Some relief for Ukraine-returned medical students

Students in the final year of MBBS at Ukrainian universities may be able to see the light at the end. Ukraine’s government announced it would cancel the compulsory licensing exam KROK2 for final-year students and give MBBS degrees without them having to take the exams until the situation stabilizes. The relief of resuming online classes and internships has helped to restore their faith, which is what the Ukraine-returned medical student are feeling after being caught in a sea of uncertainty.

To be eligible to become a doctor, students who are studying Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy must pass two exams. KROK 1 is in the third year, and KROK 2. in the sixth. A notification posted on the Ukraine government website states that the KROK 1 exam has been delayed until next year and KROK 2 cancelled this year. This has made the prospects for the Ukraine-returned students somewhat brighter. It may be possible to pass the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination, which is the screening exam conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) and required by the National Medical Commission. This will allow them to practice medicine in their country. To be able to do a clinical internship in India, it is necessary to pass the FMGE exam. Without a year of experience, the applicant will not be able to obtain a license to practice medicine in India.



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“But we must ensure they are equipped to deal with the Indian patients. There will be questions about whether the interns have completed their mandatory internship in Ukraine, and how many hours of accreditation they have received in each department. A senior official of the health ministry said that only if NMC allows students to be accommodated would it allow them to. The NMC will only allow students to apply for a waiver if they have successfully completed their MBBS in Ukraine. This is not the case. Another option is to hold the final year MBBS program in India. This would prove problematic since the students who have returned from Ukraine are not trained for Indian evaluation. It would be difficult to assess the students’ level of training without having university records,” Rajesh NG (professor of Pathology), JIPMER, Pondicherry.

Jagdish Godara is a final year student at Uzhorod National University. He speaks in similar vein. “We don’t even have the provisional documents that carry our marks from our semester exams. For us to obtain a Ukrainian MBBS degree, the university will need to turn over all documents and scores to India Embassy. It is located near the border of Slovakia. We would like to request that the Indian government provide us with the medical degree if the university ceases to exist.” The 24-year-old from Barmer in Rajasthan went to Ukraine to fulfill the dream of his father, a government servant, to become a good doctor. “I was supposed take the KROK2 exam, and I was in the tenth year of my one-year internship. When war broke out, it was too late. It’s been two months since my return, but I can only do online internship classes to try and make peace.

Krishan Pal Singh Rathore (23), fourth-year student at Danylo Halytsky University in Lviv, shows the same anxiety. “Currently, I am taking my classes online (two days a week from 3pm-7pm), which are theoretical but our war-torn teachers show us videos of surgeries to give me a clear picture. Although they cannot make any promises about the future, their kindness and hard work have strengthened my resolve to finish my MBBS in Ukraine, if given the chance.” The Ajmer boy is a son of a doctor and his mother a housewife. My education was made affordable by the fact that my medical education and living expenses cost around Rs 7 lakh per year. Krishan, who returned from India via Budapest and the Hungarian border after it became unsafe to remain on the campus, says that finances will always be a major consideration in my future plans.

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