License for medical practice: challenges ahead for foreign graduates


  Indian government allows MBBS graduates to get license for practicing medicine in any part of the country, despite of graduated within the country or outside. After completing their graduation, new graduates apply to get license for practicing. But now the National Medical Commission (NMC) is coming up with some changes in the policy of giving license to MBBS graduates, who completed studies from foreign countries.


Every year, nearly 12000 MBBS students return to India, after completing their studies abroad.  Now the NMC is putting forward some additional requirements before these students, to get license for practicing in India. The graduates from foreign nations are asked to do a one year internship in India, along with that they completed in the country abroad, while they completed the course. This makes them to complete two internships for getting license. 


 However, the commission gives an exemption for this second internship for students who were graduated from US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. All the other students will go through a Foreign Medical Graduate Examination. After clearing this exam they are required to complete internship in any Indian Medical college, recognized by the respective authority. This internship is compulsory for all students, which has duration of one year.


The National Medical Commission opines that most of the foreign medical graduates in India are less experienced, as they are returning by not attending internships in the particular country.  The commission is working to create a transformation in the education sector of medicine in India. Thus the process to issue license for foreign medical graduate is becoming more rigid and challenged.  As a representative of National Medical Commission, the president of undergraduate medical education board, Aruna V Vanikar addressed the media, stating that the commission is planning to receive the opinion of the public in the matters of these suggestions. 


The process to get license for medical practice in India will undergo rapid changes by the start of 2023. From 2023, National Exit Test (NEXT) will be conducted, which divide the local graduates and foreign graduates into two parts. The local graduates will undergo the process of license issue like previous years, by completing internships from the institution they are admitted for graduation. But the foreign graduates will need to clear the two step NEXT exams, to get license in India. The step 1 exam will be for completing internship in any recognized medical institution in India. The NEXT step 2 is Foreign Medical Graduation Examination (FMGE). The candidates have to crack both levels of this test to practice in India.


Cracking FMEG:

Every year, only 10 to 20 percent of foreign graduates gets license in India, by clearing Foreign Medical Graduation Examination.   This gives a clear cut picture of the toughness of the exam, even though it is mandatory for practicing in India. So cracking the FMGE with a substantially good score is must to pursue your dream of having medical practice in India.

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