MBBS interns in limbo over NEET-PG eligibility criteria

MBBS interns in limbo over NEET-PG eligibility criteria

MBBS students who enrolled in their undergraduate colleges in 2017 finished their four-year academic course in January 2021 following which they were required to complete a year-long medical internship

Aditi AlurkarUpdated: Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 11:52 AM IST
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MBBS results for the final semester are generally released by March every year, as per NMC rules, after which students can apply for their internship tenure |

Mumbai: In a major setback, the majority of eighty thousand MBBS graduates in the country will not be able to pursue postgraduate studies due to the National Medical Commission (NMC) internship regulations. As per the norm, the NMC instructed MBBS students graduating in 2023 to finish their medical internships before March, failure to do so disqualifies them from appearing for NEET PG 2023- the nationwide entrance test for postgraduate medical students.

MBBS students who enrolled in their undergraduate colleges in 2017 finished their four-year academic course in January 2021 following which they were required to complete a year-long medical internship. MBBS results for the final semester are generally released by March every year, as per NMC rules, after which students can apply for their internship tenure.

Owing to the pandemic, several medical colleges failed to declare the student results on time postponing their internships. “Nearly 80% of the students got their results only by April or May,” explained Dr. Rohan Krishnan, the national chairman of the Federation of All India Medical Association.

This covid induced delay has now snowballed into an entire batch of medical students who are ineligible for the NEET PG 2023. NEET aspirants are now asking the NMC to relax these stringent eligibility requirements. “A doctor approached Health Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya in Chattisgarh to convey our plight, the minister had no idea that the number of students suffering was so large. So now we’re consolidating data of all the students who will miss their exams to let NMC know the extent of the damage. So far, we have 155 colleges where results for the entire batch were delayed,” said Dr. Ritika Raj, an MBBS intern whose stint goes on till July.

Apart from central institutes like AIIMS, very few state-run or private colleges have caught up with NMC’s pace, say students. The cutoffs for an entire batch of doctors will be low if the number of students drops for NEET PG 2023, while those appearing for NEET 2024 will face immense competition. Last year, students were allowed to complete their internships by July 2022.

“The academic calendar for medical studies has been all over the place since the Medical Council of India was disbanded. Now National Board of Examinations, Medical Counselling Committee, and NMC are all governing different aspects of the same exam, while none of them are working in tandem,” said Krishnan.

The National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBEMS) opened registration for NEET PG 2023 on January 7, 2023. The exam will take place on March 5 from 7 am to 7 pm, and the admit card will be made available on February 27.

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