21 October, 2017

The Local Medical Graduates & The SAITM

By Hansika Hanthanapitiya

Hansika Hanthanapitiya

Hansika Hanthanapitiya

We have a solution; only if you’re ready to listen; An Open Letter to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Local Medical Graduates and the SAITM

I will get to the solution strait away.

What if the government established a system where every medical graduate, local, local-private and foreign, has to go through THE SAME standard written and viva examinations so that;

  1. Graduates from Colombo Medical Faculty can finally stop saying/thinking that they’re better than all the other local graduates from the rest of the government universities in the country put together,
  2. All local graduates can finally stop pointing fingers at SAITM saying their educational standards are inferior to that of the local graduates’,
  3. And all foreign graduates who want to practice medicine in Sri Lanka, who are from elite universities like Harvard or Cambridge or any other university which has better international recognition than the Colombo Medical Faculty can finally stop turning their noses up at the local graduates cause their medical education experience is far superior to theirs,

Because everyone will be facing THE SAME set of exams which will standardize the quality of medical graduates who will go on to become doctors in our country and they will all have the same level of knowledge and skills. This I believe will be the most effective solution to the problem, considering the current situation.

Now holding one final standard exam to issue the government medical license to medical graduates (much like the medical examination systems in America and most developed countries), along with one-one-one interviews to assess the mental stability and community mindedness of the examinees, will ensure that none of the doctors would get discriminated at the workplace for being not from the medical faculty of Colombo, or a local university- because this happens quite often, directly or indirectly, and I believe that this negativity affects the performance of the doctors in a hospital setting. Most graduates from Colombo Medical Faculty always regard themselves to be superior to others and consequently even the doctors who are better than Colombo Med graduates but are from other local universities feel inferior to them. I’m sure that everybody agrees that this has to stop.

If there was a single board examination for everybody, and only the medical graduates who passed that get to practice medicine regardless of where they went to medical school, then nobody will get to point fingers at somebody else saying that they aren’t as good as them, cause everyone will be equally skilled. This way only the best of the best will get to become doctors and serve the people. Ultimately, isn’t this what everyone wants?

Now for the local graduates who think that only the people who passed local A/Ls with district merits should become doctors, I’d say that if a person is really passionate about becoming a doctor, at any age, they should have an opportunity to at least give a shot at it. That’s what “free” education truly stands for. So if there was a single exam once every year or better yet, twice a year for all the medical graduates who want to practice medicine in Sri Lanka, including the local students (this wouldn’t be an extra exam for you- this could replace your fifth year finals), and only the people who got through this could go on to become doctors, you won’t have any suspicions about their abilities and knowledge, right? Because the people who will pass these exams along with you will be as good as you are?

And wouldn’t this be a better solution than abolishing private medical colleges altogether, and particularly, in this case, the SAITM, since there are already hundreds of students enrolled in it, hundreds of hopeful, scared students, of hundreds of innocent parents just like yours and mine? Wouldn’t it be more compassionate and humane to make sure that they are as good as you before letting them practice medicine, rather than just forcing them to throw away years of their lives?

And about the issue of local graduates getting less employment opportunities because of all the other graduates who will get to practice medicine when they pass the exams, for this I’d say the government can prioritize the placement of local gradates over all the other graduates who will pass the said standardized test. Frankly, these kinds of measures are rather detrimental to a country’s development, but this method would prevent a lot of future riots from the local graduates, so at the end of the day, this method will be better for the people of my country. So this ought to solve all the problems that the local graduates have. After all, this is a method biased towards your wellbeing just because you are a local graduate, even though all the other people who would have passed a standardized examination along with you should have got an equal eligibility for a job placement.

Also, about the local medical students wanting the future generations of students to have better access to local medical schools, yes of course this is a very valid point to rally for. But why should that abolish private medical colleges, in a scenario that a standardized examination system exists to screen doctors with the most exceptional knowledge and skills? Yes, I agree that the existence of a medical school that you can pay and enter alienates good students who couldn’t get into a local medical school or a private one because of financial issues, but at the same time if the government establishes a standardized examination system for all, sub-par students from private medical schools will never get to practice medicine anyway. And they can’t protest or rally about it either- because if you aren’t god enough to be a doctor, you just aren’t. It’s as simple as that. But yes, as for the rest of the good students who have the potential to get through a standardized medical examination, but couldn’t get into a local or private medical school, keep rallying for them. They need you. But the point you also need to understand here is that people who have the capacity to pay for a private medical school will somehow send their child to one, be it local or foreign. So wouldn’t it be better if our country could retain all those millions and billions of hard earned money of these people within this country itself, by establishing private medical schools? Wouldn’t it be better for our county’s development? Now again, don’t forget that these graduates would have to face the standardized exam along with you, so you need not fear that mindless people will go on to serve as doctors and endanger the lives of patients.

I know what you’re thinking right now. All of these opportunities to facilitate medical education would produce thousands of medical graduates each year wouldn’t it? Yes, it most certainly would. And then the government wouldn’t have job placements to offer them even if they pass the standardized exam? Most definitely yes. There’s only a limited number of opportunities available to become a doctor in a small developing country like Sri Lanka, and even if thousands of people had the knowledge and the skills to become a doctor, only hundreds would actually get the opportunity. But maybe, this way, two very important social changes could be finally brought about in the Sri Lankan society;

  1. Being a doctor (or an engineer or a lawyer for that matter) is not the only kind of job that matters. If anything, the scientists who are engaged in medical research should be hailed well above the clinical doctors (they are hailed well above clinical doctors in developed countries- it’s just that most people in our country seem quite unable to look past the alleged glamour of certain professions) because they are the ones that enable the clinicians to perform the miracles that they do in hospitals every day. Now that’s the kind of work that’s reserved for the truly elite minds of the world, medical and other scientific research. So maybe, just maybe, this system will bring about collateral benefits like development in the areas of scientific and medical research.
  2. People who are not truly and absolutely passionate about medicine would stop getting into medicine. There are people that I personally know who are doing medicine just because they got 3As and got selected to medical school, not because they are passionate about spending long hours tending to patients day and night. I believe that this is the root cause for the doctors’ dissatisfaction about their salaries and other privileges. The truth is, the doctors in our country don’t get paid as much as they should be paid, so unless only the people who are truly and unconditionally passionate about treating patients day and night become doctors (until the government is rich enough to pay the doctors a staggering monthly salary), we will never see the end of doctors going on strike compromising the lives of their patients in order to ask for more privileges.

When thinking about the whole SAITM predicament, it doesn’t make sense as to why any parent would spend their life’s savings to send their kid to a medical school, which is quite new and does not have the Sri Lankan Medical Council approval and also is rather expensive compared to some of the foreign universities that they could have sent their child to, which have better international recognition and facilities. If you were living under a rock about sending your child to study abroad, all I’ve got to say is that your conservative ideas and conformity and fear of change might have cost your child a future in the worst case scenario that the government is forced to shut down SAITM. Nothing is certain in a country like ours until it’s actually done; it was foolish to gamble away a child’s future on SAITM’s promise to get all the necessary approvals- which they still hadn’t delivered on, just because you were too conservative about your child getting a foreign education.
And to the management of SAITM, if you had any business acuity at all, you would have spent all the millions of rupees you spent on building the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to develop the infrastructure facilities of a few government hospitals which are not teaching hospitals, and asked for permission to let your students practice in those hospitals. That way;

  1. You won’t be interfering with the education of local medical students by over populating their teaching hospitals
  2. And local hospitals would get a contribution from the SAITM’s money, which is a win-win situation for both the government and the people of this country, plus your students could have received a well-rounded government university level clinical experience as well.

You should have had the foresight to know that no matter how many MRI machines you buy for your hospital, people are going to be wary of a new hospital attached to a new private medical school, and rightfully so. After all, it’s peoples’ lives and health we are talking about here, everyone is only going to trust the hospitals they already know of.

Lastly on the subject of vehicle permits that some of the recent strikes of the doctors were about, how exactly does one make up his/her mind to abandon human beings in need of their care for any material thing?

I study medicine too and I’m here not because of the things I can take, I’m here because of the things I can offer, to my people and my beautiful little country, and all other people from countries all over the world, because in the end, it doesn’t matter if somebody is the prime minister of England or a farmer in Vietnam or our next door neighbor in Sri Lanka, when they’re sick, they will be weak and vulnerable and needing all the care they can get, and we will be the ones providing it. Isn’t each of us as human as the rest of us? First, do no harm.

*Hansika Hanthanapitiya is a medical student at the Tianjin Medical University, China

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Latest comments

  • 23
    24

    Sri Lankan medical students and medical practitioners are in a way sick. Because such expensive education they get freely. Surely out of poor tax payers money. In a way they are sick people. See how they put label in their cars as “Hi I am a doctor”. This is a mental dis-order problem. No any other professional do such a shame and very childish thing. No one has right to say that I got poor quality free education therefore others do not have right to get high quality education by paying. This is the real truth about Sri Lankan medical education. See inside medical faculty professors qualifications: You need to sack all fake profs and follow international criteria to appoint them: In order to be a real international professor your PhD from world top 100 University, minimum 20 articles in ISI/SCOPUS indexed journals, 10 text books with international publishers and three countries have to appoint you as a Visiting professor. But all these Sri Lankan Professors are jokers and more than 40% University Lecturers are relatives to each others and they give degrees to each other (Husband gives PhD to wife and girlfriend/mistress getting PG degree, sons, daughter and son-in law and daughter- in-law). MY3 clean University system and sack fake professors and University mafia system. Some Dept are family trees. We well know how they recruits and promoted in University Mafia. First find a person and then advertise according to his/her requirement and send aboard for their friends’ places for PhDs. Go beyond Sri Lankan airport and see International job market. Even in Middle East job market, without PhD from accredited Western University you cannot become even Assistant Lecturer.

  • 21
    30

    As far as I know, no medical graduate local or foreign can enter the sri lanka medical service without sitting the local exams first. This entire article is rendered null and void; I suggest the pretty young lady who wrote it get back to her studies and leave the matter to the rowdies at colombo med faculty.

    • 26
      4

      Wrong!!! Ever heard of the act 16 exam? Graduates from foreign universities have to take it, while local students don’t. It serves as a standardization exam for those who received education from countries with different medical systems. What the article suggests is that there be a standardized exam for everyone, including the local graduates.

      The ideas in this article make more sense than anything the “rowdy’s”at Colombo medical have done, or would continue to do so in the subsequent years.

      • 9
        8

        You are correct. But the Act 16 is really not a standardization exam anymore. It is an exercise conducted by the SLMC/ GMOA mafia to weed out the foreign students from entering the government hospitals.

        The suggestion made by this young lady is very valid.

  • 30
    2

    What an excellent idea .I fully agree with this.
    Iam graduate of the Colombo medical school.

  • 5
    3

    Hansika gives a valid point here. All the graduates needs to go via a standard final medical exam and a viva [oral examination] before their intern-ship. As such the superiority/inferiority complexes of medical graduates who pass out locally from various universities [inclusive of foreign qualified] can be nullified. Medical profession elsewhere in the world is not at all an easy profession. Doctors need to full fill so many continuous professional development programmes – CPDs to be eligible to practice and also to remain in respective medical registers after the graduation. One of the commentators [Siripala] has got his opinion wrong without going through the article. Author is referring to a common exam for all the graduates like the one for foreign graduates [Act 16 exam] currently in place. Its a well establish fact that the Sri Lankan university graduates have their own way of categorising their degrees during and after graduation. [rivalry among university qualifications – Peradeniya – Colombo Uni. – Moratuwa are the main contenders] This applies to engineering disciplines as well.

  • 18
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    I’m no medical student but I do know a bit about what happens at the medical faculty. Their lives are pure hell. If you fail an exam you have to sit for it again in usually the same month. If you fail that you get dropped a batch. That’s right, you stay home until the next batch comes along. And if you fail that as well, you go home. You won’t get your degree. So tell me, does the SAITM folks go through the same stress? Here’s the thing with private universities. They need to have a certain pass rate, else, students wouldn’t enroll! So they have to bring down standards else the university can’t exist. That’s a fact! No matter how much low they score in their exams, once they pass nobody cares about their GPA. They will be called Doctors and Engineers. They got the degree and that’s it! Mean while the government university students has to go through hell to get to where they are. If maybe the government decided to up the funding for state uni’s instead of parachuting private uni’s then non of this becomes a problem. The reason we have such competitive selection process is because state uni’s can accommodate only limited number of students. What we from state uni’s ask is to upgrade the standards of state uni’s first before destroying the goddamn equilibrium. There’d be an influx of doctors and Engineers, priority will be given to state uni’s and then the SAITM graduates would apply to second tier jobs that science graduates usually claim. How do you think the priority will be given in that situation? The science graduate or the Engineer?

    • 6
      5

      To answer your question. Yes they do get such ‘hell’ it’s To exams. There is something called ‘continuous assessment’ where there are daily assessments. Then credit exams (at the end of each sememster) and final exam in that particular subject. A percentage from the credit exams is carried forward to the final exam result. If you fail a credit, you need to repeat it after paying a sum of Rs.10,000 for each exam and you can repeat only once.
      Also, the minimum requirement is decided by the UGC. It’s not something the insitute has created. Every student who gets enrolled there has an interview in the presence of a representative from the UGC.

      • 5
        2

        So according to you if they fail an exam they can repeat it with 10000 rupees right? and if they fail that as well, wouldn’t they be allowed to take a different course and still get the degree? The government med students get sent home. It doesn’t matter that you are in your final year and have spent more than 5 years of your life at the uni, you still get sent home. Their curriculum has all compulsory courses. And yes, there are continuous assessments for them as well. Even science faculty students have those.

        • 1
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          By saying you get to repeat only once, I meant they get repeated with the next batch. Not that they can repeat by paying 10,000 each time :) All in all it’s the same thing. Just because they pay for the degree, doesn’t mean their life at SAITM is any easier. There is no point explaining to you as I have gathered you have a one track mind. And nothing I say will change that. If it’s the fact that these students pay for the degree is your problem, then think about what happens if all these students went abroad to fill their pockets with money to get the same degree that is probably not even as standard as this. And these students atleast learn from the same sri lankan patients that the local students see. And real patients at that; not dummys.
          Med school is hell let it be local or private. You can’t argue on that.

          • 0
            0

            I didn’t know that. Thank you for correcting me

    • 3
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      Thats why we should have a common exams….then everybody will be measured equally.

      GMOA members are hypocrites. They allow doctors from poor quality med schools in Russia, Latvia, India, Bangladesh to come and practice here but cannot allow Local fee levying med schools to operate !!

    • 1
      3

      First of all the Sri Lankan primary and secondary education system should completely change to the good side. “Right now it’s in the ridiculous side”.
      This competitive education system makes an uncaring,jealous, ridiculed sociopath to the country, just like the majority in state unis and public sectors. This is the reason why we are far bellow developed nations.

      Lets rise against jealousy, inhumanity, big headedness!!!

      Mr/Mrs/Miss. Wow here is a shear useless person to the SriLankan Economy and Quality education in my context, plus revealed him/Her self as a jealousy freak.
      There is no such thing as State University students are superior than private university students. A person with 3 A’s will enter the State uni while the person who got 3 B’s will have to find other means such as entering a private uni. But the fact here is that the private uni student gets the same lectures as the local uni’s and get better and harder examinations compared to locals thus you have to face extreme stresses and you have to study well to pass the exams.

      And finally to the real freaked out doctors who are against SAITM. Just say that you will lose some patients from your private practice and you probably may have to reduce the money scraping from the innocent people who also paid tax for you “bigheads” to study at state unis :P.

    • 9
      3

      Alright.. since i’ve apparently angered a lot of people here let me point out a few things to you.

      1) The author of the above post suggests that we hold a standardized examination system to all. Well.. what do you think A-level is for? True, you can’t judge a persons wisdom through written tests. But what other practical way can you do it with? In a way A-level tests one’s problem solving ability, their endurance and their will power. If you are smart enough, you can do it too. Again, “smart” is a relative term. But there’s no other practical way to define one’s intelligence. The one’s who got selected to state uni’s had that will power. You in SAITM did not. And now you are pointing fingers and saying state uni students are selfish when in reality, you were too lazy to work as hard as them. Every government job has a testing system. So why are you not proposing alternatives to exams like “SLAS” or “customs entrance exam”?

      2) You think there is no difference between the standards of the two education systems. Well, let me point out again that private uni’s need students to exist. So if the students are unable to pass they are going to lose their income. So they have to lower the standards to make sure enough of them pass. I’m not talking about the students who get A’s. I’m talking about the one’s who get off with C’s. Like I said, once you graduate, nobody is going to ask for your GPA. You are a doctor and that’s it. Its a private institute and there’s definitely gonna be foul play if you throw enough money at it. Please don’t be naive to think otherwise.

      3) “Wow here is a shear useless person to the SriLankan Economy and Quality education in my context, plus revealed him/Her self as a jealousy freak”

      …Well, in response to that, this jealous freak was actually asked to teach at one of these private institutions. So I’m not gonna make any comments about my contribution to the Sri Lankan economy. But What the hell makes you think that the state uni exams and the private uni exams are the same? have you sat for any of the state uni exams? Try telling that to a medical faculty student. We all know how you get through an exam. You finish one course and completely forget about it by the next semester. You are right, almost anyone could do that. So why do you think we have to weed out the best? Because in the end, what you are doing is also memorizing and repeating at the exam. That is why student’s are selected from A-levels. Try memorizing and repeating at that and you gonna go no further than a “C”. Probably why you had to go to SAITM in the first place huh :D

      The education system is the only thing that still isn’t completely controlled by money in this god forsaken country. And you are trying to throw money into that too. But here’s what’s gonna happen. No matter how hard the stat uni students scream against it, the government is still gonna allow this SAITM thing. Money wins in the end, so you goons don’t have to worry about anything

      • 1
        1

        A/L is for selection to Government Uni to get free education.The standardized exam after graduation is to test what you gain from the uni. So according to you why we have A/L in first place as we have O/L and Grade five right?

        A/L is not a standardization exam for test medical graduate

        • 0
          2

          i hate it when i have to spell everything out for some people. I’m saying A/L does the same function. Instead of testing after the uni education, you test students before you even join. The semester system in uni’s allows students to memorize and repeat in exams. Again, you have no other practical way to test students. You can pass really well even if you are an average student. And by the next semester, you forget everything and memorize courses from that semester. That is why you need something to thin the herd. With A/L’s you can’t memorize stuff and pass well! hence its function as a standardized exam. How many times do i have to say this now. Problem is, you are not upto those standards and therefore you are trying to disparage the concept of A/L’s as a standardized exam. And I’m pretty sure some bloke is gonna ask, if the government uni students are also memorizing and repeating why can’t the private uni students do the same. Well.. to them, I say that’s why we have A/Ls. The argument itself is axiomatic and if you can’t figure that out..well.. there is a good reason for that don’t ya think? :D

  • 5
    8

    It’s blatantly clear that all opposition for SAITM is based on selfish, personal agendas with absolutely no bearing or image of a larger picture. When institutions become corrupt and divert from their mission and vision, developing nations such as ourselves, collapse.
    But of course, it’s good business to regulate the supply of doctors so that a classist ideology can thrive. The issue here is at a far higher level than what it appears to be on the surface and confronting it on it’s roots – small-mindedness and inability to look past ones own needs is a long fought battle that can only be won with the sense of justice this article portrays.
    Kudos.

  • 4
    6

    Hansika.

    Brilliant article.

    What is required is to segregate public health care and private health care. As soon as this is done, most medical progression issues will be resolved. The specialists are reluctant to let go their private practice and hence the numbers are curtailed through private education and that is the al story.

    Ask the GMOA members as to how many of them have income tax files and support free medical education in this country. I am happy that present govt is taking on the GMOA slowly and hopefully we would have a few more fee levying medical schools in the country.

    GMOA members are hypocrites. They allow doctors from poor quality med schools in Russia, Latvia, India, Bangladesh to come and practice here but cannot allow Local fee levying med schools to operate !!!

    I am completely in agreement to have a final test to all med graduates so that there is a level playing filed.

  • 10
    3

    How Many Medical Students there are from VVIP political families whose only science knowledge is from Home Science or from Agricultural Science ?

  • 21
    2

    Ni Hao Ma, Hansika!

    You are obviously naïve. You are young, and therefore excusable.

    We are a nation of people who are envious of others – and exceedingly so. We hate to see another succeeding, getting on in life. We wait to see them fall – or, if we can without getting caught, pull them down!

    Doctors and medical students are no different – not all, but many. We would contrive to put a spoke in the wheel wherever we see someone succeeding in life. These members (and budding members) of the “noble” profession are vociferous in their opposition to private medical schools, but strangely not for private practice while being government servants.

    Take the case of nurses’ education. What a kerfuffle they made when nurses’ training was to be elevated to a four year degree course! What a fuss the Katubadde engineering degree students make regarding NDT (technical) students being in the same campus. Any imaginary threat to their future economic prospects or social status is fought ferociously.

    Sad to say, much of the vehemence come from those whose education lacked balance and nurturing to becomes a humane person. Example: the GMOA spokesperson on duty free car permits. All the talk of Sri Lankans being friendly and generous is just a fiction. Greed, hate and envy are the driving force of our society. The much touted Buddhist culture, of “letting go”, of “compassion”, of charity, are all bogus.

    Go to a Channelled Practice on an evening. Go to a government doctor’s private clinic in the evening. Go to any private hospital. What you find is not care, not alleviating pain and suffering, but a case of unmitigated greed, a blatant money making racket. Again, not all, but most. And why do they want to make so much money (from people who can hardly pay), is to buy their cars, build their palatial houses with all imported fittings, send their children to study in UK, US or Australia.

    And who earns the foreign exchange for these extravaganzas? The women who go into slavery in the Middle East, the garment workers who sacrifice their eyes at the sewing machine, and the tea pickers eking out a living under the scorching sun. We Sri Lankans should hold down our heads in shame for this despicable exploitation of the poorest.

    Just one more word, dear reader, if you have read this far. The A-Level exam, which is the doorway to higher education, should be restructured. The exam papers should be designed to test a candidate’s practical, worldly, problem solving skills, not the ability to regurgitate what was crammed in tuition classes. The problem solving skills, obviously, need to be based on the subject matter. Such a change will eliminate much of the trash that ends up as professionals and open higher education for those who are truly able to solve problems, be it in health, engineering or any other science.

    With regard to doctors’ rapacious fleecing of the people, let simple market forces prevail.

    • 7
      1

      I agree with you on the subject of changing the A-level system. However what you propose is impossible to do. How do you test someone’s worldly and practical problem solving abilities? There’s a limit to what you can test in a written exam. And a smart student, which ever field they are in would find a way to pass. If you test them with this practical tests you propose they would still come up on top. Why? Because they have the will and the guts to do so. You call it jealousy, but the truth is its all to do with the inability of other students to compete in a competitive exam. If you have taken the A-level maths or physics exams you would understand that just memorizing stuff would only get you as far as a “C”. Incidentally, that’s all you need to get a medical or engineering degree from SAITM. When you apply for a job, there would be tests, interviews and more tests. But if you know someone on the inside, you get in just with the interview. SAITM is like that. But if don’t know any important people you have to go at it the hard way. And that is why you have a competitive exam such as A-Levels deciding the fate of the regular student. The author of this post suggests a exam system to test the students. That is in fact what is exactly happening with A-levels!

      • 2
        0

        Have you heard of GMAT? Now that’s an example of testing aptitude for management studies at graduate level. Imagine how many of our local university MBA students would score well on a typical GMAT?

        Many developed countries are moving away from testing students on straight forward subject matter (that could be crammed up – botany, zoology, chemistry, etc or, even in maths & physics, by continuous working of sums). Instead, they set practical type questions outside the text but which requires a good knowledge of the subject matter and the use of that knowledge in a practical way.

        • 1
          1

          You are going in circles with your argument. I’ve done English medium tuition when i was still an undergrad. If you look at an A/L physics paper you’ll see that almost all the questions require the students to think outside the box. I’m saying this again and again. You can only get a “C” if just memorize stuff for A/L’s. The test is designed that way. And if you want to do better, you have to learn to think practically. Please look at an A/L paper and then make your comments. The reason most students can’t pass it is because they can’t think practically. I know this for a fact. You can’t teach critical thinking to students, all you can do is give them enough questions and let their minds develop.

          • 1
            0

            You may be right. I have not seen A/L papers in recent times. If this indeed is the case, then it is a fair assessment.

            All what I can add, then, is that they should reduce the “theory” content of the paper and give more weight to “critical thinking”. And if that is done so that children from underprivileged backgrounds (those who do not have access to good schools and/or afford to pay for tuition) are not disadvantaged, then we could, perhaps, do away with standardization altogether.

    • 2
      1

      If only Buddhist precepts apply in real life.

    • 1
      0

      Hoooiya!

      This is vintage Dharmapala.

      A thorough examination. Every observation valid, and not a sentence out of place.

      Well done too Ms Hanthanapitiya for taking valuable time off to write on a subject that should concern us all.

      “Nurse, I feel better already. ‘Cut’ my ticket, and let me go home”

    • 1
      1

      Ken,

      Hats off ! Genuine analysis. No friends , no relatives,
      no neighbour ,no mother-son , brother-sister , and if
      all these are a big “no” what else is “yes?” We only
      have a nation of ” SWOLLEN HEADS.” Such a nation
      can not progress. And all institutes are producing
      swollen heads . What will be the result ? There’s no
      mechanism in any of the hospitals , govt or private
      to educate patients about their conditions but money
      flows to both sectors . Another side of this whole
      private degree education I have noticed is ,many students
      who fail A/L in their own language ,get enrolled for
      courses in English language with so little or no English
      fluency. Some take one or two year foundation course some
      do not. Our O/L English credit holders can not even
      read an English children story book in some cases.
      A/L passes are no different . I mean English taken as
      second language. Our people know how to turn everything
      into madness.

    • 0
      0

      Well said !

      Our medical profession need to be regulated. SLMC is a curse and need to be revamped.

  • 3
    1

    There is also another factor. Those who get selected to state universities are not all at the same standard. Those from Colombo need to get higher marks than from a less developed area. So everyone in state universities cannot be lumped together as a group that is at a uniform standard of knowledge etc. This has to be considered as well.

  • 1
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    Government should allow private universities to offer degree courses that includes medical degrees. Millions of dollars that is spent on run down Nepali, Bengali or Indian Universities can be put to good use in Sri Lanka. The decision is in the Government hand not with Doctors or university students. 19th amendment was made by the Government. The 30 year war came to a halt because government decided to finish it. This decision is also rests with the Government if you think that we still have one that functions.

  • 1
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    One thing you got wrong is that millions were spent on building Dr. Neville Fernado Teaching Hospital and why that money wasn’t spent on a government hospital to improve and use. This was offered when the institute started to the Homagama hospital, though they agreed at first it was rejected afterwards as it was opposed by GMOA and state universities. And that’s why SAITM had to build a hospital of their own as nobody was ready to take these medical students.
    Everything else you’ve said , agreed :)

  • 0
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    One thing you got wrong is that millions were spent on building Dr. Neville Fernado Teaching Hospital and why that money wasn’t spent on a government hospital to improve and use. This was offered when the institute started to the Homagama hospital, though they agreed at first it was rejected afterwards as it was opposed by GMOA and state universities. And that’s why SAITM had to build a hospital of their own as nobody was ready to take these medical students.

  • 2
    1

    Hansika says:

    “And to the management of SAITM, if you had any business acuity at all, you would have spent all the millions of rupees you spent on building the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to develop the infrastructure facilities of a few government hospitals which are not teaching hospitals, and asked for permission to let your students practice in those hospitals…”

    Actually, this is what SAITM wanted to do at the very beginning. They wanted to upgrade the Homagama hospital so that it would become the teaching hospital for SAITM (similar to what NCMC did with Ragama Hospital). The narrow minded GMOA opposed this and that’s how the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital came in to existence. If I am wrong please correct me.

    Sinha

  • 1
    1

    Very well written and to the point. Everything you say is very much true.

    Just to make it clear, SAITM has offered to sponsor any upgrades at the Homagama hospital and various other hospitals before in return for thee access to the medical students years before and was rejected. That is why NFTH was built just so that they had atleast that. A hospital at that location wasnt always the plan.

  • 5
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    I completely agree with Ken Dharmapala’s comments, Hansika’s article it self and most of the other comments in the forum. I would like to see Sri Lanka as an education hub.

    Imagine foreign students coming to Sri Lanka by the thousands to pay and learn medicine , anything and everything? It will be another source of revenue for Sri Lanka. Point is government and private educational institutes must co-exist in Sri Lanka somehow.

    And Ken ” We are a nation of people who are envious of others – and exceedingly so. We hate to see another succeeding, getting on in life. We wait to see them fall – or, if we can without getting caught, pull them down! ” I would not have said it better. Well said.

    As for Jagath Fernando’s comment ” They allow doctors from poor quality med schools in Russia, Latvia, India, Bangladesh to come and practice here but cannot allow Local fee levying med schools to operate !!! ” . Quality it self is a perception and therefore it may not be right to bracket or pre-judge anything or anyone as poor quality without having a measurable standard to set the benchmark. Each country, individual is unique. When Koreans started making cars they were ridiculed by western american car manufacturers as ” poor ” quality. Hyundai sells more cars today globally than most so called high quality cars manufactured elsewhere. So I would not brand anything as poor quality.

    As for me . I have been overseas since January 1993 and experienced Asian, Arab and Western medical systems and I can tell you every medical system has pros and cons. For example in most western medical systems unless you are inches or minutes from death you will not get a slot to get an operation done.
    That’s not an indication of a superior service, but lack of resources, skills and funds. Go to a base hospital in Sri Lanka , you will be seen, advised and cared by a very capable doctor almost immediately. Granted the hospital may be smelly,untidy and may not have beds, but those things don’t kill you.

    ” I’m here because of the things I can offer, to my people and my beautiful little country, and all other people from countries all over the world, because in the end, it doesn’t matter if somebody is the prime minister of England or a farmer in Vietnam or our next door neighbor in Sri Lanka, when they’re sick, they will be weak and vulnerable and needing all the care they can get, and we will be the ones providing it. Isn’t each of us as human as the rest of us? First, do no harm.”

    we need more people like you Hansika. Thanks

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    Before I get started, I must commend you on this effort at reconciliation. That being said, I must also point out the fact that to me, this is nothing but a poorly thought out solution by someone, who has only a superficial idea as to the happenings of the medical circuit in Sri Lanka.

    Where, oh, where do I begin tearing this down?

    1. Firstly, there are already exams instituted, like ERPM that serve as another final MBBS exam, to foreign graduates. This is a statutory necessity because of the differences in training,the pattern of disease prevalence, the facilities and resources available at the university of study and the healthcare ethics, laws and regulations of the country of training.

    Now obviously, this is not the local final MBBS. But it’s devised along the same principles-to see whether an undergraduate has the required knowledge and skills to practice as an intern. You might argue saying the exact same exam conditions should be provided, but the fact that you dream of this idealistic situation is itself fallible. These perfectly equitable exam conditions that you speak of are a myth.

    Allow me to elaborate. All the local undergraduates, be they from Colombo or Peradeniya or Jaffna sit for one standardized paper. Granted, this is not the same paper word to word, but it is a paper comprised of questions drawn from a common pool/bank. And if you take the clinical aspect of the exams, even undergraduates from the same university get different patients with different clinical conditions for their final exam. So it is impractical to set the exact exam conditions for each and every candidate . They would work for exams like ALs where the papers remain the same all throughout, but for a professional qualification that depends on the knowledge and skills you gained throughout your course, it is, to be honest, completely meaningless.

    That being said, if what you wanted was anyway these circumstances, where the exam conditions are not exact, but still standardized and fair, then it is already in place and the current chaos arose despite that.

    2. Secondly, you speak of “local graduates getting less employment opportunities”. And you suggest, ” the government can prioritize the placement of local gradates over all the other graduates”.Well, that anyway happens. Again, the problems arose with this solution already in place.

    3. Thirdly, you made a jab at SAITM saying they should have spent their millions of rupees on developing the hospital (NFTH). Well, they did. The reason as to why their training is inadequate is not because they used that money for personal gain( maybe they did, I don’t know), but because it is a PRIVATE hospital in the middle of Malambe. How many Sri Lankans have the wealth to go to a private hospital? And out of them, how many are willing to let medical students do full physical examinations on them? But the biggest drawback of all is that these patients who present to private hospitals are not at all representative of the patient pool in Sri Lanka. This, THIS, is why the hospital fails as a teaching hospital. Not because the administrators did away with the money.

    And fine, the students at SAITM should be given the opportunity to sit for the same standardized exam, but the fact of the matter remains, their clinical training is sub-par. And well, not to be too cynical but in this day and age, examiners, exams, all of that, can easily be bought, the motive for which would be stronger when an institute needs to have a certain pass rate. I’m not saying this will happen. But it is a possibility one needs to consider.

    Lastly,I would like to say that while you have written with good intentions, this is not at all constructive in the current setting.

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    Without any cost to the parents, all students are given equal opportunities(Three attempts per person) to enter a public universities through the competitive advance level exam .If some one has not used all those valuable attempts that is totally a failure of that particular student which has to be understood by those who couldn’t select the government universities first. If Sri Lanka requires more medical graduates always there is a ground to increase university intake in order to meet the demand by giving opportunities to next best students in advanced level exam. Therefore there is no necessity of private medical faculties to spoil respectable medical profession in Sri Lanka anymore.

  • 3
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    Com’on,
    If you even want to enter to a foreign University you’d have to do at least IELTS. If you want to go to Aussie, your degree has to be recognised by the respective “Australian” governing body. So same should apply to any independent country. If it is not affiliated governing body, then it should be validated.

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    I’m a fan of private education, having work with people from SLIIT, APIIT I know these just not degree shops like most people call them. but I dont even see point of taking a huge risk like approving SAITM. It may be someones dream to be a doctor but as a country we should not put entire health care system in danger to fulfill individual dreams. for me SAITM is just unwanted risk which can be easily avoided.

  • 3
    3

    I have read the whole article and all the comments.. Anyone can say anything on this matter but the ugly truth is i have worked with a bunch of foreign graduated interns during my internship n i had to double my duties n work because of them. THAT IS THE TRUTH that everyone is gonna hide-off. we some times tried to give most of them a little knowledge just cause we needed to SAVE PATIENTS LIVES…

    Many of this foreign docs don’t have their life saving skills even.. IF YOU doubt go to a peripheral hos pic and take a look at least. EVERY ONE NEEDS to make this a business . why don’t you care poor patients lives.

    ASK FROM A ONE SINGLE FOREIGN TRAINED DOCTOR>> about the difference of them and a local trained one.. please….. THEIR HEARTS knows the truth!

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      It’s even worst when a Sri Lankan medical student/doctor go to a developed country!

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        please give us evidence :) lol sayings!!

    • 3
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      Having personally known multiple doctors during the 25 years I have lived, I can safely say that your opinion is misinformed and possibly biased without any basis on statistics.
      If you look at the best known doctors in the country, most of them have received medical training abroad at some point in their lives. Even those who did their undergraduate degree in Sri Lankan universities did their training or MD in Europe, America or Australia (insert country of choice).
      They are good because they have seen what other nations can offer in terms of healthcare. It is arrogance on the part of many undergraduates here to think that we have the best healthcare system in the world. I am sorry to disappoint you, but it is not. There are approximately 40 more countries with better healthcare systems. So do you really think that foreign graduates who studied in those systems can’t save lives? By that logic, the life expectancy of countries like Britain and Germany would be in the 40’s rather than 85.
      Students who return after receiving their degrees abroad do so because they want to apply the best things they learnt in those countries to our own system. To make it better. To contribute towards the betterment of healthcare in Sri Lanka. But it can’t be done because of opposition from clowns such as the anti PMC crowd which you seem to embrace so blindly.
      I think it is about time that you lot start being part of the solution rather than being part of the problem.

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        Our Doctors think they are ‘IT’ but they are real frogs in wells. The problem is people hero worship these idiots.

        Well done, Ranil. Put these corrupt buggers in place.

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        You forget to mention that the whole medical study
        itself and the medicines are a package from the
        UK , not a Srilankan product . And the special
        post graduate degrees they earn in UK,Australia or
        America have not helped change the attitude of
        doctors towards the patients in public hospitals
        or private hospitals as such. The same arrogant
        and full of pride that they are “doctors” coming
        back to show more colours with an added feather!
        Is that all he learns in those countries about
        health care ? And patient doctor relations ?
        Patient doctor relations has improved a little
        thanks to private hospitals and foreign health care
        experience of expats returning on holidays to
        Srilanka. Otherwise respect for patients in our
        country is a nightmare.

  • 5
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    I dont mind public saying various thing about local graduate but as a medical student you must have social responsibilty when you write social article. Its wonder to see that you have written all local graduate should do common examination , but yes we are doing common written exam which determine merit which was introduced nearly 10 yr back, but I hope as a medical student you would understand that
    its not possible to have common exam for clinical cases( I hope you are a medical student having clinical training with patient unlike SAITM).

    So get to know the facts before writting anything on a media.

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      You sound like the next ‘Padeniya’ !

      Your attitude stinks and god help the patients !!

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      Crude fellow!! Improve your English!!

  • 4
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    People are happy to void their jealous on local medical graduate,They freely use terms like rowdies. Yea dear author you are succeded and voided your jealous due to the inferiority complexes. No dear dont have any inferioriy complex. Rather than trying to get some popularity by writing these kind misguiding article, concentrate on ur studies and get through ur act 16. We are happy to work with anybody who showed their competency by any legal exam .

  • 8
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    Dear Readers,

    This conversation reflects the public opinion on doctors, medical faculties and GMOA. I am a doctor who graduated from a local University. However I write this as an impartial citizen who have seen and experienced in many health care systems and medical schools in Sri Lanka, in under developed countries and in some of the most developed countries.

    Congratulations Hansika for the excellent article and bringing out a lot of important points for discussion. My siblings went overseas to study medicine, and I know what parents go through in this process. Therefore, fee paying medical schools for properly qualified students is a dire need of our country. Yes indeed!

    A few issues though that we have to keep in mind. Look at India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other similar countries with privately owned medical faculties – Although India has some of the best medical schools in the world it also has some of the worst. On the other hand in developed countries where students CAN pay and study medicine – their medical faculties are NON PROFIT MAKING institutions. I hope you all know how things happen in our part of the world when rules and regulations and maintaining standards – in a venture that gives you money – which can be shared with people !!! That is very the reason why those in the developed world including Harvard and Cambridge (which Hansika has quoted) are governed by a board of trusties and well regulated. No one earns from those except for the staff! Their administrative structure is a lot like our very good private schools in Sri Lanka (Trinity, St. Thomas’ Ladies etc).

    Look at the MBA in Sri Lanka. We find thousands of small places offering MBAs and that qualification has more or less become obsolete in the industry!. That’s what we have to protect the degrees against. Which is the reason why the SLMC has recommended against approving SAITM. The team who inspected SAITM observed (although that it is not mentioned in paper) that the administration do great injustice to the students with offering very little in return for the money they charge ! They can get more teachers if they pay a bit more – but they don’t do it. They can give you more facilities from what they charge from you – but they don’t. That’s a great crime against you. That’s what you have to fight for!

    Finally, the doctors are a fraction of the society. This is true for engineers, accountants or any other profession. There will be good and bad doctors, saints and thieves, heroes and villains, rapists or more. This is true for any profession. One persons experience should not be generalised! As a rule in public, you read about the bad but not about the silent heroes. This is the case in any field, even the police who are under a lot of attack these days!

    Putting everything aside,note that we have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. We have some of the best statistics. What our patients receive from the government is used in many international places as an example. Although we don’t value it we have less delays in getting major procedures, consultations etc than the UK in many areas. Sadly, this movement of finding fault and criticising will one day make the public loose their trust in the system – which will lead to massive chaos. I hope the media and the public will be a bit more responsible when commenting and generalising the goods and the bads of the health system and doctors.

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    Just graduating from an “elite universities like Harvard or Cambridge” doesn’t mean that they can face any viva-voce/exam. Nature of the exam depends on who prepares the exam paper.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of Sri Lankan medical doctors have no sense of Science due to i) outdated practice and memory-based syllabi ii) over-weighted syllabi: so they don’t have free time as medicos in other countries iii) they are passionate in neither Science nor Medicine, but false social status and money. Rather, what they do is “practice” assuming that medicine is a cookbook which is not the case in other developed countries. Sri Lankan doctors bravely (no sense of risk either!) come to conclusions even without doing any adequate tests as taught by their masters. Havard medicos don’t know these hacks. Well, Sri Lankan hospitals do not have enough facilities, so they don’t have any option either. Why poor?

    Well, again, as in every problem in the country, this boils down to the fundamental cultural and political issue (if you know what it is).

    Cheers!

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    Ms.Hansika:No offence are u a professor in Medical Education to give solutions to this problem.?First of all pass ur MBBS try to pass ACT 16,get a tempory post as a house officer and try to get the SLMC registration before touching the field if Medical Education which is vast as the ocean.Dont think that because u have skills in writing u can “propose solutions”..Dear Editors of Colombo journal: there are professionals in Medical education in Srilanka..If you want,take an article from them rather than publishing amatures bull which they dream in their spare time..

    • 6
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      I don’t think it matters where the solution comes from, if it works. One should not take a haughty attitude and suppress younger people from expressing their views in public. Knowledge can be limiting the experts ability to think outside the box sometimes, and a fresher might come up with a brilliant suggestion that a professor could adopt, shape it up and develop so that it could pass establishment scrutiny, if it is a good workable solution. What is wrong with it? I have no idea if the writer’s views are good or bad; my comment is purely on the writer’s freedom of expression and freedom to generate well-thought out ideas from the writer’s point of view.

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      This is an opinion piece given by a medical student who has seen much of what the Sri Lankan healthcare system has to offer. The experience may not be the same as that of a 25 year old veteran in medicine, but it still counts because the opinions of incoming doctors are just as vital. And judging by your irascible, pretentious comment, I doubt you are one of those experienced veterans. In which case you are in no position to talk about the importance of professional opinion n this matter.

      And like you said….she has writing skills. A skill which; no offence my dear sir; that you don’t seem to possess. Your prose is riddled with text messaging jargon which is the first faux pas, as well as spelling errors, a lack of spacing and an embarrassing disregard for grammar.
      The editors of this website know which articles to select, but you don’t.

    • 3
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      It’s merely her opinion. Is it unethical to express someone’s opinion on something going critical in the country? Is it only for the professionals to speak up? Don’t be so rude and hypocritical. Professionalism is a plus, nevertheless it is not a must for sharing opinions.

  • 7
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    There are few fabrications with hansikas argument. The many fabrications told to her by her seniors from Tianjin are being repeated here.
    1. You can’t be a doctor just because of your need to be one. No education system in the world is designed in that way. You have to prove you are worthy enough to study medicine. just because u get three S In the AL It doesn’t mean that you are qualified to be a doc. In th USA (which you have taken as example) those who get more that 2 SD s above at the says can apply for the degree. Then you sit for an interview where they judge your performance and attitude. ” even if you are a Kennedy you cannot get an MD”
    2. No country in the world has a system where the local graduates and the foreign graduates are sitting for the same examination. In the U.S. You have the usmle and UK the plab. Even if u r a local who did your degree abroad you have to sit for plab. And the format of exam is very different to the one for the locals. This is very justifiable. A country’s education system is deigned to suit the needs of that country. Medical education is the same. Think of dengue. You won’t get that disease in China. And you will not be taught about it. But imagine the scenario where you sit for erpm and you are not given a question on dengue, you pass the exam and go to work as a no in vavuniya, and on your first day you have to treat fourth dengue patients 10 of them in ‘ leaking’ justify that !
    3 how many graduates from Harvard or Oxford do you think works in Sri Lanka? If you get an iPhone rpm batch 50%will be from China 40%from Nepal and the others from Russia. Nobody has a problem with graduates from Harvard. The problem is due to these sub standard universities in the above countries. General published – a point to ponder. If you obtain a degree from Harvard , u allowed to work in U.S. ( no exams need) same for most degrees in UK. But do you think that u r allowed to practice as a doctor in china just because you get a degree from tianjin
    , or allowed to work in Nepal after getting mobs from manipal? No. They don’t want to put their patients at Risk. Why should we put ours ?
    4 the standardization exams you r talking about already exists Its. Called erpm! You guys are sitting for the same paper that the locals are sitting in and failing miserably ! Last exam out of 621 only 98 passed. And furthermore this exam is biased towards the foreign graduates. You are given the option of passing one subject at a time for an unlimited number of attempts ! Locals are no t given that luxury hansika. If you fail a single subject you can repeat it only once following that you have to repeat the whole exam. And if you fail in more than four attempts you are expelled from the faculty! I have met foreign heads who come as interns after ten attempts. By the time you pass pediatrics you forget your medicine which you last studied ten years ago ! Nobody is addressing this issue!

    So don’t fall victim to the lies spread by your seniors!

  • 2
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    I have not disputing your arguments or suggestions.

    But, I think the Medical profession has become a mega business only second to the Justice system.

    ‘Hedakama’ is more productive than the ‘Wedakama’. The no of doctors are going to overrun the Nurses by the look of it.

  • 1
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    I am not disputing your arguments or suggestions.

    But, I think the Medical profession has become a mega business only second to the Justice system.

    ‘Hedakama’ is more productive than the ‘Wedakama’. The no of doctors are going to overrun the Nurses by the look of it.

  • 5
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    I would like to share my ideas on some of the facts presented here.
    1. “cause everyone will be equally skilled” – I don’t think any two people could ever be equally skilled just because those two face an examination and get equal marks. Skill is not acquired just by studying for an exam and passing it. Skill is acquired through learning, studying and practice. Not just passing an exam.

    2. You are talking about a standardised examination scheme for doctors. I really don’t understand why local AL examination does not fall under this category? AL examination is common to everybody. So why do you ask for another standard examination while studying medicine? After all if one just simply cannot pass the AL Biology paper, can we expect that person to pass a higher level medical examination? In this case, you might argue, AL paper is just one paper. Of course yes and you have three chances to repeat and pass it if you are really passionate in becoming a doctor. Without passing this examination upto an acceptable level, how can a person study medicine which is far beyond AL biology and expect to pass it with flying colours, while competing with students who have passed this AL biology paper with an A pass? you might be wasting your money my dear :)

    3. “hundreds of hopeful, scared students, of hundreds of innocent parents just like yours and mine” – My dear if you call those rich parents who would intend to make their kids doctors by spending such a large sum of money, instead of motivating them to study hard and pass the AL examination, how can we call our poor parents who put all their effort to motivate and encourage their kids to pass this exam and enter the medical college? are they rude? I am strictly against the concept that one can “buy” an MBBS just because he or she has a lot of money and does not deserve to be a doctor? If those so called innocent parents are really into making their kids doctors, they can spend that money on individual tuition for ALs and ask their kids to pass the examination properly. There are very poor parents and sometimes their kids pass the examination and may be they miss the medical college by just a decimal point difference in the z score. Isn’t is really unfair for such parents if we allow rich parents to buy an MBBS degree for their kids? My primary concern here is that there are students in SAITM who have F grades for ALs. I cannot figure out how they are going to pass advanced medicine exams. I repeat there are three chances, if you fail in the first attempt, you can definitely try again, twice.

    4. “because if you aren’t good enough to be a doctor, you just aren’t” Can u be good enough to be a doctor, if you cannot pass a simple Biology paper?

    5. “The truth is, the doctors in our country don’t get paid as much as they should be paid” – I strongly agree. When the situation is such, can you expect the government to pay more when doctors from private medical colleges also graduate? Can the government afford to pay the increased number of doctors?

    6. “how exactly does one make up his/her mind to abandon human beings in need of their care for any material thing?” In number 5 above, you have said doctors in our country don’t get paid as much as they should be paid. It implies they have put aside their personal needs on behalf of the poor sick people in our country. As far as I know, doctors should be reachable at any time of the day, 24 hours duty. If they have to come to the hospital, to treat an urgent patient, I don’t think they can rely on public transport. If the government does not provide them with a private vehicle, they should atleast grant them the permit to buy one at a reasonable price. Are u asking them to come by public bus to do a surgery in the middle of the night? Ridiculous.

    I am an Engineering undergraduate. I know for sure doctors in our country are doing a great service for us. My mother was sick since I was 8 years old. I have been to the hospital with her many times. And i have witnessed how good the doctors treated her and how hard they tried to save her life. Even in the middle of the night, doctors come and check the patients to see whether they are all right. Do u think all that is just for some material things? I have seen during clinic time, there is a huge rush in the hospital. There are hundreds of patients and each doctor might be checking at least 30 of them. I wonder how one can be so patient and bear such a stressful situation? Each patient has a different disease.The doctor has to ask about their symptoms, diagnose the disease and give the right medication in the middle of that huge rush. For myself,merely standing in that crowded place makes me sick. One will need a lot of will power, endurance and a good mind-set to become a doctor,not just passing exams. Not everyone can endure that. In our country, doctors do a great service. Some are full time public doctors. It is a disgrace if you say, “how exactly does one make up his/her mind to abandon human beings in need of their care for any material thing?”. I guess you have never been to a public hospital to witness the service of a doctor. Please don’t comment on things you are not aware of.

    • 1
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      Right, I’m not going to lie, but I am going to enjoy this way more than I should.

      About point 2: The A levels and university education are two completely different creatures altogether. Making the A levels a standard stick of measurement is a terrible idea. When students pass out after 5 or 6 years of medical education, they are versed in things that are more complicated than the rote learning you do during A levels. This includes practicals where you have to diagnose a patient face to face. This is not a skill you learn in A levels. So there MUST be a different exam after graduation.

      About point 3: So you are saying that just because a family is rich, they don’t deserve to have their children educated? What makes you think that they “buy” their degrees? They work just as hard, if not more. I am from the system that you claim has “bought” their education. If we failed an exam, we had ONE chance to repeat. If we failed the year twice, we get kicked out. We didn’t have “Kuppi classes” like you did, and had to rely on good time management to complete our coursework and exams. And unlike the anti-PMC crowd in this country, we didn’t spend most of our waking ours obstructing other people’s education with strikes and riots and destruction of public property. We actually studied so that we can pass with flying colours instead of resting on our laurels because we got into university.
      And it’s highly hypocritical of you to go for tuition classes during A levels and then throw a fuss because some people spend money on their university education. Why, is school with free resources not good enough for you? You think that schools don’t provide the impetus to score well in A levels? I’ll eat my hat if you can convincingly prove that spending money on university education is NOT the some thing as spending money on tuition classes you probably don’t even need. This is not even taking into account that there are kids in rural areas who get into medical college on low Z scores, which in my opinion, is rubbish. That’s called setting low standards for certain demographics.

      About point 6: It makes no sense to go on a 24 hour strike because of the absence of car permits. Fair enough that they request one considering most doctors have earned the right to do so. But outright refusal to work is indeed materialistic, and against the Hippocratic oath. That’s like putting lighter fluid into a fire and making the situation worse.

      Oh and you shot yourself in the foot by saying that you are an engineering graduate rather than a medical student. It could be forgiven if it weren’t for the fact that you just said she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She is doing a medical degree, you are not. The writer knows better than you do about the medical profession, and has probably not only visited, but WORKED in public hospitals as well. I am going to say out loud that I am not a medic either. But I know what I am talking about. Especially given I have a parent who has been a specialist doctor for over 30 years and has a sibling who is working to become one. I have lived my life around doctors. And I am certain these experienced veterans would agree how ridiculous this discrimination against private medical colleges is.

    • 1
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      ALs are biased in favour of rural students who can come into uni with lower scores.

      If this was removed, and the same cutoff mark counts regardless of where you are from, then we can say that those in our unis are the best and so there is no need to have fee-levying private institutions offering degrees.

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