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The plight of upcoming doctors

Chitra (who is also Suman’s wife), sent me this mail about what’s happening with PG admissions and the dilemma the students are in.

I have the utmost respect for doctors and what they do, given the conditions they work under, especially in our country. So many brilliant members of the community, flee the country, not just for the money but because of the apathetic conditions they are forced to work under, if they stay in India.

Here is the text of what she sent. Chitra says that this issue has not been highlighted by the mainstream media at all and she feels that we as bloggers and independent spokespeople should do an equally good job of spreading awareness by talking about it and passing this news around.

Here it is:

As you may already know, just MBBS is worth little and all doctors need to specialize. Well, this process is difficult unless you enjoy a quota via the reservations and also because the ratio of post graduation seats to the number of undergraduates being churned out is way off.

Anyway, the process of admission to PG is governed by entrance exams; the premier institutions like AIIMS JIPMER hold their own exams for the handful of seats they can offer on general merit. But for all the other
colleges scattered around the country there is just one exam, which happens once a year: the All India Medical Post Graduation Examination (AIPGE). Aspirants usually take at least six months off from their work
to prepare for this exam; some stretch it up to one and a half years if they had missed the bus the previous year. This exam is under control of the Medical Council of India and is conducted by the AIIMS institute every year.

This year, the AIPGE forms were given out in September, the exam was held on 7th January in centers all over the country, the results were announced on February 14,th and the counseling process was announced for March 3rd. But on March 1st 2006 there was an announcement made on the web site of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (www.mohfw.nic.in) about the counseling being postponed and the results withheld in response to ‘widespread malpractices noticed in Chennai’.

The Central Bureau of Investigation was called in to look into the issue. That was last official announcement made by the ministry. The Indian Medical Council did not even bother to send letters or even e-mails to all the candidates that were short-listed. Rumors of a re-examination and cancellation of exam run wild. The courses have to start by May 31 for them to be recognized by the Medical Council, if that doesn’t happen all the seats are lost for that year.

It does not come as too much of a surprise, for it is not the first time this has happened. This happened with the AIPGE exam in 2002; happens with many state exams every year.
• Results of the entrance conducted by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore is being contested in court.
• In Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra too, the results are being contested in court.

This search should throw up some relevant news articles.

The Medical Council and the ministry have failed to arrest those responsible for corruption and malpractices. And now, they choose to tax us, the doctors.

What is astonishing is how the mainstream media has been kept out of it completely. Only one news channel flashed it on their marquee for 24 hours. After that, no one carried a report, no follow up, nothing. I
appeal to you to kindly feature the story after researching it. We have an informal forum at www.rxpgonline.com where you have doctors lamenting about our state. And a few doctors are filing a case in the Supreme Court on behalf of the doctors.

If you could feature this story, the attention thus gathered would at least accelerate the process if not really put an end to this injustice meted out to those doctors that chose to stay back, instead of flying to UK or USA.

– Dr. Chitra. S

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12 Comments

  1. I think she wrote it sometime back. The MSM has finally started giving coverage. But, thanks a ton Anita. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Anita,
    I would just like to add that these Doctors think hard before flying to the UK, as the situation is extremely grim here.

  3. I believe we must give our young student doctors good living conditions, the resident doctors in Bombay live a NIGHTMARE with rats the size of mongooses scooting about their feet every night. These experiences scar them.

  4. hey anita
    thanks man.
    we did an interview with NDTV and CNN IBN yesterday.just that they have no time to air them too often with the glossy news happening around.
    thanks anyway :-}

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  6. Good one..nice to see indian bloggers spreading awareness about news and issues missed out by the TRP conscious mainstream media.

    Keep ’em coming…Adios

  7. I am a doctor from India. I can only tell you about my experience,and I know I am NOT alone…..
    The grass on the other side seems greener……

    Doctors doing their jobs on sponsorship fare better than those who have done the PLAB.

    Those doing the PLAB will find it even MORE difficult to obtain jobs due to the ruling by the BMA. This shouldn’t be true… As Passing the PLAB is really quite difficult and the GMC is making it even more so!!

    It’s not your smartness/knowledge that is truly assessed…FOR if that were the case, the opposite should be true….I mean, those passing the PLAB should really be absorbed/be able to find jobs.

    I THINK it more an issue of dumbing down…..that the NHS is truly interested in!!
    It is really a form of corruption, (not as everyone knows it, where money exchanges hands…..) it’s where one does not voice over issues of injustice/discrimination/ignorance. One is NOT a whistleblower, so to speak……
    And the NHS gets away with ANYTHING……(I do not want to mention the word….But I am sure you know the phrase!!)

    There are Loads of TRUE stories in the NHS where patients are NOT given treatment for their illnesses, and patients migrate to the INDIA for treatment.

    I am in a dilemma, where I am out of job, and am UNABLE to obtain treatment for my HIGH BP!!

    A few weeks ago, my BP was 220/125mm Hg, and I went to The Royal London Hospital A&E dept for it….and after waiting for 4 hours was told by the Consultant in Charge, she would NOT treat it, despite pointing out page 91 in the BNF (British National Formulary Oct 2005 edition) that Accelerated BP, requires IMMEDIATE medication!!

    This is my PLIGHT and I am a QUALIFIED DR from India, having passed my PLAB in the U.K.

    I don’t know the plight of the rest of my colleagues..
    I did meet a DR at the BMA careers Conference in Dec 2005, who was from KEM/Bombay, who was in a similar situation!!

    And the Immigration Dept is making it EVEN more DIFFICULT for Drs from non EU countries to obtain a visa…..

    One loses the SKILLS obtained through ALL those years of HARD WORK….

    Is it WORTH IT?

    It is not only BRAIN DRAIN, with all the resources that the Indian Govt puts in to train Drs in India.

    It is at a more PERSONAL FRONT!! (skills, obtaining treatment, money to sustain oneself, visa are some of the issues)

    I would advice ALL doctors from refraining to come to the U.K. especially of they want to do the PLAB.

    It is NOT worth IT!!

    Had somebody told me this When I came here years ago, I would definately have thought twice!!

    And apart from the skills one loses, one is at risk of losing ones LIFE!!

    I am not being MELODRAMATIC but due to the complexity of the situation, It is not just by NOT giving treatment as I have mentioned above, which is is dangerous in itself, BUT because one is at risk of Identity Fraud!!

    I have this female trespassing into my flat (I know because of the video timer, which gets deleted, and other clues) coming LATE at night…..

    And obviously her intentions are not good…..

    I can’t imagine it is to watch TV or my Videos that brings her tbere….

    And she has to be operating in a NETWORK…..

    BUT I stay OUT of my flat at night to avoid any misadventures/etc.

    It is as DANGEROUS as THAT!!

    You would think the Police would help…..
    But I am not sure of that either?? I am not sure if I have come accross a corrupt police officer ?? I have yet to find out.

    IS IT ALL WORTH IT??

    Please convey this to the budding doctors and deter them from coming to the U.K.

    I have taken it upon myself to forewarn them from coming here and ONLY prayed, that had somebody told me this When I was ready to come here ALL those years ago, I would well have NOT wasted my LIFE towards this fruitless PURSUIT of a FOREIGN DEGREE!!

    I think they should abolish this notion in India about foreign degrees being better…..

    It is merely a MYTH!!

  8. drkrishna says

    i am so frustrated by reservations in allindia that i feel like slitting my wrist..
    never did it happen in aipge before nor were we told about it at the time of writing exams

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