Doctors in India are divided over a recent decision by the apex medical regulatory body to set the qualifying percentile for NEET-PG 2023 to zero. While some doctors welcome the decision, others have criticized it, raising concerns about the quality of medical education in the country and the potential for corruption.
Dr Wiqar Shaikh, professor of Medicine at Grant Medical College and Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals, expressed shock at the decision, stating that it could promote corruption and stimulate an increase in fees in private medical colleges. He also pointed out that the previous qualifying percentiles for PG Medical and Dental admissions were 50 for the general category and 40 for reserved categories.
Dr Shaikh further highlighted the recent recognition of six medical colleges in Mumbai by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) and the potential implications of the decision on zero percentiles for these colleges. He raised concerns that the decision could lead to the cancellation of approvals for these colleges.
Dr Ketan Vagholkar, professor of Surgery at DY Patil Medical College, criticized the decision, stating that it defeats the purpose of a PG medical entrance test. He emphasized the importance of maintaining quality and standards in medical education and selecting doctors who meet the intellectual standards required for their profession.
The decision on zero percentiles in NEET-PG has been a longstanding demand from organizations like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) due to discriminatory cut-off slabs in the past. The decision aims to eliminate these discriminatory practices and ensure that qualified doctors can access PG courses in India, reducing the dependence on foreign universities.
Some doctors, like Dr Santosh Bansode, an emergency medicine specialist, welcome the decision as it can help fill vacant seats in non-clinical subjects. However, he acknowledged that the demand for such seats might still be limited as most doctors prefer clinical practice.
The decision on zero percentiles in NEET-PG has generated mixed opinions among doctors in India. While some see it as a welcome move that addresses past discriminatory practices, others express concerns about the potential impact on the quality of medical education and the overall healthcare system. Ultimately, the effects of this decision on postgraduate medical education in India will be observed in the coming years.