, she said.

Other sources also said that the Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) had suggested some alternatives to some of the proposals included in the draft reforms. One of the main suggestion put forward by the MCI is the abolition of entrance examination for PG courses.

Students will be selected for the PG courses on the basis of the marks obtained at the MBBS level and the marks obtained in the internship to get the IMG. Students for the PG courses will be selected from a national-level merit list, prepared after taking into account the marks obtained in the theory test and in the licentiate test.

The MCI is planning to implement the new reforms as optional from 2013 and want to make it mandatory from 2017.

Students in the under-graduate level will have to do a foundation course for two months comprising of medical ethics, communication, health economics, biohazards and environmental issues,in tune with the proposed reforms.

For the PG programme, the suggestion is for introducing a new two-year M Med scheme.

After obtaining M Med, students will have the option of getting MD, dual degrees, PhD and DM.

As per the draft paper of the MCI, the number of examinations of MBBS will be reduced from four to three.

The KUHS had suggested that all subjects now taught for MBBS course like Forensic medicine, ENT, Ophthalmology have to be retained. KUHS has suggested adding a few more subjects such as ethics and geriatrics to the curriculum of the course.

Another KUHS suggestion is that many subjects which have been proposed as electives like Immunology, Genetics, Human Nutrition and Emergency Medicine should be made compulsory subjects.

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