A group of foreign medical graduates recently staged a protest in front of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC) offices. The graduates, who had failed the National Ranking Exam (NRE), were demanding a reduction in the passing grade for the National Examination Board (NEB) exam from 70 percent to 50 percent.
The President of PMDC Prof. Dr. Rizwan Taj, met with a delegation of these foreign medical graduates at 10:30 am to discuss their concerns. He explained that the decision to set the passing grade at 70 percent was made by the academic board. However, he assured the protesting graduates that their demand would be considered, although it could not be applied retroactively to an exam that had already taken place. He promised that the issue would be brought before the Council for further discussion and a decision as soon as possible.
The NRE exam was conducted by the National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) under the supervision of PMDC and was held in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Peshawar. The results were received from NUMS and posted on the PMDC website on the same day.
Dr. Taj also mentioned that the PMDC Academic Board has been established and will henceforth oversee all examination matters related to the NRE, NEB, and MDCAT. He emphasized that the purpose of conducting the NRE exam is to ensure that only qualified doctors are selected to treat patients in Pakistan. The PMDC, he said, is committed to adhering to rules and regulations to safeguard patient safety, as lives cannot be entrusted to unqualified doctors or graduates.
During the protest, the Registrar instructed the staff to allow the graduates to protest peacefully. They were offered water and the staff was directed to avoid causing any inconvenience.
It’s worth noting that examinations for foreign graduates are a common practice worldwide, aimed at ensuring the selection of the most qualified doctors.