Monday, Dec 05, 2022
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The Grim Gatekeeper

The Grim Gatekeeper

A doctor with a foreign degree? You fail!

The Grim Gatekeeper Narendra Bisht

A Fine Sieve

  • The qualifying test for doctors with foreign undergrad degrees is a breaker: few manage to clear it; some despite many attempts
  • It’s run twice a year by the National Board of Examinations
  • Candidates say it’s tough and tests PG-level knowledge
  • Policymakers wonder if the test is holding up a supply of doctors
  • Quality control is also a concern

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Thousands of doctors fail this examination every year, many despite being repeaters. These are Indians with undergraduate medical degrees from abroad. Failure to clear this screening test, administered twice a year by the National Board of Examinations (NBE), leads to a curious result: they may become general physicians in most countries, but not in India, which is short of some 10 lakh doctors.

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