The need for national medical licensing examination in Saudi Arabia
1 Medical Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2 National Guard Health Services, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Faculty of Medicine, King Fahd Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Medical Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia
5 Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
6 Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
7 Medical Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
8 Faculty of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University of Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
9 Medical Services Directorate, Ministry of Interior, Saudi Arabia
10 Faculty of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
11 Faculty of Medicine, Al-Imam Mohammad Bin Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
12 Faculty of Medicine, Qaseem University, Saudi Arabia
13 Faculty of Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia
14 Medical Education Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada
BMC Medical Education 2008, 8:53 doi:10.1186/1472-6920-8-53Published: 25 November 2008
Medical education in Saudi Arabia is facing multiple challenges, including the rapid increase in the number of medical schools over a short period of time, the influx of foreign medical graduates to work in Saudi Arabia, the award of scholarships to hundreds of students to study medicine in various countries, and the absence of published national guidelines for minimal acceptable competencies of a medical graduate.
We are arguing for the need for a Saudi national medical licensing examination that consists of two parts: Part I (Written) which tests the basic science and clinical knowledge and Part II (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) which tests the clinical skills and attitudes. We propose this examination to be mandated as a licensure requirement for practicing medicine in Saudi Arabia.
The driving and hindering forces as well as the strengths and weaknesses of implementing the licensing examination are discussed in details in this debate.