Doctors face huge bill for exam tactic Jill Stark | January 28, 2008, Brisbane Time OVERSEAS-TRAINED doctors who circulate answers to Australian medical exams face legal action and costs of up to $300,000. The Australian Medical Council issued the warning after two overseas-trained doctors were caught posting answers on an Indian exam preparation website. Foreign physicians must pass the multiple-choice test to gain registration to practise in Australia. The chief executive of the council, Ian Frank, said the two doctors escaped with a warning because they did not realise it was a serious offence. Anyone caught cheating in future would face penalties including being barred from sitting for further exams and being reported to state and territory medical boards. "This is serious. It is breach of copyright and if we catch people doing this we will take legal action," Mr Frank said. "They could be charged and they could have their candidature terminated, which means they can't proceed to registration." Mr Frank said it cost the council about $3000 to plan and research each exam question. "There are 100 questions, so that's about $300,000 and we will pursue that and recover the cost of those questions because it adds to the cost of the exams and therefore to the costs of the individual students who sit those exams," he said. The council is monitoring overseas exam preparation websites and is compiling detailed analysis of answers given by candidates in the test. Mr Frank said that when answers were circulated, exams had to be scrapped and new ones formulated. "It compromises the questions we use in the exams, but also because [those who post answers] often get it wrong when they put the answers on the websites, many people memorise the wrong material. So otherwise capable candidates are getting questions wrong because they're being prompted by a website that's got incorrect information on it." Medical students often club together to memorise questions from exams and use them as a study tool. The practice, often known as the "black curriculum", is not illegal but publishing or broadcasting the material is a breach of copyright. SPONSORED LINKS The Age article: page 3, Monday 28th January 2008 (The Australian Day) "News", "Medical authroities set to curb internet cheat sheets" by Medical Reporter Jill Stark (http://about.theage.com.au/view_profile.asp?intid=1207).