The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on Saturday decided to open registration for the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) from May 25 [which will continue till a date to be announced by the commission next week] and hold the exam from September 7 to September 30 in 20 cities across Pakistan and 11 other countries.
It also approved a policy for adding provincial MDCAT committees to be constituted in each province and territory by the relevant federal and provincial governments.
On the recommendation of the disciplinary committee, the PMC approved the closure of Mohammad Medical College Peshawar upon repeated cases of illegal admissions and for seeking donations from students. The students will be placed in other colleges.
The decision was taken during the meeting of the Medical and Dental Council with PMC President Dr Arshad Taqi in the chair.
The provincial committees will consist of three members nominated by the provincial government of which two shall be from the public sector medical universities and one from a private medical university.
The MDCAT committees shall review the curriculum and recommend to the National Medical and Dental Academic Board any changes in the curriculum or propose questions bank to be included in the MDCAT exam. The purpose is to involve all stakeholders to ensure transparency and ownership.
The council was briefed about MDCAT and National Licensing Exam (NLE) which are designed and executed through the PMC-owned system.
Based on two recent conferences, the dental colleges of Pakistan have submitted their recommendations related to lowering the MDCAT pass percentage for admission to the dental programme to the National Academic Board for consideration. The board has directed the National Medical Authority to collect data of the average MDCAT scores from provinces as well as from Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU).
The board considered lowering the MDCAT pass marks for the BDS programme to 60pc subject to the analysis asl(ed from the provinces. Moreover, the council suggested to the board to consider fixing the MDCAT pass percentage for BDS programme at 55pc.
PMC Vice President Ali Raza told Dawn that besides Pakistan MDCAT will also be held in 11 countries of Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
`In Asia, MDCAT will be held in Gulf countries, China and Malaysia. We are still in the consultation phase so in this regard advertisements will be floated by next week and students are suggested to wait for it,` he said.
According to a statement, the council has withdrawn the interim policy on sharing facilities between dental and medical colleges with the publication of the `2022 Dental College Accreditation Standards` as formulated by the board and approved by the council. `The interim policy having become redundant stands withdrawn with immediate effect,` it said.
Many colleges approached the authority proposing to schedule fixed dates for admissions in medical and dental colleges. The councilconsidered the proposal sent by Dr Razi Mohammad, president private colleges (Sindh chapter) suggesting admission dates. The council approved necessary amendments to the Medical and Dental Undergraduate Education (Admissions, Curriculum and Conduct) Regulations 2021 to allow for final date of admission.
All schedules of admissions would be on a fundamental principle that public admissions shall be before private admissions and medical admissions shall always be before BDS admissions. Based on this, the council has constituted a national scheduling committee. The committee shall submit the final schedule of admissions to the authority and the same shall be notified by the authority.