The Road to Become an MBBS Doctor
Medicine is a noble profession which has been there since ages. From hakims to vaidyas, the field of medicine has come a long way to specialised areas which are intense, exhaustive and crucial to the understanding of the human body. Being a doctor is not only a job of extreme responsibility, but it also requires intense hard work and dedication coupled with the desire to help mankind heal in the best possible way.
Increase in Demand
With changing lifestyles and high-stress levels there has been an increase in the diseases and ailments affecting the large population of India, thereby making the role of a doctor even more important and multifarious in today’s context.
The growing demand for doctors is reflected in the amplified number of diseases as well as growth of healthcare sector which currently stands strong as a $34 billion industry. By 2012, it is estimated to grow to nearly $40 billion. India’s increasing life expectancy and an ever growing population also demand that healthcare professionals are pitched in to take care of the old and the new borns of the country. Besides this, with a projected figure of 73.5 million diabetes patients in India by 2025 and several millions suffering from lifestyle diseases like hypertension and cancer, communicable diseases like AIDS, dengue, tuberculosis and malaria, India is set to fight a battle against these diseases for which it will require a strong army of doctors.
There are several common entrance examinations for the selection of candidates for the seats of MBBS in medical colleges all over India. Of these, the prominent ones are the CBSE PMT (Pre-Medical Test), DPMT, and UPMT. You have to give a separate entrance prestigious colleges like AIIMS and AFMC.
A lot of other private colleges hold their separate entrance tests too. Also, each state also conducts its own entrance exams for medical colleges.
CBSE PMT, conducted by the CBSE, is a highly-coveted national level entrance exam. It is conducted in two stages, the preliminary and the final exam. The exam is objective type and tests you rigorously in subjects like physics, chemistry and biology. Since negative marking is the rule here, the test is extremely competitive.
The Uttar Pradesh combined PMT is meant for the residents of Uttar Pradesh only.
For admissions in colleges like Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Lady Hardinge Medical College, and University College of Medical Studies (UCMS), the Delhi University Medical-Dental Entrance Test (DUMET) is held. For this exam, there are about 410 seats in MBBS and 20 seats in BDS. You can give these exams soon after passing your class XII board examinations. These exams are conducted during the month of April/May and the results are out by June/July.
The Road to Become a Doctor
To start with, one has got to have a strong commitment, when one decides to become a doctor, as there is not only a lot of competition, but also the number of seats are far lesser than the number of students who want to pursue it as a career. With around 1.6 million students vying for a few thousand seats, the competition is tough, but it’s worth all the toil. Knowledge of subjects like physics, chemistry and biology at class XII level is a must. A regular course in MBBS from any recognised medical college is of four and a half years in duration, followed by an internship for a year or six months. During the course of these four and a half years, students who get selected for an MBBS course have to study several subjects which include anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, dermatology, obstetrics and gynaecology, forensic medicine and toxicology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, anaesthesiology, community medicine, medicine, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, psychiatry and surgery.
The course work is intense and requires 18-20 hours of devoted hard work to know your subjects well. As Shobit Gupta, a student of dentistry explains, “Everyday is a challenge for a doctor. You can’t be referring to your course books when a patient comes to get treatment from you. Last minute cramming doesn’t work in medicine.”
Places to Study Medicine
Depending upon the college, the total course fee for an MBBS degree can range from a few thousands at a government college to around Rs 20 lac and even higher in private institutes. Among the prestigious institutes for MBBS courses are All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi and Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi to name a few.
The curriculum is distinguished in each college by the competency of the faculty and the exposure given to the students in terms of practical training. For example, it is important that a medical college have a good student-teacher ratio, a well-stocked library, a state-of-art lab and even a healthy ratio of students working on a dead body to get their basics of anatomy right.
What Does the Course Prepare You For?
A course in MBBS prepares you not only to be an eternal healer, but also paves your way to the specialisations that you might take in the future for your MD or MS. It’s not just about teaching you how to diagnose and treat a health problem but acquainting you to the various nuances and degrees of applied medicine to administer to your patients as well as conduct community health programmes at all levels.
You are taught to handle allopathic medicines, know their effect on the human body as well as their side effects, if any. You will be mastering the make-up of the entire human body, know about each nerve and vein present in the human body. But an MBBS not only grooms you in these qualities, it also spruces you up to be efficient managers in handling financial or human resources and successful delivery of healthcare services as desired by a patient in the most helpful and generous manner.
You also acquire and hone the instinct of research as one should not forget that medicine is a dynamic field and people should be ever-ready to embrace constant flux that the field undergoes. To keep an eye on the pulse of developments in the world of medicine is a doctor’s job and he learns the way to do it in his MBBS degree.
Scope & Salaries
The scope is immense for all those who choose to join the medicine brigade. Apart from going the conventional way and joining a private or government hospital, youngsters these days, armed with their MBBS degrees, can find lucrative placements with attractive starting salaries in corporate hospitals.
Hospitals like Apollo, Max and Fortis are quite popular destinations. The starting salary can be anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 depending upon the competence of the individual. There is a lot of money in private practice as well and it only gets better for candidates as they win the trust of the patients and the goodwill is spread by word of mouth to attract more patients to the clinic.
With a boom in the healthcare sector, there are other areas too where medicine professionals are highly in demand. MBBS doctors can find placements in hospitals like Wockhardt Hospitals which promote medical tourism. Besides this, the emerging health insurance market, growing pharmaceutical industry, telemedicine sector, clinical research, pharmaco-vigilance etc hold great charm and promise for doctors.
Padded with a degree of MD, and a couple of years of work experience, a doctor could well be earning Rs one-12 lac per month depending upon his area of specialisation. There is no upper ceiling to the earnings of a competent and capable doctor. You can also be a visiting doctor at several hospitals and charge by the hour.
Studying Medicine Abroad
With so many aspirants and so little seats, a lot of contenders prefer to do their MBBS from abroad. The favourite destinations include US, UK and Australia. The degrees abroad are competitive and the infrastructure and facilities are excellent yet, students have to clear a lot of tests and hurdles before they get admission.
First of all they have to get an eligibility certificate from the Medical Council of India (MCI). After returning from the completion of the course too, students have to undergo a screening test and get registered with the MCI.
The cost of studying medicine can be more expensive than you can imagine but student loans and scholarships help students cover the costs. You need to also be aware of the choice of college you make whether in India or abroad and be sure that the institute you take admission in is not a fake.
The road to becoming a doctor is a challenging but rewarding one—not only monetarily but also in terms of job satisfaction and the help you extend to the ill. So take on the journey, if you are a warrior of the healing powers.