NExT exam in February 2028 for students joining MBBS this year; NMC issues CBME regulations

NMC’s CBME regulations 2023 also define skills MBBS students need to acquire and the approach to teaching medical colleges must adopt.

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The period of four-and-a-half years that an MBBS course lasts will be divided into three phases. (Representative Image: MGHMC Jabalpur)The period of four-and-a-half years that an MBBS course lasts will be divided into three phases. (Representative Image: MGHMC Jabalpur)

Sanjay | August 2, 2023 | 03:44 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The new batch of MBBS students joining medical colleges this year will write the National Exit Test (NExT) Step 1 in February 2028; the NExT step 2 will be held in February 2029, according to the academic calendar issued by National Medical Commission (NMC) in its Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) regulations 2023.

Originally, the MBBS batch joining this year was to appear for the NExT examination in December 2027 or January 2028. But the Graduate Medical Education Regulations (GMER) 2023 in which the schedule was given had been withdrawn by the NMC. The new schedule was announced by the NMC’s Under Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) on Tuesday in its CBME regulations 2023 document. The NMC NExT exam for the 2023 MBBS admissions will be held in FEbruary 2028. The schedule of university-level examinations has also been changed.

MBBS syllabus, curriculum guidelines

The rules and guidelines mentioned in the 98-page CBME regulations 2023 are similar to the guidelines under GMER 2023. NMC had issued the GMER 2023 guidelines on June 12 but withdrew them on June 23 without stating any reason. The GMER 2023 guidelines had included the new rules on competency-based medical education (CBME) curriculum, manpower recruitment for research facilities in a medical college, family adoption programme, admission of students under disabled category, and format for submission of information of admissions in medical colleges.

The CBME regulations 2023 focus on defining specific competencies or skills that medical students and trainees need to acquire and demonstrate in order to become competent physicians. CBME focuses on an outcome-based approach of learning where students progress based on their proficiency in predefined competencies.

Also Read | NMC issues CBME Regulation 2023; medical colleges granting admission after August 30 to face action

“The thrust in the new regulations is continuation and evolution of thought in medical education making it more learner-centric, patient-centric, gender- sensitive, outcome -oriented and environment appropriate. The result is an outcome driven curriculum which conforms to global trends,” according to NMC.

CBME Guidelines: MBBS subjects

The period of four-and-a-half years that an MBBS course lasts will be divided into three phases, with the first and second phases lasting 12 months each, and phase three of 30 months - Part I lasting 12 months and Part II, 18 months.

First and second professional-year MBBS subjects are the same in the withdrawn GMER 2023 guidelines and the new CBME guidelines 2023.

The GMER guidelines did not cover which subjects will be taught in the first and second parts of the third professional year. The CBME guidelines lists the following:

Part I

  • Forensic medicine and toxicology

  • Community medicine

  • Otorhinolaryngological (ENT)

  • Opthalmology

Part II

  • General medicine

  • Pediatrics

  • Dermatology

  • Psychiatary

  • General surgery

  • Obstetrics and gynaecology

  • Orthopaedics (including trauma)

  • Anesthesiology

  • Radiodiagnosis

CBME Guidelines 2023: Changed academic calendar

While the academic calendar published in withdrawn GMER guidelines had proposed the university-level first and second year MBBS professional exams and results in July, the new CBME guidelines have proposed the same exams in August.

The withdrawn GMER guidelines did not include NExT step 2 exam in its academic calendar but CBME guidelines have proposed the NExT step 2 for new MBBS batch students in February 2029.

Also Read | NExT exam will help students ‘focus on practical training’: MAMC head of medical education

The Competency-based Undergraduate Curriculum and Attitude, Ethics and Communication (AETCOM) course, as published by the Medical Council of India (MCI) will be the curriculum for the MBBS batches admitted from the academic year 2019-20 onwards, the regulation said. The regulations also notified the year-wise detailed curriculum for medical education. The regulation will be effective from August 1, 2023, the commission said.

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