New Officers Installed at IAMRA’s 2021 Virtual General Assembly

The 2021 Members General Assembly of the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities (IAMRA) was held virtually on October 26, 2021, with members considering bylaws revisions, proposing resolutions and installing new officers.

Among the bylaws revisions approved during the assembly was to change the name of the IAMRA Management Committee to the IAMRA Board of Directors.

Dr. Kgosietsile Letlape transitioned from IAMRA Chair to become Immediate Past Chair, with Dr. Heidi Oetter becoming the new Chair. Joan Simeon was installed as Chair-elect, and Dr. Taruna Ikrar, Paul Reynolds, Dr. Mauro Ribeiro and Dr. Divine Banyubala were installed as members of the Board of Directors.

Source: IAMRA website announcement

Pakistan Medical Commission Conducts First National Licensing Examination

Pakistan has successfully administered its first national licensing examination for medical graduates, with 1,470 students participating in the first step of a multi-step process. Examinations were held at testing centers located in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.

The National Licensing Examination (NLE), mandated by law, is now a prerequisite for medical and dental graduates to attain full licenses to practice in Pakistan. The NLE is an integral part of reforms introduced by Pakistan’s Parliament and federal government under legislation passed in 2020 to improve and standardize health care education in Pakistan in line with global best practices.

The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) reported that 1,160 students — 78.9% of total participants — passed the examination. They become the first group of NLE graduates in Pakistan, representing a milestone.

The NLE was the first computer-based examination conducted by the National Medical Authority of the PMC. According to the PMC, the digital format of the examination is part of PMC’s vision to “promote transparency and meritocracy while setting international benchmarks of quality, skills and competence.”

Source: Pakistan Medical Commission news release, August 29, 2021

Fresh Approach Needed to Maintain UK Health Care Workforce After Covid, Says GMC

Longstanding health care staffing and service-culture issues in the United Kingdom have been made worse by the impact of COVID-19, according to a new report issued by the UK’s General Medical Council.

In “The State of Medical Education and Practice in the UK 2021,” the GMC notes that positive experiences many health professionals had during 2020 have not been maintained during the pandemic’s second year and that stress on physicians has increased significantly.

The GMC report reveals that high workloads are associated with doctors feeling unable to cope and resulting in an increased risk of dissatisfaction and burnout.

There is also evidence of a sustained increase in the proportion of physicians taking “hard steps”— such as making inquiries about a career change or applying to move — to leave the medical profession. The numbers of UK physicians contemplating these changes have risen from 3% in 2019 and 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2021, according to the GMC. Excluding retirement, more than 80% of those planning to leave cited the impact of work on their wellbeing as a factor.

“Workloads and burnout levels are very worrying, and the pressures on our health services will remain challenging for the foreseeable future,” said GMC Chief Executive Charlie Massey. “The pandemic has had the effect of pressing ‘fast-forward’ on what was already a precarious situation.”

Source: GMC news release, December 15, 2021