Academy of Medicine exams common practice
I am writing in response to the article 'Exam for overseas specialists attacked' (South China Morning Post, May 1).
Application for a Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and application for inclusion in the Medical Council's Specialist Register are two separate issues. The academy is a statutory body established to monitor specialist training in Hong Kong. By law, it is the medical body that grants specialist medical qualifications. It has the responsibility to set and assess, by examination, the standard of specialists practising in Hong Kong.
From October 1, any doctor who wishes to obtain an Academy Fellowship, whether he/she is trained locally or abroad, must pass an exit (final) examination conducted by the relevant Academy College. It is a common practice throughout the world to become a Fellow of a royal (specialist) college in Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, a candidate must have completed recognised training and passed the relevant Fellowship examination. The academy is not practising in any extraordinary manner.
The academy, far from protecting local graduates, welcomes doctors trained overseas.
With regard to specialist registration, a doctor does not have to become an Academy Fellow to practise as a specialist in Hong Kong. We will continue to recognise training and qualifications obtained by doctors overseas for the purpose of specialist registration as long as they have been assessed to be of a standard comparable to that required by the academy.
The remarks by Dr David Anderson, as reported, are both unfair and derogatory to the standards of medical care in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is no longer a British colony and must practise a professional policy that is the international norm and is fair to all who wish to practise as specialists here.
Dr DAVID FANG President Hong Kong Academy of Medicine