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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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