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Foreign medical graduates fail MCI exam (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

Foreign medical graduates don’t tend to Qualify Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE)
A foreign medical degree may sound like a passport to a successful practice in India. But in reality, only a woefully small percentage of doctors with foreign degrees equivalent to the MBBS get to practice in the country — at least legally.

Somewhere between 70 and 80 per cent of these students fail to clear the mandatory screening examination conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE).

What is FMGE?
Medical Council of India Screening Test, also known as Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), is a licensure examination conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in India. 

Background
Since 2002, it has been mandatory for All Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) to clear an examination Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) to secure a Medical Council of India (MCI) registration, without which they cannot practice in India.

Statistics
Out of the 29,968 students who have appeared for the last five examinations, only 3,610 (a mere 12 per cent) have passed. Records from the MCI and the NBE reveal that while thousands of FMGs appear for the exam every year, the pass percentage has rarely gone beyond 26 per cent.

What happens to the majority who fail to clear the FMGE? 
Several students who fail to qualify begin practising without approval of Medical Council of India.

Allegations on FMGE and the response?
Allegations are that the NBE has deliberately kept the FMGE tough to keep out foreign medical graduates. 

An official stated in response that FMGE is like any other licensure exam, fully based on the MCI’s curriculum, with no negative marking.

Points to ponder
1. The fact that the pass percentage of FMGE has been consistently low over the years would certainly raise a pointer about the quality of education received. 

A number of the unsuccessful students have graduated from medical universities in China, Russia and Ukraine, which are a big draw for Indians aspiring to be doctors. 
These countires offer undergraduate degrees equivalent to the Indian MBBS at a far lower cost and without the tough entrance examinations and admission process.

2. Illegal Practice by the unsuccessful foreign medical graduates.

3. Non –issuance of license even when there is a serious shortage of health workers.

 



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