Even though you would have consulted many specialist doctors, do you know some specialist doctors have studied less number of years and few have studied for more number of years.
When you complete reading this article, you would know the various specializations available in medical field and how many years it takes for medical aspirant to become a successful doctor.
It takes a minimum of 11 years to have a successful medical career because medical Post graduation is no
longer “good to have ” as it has become “must have ” nowadays.
If you want to become a specialist in a certain specialty like Cardiology, Nephrology, Urology, etc., it takes up to 15 years of dedicated effort.
Medicine is a serious profession. It takes a lot of dedication and effort to become successful.
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1. Graduation Levels For Specialization
There are three levels of medical graduation, under graduation, post graduation and super specialty. At post graduation level, there are few post MBBS diploma courses which should be followed by post Diploma bridge courses to be considered equivalent of post graduation degree.
Lets begin with under graduate Medical course, MBBS
1.1 Under Graduate Medical Course – MBBS
MBBS(Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) course duration is 4.5 years of education and 1 year internship.
During First year, basic medical subjects like Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry will be covered. After basic sciences, subjects like Microbiology, Pharmacology, Community Medicine, Pathology, Forensic Medicine are taught for the next 1 and half years.
The last part of the undergraduate medical education covers clinical subjects like Medicine and Allied Subjects(Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatology, Psychiatry), Surgery and Allied Subjects (Anesthesiology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Orthopedics, Radiodiagnosis).
After the graduation, medical students need to undergo Compulsory Rotatory Medical Internship (CRMI) during which medical graduates will be posted in various departments for internship training.
After CRMI, candidate needs to undergo rural service for few years depending on the service bond they have signed with respective state directorate of medical education. Most of the state medical authorities mandate one year compulsory rural service apart from the 1 year internship. So the total duration for MBBS course becomes 4.5 +1 (internship) +1 (rural service) = 6.5 Years
Total duration for MBBS course = 4.5 Years (Study) +1 year (internship) +1 year (rural service) = 6.5 Years
After completion of MBBS Degree, you can get into government service by clearing Medical Recruitment Board (MRB) exam, or work as duty doctor in private hospitals. Nowadays, medical specialization is no longer “good to have ” as it has become “must have” qualification to succeed in medical career.
Lets see various specializations at the next graduation level which is post graduation.
1.2 Post Graduate Medical Courses – MD / MS / DNB
Post graduate medical courses duration is three years. During this three years of residency study, monthly stipend is paid in most of the medical colleges / hospitals as per the regulations of the respective state medical council where the institution is located.
1.2.1 MD Course:
MD (Doctor of Medicine) course duration is 3 years which mostly includes practice along with a few theoretical papers. There are three major course types under MD courses which are preclinical, para clinical and clinical.
- Pre clinical courses are basic medical sciences such as Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry.
- Para clinical courses include Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Community Medicine, and Forensic Medicine.
- Clinical Courses: All MD courses which come under the Clinical category involve diagnosing illness and treating patients by prescribing medicines such as Dermatology, Pulmonary Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, General Medicine, etc
Most of the pre and para clinical courses are least preferred by doctors nowadays because of poor demand and high supply. After completing pre clinical courses, one can work as faculty in a medical college or in a NEET coaching center. Among para clinical courses, pathology is the only course which has little demand.
1.2.2 MS Course
MS (Master of Surgery) course duration is 3 years which mostly includes practice involving operations along with a few theoretical papers. All MS courses come under the Clinical category involves physical repair, remove or replace the diseased or damaged body part such as Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, General Surgery, etc
Most of the state medical authorities mandate one to two years of compulsory rural service after completion of MD or MS courses. So the total duration for PG course becomes 5 years.
Total Duration for PG Course = 3 Years Study + 2 years of Rural service = 5 Years
1.2.3 DNB Course
Apart from medical colleges, few government and private hospitals conduct DNB (Diplomate of National Board) courses which are considered equal to Postgraduate MD/MS courses after completion of three years of junior residency.
Many government hospitals impose compulsory rural service of at-least 2 years to maximum of 10 years. But private hospitals, do not mandate compulsory service after the completion of the three years of junior residency.
Unlike MD/MS courses where the exam is conducted by the medical college itself, for DNB course, you will be asked to appear for examination in any of the hospital anywhere in India. Because of this, the passing percentage of DNB degree is much less compared to MD/MS degree courses.
1.3 Super Specialty Level – DM / MCH / DrNB
Many medical aspirants, think they can become Cardiologist, Oncologist, Neurologist. Urologist, etc after they complete their Undergraduate by taking another post graduate course like Pediatrician, Gynacealogist, etc. This is not true.
Broad Specialty VS End Specialty
One needs to understand the difference between broad specialty and end specialty to understand how a medical career progresses and how to pick the right specialization.
End Specialization: Post Graduate courses like Anesthesia, Pediatrics, Dermatology, Psychology, Radiology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Obstetrics & Gynecology are called End Specialization as they limit their choices for further specialization.
Broad Specialization: Post Graduate courses like General Medicine, General Surgery are called Broad specialization because they open up a huge variety of choices for further specialization.
After completing the General Medicine course, one can take up any DM super specialty course.
Similarly, after completing the General Surgery course, one can take up any MCH Super specialty course.
1.3.1 DM Course
DM (Doctorate of Medicine) course is a super specialty course taken up by doctors after completing MD post graduate courses. DM course duration is 3 years which mostly includes practice along with a few theoretical papers. Most of the super specialty DM courses are on the clinical side which includes Cardiology, Endocrinology, Neurology, Nephrology, Oncology, Gastroenterology, etc.
Doctors after completing DM course earn between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakhs/month depending on the city where they practice.
1.3.2 MCH Course
MCH (Master of Chirurgiae) course is taken up by Post graduate doctors after completing Master of Surgery course. MCH course duration is 3 years. All MCH courses come under the Clinical category involves physical repair, remove or replace the diseased or damaged body part such as Surgical Oncology, Vascular Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Hand Surgery, Head and Neck Surgery, Neurosurgery, Urology, etc
Most of the state medical authorities mandate one to two years of compulsory rural service after completion of DM or MCH super specialty courses. So the total duration for an SS course becomes 3 + 1 year of rural service = 4 Years. During the rural service, you will be paid a salary equivalent to a specialist doctor working in the respective state government hospital.
Total Duration for SS Course = 3 Years of Study + 1 Year of Service = 4 Years
1.3.3 DrNB Course
Apart from medical colleges, few government and private hospitals conduct DrNB (Doctorate of National Board) super specialty courses which are considered equal to Super Speciality DM/MCH courses. This course is also called DNB SS course. It involves completion of three years of senior residency at the hospital and qualifying the examination conducted by DNB. Senior Residents are paid a monthly stipend during the residency but the amount varies from hospital to hospital.
Total Duration To Become Successful Doctor
It takes 15.5 years to become successful doctor if you choose to become super specialist and it takes 11.5 years if you choose end specializations such as Dermatology, Pediatrics, Psychology, etc
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