KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 – Entrance examination is now a requirement for doctors seeking to pursue certain medical specialties in public universities.
According to Medical Specialist Entrance Examination (MedEx) chairwoman Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy, the new entrance examination, MedEx, will enhance transparency in the way entrance examinations for specialist courses are conducted.
“The way it was conducted before this was very haphazard.
“For example, you would only have known the examination date if you had contact with people who were connected to the board or committee,” said Dr Zaleha after the Malaysian Medics International open forum on specialising in Malaysia, as quoted by The Star.
Medical Deans Council of Malaysia (MDCM) chairman Prof Dr Shaiful Bahari Ismail said that the first examination will be held on November 16.
MedEx will be run by MDCM and Malaysian Education Council, and will replace entrance examinations for 12 specialties.
It will also impose an entrance examination on two specialties which did not have one. The 12 specialties are paediatrics, general surgery, pathology (inclusive of forensic pathology), family medicine, psychiatry, radiology, rehabilitation medicine, sports medicine, neurosurgery, paediatric surgery, transfusion medicine and nuclear medicine.
The other two that did not have entrance examinations are clinical oncology and plastic surgery.
The exams will be conducted in five centres nationwide, namely Malaysian Examinations Council in Selayang, Selangor; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur; Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital in Kubang Kerian Kelantan; Universiti Malaysia Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak in Kuching, Sarawak.
The exams were previously run independently by specialist boards.
“We felt there should be some uniformity because after all, they are conducted by the same group of universities,” she stated.
Dr Zaleha also said that different boards were also imposing different fees, and some were not even imposing fees.
She further explained that the standard RM800 fee was necessary, as it was unfair to the universities if no charge was imposed to cover costs.
Eight more specialist programmes will be joining MedEx in 2020.