Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 27, 2007

Qualifying exam for doctors

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:20 am

Star: MALACCA: Medical graduates who studied overseas may have to sit for a unified medical examination and, whether their university is recognised or not, a pass in the examination would allow them to practise in Malaysia.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said this would ensure these graduates had the required standard and quality to practise medicine in the country.
He said the ministry was discussing the matter with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), adding that Malaysia recognises 344 universities for medical studies.
“We cannot continue giving recognition to more and more universities because we have to evaluate and monitor their standards from time to time.
“We are also not capable of doing so as there are more than 300 universities,” he told reporters after opening the 17th annual general meeting of the Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Universities here yesterday.
Dr Chua said the local unified medical examination had to be introduced as a long-term solution.
“We want to maintain the quality and standard of our doctors.
“It would be disappointing if, one day, Malaysians lose confidence in their own doctors.
“So we should not focus on quantity. The standard is more important,” he said, adding that there had lately been a drop in the quality of doctors.
Among the causes was the medical students’ lack of commitment. Many took up the course not because they were interested in medicine, he said.
Dr Chua said these students only believed they had to be doctors because of their excellent results in the SPM and STPM examinations.
“We have implemented a programme where we try to get them accustomed to a hospital environment for five days.
“At the end of it, we see about 10% of them pulling out of the course.
“What we want is commitment and passion which is lacking,” said Dr Chua, adding that the ministry would increase the number of course days to between seven and 10 next year.
He said that so far, the Government recognised eight Taiwanese universities and 250 of the graduates had registered to become doctors, 120 as dentists and 57 as pharmacists.

The Malaysian Medical Association said that although a unified medical examination for overseas graduates was good, it had to be well thought out.
Association president Datuk Dr Teoh Siang Chin said the examination could be conducted in three parts, comprising practical, written and viva voce.
“The plan will not work with the candidate sitting for just one paper. It could take between two and three days,” he said when contacted yesterday.
MMC president Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the examination would remove the problem of varying standards as a result of graduates coming from different universities.
The move would also see the MMC not being taxed with issues such as paperwork and conducting inspections on medical schools, which are time-consuming.

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