Medical World Shaken: Shocking Changes to MBBS Exam Standards!

Healthcare experts are expressing concerns about the potential long-term consequences of recent adjustments in the medical education system and their impact on healthcare quality and the medical profession in the state.

In a recent development, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has decided to ease the passing criteria for the MBBS exam, thereby lowering the requirements for students to qualify. However, this decision has raised apprehensions about its implications for the healthcare sector.

While the overall passing score for subjects, which include both theoretical and practical components, remains at 50% as per the revised guidelines issued on September 1, the significant change lies in the minimum percentage required for individual subject components. This minimum percentage has been reduced from 50% to 40%. Similarly, for subjects with two papers, students now need to achieve an aggregate score of only 40%, as opposed to the previous requirement of 50%. These revised guidelines are set to be implemented starting from October 1. The Board of Studies at the Kerala University of Health Sciences is scheduled to convene on Friday to discuss the implementation process.

Health experts are expressing concerns about the potential long-term consequences of these adjustments on the quality of healthcare and the medical profession within the state.

A senior faculty member of a medical college pointed out that these new guidelines appear to contradict the recommendations of the Competency-Based Medical Education Regulation. He stated, “Passing the MBBS exam was already challenging, and now the standards have been further relaxed. Students who qualify for MBBS under these new guidelines may encounter difficulties when attempting to practice or pass qualifying exams in other countries.” He emphasized that practical assessments would play a crucial role in helping students achieve better scores, with the support of their colleges.

The frequent changes in NMC guidelines have also left students perplexed. Dr. C. Ravindran, an additional professor at Thrissur Government Medical College, suggested that these frequent alterations indicate that the NMC is exploring various approaches to adapt to changing circumstances. He remarked, “Confusion is likely to persist until the NMC finalizes its standards. With MBBS now being considered a basic degree, the focus is shifting toward specialization.”

Dr. Althaf A, a professor at Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College, emphasized the need to enhance examination standards. He suggested that examinations should be made more structured, with theory papers featuring multiple-choice questions based on real-life scenarios.

Addressing these concerns, Dr. Mohanan Kunnummal, the Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Health Sciences, reassured that the recent changes would not lead to a decline in quality. He stated, “The changes are relatively minor. In fact, the guidelines have eliminated a 5-mark moderation and made internal assessments a qualifying component only. Previously, there were complaints that private colleges were lenient with internal assessment marks when they were included in the summative assessment.” Dr. Mohanan mentioned that the NMC decided to alter the criteria following complaints that some students were passing exams primarily based on theory marks.

Leave a Comment