So, the GMC have decided to introduce a national licensing exam (‘passport to practice’). Their website says:
Medicine is an increasingly mobile profession, and we believe that a single national licensing examination would not only help to ensure that UK-trained graduates meet the required standards, but that international medical graduates seeking to practise here have been examined and evaluated to the same high level. Further work would be required on the position of doctors from the European Union.
Worthy of detailed thought, but a number of points come to mind. First, the metaphor of a ‘passport’. What they describe is a passport for non-UK persons, rather than UK medics. Second, within the EU we already have a medical ‘passport’. Indeed the last sentence of the above quote is, to say the least, strange. Are we seriously going to erect hurdles for UK citizens, but not say those of Holland or Germany who want to practice in the UK. And what of those of us who hold non-UK EU citizenship, but practice here. Medicine is indeed an increasingly mobile profession, and I think it needs to be much more so, but the logical follow through is that we need transnational standards or a series of reciprocal recognition treaties.
This strikes me more about the GMC trying to justify its own survival and, once again, expanding into domains where it has little genuine competence. What is the betting it will be an MCQ paper? Certification close to graduation in medicine is fool’s gold.