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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 92

NExT come, next served

Department of ENT, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham; Department of Medical Education, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

Date of Submission26-Feb-2022
Date of Acceptance21-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication28-Apr-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Unnikrishnan K Menon
No. F2, Pananjickal Arcade, BMRA 64, Edappally, Kochi - 682 024, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JME.JME_12_22

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How to cite this article:
Menon UK. NExT come, next served. J Med Evid 2022;3:92

How to cite this URL:
Menon UK. NExT come, next served. J Med Evid [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 3];3:92. Available from: http://www.journaljme.org/text.asp?2022/3/1/92/344281


This is in response to the Editorial titled 'The NExT Challenge – The National Exit Test'.

I am one of the faculties of the medical education department (MEU) in a teaching institution. As such, I would like to express my delight in reading the article. All the advantages, and possible lacunae, of the proposed NExT have been explained lucidly.

Personally, I have been an ardent supporter of the concept, mainly due to its validity to the concept of outcomes of a teaching–learning programme. Assessment of the medical undergraduate should necessarily be with the aim of creating a competent doctor as the outcome. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to one key term missing in the article, viz. competency-based medical education. This has been the big change in the Indian scenario, in the pipeline for few years, and finally, came into force in 2019. The training for all teaching faculty has been going on, as envisaged by the then Medical Council of India (MCI), since 2015. The authors state that 'this would require a concerted effort by training faculty and educating all the stakeholders well in advance.'[1] In response, may I point out that this has been happening in the form of the revised basic course workshop in medical education technologies? This has been now made mandatory for all teaching faculty all over the country and is run by the nodal and regional centres, accredited by the MCI/National Medical Commission. Hence, NExT is a good step in ensuring the creation of a competent Indian medical graduate.

The other facility provided by NExT is that of being a licensing examination. This can be seen as a useful end in itself. It has been shown that a 'final examination' is a trigger for efficient learning. One study specifically looked into this aspect.[2] I would like to draw the attention of the interested reader to another article that highlights all the aspects of medical licensing examinations.[3]

Having said this, I am aware of the opposition to the new endeavour. There is the usual disdain, and the inevitable distrust, of anything new. More specifically, students are apprehensive of 'yet another examination' (specifically with regard to NExT 2), which would also be a 'distraction' from the real thing, viz. preparing for the various entrance examinations. The faculty are apprehensive of the effort required for, and logistics involved in, the conduct of a uniform all-encompassing theory and practical assessment.

Hence, I think it is commendable that the authors have spoken about it upfront in an Institutional Journal, likely to be read by the undergraduates. Kudos to them!

Glad that I am about NExT, I hope the exam meets the basic inviolable criteria, viz. Reliability, Validity, Objectivity and Relevance. 'The NExT promises to be a game-changer, especially for achieving a uniform and standard level of medical education for the whole country.' A lofty goal indeed, but as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let us see what happens NExT!

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Dhar P, Nundy S. The NExT challenge – The National Exit Test. J Med Evid 2021;2:201-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Raupach T, Brown J, Anders S, Hasenfuss G, Harendza S. Summative assessments are more powerful drivers of student learning than resource intensive teaching formats. BMC Med 2013;11:61.  Back to cited text no. 2
Price T, Lynn N, Coombes L, Roberts M, Gale T, de Bere SR, et al. The international landscape of medical licensing examinations: A typology derived from a systematic review. Int J Health Policy Manag 2018;7:782-90.  Back to cited text no. 3


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