“Exit exams” for medical graduates: a guarantee of quality?

Ranjit Kumar Dehury, Janmejaya Samal

Abstract

Despite a great deal of opposition from many segments of the medical community, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has proposed to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India that a pan-India exit examination be introduced for graduating MBBS doctors. Whether the proposal should be put forward was considered twice, once in 2010 and again in 2013, and finally the plan was ready to be taken forward seriously in 2015. The proposal has elicited appreciation and criticism from different segments of the medical community. It aims to improve the quality of medical professionals and create an all-India chapter of doctors. People are ready to welcome the move if it is integrated with the final year MBBS examination and licentiate examination and serves as an entrance examination for medical graduates. Further, the Supreme Court’s order that the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) be made compulsory aims to create a fair, transparent and non-exploitative system. This move has the potential to reduce corruption and foster a merit-based system of medical education. However, making NEET compulsory would have an impact on the proposed exit examination. Given this background, we analyse the pros and cons of the new initiative on the basis of articles published in newspapers and journals, with a special focus on its impact on improving the standards of quality in the medical profession.

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