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Physicians’ board exams likely to push through

/ 05:10 AM September 09, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on Wednesday released room assignments and other guidelines for medical students in the National Capital Region, indicating that the September Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) would push through despite calls for postponement.

The Association of Philippine Medical Colleges (APMC) on Aug. 29 wrote the PRC requesting to defer holding the physician’s board exams, scheduled on Sept. 11 to 12 and Sept. 18 to 19, “due to the increasing number of cases [and] the detection of the highly transmissible Delta and Lambda variants.”

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On Sept. 3, APMC’s Student Network issued another appeal, saying in-person examinations at this time “not only … pose various logistical and financial concerns, but also threaten the health of the examinees, their families and their communities.”

On Aug. 24, the Philippine Medical Students’ Association hosted an online rally clamoring for a delay in the exams, citing the financial and logistical burden these would impose on aspiring doctors.

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“Examinees are required to submit a certificate of quarantine or a negative [reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction] swab test, while others will be traveling from distant places,” it said in a statement.

It added that any decision to cancel the exams should be made before the medical graduates begin to spend on materials necessary for taking the tests.

However, the Commission on Higher Education has rejected such calls, saying there is a need for more licensed physicians during this time.

Board takers were asked to sign a waiver should they decide to take the September exams or defer until next year’s batch.

The PLE is held twice a year in March and September. In 2020, the September board exams were postponed to November.

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TAGS: medical board exams, Professional Regulation Commission
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