PMC claims to have standardised medical, dental colleges’ entry tests

Published August 19, 2021
Logo of the Pakistan Medical Commission. — Photo courtesy Twitter
Logo of the Pakistan Medical Commission. — Photo courtesy Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on Wednesday said it had taken a number of steps for the betterment of the medical students and quality of education.

According to a statement, the PMC Act 2020 was signed into effect on Sept 23 last year.

President PMC Dr Arshad Taqi said that it was important to recognise that PMC was a new medical regulator that had only been around for a mere 10 months.

“It’s high time we took an objective view of how far the body has managed to come during this short period of time. First and foremost, PMC took the initiative to standardise testing for admission into medical and dental colleges in Pakistan,” he said.

President PMC Dr Arshad Taqi said the National Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) was an exercise to implement a mandatory one-time standard medical and dental college entry test across Pakistan, giving every student an equal opportunity to apply to a medical or dental college.

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He said: “We conducted first MDCAT last year, catering to 120,000 students nationwide, with a further provision to allow 300 Covid-19 positive students a chance to take the examination later upon recovery as well - an unprecedented feat for education in Pakistan.

“Furthermore, PMC also implemented centralised admissions, which involved a comprehensive review of candidate data of each student having passed the stage of admission interviews in private colleges. This data, taken by PMC from private colleges as per admission regulations, was meticulously reviewed to ensure all inductions were based solely on merit,” he said.

He said in the enforcement of these regulations, PMC also took an unprecedented harsh stance against colleges who were found to be violating admission regulations. The PMC had grouped these colleges into three categories and issued orders accordingly. The private colleges were instructed to take punitive measures to rectify their violations effective immediately.

“Apart from the reforms in the realm of admissions, PMC has also made a concerted effort to digitize most of its regulatory functions,” he said.

With the launch of its digital platform called PMC Online, the paperless framework has revolutionised the process and ensured transparency by increasing efficiency, reducing delays and minimising errors, he said.

The steps taken by PMC, such as enhancing almost 500 seats in public medical colleges and introducing a national scholarship fund for deserving students, highlights their commitment to improving healthcare education by putting meritocracy above all, Dr Taqi said.

Meanwhile, representatives of medical and dental colleges from Punjab on Tuesday called upon PMC President Dr Arshad Taqi and Vice President Ali Raza in Islamabad.

Dr Tanveer Islam Rana, who is also the President of Pakistan Association of Medical and Dental Institutions (Pami) Punjab, handed over a resolution passed by it at a recent meeting and hoped that a fruitful and positive dialogue between the colleges and the Pakistan Medical College would be initiated moving forward for the common goal of improving the quality of medical education in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2021

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