MBBS students express confusion regarding the new qualifying exam and suggest considering the NeXT year for its implementation


MBBS Students Express Confusion Over New Qualifying Exam; Suggest Delaying Implementation Until Next Year

the new qualifying exam, leading them to suggest considering the NeXT year for its implementation. The recent announcement by the National Medical Commission (NMC) stating that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, would conduct the National Exit Test (NeXT) further added to the uncertainty. However, a viral video of Union Health Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya’s remarks at AIIMS Raipur contradicted this statement by indicating that the NeXT would not be conducted for the 2019 batch.

The contradictory statements and lack of clarity from authorities have intensified the confusion among medical students, sparking protests and expressions of concern on social media platforms. Students are grappling with the sudden shift from preparing for NEET PG to preparing for the NExT, and now they are uncertain about which exam they should focus on. The unfamiliar marking pattern of the NExT exam has also contributed to student anxieties. With more than 10 subjects to prepare for the NEET PG exam, students express worries about their ability to clear the NExT due to factors such as negative marking, mark distribution, and question types.

Experts argue that the current move to an MCQ-based exam for medical licensing, with negative marking, is unjustified. The subjective approach has been integral to the MBBS curriculum, and sudden changes to the exam pattern could lead to the proliferation of entrance coaching centers, diverting students’ focus from learning clinical skills to memorizing entrance questions. While some experts appreciate the ministry for considering students’ pleas by indicating that the NExT will be conducted for the 2020 batch, this announcement has only deepened students’ confusion.

The situation has left students from the 2019 MBBS batch in a predicament, as they are unsure whether to prepare for the NExT or NEET PG. The constant flip-flopping has disrupted their preparation routines and added further stress to an already demanding period as they manage internships and final university exams.

Experts argue that the introduction of the NExT exam was unnecessary, suggesting that NEET PG and FMGE could have been combined instead of introducing additional exams that confuse students. They express concerns about the timing of the implementation, which hampers students’ ability to focus on practical lessons, leading interns to miss out on crucial learning opportunities. They believe that authorities should concentrate on improving the quality of existing medical exams, colleges, and courses rather than introducing new elements

The prevailing confusion among MBBS students underscores the urgent need for clearer communication and better coordination among authorities to alleviate the anxiety and uncertainty they face.
       This exam will jeopardize the rightful opportunity of medical students to practice medicine and will deprive society of the services of competent doctors. It is widely acknowledged that medical students acquire the ability to practice medicine through their comprehensive course, curriculum, and training. Merely excelling in an exam does not guarantee excellence as a doctor. It is imperative to prioritize the highest standards of medical education and foster a strong connection with society,” stated Dr. Vinay Aggarwal.

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