Indian medical students with degrees from Chinese universities await details of NMC guidelines for placements, say ‘no clarity’ yet

In July, the National Medical Council (NMC) issued placement guidelines for medical students who were pursuing their studies abroad and had returned to India due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Students were instructed to complete a mandatory two-year rotating medical internship, instead of the usual one-year internship, after passing the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE).

It was said that an extra year would make up for the practical component of the course that students would have missed due to the lockdown imposed by Covid-19. But the students complained that there was “no development on the NMC guidelines” and that they were “waiting for clarity”.

“As per general practice, we appear for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) in India. After clearing this, we are expected to do one more year of internship before we are recognized as doctors in the ‘India,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous.

They added, “Considering the terrible conditions of the last two years, NMC announced a one-time measure. Instead of one year, it said that we have to complete a two-year internship in India. But now there is no clarity”.

“We finished college, but then there was no way to go back to China for internship. The NMC also issued guidelines that medical courses completed in online mode will not be recognized in India,” said a other student

In April, the Supreme Court directed the regulatory body to frame a scheme within two months to allow MBBS students affected by the Russia-Ukraine war and the pandemic to complete their clinical training in medical colleges as single measure

In response, the NMC framed the plan for students who had returned due to the pandemic and issued guidelines. According to the same, students who have obtained a certificate of completion of the course from their respective universities, before June 30, 2022, will be able to take the Foreign Medical Graduate (FMG) exam. After qualifying the exam, students will have to complete the internship for two years, instead of the existing internship of one year.

Andrew Mathews, president of the Foreign Medical Graduate Parents Association (FMGPA), said, “This unique relief was granted by the NMC following a Supreme Court order in this regard. Students are ready to obey the new guidelines of the NMC and they are ready for two years of practice. But now there must be some development. Students who have finished the course are waiting aimlessly at home.”

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