PMA demands execution of merit in MDCAT, NLE

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Monday expressed concern over mismanagement in MDCAT and demanded implementation of merit in MDCAT and National Licensing Exam (NLE). 

The central council of PMA said that affairs of PMC, MDCAT and NLE were discussed at large. The Central Councillors of the body opposed creation of Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) from the day one and rejected dissolution of PMDC. 

The PMA in a statement said that it is not against any exam instead it has always demanded to follow merit. 

“PMA wants improvement of standards of medical education in Pakistan for producing competent doctors. But the way MDCAT was conducted is absolutely wrong. PMA is of the view that before implementing NLE it should be discussed with medical educationists, stakeholders and representatives of PMA,” it said. 

It said PMA believes that such noxious decisions will be harmful for both medical profession and medical education. 

The council expressed concern over the recent situation in the country due to mismanagement in MDCAT Exam. 

Association says before implementing NLE it should be discussed with medical educationists, stakeholders, representatives of PMA

“The PMA believes that students are rightly demanding to cancel the MDCAT exam due to its alleged technical flaws,” the statement said. 

Meanwhile, the PMA in its statement said that National Medical Authority of Pakistan Medical Commission announced the result of the NLE Step 2 (Medical) examination held from the 29th–31st October 2021. 

1,012 students sat for the NLE Step 2 (Medical) examination with results of 149 students who appeared at the Multan Centre withheld. The pass percentage for the NLE Step 2 (Medical) was 6.95%. 

The 2021 NLE Step 2 (Medical) is applicable for foreign graduates only to assess their clinical skills to function as a safe and independent practitioner. A Full License to practice in Pakistan is to be issued only after passing the NLE Step 2 examination. A foreign graduate who is unable to qualify the NLE Step 2 is also allowed to attempt the NLE Step 2 (Medical) three times within 5 year period. 

Two of the key issues highlighted during assessments carried out by the PMA are non-availability of sufficient hospitals and patient flow necessary for clinical training of foreign students in these countries and the language barrier which exists at local hospitals and amongst health care professionals who are expected to impart clinical education. 

This ultimately results in foreign students not undertaking proper and mandatory clinical training at these colleges and hospitals. 

Many of the foreign colleges have been offering and marketing MBBS programmes as foreign programmes rather than offering the locally recognised medical programme in that country. 

Effectively these colleges cater primarily to students from countries like Pakistan to provide them with a medical degree which they can take back to their home country for seeking a medical license. 

It is also for this reason that majority of the graduates from these colleges never obtain practice license in those countries or practice there as they would not fulfil the educational training required for such licensing. 

Clinical training is an integral part of a medical training programme and is mandatory for patient diagnosis, treatment and care. 

The NLE Step 2 (Medical) examination assess the competence and skill of a student to be a safe doctor and only upon passing the exam is allowed to practice in Pakistan.

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