Practice medicine is considered as one of the noble professions and thus a medical degree is beheld with great pride. A medical degree is awarded for studies in the fields associated with medicine and (or) surgery. A career in the discipline of medicine begins right after Class 12 (Primary Medical Qualification) or after the completion of their undergraduate course (Higher Medical Degrees). Medicine is a vast field which offers numerous rewarding opportunities which includes various medical degrees. It is often confusing for medical aspirants without clear information on the different degrees which are offered at different levels. There are undergraduate degrees and several postgraduate degrees which are offered for MD or MS specializations. Meanwhile, there are other medical degrees which can be opted as a career by aspirants.
Medical Degrees in India - Undergraduate (Primary)
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is the most predominant and competitive course in India, offering a total of 76,928 seats across India, as per the latest data on the MCI website. Around 15 lakh registrations are received annually for admission to these seats. Starting from the year 2020, NEET will serve as the only exam which will be conducted for admission undergraduate medical courses in India. Since, the competition is so tough, qualifying and securing a medical seat is not always possible. Many candidates, still ambitious to pursue a medical career, prepare for the next year. Such candidates can check the list of other UG medical courses after 12th as their career option. We have divided the medical courses into the following categories:
Medical degrees in India - Undergraduate
Medical courses without NEET
Postgraduate Medical Degrees in India
It is not uncommon for medical students to aim for a masters degree after the completion of 5 and a half years of a medical degree. When it comes to higher studies in the discipline of medicine, MD/MS emerges as the most prefered courses. Around 30,865 seats across India are offered for admission to MD and MS medical degrees. Admission to this PG courses will be granted on the basis of scores obtained in NEET PG, JIPMER PG, AIIMS PG and PGIMER entrance examination.
These are the postgraduate medical degrees that a candidate studies specialization in certain areas. Once awarded with one of the Master's medical degree, MBBS doctors can work as a Physician or Doctors in Clinical Care, Education or Research. Once appeared and qualified in any postgraduate medical entrance examination, aspirants can pursue the following postgraduate medical courses from any institute across India.
Under these three postgraduate medical degrees, aspirants need to choose a specialization in any of the following speciality courses:
Specialities in PG medical degrees
Ear, Nose and Throat
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dermatology, Venerology and Leprosy
Immunohematology and transfusion medicine
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Maternal and Child Health
Preventive and Social Medicine
Obstetric and Gynecology
Tuberculosis and Respiratory diseases
Emergency and Critical care
Skin and Vereral diseases
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Social and Preventive Medicine
Following is the brief introduction of postgraduate medical degrees, in which an MBBS aspirant can specialize in.
In order to be eligible for these national level entrance examination, aspirants must possess:
Doctor of Medicine (MD)
MD occurred to form the Latin word Medicinae Doctor, is a medical degree which denotes as a first professional graduate degree awarded after the initial graduation from the medical school/institute/university/college.
After the years of study and completion of the examination, in a pre-clinical or clinical subject of a non-surgical nature, the candidates receive an MD degree. The speciality subjects which candidates can choose for specialization is mentioned in the table above.
Most recommended branches under Doctor of Medicine (MD) medical degree
General Medicine :
Internal Medicine commonly known as General Medicine is a speciality in the medical field dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases. Physicians specializing in internal medicine is also known as Internists or Physicians. These Internists are skilled in the management of patients who have multi-system disease process. The internists or physicians care for the hospitalized and ambulatory patients and also plays an important role in teaching and research.
Anatomy is a branch of medical science which deals with the study of the structure of living beings along with the entire system, organs and tissues. The discipline of anatomy is divided into microscopic anatomy and macroscopic anatomy. Macroscopic anatomy or Gross Anatomy is the examination of an animal’s body parts using unaided eyesight, while the Microscopic anatomy involves the use of instruments in the study of tissues and various structures and also the study of cells.
Paediatrics also spelt as Pediatrics is the branch of medicine the involves the medical care of infants, children and adolescents. A medical doctor who specializes in this area is known as pediatrician or paediatrician. Paediatricians work either in hospitals, particularly those in its sub-specialities such as neonatology or works as primary care physicians. The word Pediatrics means ‘healer of children’ which is derived from the Greek word pais (child) iatros (doctor, healer).
Master of Surgery (MS)
The Masters of Surgery (Latin name Magister Chirurgiae) is an advanced qualification in surgery. The qualification was designed to be awarded as a higher degree to the Bachelor of Surgery degree.
In a clinical subject of a surgical nature, a candidate receives the equivalent medical degree of MS. The specializations under the Masters of Surgery degree are mentioned in the table above.
Most recommended branches under Masters of Surgery (MS) medical degree
General Surgery :
The General Surgery is a surgical speciality that focuses on abdominal contents including the stomach, colon, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, appendix and bile ducts. They also deal with the treatment of breasts, skin, soft tissue, trauma, peripheral vascular surgery and hernias and perform an endoscopic procedure such as gastroscopy and colonoscopy.
Orthopedic Surgery, also known as, Orthopedics is the branch of surgery dealing with the conditions involving in the human musculoskeletal system. A person specialized in this arena is known as Orthopedic Surgeon. The surgeons use both surgical and non-surgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine disease, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumours and congenital disorders.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology :
Obstetrics and Gynecology is a medical speciality the compasses two sub-specialities – Obstetrics, which deals in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period and gynaecology dealing with the health of female reproductive systems such as vagina, uterus, breasts and ovaries. Postgraduate training programmes of bothy the specialities are usually combined, preparing the practitioner of obstetrician-gynaecologists to adept both at the care of the female reproductive system and the management of pregnancy.
Diplomate of National Board (DNB)
A second alternative qualification termed DNB (Diplomate of National Board) is considered equivalent to the MD and MS degrees. To pursue DNB courses, aspirants need to appear for the entrance examination conducted by National Board of Examinations (NBE). Diplomate of National Board Post Diploma Centralised Entrance Test (DNB PDCET) is conducted by NBE for the award of Diplomate of National Board in 14 broad specialities. The duration of the course is 3 years of post-MBBS residency training in teaching hospitals recognised by the board. These post-MBBS residency programmes are available in the above-mentioned specialities. The holders of DNB are eligible to be considered for specialist’s post/faculty in any hospital including a training/teaching institution or a teaching post as a faculty member.
Super Specialty Medical Degree in India
After completion of a postgraduate medical degree in one specialization, a doctor will be considered as a specialist. Super Specialty medical degree is the degree awarded to the postgraduate medical specialists after completing 3 years of specialization in an opted speciality. Only candidates who have completed their postgraduate medical degree (MD/MS/DNB) will be considered eligible for admission to pursue Super speciality degree, provided they must qualify the entrance examination such as NEET SS, AIIMS DM/M.Ch, JIPMER DM/M.Ch/Fellowship, among others.
The most recommended post-doctoral courses available in the following super specialities (DM and M.Ch) are mentioned below.
Specialties in Post-Doctoral medical degrees
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Anaesthesiology, Pain Medicine and Critical Care
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Medicine and Microbiology
Surgery Trauma Centre
Neuro-Anaesthesiology and Critical Care
Onco-Anesthesiology and Palliative Medicine
Pulmonary and Sleep disorders
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Candidates can check the brief introduction to the super-speciality medical degrees which are most recommended by postgraduate medical aspirants.
In order to be considered for admission to super speciality courses, aspirants need to fulfil certain eligibility criteria, which includes:
Endocrinology comprised from endocrine, is a branch of Biology and Medicine dealing with the endocrine system, its diseases and its specific secretions known as hormones. The medical speciality of endocrinology involves the diagnostic evaluation of a wide variety of symptoms and variations. This super speciality includes caring for the person as well as the disease. Most endocrine disorders are chronic ones which need longtime care. Some of the most common as diabetes, metabolic syndrome etc.
Genitourinary surgery also known as Urology, is branch of medicine that focuses on the surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive system. Urologists undergo a postgraduate surgical training period of five years with 12 months rotatory internship and 36 months should be completed in Clinical Urology.
Neurological Surgery is the medical speciality concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any part of the nervous systems including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.
In conclusion, candidates can opt for many other options in the field of medicine. Only the dedication and right decision is what required the most.