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It has been over past many years that I have been
looking for a suitable forum to highlight this ever
increasing problem of evaluations and examinations
in the present undergraduate medical education
system in Pakistan. After being given the additional
responsibility of Chief Editor, Journal of Medical
Sciences has allowed me to drop a few lines reflecting
my opinion regarding this problem. I have tried to
present one of the many solutions which if not the ideal
should at least sensitize the readers for finding more
suitable remedies through dialogue and consensus.
In the end, our aims and objectives should be to
rectify the prevailing problems which I believe so far
has been overlooked and to try and inculcate new ways
and means for better solutions. This in the long term
would prove a valuable investment in our youth.
Evaluation of undergraduate medical students
at present remains a cumbersome process not only
for the medical students but also for the examiners in
its current mode. Since its inception, very little has been
done to critically scrutinize it. It remains unnecessarily
lengthy, mentally taxing while lacking any objectivity,
both on the part of the examiners and students. The
evaluation pattern, both for the theory and clinical
examination, is obsolete with potential lacunae of
subjective and personal influences. I strongly believe
for some time now, that there is an urgent need to
shorten, sharpen, make it more objective and less
mentally draining. Prevailing practice of Final Year
examination remains of having two papers each, for
the major subjects, two to three days apart, spread
over almost seven weeks with obsolete type of long
and short essay questions which understandably
requires not less than a dozen examiners sniffing
through thousand of papers. Natural bias on part of
the examiners is always there which cannot presently
be rectified leading to unrest among the examined
students who sometimes may feel cheated.
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