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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

UK exam comes to Bangalore

BANGALORE: The most prestigious and tough UK medical exam is now in Bangalore. The great relief for students is not having to fly all the way to UK for the MRCPCH clinical exam. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) will conduct the clinical examination at Manipal hospital in Bangalore.

Around 50 candidates will take it over the weekend. MRCPCH is a UK and international examination in paediatrics comprising three sections. The first two theory examinations are being conducted here for the last couple of years. But now, the clinical practical examination too will be held here. Those who pass will become members of RCPCH and can practise in the UK.

The clinical examination is a two-day practical examination for doctor examinees from India and the neighbouring countries. Senior examiners from UK and India, appointed by RCPCH, will assess the examinees clinically on actual paediatric patients.

Of the Indians, around 60% are from South India, prompting the Royal College to look for an examination centre closer for them. "The pass percentage of local graduates is 50%. As for the doctors from India, it's around 20%. We expect it to go up to 50% this time. There are various reasons for this increase. One, not all the best minds could afford to travel to UK. With a centre in India itself, there's opportunity for everyone. Also, MRCPCH is an exam that gives a lot of emphasis to attitude, communication and personal skills.

Candidates would be more comfortable in their homeland," said Dr Ramesh Mehta, principal regional examiner for South Asia.

He said Indians are 'brilliant' in theory, work hard and are sincere but need to fare better in their interaction with the patients.

"With this exam coming to India, we expect to increase the pool of opportunities available for post-graduates. Now, 70% of graduates do not have a PG seat to take. For a country of 600 million children, we have only a few thousand doctors," said Dr Sudarshan Ballal, medical director, Manipal Health Enterprises. Manipal was zeroed in on from around 50 other hospitals after checking credentials over two years and even conducting a mock exam.

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