India: Govt body refuses to recognise medical degree of thousands

Thousands of graduates from foreign medical universities are now in a fix as India’s National Board of Examinations does not recognise their degrees, putting the future of their career as a doctor in doubt, The Hindu Business Line reports.

Out of the 6,498 Indian students who showed up for the mandatory bi-annual Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) – an exam foreign graduates have to take to register and practise in India – last month, only 480 successfully got their degrees recognised.

Abhishek Pandey, 27, who graduated from Smolensk State Medical Academy, Russia in 2016 says he is determined to keep trying despite failing to gain recognition from FMGE twice.

“I have no choice,” he told Business Line.

Many Indian students head to universities overseas as they did not make the entry requirements into Indian colleges. Medical schools in Ukraine, China or Russia charge less than the private medical colleges back home.

The result of FMGE’s decision is an estimated US$500 million loss when these graduates are not able to pursue a medical career.

Some take up administrative staff positions in hospitals, such as Medica Superspecialty hospital in Kolkata whereas others end up selling healthcare products or work in medical transcription. Many also become unlicensed doctors, according to an industry observer.

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