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Last Updated : Sep 10, 2019 01:54 PM IST | Source:

Why many Indians with a foreign MBBS fail to get licenced here

Roughly 61,500 foreign graduates appeared for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) conducted by the NBE between 2015 and 2018, of which only around 8,700 were able to qualify.

Tanya Khandelwal @TanyaKhandelw15

Nearly 85 percent of students with a foreign MBBS degree have failed to clear an exam that grants them the licence to practise in India, data shows.

Roughly 61,500 foreign MBBS graduates appeared for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) conducted by the National Board of Examination between 2015 and 2018, of which only around 8,700 were able to qualify.

A majority of these are Indian students who went abroad to get an MBBS after failing to secure a seat in their home country.


All foreign MBBS degree holders, except those from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, need to clear the FMGE in order to practise in India.

Source: National Board of Examination

Over the past six years, the pass percentage for students who cleared the FMGE ranged from a high of 28.29 in 2012-13 to a low of 9.44 in 2016-17, according to a report by The Print.

In fact, not a single MBBS graduate from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Germany, Grenada, Haiti, Hungary, Lithuania, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Zambia were able to clear the exam.

A good number of Indian students go abroad annually to study medicine due to the small number of seats available in medical colleges here.

In 2018 alone, the Medical Council of India (MCI) issued 17,504 eligibility certificates to foreign medical aspirants looking to enroll overseas, an RTI data suggests. (To study medicine abroad, students require an eligibility certificate, a mandate that came into force only in January 2014.)

Substandard education offered at some medical colleges abroad is very often considered the reason behind the inability of such graduates to crack the FMGE.

To tackle this problem, the Board of Governors (BoG) under the MCI, which regulates medical education in India is mulling measures to help foreign medical graduates clear the exam.

These could include orientation courses, simulation exercises or even having them work with some private hospitals to gain more experience, BoG chairman Dr VK Paul told Hindustan Times.

"It will at least prepare them to face the competition. The rest will be up to them to work hard and crack the necessary exams," he told the paper.

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First Published on Sep 9, 2019 08:20 pm
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