AAPI Leads Efforts Connecting Medical Education Boards (NREMS) In India With NBME Of USA Conducting USMLE

(Chicago, IL; May 26, 2023) India, home to one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world has made remarkable changes in medical education in the recent past. As the world is changing to meet the ever-changing needs, medical education in India is moving forward with the objective of rendering every medical graduate and postgraduate the best in the world. Several changes are being made for graduates from Indian schools to be at par and for easy mobilization around the world.

India is introducing the NEXT examination, which is the licensing examination similar to USML in the US, while the UKMLE is starting in the UK in 2024 in the place of PLAB examination.

NMC applied for WFME Recognition status, which is mandatory to apply for USMLE examination. 694 Medical schools in India with106,083 MBBs admissions a year selected from 2.1 million applicants through the UG NEET examination, one day across India in 3 hours. With the government policy of one medical college for every district to meet the Indian need,

medical education has many challenges in the transfer of knowledge and quality.

NBEMS is responsible for NEET PG Entrance Test, which is taken up by more than 200,000 students once a year. India’s Health Minister Mandaviya has said that the government of India is working to equal the number of medical UG and PG seats in 4 years: Post-graduate seats have grown from 34,000 to 64,000 in the last 8 years, the Union Health Minister said in a conference. To overcome the shortage of teachers in medical colleges, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has increased the professor-student ratio from 1:2 to 1:3 for postgraduate (PG) courses in all Medical Colleges from the 2018-19 academic session.

In this context, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has led efforts to help streamline medical education in India to meet the global standards for medical practice around the world.

AAPI took the lead last month to bring together the leaders of National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBEMS) India, National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBME) USA, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) on April 27th at the NBME office in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

Dr. Lokesh Edara, BOT-Chair Elect, and Dr. Sumul N. Raval, current Treasurer of AAPI and Secretary-Elect represented AAPI at the meeting.

NBME was represented by Dr. Peter Katsufrakis; Dr. Mike Jodoin, USMLE Program; Dr. Daniel Jurich, Growth and Innovation, Overview National Board of Examinations; and, Pamela Treves, Senior Vice President of NBME’s Growth and Innovation Division.

Dr. Abhijat Sheth represented NMBE – India. FSMB was represented by Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards.

“Overview National Board of Examinations” was the main theme discussed during the meeting. According to Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair-Elect of AAPI Board of Trustees, “AAPI hoped the excellence gained through long term vision, insight and hard work with both organizations and exchange of ideas and challenges will benefit the medical education system in India and help tens of thousands of medical graduates coming from India to have recognition in the US.”

He urged Dr. Sheth to increase family medicine PG seats and nationalized formative assessment tests in theory part for all post graduates and for post-graduate exit theory examination suggested computerized online test. Nationwide E-Learning systems for higher transfer of Knowledge in medical education

Dr. Raval said, “In order for us to meet the unprecedented demand and to bring up the quality of education, the Indian medical education system is changing rapidly. The meeting today was a great beginning to facilitate collaborative efforts between India and the United States.”

Dr. Sheth presented the NBEMS mission and PG NEET examination, FMGE examination and more than 50 specialties for postgraduate and super specialties courses they are conducting and graduating. He invited all the participants at the meeting to their office in New Delhi during their next visit to India. AAPI leaders invited the leadership of these regulatory groups to the AAPI annual convention in Philadelphia in July 2023 and to the AAPI Global Healthcare Summit meeting in New Delhi in January 2024.

Dr. Katsufrakis provided an update on the NBME history and current examination-system.  Dr. Katsufrakis is a board-certified Family Physician, whose professional focus has been to improve the quality of care provided to patients through effective assessment of health care professionals, and is leading the NBME to grow as an ally in helping health professionals maximize their mastery and performance.

Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), which was founded in 1912 and represents all 70 of the nation’s state and territorial medical licensing boards, represented FSMB at the meeting. FSMB operates the Federation Credentials Verification Service and co-manages the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) with the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Michael Jodoin is the Senior Vice President for Customer and Portfolio Management at NBME. In this role, he is accountable for the strategic and operational leadership for NBME’s portfolio of products and services and the customers and stakeholders that we serve.

Daniel Jurich serves as associate vice president for the USMLE® program. In this role, he leads and supports various validity, equity, and security initiatives that enhance the quality of USMLE for students, medical educators, clinicians, and licensing authority members.

Pamela Treves is the Senior Vice President of NBME’s Growth and Innovation Division. This division supports the organization’s strategic goals and vision by providing leadership to accelerate the pace of change and innovation for our products and services – in collaboration with medical education and health care to better support learners, advance assessment, and improve the care that patients receive.

Dr. Abhijat Sheth, President, National Board of Examinations, since 2016 completed his post-graduation in Cardiothoracic Surgery from Sheth KM School of Postgraduate Medicine and Research, Ahmedabad. He extensively worked as an academician at various medical colleges in India.  He worked in SMT NHL Medical College while in UK , worked in four NHS Trust Hospitals, and as the Director of Medical Services at Apollo Hospitals International LTD, Ahmedabad in India.

Dr. Lokesh Edara, board certified in Allergy and immunology in Private practice since 1990, is a former President of the Michigan Allergy Asthma Society and former President of Calhoun County Medical Society. He serves as the President of the Association of Allergists and Immunologists from India 2001-2003. He is the Chairmen of AAPI Global Medical Education and Chairmen-Elect of AAPI Board of Trustees 2023-2024.

A board-certified neurologist and authority on brain tumors, Dr. Sumul N. Raval is one of the few neuro-oncologists in private practice in the United States. Dr. Raval is the founder and director of the David S. Zocchi Brain Tumor Center at Monmouth Medical Center – New Jersey’s first and most comprehensive facility specializing in brain tumors. He was recently elected as the Secretary of AAPI for the year, 2023-2024.

Expressing appreciation for Dr. Edara and Dr. Raval for taking the lead in facilitating interaction and dialogue between the Medical Education Boards of India and the United States, Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI said, “Since its inception over four decades ago, AAPI has been in the forefront advocating for medical school education reform and for the medical graduates from India to be treated on par with their counterparts in India. India is already leading the global pharmaceutical industry, and rebooting medical education will help India enter the league of leaders in healthcare around the world. The meeting today was a great start, and I look forward to AAPI continuing to lead such efforts in the coming years benefitting the medical fraternity.” For more information on AAPI and its many initiatives, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

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