NExT exam must for foreign medical graduates to intern in India: NMC regulations

NExT exam will replace NEET PG and FMGE and also serve as a licensing exam at the end of MBBS. NMC frames regulations.

Foreign medical students protest in Rajasthan over limited internship seats (Representative Image: Twitter/@JandKMedicalAss)Foreign medical students protest in Rajasthan over limited internship seats (Representative Image: Twitter/@JandKMedicalAss)

Sanjay | June 10, 2023 | 01:46 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Foreign medical graduates (FMGs) will now have to qualify the National Exit Test (NExT) alongwith fulfilling conditions specified in the Foreign Medical Graduates Regulations, 2021, for provisional registration for internship with the concerned state medical council. This is the National Medical Commission’s new policy for FMGs, notified last month. However, students studying in Indian medical colleges will have to clear the qualifying examination of their respective institutions to be registered. The NExT effectively replaces the Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE).

After completing their four and a half years in their course, MBBS graduates have to undergo one year of internship in designated hospitals. Last month NMC provided “one-time relaxation” to FMGs complete internship in India. It provided a list of recognised non-teaching hospitals for Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) issued by the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI) for one year (upto May 2024), for internship for FMGs only.

NMC’s “Registration of Medical Practitioners and Licence to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023” state that both Indian and foreign medical students have to clear the proposed NExT exam to get themselves registered in the National Medical Register (NMR) for licence to practice.

NExT exam

NExT will serve as a common qualifying final year MBBS exam, a licentiate exam to practice modern medicine and for merit-based admission to postgraduate courses and a screening exam for foreign medical graduates who want to practice in India. NExT will be held next year and is likely to be conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, official sources told news agency Press Trust of India on Thursday.

The new regulations were notified in The Gazette of India on May 10 and were uploaded on the NMC website on June 8. The new regulations deal with registration in the national medical register, application for licence to practise medicine and other rules related to medical licence.

Also Read | AIIMS excluded from list of medical colleges offering mandatory internships to FMGs: NMC

NMC Regulations: Medical licence

Students will have to pay a processing fee to NMC for generation of Unique Identification (UID) numbers to register with the NMR and practise in India. The Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) will maintain the register and the NRM will be available for public viewing on the NMC official website.

Students who have passed MBBS have to apply to EMRB online and opt for any state. The concerned medical council will grant the licence. Once the state medical council has approved the application, the NMR and the state medical register will be updated.

Additional medical qualifications

A registered medical practitioner after obtaining additional medical qualification will have to apply to the concerned state medical council to have the entry against their name updated with the new qualifications. The update will show and a new registration certificate issued after scrutiny.

“A licenced practitioner with registered additional qualifications shall be allowed to practise in the field of specialisation or super-specialisation commensurate with additional knowledge and skill obtained, as applicable to the additional qualification anywhere in India with all its privileges,” NMC said.

Also Read | NEET UG: NMC changes age criteria for medical entrance exam

Licence Validity

The licence to practise medicine will be valid for five years.

The application for renewal can be made a maximum of three months after the expiry of the existing licence. “If no application is received within three months of expiration of the validity of licence, the entry of the name of the medical practitioner in the state register shall be converted as inactive and the person shall not be entitled to practice medicine. The inactive status made in the state register against a medical practitioner, shall automatically reflect in the NMR,” NMC has said.

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