Only a passion to serve should draw you into becoming a Doctor. It’s a highly respected profession, but it requires a huge academic focus for almost ten years after you pass class 12. Even thereafter doctors work long hours and have little personal life.

Doctors include both Physicians and Surgeons


For an MBBS Degree, choose the Science stream and study Physics, Chemistry and Biology in classes 11 and 12 and take the AIPMT or All India Pre-Medical Entrance Exam through which you can apply for 15 percent seats in the participating colleges. Students of Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are not permitted. There are various other entrance exams of different colleges such as AIIMS and CMC and state level exams such as the Uttar Pradesh Combined Pre Medical Test or the Gujarat Common Entrance Test.

Get an Overview of Medical Admissions in India.

The MBBS takes four and a half years to complete. Students go through an internship of 6 to 12 months thereafter, after which one can start to practice as a doctor.

A rural posting has already become compulsory in some states and is likely to become compulsory all over very soon which could take the effective time to complete the MBBS to six years.

Many doctors don’t stop with an MBBS degree and go on for specializations and super specializations. Completing the MD qualification gets one the specialization and it can take another three years to complete. The MD qualification can make you a specialist in areas such as cardiology, neurology and endocrinology. The MS qualification, the Master of Surgery, makes you a surgeon. The entrance exam for MD and MS qualification is usually the same. The specializations you get are based on your rank in the entrance exam.  

Doctors work in hospitals or run their own private practice. Most private hospitals do not employ doctors on a fixed salary but pay them according to the work they do, i.e., on the number of patients they consult. The drawback of this arrangement is you do not get paid if you take a holiday like you would in any normal job. You do not have any paid leave. This, however, is not the case with government hospitals, where you work on a salary, and avail benefits such as paid leaves and medical insurance etc.  Most big hospitals these days prefer to have doctors exclusively working for them.

There are still doctors who choose to work in several hospitals as consultants without being exclusively attached to any. This gives them the flexibility they desire in their work schedules and allows them to gradually set up their own private practice in the mean time.   
Doctors that are exclusively attached to the big private hospitals may have good salaries but they are prevented from starting their private practice.

In terms of earnings, obviously you don’t earn anything till the time you complete your MBBS. You earn a small stipend during MD/MS studies. Thereafter, you take about 9 to 10 years to start earning a respectable salary. It’s only by about the age of 40 that a doctor starts to make good money.

Find out what it is like to be Working for a Hospital.

Doctors and related careers in the medical industry

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.