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Medical Licensing Exams for Different International Countries

Medical Licensing Exams for Different International Countries

In order to provide the aspiring medical students to fulfil their dreams and accomplish their goal of becoming a doctor, many international medical universities have taken effective majors in order to improve the quality of the medical education which they provide in their medical institutions so that the international medical aspirants do not face any obstacle after pursuing MBBS from these countries.

Apart from this, the most important fact is that every international medical university all around the globe has their own set of rules and regulations in order to keep a tab on the quality of medical education the foreign graduates have received in the other international countries and also with regards to control the quality of its health care services including doctors.

This is the reason why all the medical graduates, especially those who have completed their medical studies from abroad will have to appear for medical licensing examination in case they want to practise in a particular country or wants to pursue further education in a particular domain of medical profession.

Medical Licensing Examinations

In order to provide a medical license to the young foreign graduates so that they can practice or pursue further studies in a particular country, a medical licensing examination is conducted. Different international countries conduct different medical licensing examination such as the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and India.

The sole purpose of this examination is to estimate and assess the skills and knowledge of the medical graduates and their compatibility with the country’s existing health infrastructure.

Below mentioned are some of the top medical licensing exams conducted by the top international countries that provide innumerable opportunities and scope to the foreign graduates and they are as follows:

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

USMLE is the most preferred medical licensing examination and the rules of the US government vary as per the states of the country as it follows a federal government structure.

In an overview of the state legislature, health is one of the factors which is often neglected. Due to this every state in the country, has set its own rules and regulations for accreditation of doctors and thus each medical licensing authority has initiated its own set of laws which is mandatory for clearing the medical examination that will showcase the talent and qualification of all the foreign medical graduates.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is considered to be one of the most common practices as an evaluation system since the early 90’s for all the aspiring foreign medical graduates to acquire a practising license in the country.

This medical licensing examination is sponsored by the following boards:

  • The FSMB or the Federation of State Medical Board of the United States
  • The NBME or the National Board of Medical Examiners
  • the National Boards of the United States (FSMB)

The main USMLE results are used to provide the basic license to the foreign medical graduates in order to practise in the country after the reports are submitted to the licensing authorities.

Eligibility Criteria of USMLE

Step 1 & Step 2

Medical graduates of a US or Canadian medical school program which is accredited by the following:

  • The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) or
  • The LCME or the Liaison committee on medical education

Medical graduates or foreign medical aspirants from outside the United States & Canada are eligible for examination by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)

Step 3

All the foreign medical graduates who have cleared the steps mentioned above

ECFMG certified graduates or medical foreign graduates from outside the United States & Canada.

The US residency exam or the USMLR include 3 steps:

Step 1: Basic Sciences

Step 2: Clinical CK and CS 

Step 3: Patients managements skills

United Kingdom- GMC PLAB EXAM

The regulatory body for doctor’s licensing in the UK is known as the General Medical Council of UK (GMC) and at present there are two types of basic registration:

  • Provisional Registration
  • Full registration

This is further categorised into two types of specialty registration:

  • Specialist Registration
  • GP Registration

The GMC introduced the license to practise only in the year 2009 in the month of November and it made it mandatory for all the doctors to acquire a practising license and get themselves registered in case if they want to practise medicine in the UK.

Only by clearing the PLAB test, the General Medical Council (GMC) will provide recognition to the medical graduates that they have the required potential and skills which are essential to practise as a doctor in the UK.

The full form of PLAB is Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board Test and it is important for all the international medical graduates who are aspiring to pursue higher studies or practise in the United Kingdom. Generally, this test is conducted to evaluate one’s ability to work safely in a first appointment as a senior house officer in a UK hospital in the National Health Service (NHS).

Eligibility For PLAB

  • Universities must be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization.
  • Aspirants must secure a minimum of 7 as an overall score in the speaking section, and 6 in each of the other sections in the IELTS test (academic module).
  • PMQ or a primary medical qualification for limited registration.

Australia – AMC -MCQ Exam

In order to acquire a practising license in Australia, all the medical graduates should first apply to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) so that they can make a pathway for their medical profession in the country. In order to create a niche for them, the medical graduates will have to go through a series of assessments such as AMC MCQ Exam and AMC clinical Exam. 

The medical graduates must have graduated from any institution recognised by AMC itself in order to appear for the AMC- MCQ and AMC Clinical exam.

Generally, the AMC MCQ Exam mainly consists of 150 MCQs organized through a computer adaptive scoring system.

It is mandatory for all the medical graduates to clear at least 12 out of 16 cases including one compulsory case in each of Gynaecology and paediatrics in order to qualify the AMC clinical exam.

Medical graduates can then proceed to apply to Australian Specialty Training Positions only after they have qualified all the necessary exams and obtain AMC certification. For all the doctors under the Medical Board of Australia, it is establishing a national registration process.

Medical Council of Canada (MCC) – LMCC QE Exam

Medical Council of Canada (MCC) is a board of authority that deals with evaluating medical graduates, checking the skills of general physicians by conducting exams and providing a medical license which is known as Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) to all those aspirants who are interested in practising medicine in Canada.

The part 1 of the MCCQE is a cumulative examination that examines the clinical decision-making ability and the critical medical knowledge of an aspiring candidate who is expected to acquire particular skills and knowledge in order to practise medicine in Canada. This exam is completely based on the MCC Objectives which are conducted under the Can MEDS roles and medical aspirants generally enter the supervised practice after graduating and completing the MCCQE Part I.

Basically, the MCCQE Part I is a one-day, computer-based test and aspirants are allotted four hours to complete 210 Multiple-Choice Questions hours in the morning session and up to three and a half hours for the Clinical Decision-Making component, in the afternoon session which consists of 38 cases with short-menu and short-answer write-in questions.

This exam is based on a Blueprint that evaluate your performance on two major categories:

  • Assessing the range of medical care and various elements of care.
  • Medical aspirants’ abilities which present their skills, scope of practise and knowledge in the field.

India- FMGE/ National Exit Test (NEXT)

All the medical graduates who aspire to practise their medical career in India are required to qualify the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) which is conducted twice in a year in the months of June and December by the National Board of Examination (NBE).

The further procedure and the result of the exam are then administered by the Medical Council of India (MCI) which is now known as the National Medical Commission (NMC). This exam is also based on the theoretical and practical learning of the medical graduate in the international medical institution and it is mandatory for all the foreign medical graduates who have pursued MBBS from other countries apart from India to appear for this examination.

It has been in news that the FMGE exam will be replaced soon by the National Exit Test (NEXT) from the year 2023. It would still be a licensing exam with change in the exam pattern and schedules and would be compulsory for all the medical graduates from India or abroad, in spite of pursuing education in India or abroad.

Medical aspirants must have completed their graduation from a university recognised by NMC/MCI in order to appear for NEXT or FMGE.

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