Amidst concerns from doctors and parents of medical students about the proposed National Exit Test(NEXT), experts are pointing out the impracticality of such an exam. At a panel discussion that was held in Mumbai on Sunday, experts said that NEXT cannot act as a licensing test for doctors.

The Indian Medical Council(Amendment) Bill 2015 has proposed the exit test for medical students to procure the title of a doctor. Also, it’s to replace the entrance test for PG admissions.

However, according to an expert who was present at the discussion, a single exam cannot serve the two purposes of licensing and of an entrance exam since both these assess different capabilities of the candidates.

As Sagar Mundada, Chief advisor of MARD puts it, “All agreed that standardization in medical education is necessary but NEXT is not the way out. It was suggested that the final-year exam be standardized across India to improve quality of doctors.”

As per Dr Pravin Shingare, director, directorate of medical education and research, giving doctors the licenses should be the state’s prerogative. . “The exit test will act as a licensing test. For 50 years, we had no test for registering doctors. This will also mean that the Centre will have a say in doctors getting a licence from the state medical council,” said Shingare.

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