Medical education in India is provided through medical colleges which are synonymous with Medical Schools in the USA or other countries. Medical colleges are recognized by the Medical council of India. The Medical council was established with objective of maintaining uniform standards in medical education and ensure permanent/provisional registration of doctors with reconsigned medical qualifications. There are Four apex Bodies that govern the medical profession and allied services in India:

  1. Medical council of India (MCI)
  2. Dental Council of India (DCI)
  3. Pharmacy council of India (FCI)
  4. National Board of examinations (NBE)

The Dental Council of India regulates dental education and profession and the Pharmacy Council of India regulates pharmacy education, profession and practice. The National Board of Examinations (NBE) conducts postgraduate and postdoctoral medical examinations in more than 54 disciplines. It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health, Government of India.

Eligibility and admission for undergraduate courses

Qualification: All government and private medical colleges in India prescribe eligibility criteria for admission to undergraduate courses. Candidates applying for admission are required to have passed the Senior Secondary Examinations conducted by CBSE or equivalent examinations with physics chemistry and biology. Most of the government medical colleges offer admission on the basis of the entrance examination where as while some reserve seats for NRI or foreign students.

Entrance Test for undergraduate course: The candidate is required to take the entrance examination. The board publishes pattern of entrance test, the syllabus and details of interview and personality test. The selection is through the All India Entrance Examination conducted by CBSE or state level competitive examination. Entrance Test for postgraduate course: NEE-PG id the only eligibility cum entrance test for MD/MS and postgraduate diploma courses. This replaces the existing state level examinations for admission to postgraduate courses. NEET-PG is conducted by National Board of Examinations.

Undergraduate courses

  1. MBBS: It takes 5 ½ years to complete this undergraduate medical program divided into 3 semesters of 18 months. Subjects like psychology, anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, forensic medicine, general medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics and gynecology are covered. At the end candidates have to do a one-year compulsory internship.
  2. BDS: This is a four-year program followed by one-year internship. The course covers basic medical subjects and the final year is for specialization in dentistry and hands-on practice.
  3. BHMS: The five and a half- year program including one-year internship offers homeopathic education and is monitored by National Institute of Homeopathy.
  4. BAMS: This medical program that lasts for 5 ½ years offers Ayurveda education governed by Central council of Indian Medicine.
  5. BUMS: This program offers education in Unani medicine and surgery and is governed by CCIM.
  6. B.VSc. &AH: This undergraduate program of 5 ½ year duration focuses on veterinary science and animal husbandry.
  7. B.Pharm: It is a four-year course offering education in pharmacy under the Pharmacy Council of India
  8. B.Sc. Nursing: This four-year diploma program is governed by the nursing council of India.
  9. BPT: This undergraduate program provides education in physiotherapy.
  10. BMLT: It focuses on medical laboratory technology.

Postgraduate courses

  1. MD/ MS: In India, Only medical graduates holding MBBS are eligible for admission to MD and MS courses. Both MD and MS are three-year postgraduate degrees, but MD specializes in general medicine of non-surgical nature and MS is a postgraduate degree in surgery.
  2. DNB: DNB is an alternative qualification equivalent to MD/MS. This three-year program is conducted by National Board of Examinations.

Super-speciality courses in medicine and surgery

After MD/MS/DNB, further specialization is offered in medical and surgical fields. Admission to theses courses are based on highly competitive entrance examination. DM (Doctor of Medicine) in different medical specialities is awarded after three years of training and study. For surgical specialities, MCh is awarded. DNB (specialities) is offered by NBE. After completing DM/MCh, one can go for postdoctoral fellowships.