Challenges Behind the Low Pass Percentage in Foreign Medical Graduates Examination

Explore the reasons behind the consistently low pass percentage in the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) and the impact of factors such as lack of clinical exposure and substandard medical education in foreign colleges.

Gobind Arora
Published on: 8 Feb 2024 9:25 AM GMT
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Around 22% of candidates have successfully qualified in the recently released results of the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) 2023, highlighting a persistently low pass percentage in this crucial exam. With nearly 78% of students who pursued medical education abroad failing the test, the challenges surrounding this examination demand attention and understanding.

Over the years, the pass percentage for the FMGE has consistently remained low, fluctuating between 10% to 20%. In 2014, the pass percentage reached a concerning 4.93%, while the December 2022 FMGE recorded the highest qualifying percentage at 39%. Notably, students from countries like Bangladesh and Nepal have exhibited better pass rates compared to their counterparts from countries such as Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.

Experts attribute the low pass percentage to various factors, with a primary concern being the lack of clinical exposure and substandard medical education in foreign medical colleges. Unlike their Indian counterparts, students in these colleges often lack proper infrastructure and clinical training opportunities, hindering their ability to gain essential knowledge and skills required for medical practice in India.

One significant difference lies in the mandatory one-year internship that Indian medical students undergo as part of their MBBS degree. This internship provides invaluable patient exposure and clinical training, which is often absent in the curriculum of foreign medical colleges. As a result, students educated abroad find it challenging to meet the requirements of the licensing exam in India.

Addressing this issue is complex, as reducing the difficulty level of the licensing exam is not a viable solution. Doing so could result in the entry of under-skilled doctors into the healthcare system, posing risks to patient safety. The Foreign Medical Graduates Examination serves as a screening test for medical graduates seeking eligibility to practice medicine in India. Administered twice a year in June and December by the National Board of Examinations, the exam is open to both Indian citizens and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) aspiring to acquire the registration certificate from the National Medical Commission (NMC) or the State Medical Council (SMC).

The consistently low pass percentage in the FMGE sheds light on the challenges faced by medical graduates educated abroad. The lack of clinical exposure, substandard medical education, and the absence of infrastructure in foreign medical colleges contribute to this issue. While finding a solution is essential, maintaining the integrity of the licensing exam remains crucial to ensuring the competency of medical professionals entering the Indian healthcare system.

Gobind Arora

Gobind Arora

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