Saturday, January 21, 2006

80% failures in medical exam

Star: PETALING JAYA: Medical graduates from unrecognised foreign universities fared even worse in a special qualifying exam with a passing rate of only 20%, compared with 30% in the regular Medical Qualifying Examination (MQE).
This was despite enrolling for a six-month training programme under which they were paid RM500 a month and attached to nine government hospitals.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican attributed their poor performance in the one-off examination to their poor theoretical knowledge.
“The outcome speaks for itself – that the graduates’ lack of theoretical knowledge is the main factor that caused them to fail the MQE,’’ said Dr Ismail, who is also Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) president. Local students' passing rate is much higher at 98% for the same exam.
Although more than 200 medical graduates were eligible, only 69 candidates sat for the examination. A total of 14 candidates, or 20.3%, passed the examination.
Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia have been running the MQE since 1994 for local and foreign medical students.
Dr Ismail said MMC was thinking of introducing a standard examination for all overseas-trained medical graduates. However, this would require amendments to the Medical Act.
Instead of going by the current list comprising 343 scheduled universities – some of which no longer exist – all returning medical graduates should sit for a common qualifying medical exam, he said.
Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Datuk Dr Teoh Siang Chin said students were regularly warned by the MMC and the MMA not to seek admission into unrecognised colleges.

# Read the full report in StarEducation Sunday

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