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MD or MS both is a Masters/Postgraduate degree. One becomes eligible for MD or MS only after successfully completing a MBBS degree. Some countries consider a MD degree a professional doctorate for surgeons and physicians (i.e U.S.A and, Phillipines). Others consider it a research degree equal in value to a Ph. D.
Therefore, a student completes a MD or MS after the MBBS to obtain training on a specialization of choice. MS is a postgraduate degree in general surgery while the MD is the postgraduate degree in General medicine. Both the degrees can be pursued after MBBS. The expert says that MS is for some fields where more of surgical expertise and the skills are required. MD is non surgical but there are some branches where surgery can be part of MD. There are various branches where a MBBS graduate can pursue MS or MD. Since the competition is growing after MD or MS once can join in the medical college as the teaching faculty, they can even start their own practice; can even apply for the job in both the government health sector and the private hospitals.
Can a person who has done MD also pursue MS?
Generally, there is no need because each is a separate field; the choice should be between surgery and medicine. However, not everyone should take up the field of surgery as it is art blended with science. It is a creative discipline, and requires lots of skill, talent and passion to excel.
Theoretically, a person who has done MD can do MS too. But practically, no one does it. Nowadays, people take up super-specialty like Cardiology, Urology & Neurology because medical science is very advanced and treatment of each organ is very complicated.
One can if one wishes to, but there is no point as MD and MS are different approaches and time to cover both of them will be too long to gain any relevant experience in one field.
Generally, it takes three years to complete an MD or MS depending on the calibre and dedication of the student. However, owing to the ever-increasing competition, one finds the need to pursue super-specialization (DM/MCh) in their field of interest. This may take another two years.
Exams to prepare for MD/MS
Aspirants need to take the Common Entrance Test - NEET PG (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Medical Postgraduate Courses – MD/MS/Diploma) after completing their MBBS. NEET PG papers include questions from all the subjects covered during the MBBS course. The branch is chosen during counseling. Before making the choice, a student has to know his/her interest. This will simplify the process of choosing the stream for them.
Best institutes to study MD/ MS in India
According to the experts, listed below are some of the best institutes (in no particular order) from where a student can pursue MS or MD:
AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), New Delhi
SGPGI (Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences), Lucknow
JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research) Pondicherry
PGI (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research), Chandigarh
CMC (Christian Medical College), Vellore
St John’s Medical College Bangalore
Stanley Medical College, Chennai
Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital
Jagadguru Jayadeva Murugarajendra Medical College(JJMMC), Karnataka
Pointing to the gaps in the selection system, presently, admission to MS and MD is regulated by a common entrance test. This is borne out of short-sighted policy, which fails to bring out the right talent. A person wanting to become a surgeon and with the skill and passion of a surgeon might end up becoming a physician for want of a sufficient rank in the entrance test. Most often, many candidates end up studying the specialty they get without bothering to go through the strain of repeating the entrance test the next year. To circumvent this and to ensure that the right people get into the right specialties, there is a need for separate entrance tests for medicine and surgery. This will enable the creation of a quality pool of physicians and surgeons across the country.
There is also the need for strengthening the Diplomate of National Board and elevating it to the stature of FRCS or MRCP. Since private hospitals boast of more advanced medical technologies when compared to the public sector, students should be given the opportunity to take up training also from recognized private hospitals.