Following the implementation of NEET as the single entrance test for medical admissions in 2016, another examination may be introduced for medical students to complete their undergraduate studies and use the title of “Doctor”. According to Union Health Ministry, NEXT is scheduled to be implemented as the exit exam for all students who have completed their MBBS and BDS courses.
The National Exit Test (NEXT) will be the exit examination that all MBBS and BDS students will have to pass after their 5½ years of study to be fully qualified to use the “Doctor” title. The Union Health Ministry has decided to implement the rule through the draft Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill. The test is expected to bring some level-playing field in the medical education.
According to officials, NEXT will be an outcome based test and will be substituting three tests – NEET PG, Recruitment for Central Health Services and the Foreign Graduate Medical Examination. This test is meant to be introduced to serve as a substitute for an entrance test for those medical students who wish to pursue higher studies i.e., postgraduate studies. Both government and private medical students will have to appear for the test.
The results of how the students from the individual colleges have performed in NEXT will be made public, according to officials. If a college has over 90% students clearing the test it will automatically act as an indicator. Therefore, the students will be able to make informed choice while selecting colleges.
With NEXT being introduced, there are chances of NEET PG being substituted by this new test, according to the statement of the officials. This might create new confusion for students as NEET PG was recently introduced in 2016 and the students have finally adjusted to having a single entrance test for postgraduate studies.