USMLE to start being administered in Addis Ababa after just 3 months, April 21 2023
According to Addis Fortune, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) will start to be given in Addis Ababa after just three months. The exam venue is expected to be in Addis Ababa University, Institute of Educational Research.
This action will significantly decrease the number of medical doctors who travel to neighbouring countries to sit for the exam.
Ethiopian medical doctors used to take the step one and two exams in Nairobi, Kenya or Cairo, Egypt, hoping to get an ECFMG Certification.
According to Daniel GebreMikael (MD), the senior advisor at the Ministry of Health, adopting the program provides general practitioners ease of access, saving extra hustle required to seat for the exam including foreign currency shortage.
A memorandum of understanding was signed few weeks back among Officials at the Ministry of Health, People to People (P2P) non-governmental and non-profit organization and Addis Ababa University Institute of Educational Research to facilitate the process for accreditation of the institute.
According to Belay Hagos (PhD), director and chief supervisor, the Institute is purchasing 120 Core i9 desktops to begin the test.
“The program is set to begin until next budget year,” said Belay.
Founded in 1999, People to People (P2P) focuses on improving healthcare and reducing the spread of diseases, particularly in Ethiopia. According to Belay, it is tasked with giving technical support and bridging networks worldwide.
The Institute is expected to offer two local exams, the Graduate Admission Test and Health Professionals Competence Assessment & License Examination and international exams such as the Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL), Graduate School Entrance (GRE) and Scholastic Aptitude (SAT).
According to today’s exchange rate the average annual salary of general practitioners in Ethiopian government institutions is around 167 USD (excluding duty payments). Even specialist physicians earn less than 300 USD (excluding duty and other fees) in most public health facilities. This can not even come close to the average salary of entry level physicians in the US which ranges from $181,121 – $233,989.19 per year (source: Forbes adviser).
In spite if low salary and unfavorable working conditions, many general practitioners still struggle to secure a job in Ethiopia. Its often mentioned that budget constraints to hire professionals and insufficient participation of private investors at the major challenges for new graduates to find jobs.
According to Addis fortune, there are more than 13 thousand general practitioners, specialists and subspecialists in the country and up to 2,000 medical students become general practitioners annually
Data from the manual of Ethiopian medical history shows that more than half of the physicians left the country between 1987 and 2006.
Established 60 years ago, Ethiopian Medical Association have 5,000 medical doctors as its members.
Tegebar Yigzaw (MD), president of the Association believes it is a relief for medical professionals who were subjected to spending thousands for accommodation. He fears that it will blast the door of professional migration wide open, broadening the doctor-to-patient ratio gap that reads in thousands.
“It has its benefits and drawbacks,” said Tegebar.
SOURCE: Addis fortune
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