Major changes to the MQE

The Health Minister announced in the Star that Medical qualifying exam now available at 16 local varsities

KUCHING: Medical graduates from unrecognised universities overseas can now sit for the Medical Qualifying Examination (MQE) at all 16 medical schools in the country, including private universities.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said previously these graduates could only sit for the exam at three local universities – Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
“From now onwards they can sit for the exam in all medical schools in Malaysia. We have 16 medical schools offering 17 medical programmes.
“All students coming back from unrecognised universities overseas can sit for the exam in all these universities,” he told reporters after holding a dialogue with several Sarawakian medical graduates who earned their degrees in China here on Tuesday.
The 16 universities are UM, UKM, USM, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Penang Medical College, International Medical University, AIMST University, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, Royal College of Medicine Perak, Monash University Sunway Campus, UCSI University, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, and Management and Science University.

What is not clear is that will there be a common MQE (at least if there is a written part) for all the Universities or Colleges concerned? How uniform will the examination standards be especially for the smaller colleges? What is the motivation behind this decision? Political?

Liow said this move would make it easier for medical graduates to sit for the MQE, particularly Sarawakian students who would no longer need to travel to Kuala Lumpur for it. “They prefer to take the exam here because the cost will be lower,” he said, adding that this was one of the problems brought up by the graduates during the dialogue session.

Come off it – how big is Malaysia that it is so difficult and expensive to travel to KL for the exam? After all these students went overseas to study medicine, right? Lame excuse.

Liow also announced that the medical graduates could now take the exam an unlimited number of times.
“In the past it was limited to three times. Now they can sit for it unlimited times to make sure they pass,” he said.

To make sure they pass? What about standards? So we pass everyone even the really rotten ones?

and lastly…

In addition, Liow said the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) was currently in the process of recognising medical programmes in China. He said MMC would focus on accrediting the 11 top universities in China first as many Malaysian students were studying there.

Previously we were told the list of recognised medical schools would be shortened, now it seems it will be lengthened further. Moral of the story – don’t trust what you read in the papers.

The profession is concerned about standards but the politicians seem to be concerned about numbers. If standards continue to go down the drain, then God help us all.

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Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast

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