NEW DELHI: Securing registration to practice medicine in India could get tougher for students pursuing medicine abroad as they will now be required to do double internships — once in the country where they got the MBBS and again in India — as per new norms about to be released.
About 10,000-12,000 students from the country go abroad every year to pursue MBBS.
As of now, these medical graduates, except those who get their degrees in US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, are required to clear the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination and do a mandatory one-year internship in a recognised Indian medical college before they can get their registration.
Most of them, however, do not do internships abroad and return to India after completing 4.5 years of the MBBS degree.
Aruna V Vanikar, president of the undergraduate medical education board at the National Medical Commission, told this newspaper that the process of issuing licenses to such graduates is being made more “stringent” as part of a reform push in medical education.
“As of now, there are instances of medical graduates with just 3-3.5 years from many sub-standard colleges abroad and we need to put a stop to such cases,” she said. Vanikar added that these graduates will have to spend at least 15-18 months following their degree before they can get a license to practice.
The guidelines are expected this week for public feedback before the final notification.
Starting 2023, when the National Exit Test gets implemented, all final-year medical students will need to take it in two steps. All local MBBS students will start internships in the colleges where they graduated. Foreign students successful in the NEXT step 1 exam will have internships in designated sites.
After a mentor-certified internship, they will need to appear for the NEXT step 2 exam and can get a license only after clearing it. Medical education activist Vivek Pandey said that the new proposal may make it more difficult for foreign medical graduates to pursue a career in India.
Poor scores in FMGEs
The passing percentage in the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination for students who get their MBBS abroad is just 10-20% every year. The FMGE is a prerequisite to get a license for medical practice in India