NMC New Guidelines For MBBS Abroad

The trend of studying MBBS abroad is reaching new heights with every passing year. More and more students are exploring new destinations that fulfill their goal of becoming a successful doctor. As a result, along with the conventional popular destinations like the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK, the new aspirants of medical education are favoring MBBS in Russia, Bangladesh, Guyana, Barbados, etc. 

One of the most common reasons for these students choosing these countries is the affordable options. In 2019, qualifying NEET became mandatory for these students to study MBBS abroad. This further filtered the students going abroad. As a result, only devoted medical aspirants who have qualified NEET can opt to study MBBS abroad. 

In a counter response, an even more severe number of students started opting for the countries with ‘easier’ studies and more ‘favorable’ opportunities. However, this ease has been put in check with the new NMC Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate, Regulation issued on 18th Nov 2021.

National Medical Commission

The National Medical Commission, following the gazette released on 8th August, 2019. The National Medical Commission (NMC) has been constituted by an act of Parliament known as National Medical Commission Act, 2019 which came into force on 25.9.2020 by gazette notification dated 24.9.2020. The Board of Governors in supersession of Medical Council of India constituted under section 3A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 stands dissolved thereafter.

Some of the many functions of NMC are listed as:

(a) lay down policies for maintaining a high quality and high standards in medical education and make necessary regulations in this behalf;

(b) lay down policies for regulating medical institutions, medical researches and medical professionals and make necessary regulations in this behalf;

(c) assess the requirements in healthcare, including human resources for health and healthcare infrastructure and develop a road map for meeting such requirements; etc

Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulations 2023 

After releasing a draft notification proposing the drastic change for the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) released in April 2021, NMC received severe uproar from various stakeholders. NMC took note of all these concerns and issued the Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate (FMGL) Regulations on 18th Nov 2021. 

For the students planning on to study MBBS abroad, the guidelines ensured that all the foreign medical graduates can practice in India once after receiving the permanent registrations after qualifying the Indian medical licensing exam & its related procedures. 

The notice read as:
“No foreign medical graduate shall practice medicine in India, unless he is granted permanent registration in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.”

To be eligible to apply for the permanent registrations by the FMGs, they are required to fulfill the below criteria: 

  • The total course duration of MBBS in the chosen university abroad should be at least for 54 months, along with the internship period of minimum 12 months in the same medical institutions.
  • The students should have studied in the university with English as the official medium of instruction. 
  • The students must have studied the subjects like Community Medicine, General Medicine, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, General Surgery, Anaesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Emergency or Casualty services, lab services and their sub-specialties.
The notice read as:
No foreign medical graduate shall be granted permanent registration, unless he has– (a) (i) undergone a course leading to foreign medical degree with minimum duration of fifty-four months; (ii) Undergone an internship for a minimum duration of twelve months in the same foreign medical institution; (iii) Received a foreign medical degree with medium of instructions in English; and (iv) studied the mandatory subjects specified in the Schedule-I; 
(b) registered with the respective professional regulatory body or otherwise, competent to grant license to practice medicine in their respective jurisdiction of the country in which the medical degree is awarded and at par with the license to practice medicine given to citizen of that country; 
(c) undergone supervised internship in India for a minimum term of twelve months, after applying for the same to the Commission; and (d) has cleared the National Exit Test or such other mandated test or tests conducted by the Commission.

The duration and course details for the Foreign Medical Graduates are as follows:

  • The students must have undergone a theoretical, practical and clinical training which should be equivalent to the MBBS course in India. 
  • The students must have completed 12 months of compulsory internship from the same institution where they have completed their other parts of the course. 
The gazette states as:
Any person who pursue the foreign medical degree should have undergone a course of theory, practical and clinical training equivalent to Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) of India; and Should have been completed internship of twelve months in addition to such course referred to in clause (a), in the same foreign institution where the primary medical qualification has been obtained, along with hands-on training in clinical subjects including but not limited to Community Medicine, General Medicine, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, General Surgery, Anaesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Emergency or Casualty services, lab services and their sub-specialties. 
It further adds as:
The course and internship or clinical clerkship shall commensurate with the MBBS course of India in accordance with the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997 and subsequent amendments thereto, and shall include the subjects mentioned therein as are duly recognised by the Commission under sub- section (2) of section 61 of the Act;The course curriculum shall be made available for review by appropriate authorities, and if necessary, in the website of the institution or university where the course is being pursued at the time of joining the course.
Regarding the course duration of the gazette reads:
The entire course, training and internship or clerkship shall be done outside India in the same foreign medical institution throughout the course of study and no part of medical training and internship shall be done in India or in any country other than the country from where the primary medical qualification is obtained.”

The gazette emphasizes that the student must complete all the parts of the curriculum including the internship/ clinical rotation which must be completed within 10 years from the date of enrollment. 

“The total duration of the foreign medical graduation course shall be completed within ten years from the date of joining the course.”

Points to Be Noted!

  • The minimum course duration studied by the applicant in the medical university abroad should be 54 months (4.5 years)
  • A course of theory, practical and clinical training equivalent to Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) of India; and an internship of twelve months in addition to the course, in the same foreign institution where the primary medical qualification has been obtained.
  • The entire course, training and internship or clerkship shall be done outside India in the same foreign medical institution throughout the course of study and no part of it should be done anywhere else.

Frequently Asked Questions

These questions were directed to demystify the questions that are most commonly asked by the students regarding the Foreign Medical Graduate Licensing (FMGL) regulations issued by the National Medical Commission (NMC).