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DAK seeks aptitude test for would-be doctors

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Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday has sought introduction of aptitude test for doctors at entry level to medical profession.

“Apart from academic knowledge, the practice of medicine requires certain innate qualities that need to be tested at MBBS level,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué.

“Medical profession requires individuals to have empathy, compassion and altruistic attitude,” he said adding, “such qualities in a doctor are essential for quality care, good health outcomes, adherence to treatment and patient satisfaction.”

DAK President said the aptitude needs to be tested to ensure the right candidate is chosen and not just the one with the highest marks in science subjects.

“Doctors need to be temperamentally caring and kind, but nowhere prior to admitting them into the profession these inherent tendencies are evaluated,” he said.

“As of today, all premedical tests conducted mean whosoever scores the maximum in science subjects is chosen to be a healthcare professional,”  Dr Nisar said adding that  nowhere is it assessed whether the candidate is capable of being and remaining compassionate and humane in various circumstances and situations.

He said it is not uncommon to see that academically brilliant doesn’t always become a good doctor.

“No matter how competent a doctor is, he/she cannot be a good doctor unless he/she is a caring person,” he added.

“Research has shown that performance in the premedical sciences is inversely associated with many of the personal non-cognitive qualities so central to the art of medicine.

“Various studies have found that students who did the best in the premedical sciences scored lower on standard measures of empathy and compassion which are essential for patient care and will remain unchanged no matter how deep the changes fostered by scientific progress,” said Dr Nisar.

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