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After the completion of your MBBS course of five and a half years (including one year of internship), candidates are often under the misguided impression that their options are limited to clinical practice or teaching. But this couldn’t be further from the truth, since the sky is the limit when it comes to career options for those who have just completed their MBBS. Whether you already have your sights set on a particular career path or you’re still on the lookout for viable opportunities, this list should give you a better view of the entire medical field and help you decide where you fit in it.
The vast majority of MBBS graduates decide to specialise in one field or another as this gives them an in-depth knowledge of a particular field in the medical sector. You can choose to specialise in surgery and pursue an MS (Masters of Surgery) in general surgery, Anaesthesia, Traumatology, ENT or a number of other surgical specialities. Or you can choose to pursue an MD (Doctor of Medicine), which involves non-surgical specialisations such as Psychiatry, Physiology, Internal Medicine, Pathology, etc. Admissions to these courses are conducted through common entrance exams such as NEET and INI CET.
A Diploma of the National Board is an equivalent qualification to the above-mentioned MS and MD degrees, awarded after completing a three-year residency. It is a centralised degree with one standard exam across the country, offered by the National Board of Examinations. Participants can choose from broad specialities or super specialities that cover a range of sectors similar to MS and MD degrees.
After completing your MBBS, you can also seek out further education or career opportunities abroad. In the UK, international students are required to pass their PLAB exams (of which there are two parts). To practice in the US, students are required to take the USMLE exam and get through the residency selection process. It should be noted that your chances of getting hired or accepted are increased if you hold a postgraduate degree (such as the specialisations mentioned above). In general, whether you wish to practice medicine abroad or do clinical research, you will be required to complete some form of an entrance test as well as gain a work permit.
MBA courses in the medical field are similar to other MBA programs but focused entirely on the medical sector. There are three main types of MBA degrees: you can pursue an MBA in Health Administration, MBA in Healthcare Management, or an MBA in Medical Management.
Conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, this entrance test is held to select medical officers for various central and state posts in the health service sector. Posts range from Assistant Divisional Medical Officers in the Railways to junior scale posts in Central Health Services. Typically, fewer than 1000 vacancies are open for hire each year, so this is a highly competitive field. Once the selection is made, you become civil servants as part of the state or central government, in a medical or administrative capacity.
Upon completing your MBBS, you may also opt for a post in the Armed Forces. These posts are usually notified via advertisements when there are vacancies that need to be filled. Candidates need to take part in an interview and subsequent medical check-ups before they are assigned to the army, navy or air force. During your service, you might work with infantry units, within army hospitals, or even emergency services.
While the demand for speciality doctors is always high, MBBS graduate doctors are also approached in great numbers. Even without a speciality, you can seek employment at private hospital chains such as Apollo, Fortis, etc. Usually, the posts offered to non-specialised doctors are Assistant Medical Officer or Resident Medical Officer. The same holds true for government hospitals - vacancies are listed in newspapers for junior and senior residents regularly, as hospitals are always seeking to increase the number of doctors on board.
MBA courses in the medical field are similar to other MBA programs but focused entirely on the medical sector. There are three main types of MBA degrees: you can pursue an MBA in Health Administration, MBA in Healthcare Management, or an MBA in Medical Management. Candidates are taught a variety of topics ranging from Hospital Administration, Healthcare Management, Operational Management, Finance management, etc. Going this route can earn you a job at pharmaceutical companies, the health insurance sector and even the managing wings at hospitals.
For many students, research is the ultimate goal of their career. Clinical research usually involves some form of residency or practice and various organisations such as ICMR and AIIMS offer research programmes. Students can opt for Masters in Public health (MPH) or an MD in Preventive and Social Medicine, both of which can lead to practical research work, especially if you work with WHO. Additionally, one can also pursue an MD in Pharmacology and work in the pharmaceutical sector, where research in medicine is in high demand.
Lastly, you can start your own clinic by yourself or with other doctors. This option is limited in scope as it requires a lot of capital upfront. You can seek out financial aid from family and friends, club together finances with a group of doctors to form a multi-doctor clinic or take out a loan. You will also need to register your business and get all the necessary permits before you start treating patients.
So, you see, there are options galore for those who have successfully completed their MBBS. Spend adequate time researching every choice, understanding your strengths, and then, choose accordingly.
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