Swab tests, 14-day isolation required for physician licensure examinees


    WITH the second part of the March 2020 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) set on September 20-21, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRBOM) yesterday said all examinees will be required to undergo either Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing or a 14-quarantine day period prior to the exams.

    In an advisory, the PRC and the PRBOM reminded all examinees that fall under the groups identified in the “Updated Interim Guidelines on Expanded Testing for COVID-19” of the Department of Health (DOH) the need to undergo swab test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    “In this case, the examinee shall be required to submit the results of his/her RT-PCR. Only those with negative results shall be allowed to take the examination,” said the PRC.

    Required to take the RT-PCR tests are suspect cases or individuals with relevant history of travel and exposure (or contact), whether symptomatic or asymptomatic; and health care workers with possible exposure, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.

    On the other hand, the PRC said that if an examinee does not fall on the said categories, they shall be allowed to take the exam in the absence of an RT-PCR test.

    “He/she should, however, undergo a 14-quarantine day period,” said the PRC.

    In addition, it said a Certificate of Quarantine, or its equivalent, signed by the accredited licensed physician or duly authorized local officials should also be submitted.

    Earlier, the PRC approved the recommendation of the PRBOM that examinees who belong to the March 2020 batch, which took the part I of the PLE last March 8-9, be allowed to take part II on September 20-21, 2020.

    This is in response to the urgent need for more physicians during the public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Aside from swab testing and quarantine protocols, the PRC also reminded examinees that they are expected to follow other health and safety protocols.