By Srishti Chauhan:
A recent proposal by the Medical Council of India (MCI) regarding an ‘exit exam’ for students is encountering a number of thumbs-up from various agencies like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as well the different government-owned medical colleges.
The idea proposes to test the clinical skills of students post their one year-long internship. The idea is welcomed by IMA as it feels that this will lead to an improvement in the quality of doctors in the country.
With a flood of private medical colleges, the quality of doctors has degraded substantially. The reason for the same is quite simple. In a government college, no professor benefits from passing a student. They are unbiased as the passing or failing of a student does not affect them.
On the contrary, a private medical college often prioritizes the building of reputation amongst the customer base relative to quality of education imparted. Moreover, rampant corruption induces selling of exam papers as well as passing students who can shell out enough money for the same.
This exam, if implemented, will test the students on practical knowledge that they acquire over the years they spend in a medical college. This will lead to more seriousness amongst the students about the significance of their job.
Another massive problem that this will address is that all students, irrespective of whether they are from general category or from a reservation background, shall be tested on an even ground and this will equalize any difference in ability that the private hospitals may perceive. If a student from, say an OBC quota is able to clear the exam then there will be no doubt regarding his ability in the minds of the private hospitals.
However, like all good ideas, this one too shall face opposition from the medical colleges that have been rampantly involved in malpractices where producing doctors is concerned. Also, if this exam is not centralized, it is likely that colleges will set the papers and the practical such that most of their students are likely to clear it. The centralization of the exam is, therefore, a must.
Moreover, this exam will not put any extra pressure on the minds of the students. As is a known fact, the more difficult your task is, the better you are valued. Students, generally, aim to pursue post graduation degrees like MS (Master of Surgery) of MD (Doctor of Medicine) post their graduation. For the entrance of the institutes that offer post graduation, the students need to be well versed with all the knowledge that has been imparted to them in the span of the 4 years they spend in the college. Therefore, this exam shall be an added practice for the students who shall anyway have to revise their courses.
This exam shall be a way forward in the history of medicine in the country. India- already known for producing world-class doctors- shall move several rungs higher up in the ranking of doctoral abilities. Moreover, earlier there were few very exceptional doctors that made the country proud. With the implementation of this system, the average quality of doctors in the country shall go up enormously. Also, the implementation of this system shall lead to a change in the mindset of developed nations where students from India who are pursuing post graduation are not allowed to take up core areas of medicine like cardiology and neurology very easily.
Lastly, the lack of good doctors working in rural areas for the enhancement of health status has been an ever-increasing crisis faced by the country. The outflow of good doctors well versed in their subjects and tested in their skills-from both governmental as well as private institutions will address and reduce this problem to a large extent. With this, all that is left is for the MCI to give a green flag for the implementation of this much desired idea!
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and a student of Delhi University.