PMC announces to hold MDCAT test on Nov 13

ISLAMABAD, Oct 10 (APP): Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on Monday announced to conduct Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) on November 13 simultaneously in four provinces, the federal capital, and two foreign countries.

“The decision of holding this test on the same day in Pakistan and two other countries for overseas Pakistanis was made after consensus of all officials and authorities of provinces,” President Medical and Dental Council Prof. Dr. Noshad A. Shaikh said while addressing a press conference.

He said that provincial public sector universities will conduct this test in all provinces and Islamabad on a single day and time included Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences (Balochistan), University of Health Services (Punjab), Khyber Medical University (KPK), Dow University of Health Sciences (Sindh) and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (Islamabad, AJK, Gilgit Baltistan).

He said that 210,000 candidates have been registered for MDCAT whereas the total seats for medical and dental Colleges are 20,800 in the country.

He added all the vice-chancellors of public universities and important concerned stakeholders were taken on board to decide the conduct of MDCAT through meetings in every province to smooth the conduct of the exam.

He said that exam conducting universities will decide on the modalities of conducting exams either by themselves or through the testing agency.

He said that in order to facilitate Pakistani students seeking admission in recognized colleges offering MBBS and BDS programs, the council decided that the pass percentage of MBBS will be 55% and that of BDS will be 45% so that the maximum number of students are catered in the country.

He added FSc (Pre-Medical) or equivalent with 60% marks will be eligible to apply for admission to MBBS or BDS. The pass percentage has been reduced from 65% to 60%.

He said that the MDCAT exam will be a paper-based manual exam and the answer keys of the papers will be uploaded by the concerned universities on the PMC website on the same day after the exam.

He said that the council decided to conduct the MDCAT in two international centres included UAE and Saudi Arabia due to the maximum number of students in these countries. Accordingly, candidates in other countries may either change their centres to UAE and Saudi Arabia or come to Pakistan for the exam.

The online portal will remain open till 10th October 2022 for registration and change of centre for foreign students, he added.

The President PMC said that the council decided that the syllabus for MDCAT 2022 which is already available on the PMC website will be the syllabus for MDCAT 2022.

He said that the council decided to hold the NLE step-1 exam in the last week of October 2022. He added registration for National Licensing Examination Step-1 will be opened from 1st October till 15th October 2O22, at Islamabad while NLE step-2 exam will be conducted in the last week of November for foreign graduates.

The council has decided that the NLE examination for local students will be conducted through their degree awarding Universities under the umbrella of PMC. He said that the pass percentage of NLE-1 and NLE-2 has been reduced from 70% to 50% and made it clear that it will not be used as a retrospective.

Dr Noshad said that the PMC has qualified eligibility for the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). A task force has been constituted aiming to sum up the work that has been done so far along with proposed steps for the WFME accreditation.

He said that the task force will expedite the finalization of the accreditation application to be submitted to the WFME before the deadline fixed by ECFMG in 2024. The WFME accreditation process is undertaken as a priority as the future of our graduates is depending on it.

He said that the council decided that PMC, being the medical and dental regulatory body, will register basic postgraduate medical and dental qualifications and medical education qualifications duly recognized by PMC.

He added, earlier only clinical qualifications were allowed to be registered on the PMC registration licenses. Whereas the academic qualifications such as MPhil and PhD etc., and all non-clinical qualifications such as basic medical subjects (Physiology, Anatomy, etc.) were removed from the licenses and approximately 6,500 postgraduate qualifications were deleted by PMC.

He said that foreign medical dental postgraduate qualifications will be scrutinized and after the due process will be registered with PMC.

He said that the council decided that the inspections of medical and dental colleges will be carried out by the PMC.

Dr. Noshad said that the renewal of doctor’s registration certificates has been extended from two years to five years as several complaints in this regard were received at PMC. Special leverage has been given to senior doctors who are 60 years and above will renew their registration certificate and will have to pay 50% of the total fee.

He said that the council has decided to cancel the existing pathways for foreign medical and dental graduates and to issue a list of recognized foreign medical and dental colleges or universities duly recognized by the commission, irrespective of categories.

The council decided that foreign medical and dental graduates having completed their qualifications from the approved list will be issued provisional licenses to undertake house jobs after having verification of their basic degrees from the granting institutes.

These provisional license holders must complete the mandatory requirement of passing the NLE-1 and 2 at any time prior to issuance of a full license. The council further decided that medical and dental graduates from unrecognized or unapproved institutions or programs have to mandatorily appear and pass NLE-1 and 2 before issuance of provisional license.

He said that it was decided that regional offices of PMC in Karachi and Quetta will be upgraded keeping in view the distance of these cities from the head office while Muzaffarabad, and Gilgit regional offices will also be established at the earliest to facilitate the general public and doctors.