We are a few days away from the application of the National Examination for Medical Residency Applicants (ENARM) 2021. On previous occasions we have already told you everything you need to know about this edition and the information you can check it here. But now we are going to focus on the past editions of this test. And especially in the times that there have been failures and irregularities that have put its credibility in doubt.

To begin with, it should be mentioned that it is the most complex examination that any general practitioner can face. It also represents the main requirement to be able to study a specialty. Therefore, anyone would think that it is armored and foolproof … although in reality it is not.

The ENARM was applied for the first time in 1977 and since then it has been an instrument for measuring knowledge of general medicine. While the body that regulates and administers it is the Interinstitutional Commission for the Training of Human Resources for Health (CIFRHS).

Within its history, the biggest change occurred in 2008 when it was carried out in electronic format for the first time, and it has been this way ever since. It now consists of 450 questions, of which 400 correspond to clinical cases in the medical area presented in Spanish, while the remaining 50 are in English.

First signs of sale of the ENARM

In 2006, doctors graduated from private schools affirmed that the test had been leaked and stated that it was possible to “buy” it for up to 150 thousand pesos. Although it did not happen to adults, it was just the beginning of what would happen a year later.

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The year the ENARM was postponed

A historic event occurred in 2007 because the ENARM was postponed for the first time. Everything arose from the fact that the Secretaries of Health (SSa) and Public Function (SFP) identified that the exam could be purchased for 80 thousand pesos. After some investigations, they discovered the responsibility of several officials from different agencies.

They accuse the CIFRHS of illegal acts

In 2008, the National Movement of Aspirants to Medical Residences called for practicing a medical profession “in free form.” This movement denounced that the Inter-Institutional Commission for the Training of Human Resources for Health (CIFRHS) violated the aforementioned right, in turn making the irregularities of the examination publicly known.

They approve the ENARM but they do not give them a place

In 2019 it was made public that at least 200 doctors from Jalisco, Yucatán, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Chihuahua had passed the exam but they did not receive a place. Given what happened, the CIFRHS pointed out that it was a “system error”.

“Misleading” scholarships for foreigners

In the 2020 edition, scholarships were offered for the first time to do residency abroad. At the beginning it was a welcome measure but the problem was that in the end they were only available for six specialties and only for Cuba. That caused the disappointment of the young people and of the thousand places offered, just over 200 were used. While the others, although they passed the exam, lost their place.

Sacrificing the integrity of applicants for extra points?

Finally, the most recent complaint also occurred last year. For the first time it was announced that they would be offered two extra points to young people who did their social service in rural areas or had worked in Covid-19 hospitals. Although according to several members of the medical community, the aspirations of young people are played with by exposing them in this way.

For now, what is your opinion about the ENARM?