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What Next After MBBS, Are There Any Alternatives To MD?

There are a plethora of opportunities in terms of higher studies in the healthcare industries and the aspirants can pursue their MD abroad particularly in the USA, UK, Canada, Russia etc.

Practicing medicine in India has always been considered pride and service to mankind. The medicos are considered lifesavers and are given great respect in society. The lifetime goal of many young students is to become a doctor and specialize in areas like General Medicine, Surgery, OBG and Pediatrics etc. In order to pursue MD, NEET exam has become mandatory in India. This exam pattern has opened the door to test their skills of medicine to pursue MD. The competition is beyond one’s wildest dreams which bring out the best-qualified candidates through NEET exams but unfortunately, India has very limited MD seats available. And this has created an unfavourable situation among the young MBBS aspirants. There is a huge gap in the number of seats and qualified students. The students are always on the lookout for an alternative to MD after MBBS. Till date the common practice has been to prepare for the NEET exam, which has become a herculean task for medical aspirants due to the existence of high competition for the doctor of medicine.

For NEET PG 2019, a total of 1,43,148 candidates had registered, out of which 79,633 candidates qualified. A total of 34091 (MD-19953, MS-10821, PG Diploma -1979, DNB, CET- 1338) medical seats are available in India for the upcoming educational year with 6102 (MS/MD/PG Diploma) colleges, 649 Hospitals (DNB). A lot more applications are expected this year than the previous years. This gap is increasing as the years go by. What will happen to those young medical aspirants who want to pursue their dream of specializing and then serving mankind? They need not give up on their dreams or they need to look for alternatives to MD to fulfilling their dreams.

An alternative route to becoming a specialist

There are a plethora of opportunities in terms of higher studies in the healthcare industries and the aspirants can pursue their MD abroad particularly in the USA, UK, Canada, Russia etc. Most of the Indians preferred destinations for their MD program have been in the USA, UK and Canada. To pursue their studies in the USA, the aspirants need to Clear USMLE (The United States Medical Licensing Exam) exams and clearing percentage has been in the higher numbers among the Indian aspirants. For the UK, It is a PLAB exam (The Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) which has two parts (PLAB 1, PLAB 2) and needs to clear both and For Canada, it is a MCCEE (Medical Council of Canada testing Examination) and MCCQE part 1 (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination). These exams need to be cleared to practice and study medicine in particular countries. These were the countries that had been one of the greater alternatives in the past and it remains as one of the best alternatives.

In recent days, RCP and MRCP have been the talk of the town when after the Medical Council of India issued a notification in March 2017 that postgraduate qualification awarded in five countries including the UK would be treated as equivalent to MD and MS. The RCP has a lot of scope for the Indian students to pursue their higher studies and can practice their medicine in the UK and also it opens up opportunities in more than 100 countries. RCP has recently started to conduct exams even in India for MRCP. But to prepare for the entrance exam, India has very few training centres to support the aspirants which need to be addressed at the earliest.

Another alternative to MD can be a technology, which has been used in the medical industry where MBBS students pursue their specialization, and that will be the future of the medical industry. Most of the doctors depend on new technologies for their practice. Therefore, the medical technology industry has tremendous scope for MBBS students who can support developers to create medical devices to make the treatment process hassle-free. The global medical device market size was valued at $425.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $612.7 billion by 2025.

Other than the technology, students can specialize in Occupational Therapy, Masters in Bio-science, Nutrition and Diabetes, Genetic Science, etc. Students can also enroll themselves in various fellowship programs that are offered by various international and domestic universities/colleges, where you can practice your medicine at associate hospitals. These universities will also help you clear the entrance exams for MD in case you are keen on taking up the regular MD Program, Fellowship Programs like Masters of Medicine, Master of Surgery, Fellowship in MMSC Clinical Pediatric Cardiology, Cardiac Anesthesia, Critical Care Medicine, Non-invasive Cardiology, etc.

Medicos aspirants can also plan for residency in the USA where they have to clear a USMLE 1, 2 and 3 exams. They can do it either while pursuing their doctrine of medicine or after their graduation which will allow them to practice medicine over there as long as they wish. According to American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), around 80000 Indian-origin physicians have registered themselves.

Medical aspirants have to decide, what do they want to pursue? India is desperately in need of Specialist doctors to balance the ongoing health care demand. According to a study, India has a shortage of about 6,00,000 doctors and medical aspirants need to decide how they want to be associated with India’s healthcare industry.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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