Double standards.

THE road to hell is paved with good intentions, goes the maxim which applies to the current scenario in the field of medical education in Pakistan. In the good old days, after doing Intermediate, the high achievers used to get admission in medical colleges; no questions asked. And the system worked fine, producing wonderful doctors.

Subsequently, it was noticed that certain educational boards give unreasonably high marks to their students who would then capture disproportionately high number of seats in medical colleges compared to their more competent counterparts enrolled with other education boards. The anomaly was overcome by introducing a standardised test, which is now called the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT).

All the successful pre-medical students who want to get admission to any medical or dental college/university in Pakistan have to qualify MDCAT to enter the fields of medicine and dentistry. It was introduced in the country with good intentions to end the disparity in capability assessment method and to harmonise different marking criteria prevalent among various educational boards.

MDCAT initially succeeded in bringing uniformity. All the candidates were assessed through the same yardstick. But then politics crept in, as it always does. This year, medical colleges/universities in...

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