Would-be surgeons get the ax

A whopping 94 percent of all graduates in medicine from foreign universities who sought to have their degrees recognized in Greece have failed to get a pass mark, under a new exam system adopted following a mark-rigging scandal in August. Under the results published yesterday, only 122 (6 percent) of the estimated 2,000 candidates managed to scrape by with a pass mark in the surgery exam, while 10 percent passed the pathology exam (243 out of some 2,500). Candidates who pass the exams organized by the state Inter-University Center for the Recognition of Foreign Degrees (DIKATSA) are able to work as doctors in Greece, as their degrees are recognized as equivalent to these granted by Greek medical schools – which take in only a small percentage of thousands of applicants every year. DIKATSA board member Alkis Costakis, an Athens University professor of surgery, described the results as «disappointing.» Most of the candidates graduated from Eastern European universities, while over 80 percent had failed the exam at least once in previous years.