A Fine Sieve
- The qualifying test for doctors with foreign undergrad degrees is a breaker: few manage to clear it; some despite many attempts
- It’s run twice a year by the National Board of Examinations
- Candidates say it’s tough and tests PG-level knowledge
- Policymakers wonder if the test is holding up a supply of doctors
- Quality control is also a concern
Thousands of doctors fail this examination every year, many despite being repeaters. These are Indians with undergraduate medical degrees from abroad. Failure to clear this screening test, administered twice a year by the National Board of Examinations (NBE), leads to a curious result: they may become general physicians in most countries, but not in India, which is short of some 10 lakh doctors.