NEET judgement on medical entrance results
The Supreme Court has directed medical colleges to declare all pending Post Graduate results, which were stayed by the December 13, 2012, order. However, this is only an interim arrangement for this year and a final judgment will be delivered by the Supreme Court in the first week of July.
The Supreme Court has also left the option of following the NEET result on the colleges. This means that the colleges who want to follow the NEET results for admissions can do the same and the colleges who want to admit students on the basis of their independent exams are free to do so. This makes NEET a voluntary admission process for colleges.
This is only a stop-gap arrangement for this year. The final verdict, I am sure, would be in favour of the common entrance. Instead of performing a SalyaPariksha on the verdict, I would like to elaborate why a common entrance is essential for India.
Why do we need a common entrance for Medicine?
The brightest engineers of the nation write and qualify through a common entrance test. The brightest Chartered Accountants write a common entrance. The best MBA colleges have a common entrance for their Institutes ( of course you need to exclude ponytail Arindam)
Then why can’t the post graduate seats in the medical field have a common entrance. Doctors who would want to pursue a course in post graduate medical courses need to run from pillar to post and appear for the several different entrance exams (40 at the latest count).
An entrance in Delhi for the AIIMS, an exam in the Chandigarh for PGI, an exam in Hyderabad for APPG, an entrance in Bangalore for Manipal, an entrance in Chennai for the JIPMER. And the list goes on and on. The poor doctors have to run around quite a while.
A single entrance would certainly ease out all our problems and make it less complicated and cumbersome.
The single entrance would also help to streamline the testing pattern for undergraduate and post graduate entrances so that the entire nation follows a standardized testing model for MBBS and MD/MS entrances. This shall enable students to be judged with the same parameters and levels of difficulty, regardless the university they intend to join.
A common entrance will give a chance for medical students to study in different colleges of the nation instead of forever being stuck in Himachal Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. This can increase your horizons. India is a vast nation with several diseases and complexes which are area specific. (Japanese Encephalitis in Uttar Pradesh, Leishmaniasis in Bihar, Complicated Malaria in the tribal belts, Goitre in the hilly tracts and the list goes on)
I remember a conversation between Fenyman (an undergrad at MIT) and his professor from “Surely You Must be Joking Mr. Fenyman“. It goes on like this.
Slater asked “Why do you think you should go to graduate school at MIT?”
“Because MIT is the best school for science in the country.
“You think that?”
“That’s why you should go to some other school. You should find out how the rest of the world is”
Fenyman goes to Princeton.
Our doctors also deserve to go to some other college in some other state in India. Our engineers and our accountants are already doing it.
Minority institutions oppose the single entrance saying that they are run on certain principles. ( CMC Vellore claims that it is run on Christian values)
I don’t understand where the issue of principles based upon faith has anything to do with medical education. The only principles that a doctor should be expected to follow are the holy commandments enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath.
As long as we continue to try to divide the nation, even its esteemed and superior medical institutions (Remember CMC has given us Dr Mary Verghese, the angel in the wheelchair) through the narrow confines of religion and faith, we do India a grave injustice.
Private medical colleges will make a killing by selling the medical seats, Private medical colleges (barring a few which maintain standards of high professionalism) are usually understaffed, don’t have the adequate infrastructure facilities or teaching professors.
A medical student learns more from the patient than from his textbooks and thus it is essential for a teaching hospital to have a good out-patient and in-patient turnover. The required hospital inpatients per medical student as per the guidelines is 5 in India ( i.e. if your medical college has 150 seats, it should have at least a 750 bedded hospital) and an outpatient turnover of 8 per patient ( So adds up to 900 outpatients per student)
My teaching hospital, King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam has in-patient strength of 1500 for its sanctioned medical college strength of 150. We handle an outpatient turnover of over 4000-5000. So we are pretty happily cushioned. But there are is famous private medical college in Guntur district which records an Outpatient turnover of … hold your breath… of 3-4. (We could err on details. Some days may see a 100% increase in the OP to 6-8)
Another medical college in East Godavari district had a rather unpleasant experience with the MCI when the patients who were lying down on the hospital beds casually told the visiting MCI officials who had come for an inspection that they had been paid for coming to the hospital. The recognition for the above mentioned college was temporarily suspended. But now they are fine. Its run by a politician (No guesses for that!)
Another medical college in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh usually has an inpatient turnover of 2 in their General Medicine wards in a month. That’s the number of patients my teaching hospital has per bed!!!!
These are only instances that my colleagues have told me. I am sure the scene is the same in private colleges in Maharashtra or Karnataka or pretty much anywhere.
You can imagine the standard of students who are bulk processed out of such colleges. Medicine is a science that is learnt by seeing, observing and performing. A surgeon will hone his skills with each surgery that he attends. A gynecologist becomes more of an expert with each delivery she conducts. With the abysmal conditions in private medical colleges, we shall end up being treated by doctors who have little or no hands-on experience. These will just be licensed quacks.
In spite of all this, private medical colleges continue to make a killing out of the medical college entrances. Why?
There are students who are willing to pay, pay big money to become doctors. If I paid 2 crores for a seat in MD General Medicine, would my priority be service to the patient or recovering my investment back? Ponder over this thought.
Unlike Engineering or Business Management, the proliferation of private investment must be carefully controlled in the field of Medicine. This is because, unlike the other streams, the doctor’s first priority isn’t (and shouldn’t be) monetary benefit. It should be service to the patient. When a profession, which is revered and worshipped is brought down to the level of shady deals in dingy bars, I think it is time for us to introspect.
The MCI’s decision to push for a common entrance test is an attempt to clean the system and ensure that candidates who have passed the entrance alone are admitted into the medical stream and private medical colleges don’t sell seats, as if they were a cinema theatre.
Private Medical Colleges opposing NEET are opposing it for several “principles and institutionalized” reasons. But the fact is simple. They oppose it for only one reason. They can’t admit at will any longer. They can’t sell seats at will anymore. They can’t run fiefdoms anymore. Simple reasons. A kid can tell you this.
Medicine is equal to the water of the sacred Ganges and the physician is equal to Lord Vishnu.