As I have said before, soon the government will introduce a common exam for all medical graduates from overseas. The news in Start today by our Director General of Health is the clearest indications of that. However, we need to wait till the Medical Act is amended, which will likely take place this year or after the general election.
BUT I do not agree that this will only apply for the foreign medical schools. No doubt that it is difficult to monitor the quality of foreign medical schools by the Malaysian Medical Council. As such, like most other countries, the best way will be to ask everyone who graduate from overseas to sit a common exam to be able to get a job in Malaysia. I wonder whether it will apply for JPA and MARA scholars as well but usually JPA students should not have any problems as they are the top students in the country. Can’t say the same for MARA students as the drop out rate for MARA medical students internationally is almost 30% (this info is from MARA itself).
I feel the MMC should come up with a structured exam for the local private and public universities as well,or at least have periodic inspection to monitor their lecturer ratio, teaching quality and entry qualifications. The quality of their graduates should also be monitored. With unemployed doctors being a distant reality, I just hope parents will stop thinking that medicine will give their child a luxury life!
Exam for docs won’t cause brain drain
By LOH FOON FONG
PETALING JAYA: A proposed amendment to the Medical Act to compel all overseas medical graduates to sit for a common licensing examination will not worsen the brain drain situation, Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said.
“The Malaysian Medical Council examinations are not meant to make things difficult for them but to assess their core knowledge. They should not worry if they have passed their university examinations,” he said.
Dr Ismail, who is also Malaysian Medical Council president, said in view of the weakness in monitoring foreign institutions, the council had proposed to do away with the Second Schedule of the Medical Act, containing the list of recognised foreign medical schools.
“Students can choose any university they wish to attend abroad but they have to sit for and pass a common licensing examination before being accepted for registration,” he said, adding that this was practised in many developed countries.
The proposed examination, which would be different from the current Medical Qualifying Examination for students from unrecognised universities abroad, would ensure that doctors were “fit to practise” as safe and competent doctors, he said.
Recently, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the examination was one of the proposals it was looking into when amending the Act.
Although the Malaysian Medical Association and senior doctors had suggested that all medical graduates be made to sit for a common examination, Liow said it would only apply to overseas graduates.
It was not necessary for local graduates to sit for the examination as local institutions were easier to monitor, officials said.
However, senior doctors advocated otherwise, claiming that local schools could lower passing grades to make their universities look good.
Recently, The Star reported on the lack of training hospitals to meet the influx of housemen and a doctor had expressed concerns that some graduates lacked core knowledge and could jeopardise patient safety.
Asked where people could get advice on medical schools that met the country’s requirements if the Second Schedule was removed, Dr Ismail said they could get this from colleges and the council.