NEET for medics: a guarantee of quality? An exploratory study

Published date01 April 2019
Date01 April 2019
AuthorVasumathi Arumugam,Rajesh Mamilla,Anil C.
Subject MatterEducation,Educational evaluation/assessment
NEET for medics: a guarantee of
quality? An exploratory study
Vasumathi Arumugam and Rajesh Mamilla
VIT Business School, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India, and
Anil C.
Dubai Womens College, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Purpose The government has taken an initiative to improve the MBBS admission process in the country to
eradicate the academic dishonesty and encourage the deserving candidates for MBBS enrolment. The Supreme
Court has paved the way to hold the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), a common entrance test for
admission to undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses, from the 2016-17 academic year onwards. This
paper aims to focus on the contention raised by various stakeholders associated with it and examines the pass
percentage of plus two State Board examinations in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and admission details for 2016 and 2017.
Design/methodology/approach The researchers adopted exploratory research. The researchers
studied the medical admissionprocess at national and global levels. They collected data of MBBS admission,
NEET, State Board and CBSE plus two results and information from newspapers, website and magazine
articles. Many experts published articles in newspapers. No study analysed data and made an exhaustive
exploratory study. This motivates the researcher to do the same. Simple percentage, percentage change,
correlation analysis and the sign test are used to determine whether the State Board or CBSEstudents get
benettedout of NEET to become medical professionals.
Findings There is no signicantrelationship between MBBS enrolment of students (both StateBoard and
CBSE students) before and after the NEET was introduced.From correlation analysis, it is inferred that the
pass percentage of students whostudied under State Board and MBBS enrolment were lesser in 2017 than
2016. It is also inferred that many districts studentsenrolmentin MBBS course have increased from 2016 to
2017. The researchers concludedthat because of NEET, CBSE students got more enrolment in MBBS course
in 2017 comparedwith State Board students in 2016.
Research limitations/implications The researchers found that the students with State Board
examinationsenrolled in lesser number for MBBS course than CBSE studentsin Tamil Nadu. There is a scope
for improvement in designing and implementingNEET with the deliberations among different stakeholders
involved with the medical educationsystem, which will help in reducing the rampant corruption and, most
importantly,pave the way for a selection based on merit in medical education. Possibly, this will also work as
a safeguard to the sanctityof the medical profession in India and at the global level.
Originality/value The researcher collecteddata from newspapers, websites and journals. Many experts
discuss about, for and against NEET. No one analysed the data. This is a unique article that has more
statisticalanalysis and meaningful interpretations from analysis.This paper will be useful to the government
at nationaland global levels to frame medical admission procedureand policies.
Keywords Quality, Global admission process, Guarantee
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
World Health Statistics Report(2015) reveals that in India, there were 24 health workers per
10,000 population (7 doctors and 17 nurses and midwives) between 2007 and 2013, in
comparison to the global average of 43 workers per 10,000 population (14 doctors and 29
nursing and midwifery personnel).It is high time for the government to direct and motivate
students to enrol in medical courses.
NEET for
Received19 July 2018
Revised31 August 2018
11March 2019
Accepted15 March 2019
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.27 No. 2, 2019
pp. 197-222
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-07-2018-0080
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Medical education has been focussed through the faulty instrument of career prospects.
In fact, only one in a thousand can gain entry into this prestigious profession. But everyone
in India and at a global level has an interest in medical education from the perspective of
ensuring suitable manpower for the delivery of preventive and curative health care, and
health-care deliveryis essentially a state subject.
Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test (UMAT) is one of three criteria (UMAT,
Australian Tertiary AdmissionsRank [ATAR] and an interview) used by most universities
in selecting students into high-demand health-related careers such as medicine and
dentistry. Withoutsatisfactory completion of UMAT, the students will be ineligible for these
undergraduate medicineand health science courses.
Gaining entry into an undergraduate medical course entails three equally weighted
(1) ATAR score (year 12 results);
(2) UMAT score; and
(3) Interview score or oral assessment.
Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is available to any
student who has completed a bachelors degreeor who is in the penultimate (second-last) or
nal year of study of a bachelors degree at the time of takingthe test.
Applicants are selected for admission into the graduate-entry medical and dental
programs on the basis of three criteria:
(1) weighted average mark or grade point average of the bachelors degree;
(2) GAMSAT score; and
(3) multiple interview rounds (MMI).
Universities maydiffer in their weighting of performance on each of the criteria:
GAMSAT is almost twice the length of UMAT.
GAMSAT requires essay writing, whereas UMAT does not; it is entirely multiple choice.
UMAT has no assumed knowledge (it is an aptitude test), whereas GAMSAT
requires specialist knowledge in areas of physics, chemistry, biology, etc.
A student who wishes to study a course like medicine, he/she may nd oneself debating
whether to follow the undergraduate or graduate pathway. The undergraduate pathway
involves entering the relevant course at an undergraduate level, whereas the graduate
pathway requires students to have an undergraduate degree before theyenter a course like
medicine at a postgraduatelevel.
Immediately, they can see the benets of the undergraduate pathway. Through the
undergraduate pathway students can enter their desired course straight away, they do not
need to worry about acquiring a degree before they enter their desired course year 12
students can begin studying medicine straight away. Universities generally prefer the
graduate pathway, which is at least two years longer than the undergraduate pathway;
students study for two extra years,thus generating more income.
The demand to study medicine is ever-increasing (with the demand to supply ratio
higher than any other course in Australia). Medicalknowledge is always growing and is far
more accessible than it once was; however, doctors require not only knowledge (as tested
through their academic results) but alsocritical and abstract thinking, problem solving and
good interpersonalskills (as tested through the UMAT).

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