This opinion piece from the latest issue of the BMJ is of particular relevance to RCSI students, who come from a variety of countries and backgrounds. In addition, RCSI holds its own membership exams abroad, particularly in the Middle East. The writers of this piece stress that countries should be encouraged to develop their own membership exams and postgraduate training exams that are tailored to local context. There are aspects of the British and Irish exams that are not relevant to medical practice in parts of Asia and Africa where foreign membership exams are popular. Also, many issues important in these areas are not covered by British and Irish exams. The existence of foreign membership exams, they argue, also acts as a disincentive to the development of local exams. This article provides food for thought, especially for students of such an international college.

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