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Steps towards becoming a Doctor

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I am writing this post for those young minds who are eager to experience what it would be to become a doctor... but dont know how to be one. In India, the admission to the medical and paramedical courses is governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Presently though there is a buzz about having a common entrance test for the medical admissions, but by the time I am writing this post, the Medical Council of India has clarifed that the common entrance will be started not before 2014 for the post graduate admissions and talks and efforts are going on to implement the same for the undergraduate course from 2012 session. So here I will be discussing only about the present procedure for medical admissions.


The prime criteria for becoming a doctor is for the pupil to opt for Science faculty in the 10+2 course and include Biology as the primary subject. The importance of marks of 10+2 varies according to the respective states. Some states like Tamil Nadu solely depend upon 10+2 marks as  the criteria for pre-medical admissions where as most other states only place a criteria for the student to clear the final board exam with an aggregate of more than or equal to 50%.


Once the pupil appears for the 10+2 exam, he has to clear the Pre-Medical Tests (PMT) which is held on a national level or his/her respective state entrance exam, if any. Like in my state, Maharashtra has its own MHT-CET which is usually held two months after the 10+2 exam. Most of the states have a criteria of maximum 3 attempts at this exam. Once the result for the pre-medical entrance exam are out, the pupil is subjected to a centralised counselling for the allocation of the seats.


The counselling for the PMT occurs before that of any state. The government has laid down a rule stating that 15% of the seats in any medical college in India are reserved for the All-India Quota i.e. students from any state can apply for a seat in any medical college all over India through this 15% quota. Once the first round of the PMT is over, the state counselling starts. Similarly there are maximum three rounds at the national level and 4-5 rounds at the state level for the allocation of the seats. The seats remaining vacant after the third round of PMT counselling are handed over to the state quota.


Once the seat is allocated, the pupil has to contact the respective college, usually within 7 days. The medical colleges in India usually begin in the 1st of July/August. The medical curriculum for M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) in India comprises of four and a half year of academics followed by one year of compulsory rotatory internship. In some states, there is even a compulsory bond for the student to serve as a medical officer in the rural population for one more year.
The first year comprises of pre-clinical subjects like Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry which lasts for one year. The second year is the longest one with one and a half year of training in the para-clinical subjects of Pathology, Pharmacology, Forensic Medicine and Microbiology. The third year which is the main clinical course is divided into part one and two each of one year duration. The first part deals with Preventive and Social Medicine, Ophthalmology and Otorhinology (Ear, Nose and Throat medicine). Whereas the final year which is the second part deals with the major clinical subjects like General Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Dermatology, Radiology and Anaesthesia.


There are university exams held at the end of each year. After the final exam, the compulsory rotatory internship starts and ends after one year. There is a convocation ceremony at the end of the internship which marks the graduation of the pupil as a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (M.B.B.S.). The candidate has to later register himself/herself with the State Medical Council or the Medical council of India where they are alloted a unique registration number licensing them to practice anywhere in India.


Though long and tedious, this is the path of becoming a doctor in India. I have only described upto the graduation level. I will come up with another post describing the post-graduation procedure. Wishing you all the best for your future. Happy Reading...

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