The clinical examination for the prestigious Membership of Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) can now be held in India.
Three colleges under the RCP banner - the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Physicians of London - Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with Sri Ramachandra University (SRU) here to offer the examinations.
"Any physician from anywhere in the world can take his/her clinical tests for MRCP here," said Georgi Abraham, coordinator for the India programme. So long physicians had to fly to Britain or to any of the nine other countries where the examinations are held.
"We have been trying to get this specialist examination held in India since 1997 and it has taken us ten years to convince the MRCP board that we have the facilities to hold it," Abraham who is also professor of medicine at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College told IANS.
The SRU medical college has 25 specialist skill stations and has made available seven of these for the MRCP examination.
The first examination was held this week over three days with about 45 examinees attending. The candidates included one from Britain, one from Australia and another one from Pakistan.
Neil Dewhurst, the Medical Director and Chairman of the MRCP Examinations Board, expressed hope that many more young doctors from South Asian countries would attempt to qualify the clinical exams now.
The exam will be held twice a year and the MRCP authorities expect at least 90 to 100 physicians taking the test this year.
The membership to the RCP is recognised worldwide and allows physicians to practise almost in every country. At least 25,000 doctors take the exam every year.
There are plans to offer the specialist examination for membership to the Royal College of Surgeons, in India, Abraham added.