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In Indian context passing the MBBS followed by an internship alone cannot ensure a satisfying career. Only those who do an MD (or MS) can hope to get better pay and perks and greater acceptance among the patients. Gone are the days of starting an independent practice after MBBS. Those who wish to join an MD program have to get through the NEET or AIIMS process before being admitted by the college. The number of places available in Indian colleges for doing MD is limited and if you don’t get through the NEET or AIIMS then you have to stop here. There are however other ways to qualify, such as the fellowship examination in a specialty you prefer. Passing this exam will enhance your experience and academic preparedness to be considered as a doctor with a PG qualification in medicine. After you clear all the prescribed examinations in accordance with the Royal College of Physicians prescription, you will be treated as a medical specialist in medicine. Both, MD program and fellowship exam for MRCP have their own pros and cons, but the pros in MRCP far outstrip the little cons. Texila American University is the preferred choice of a large number of doctors who want either a PG after MBBS or MRCP. The TAU is important for candidates who want to experience the benefits of learning from experts who can walk you through your journey to getting a higher qualification after completing the MBBS.
For medical graduates, postgraduation is the game-changer. While the options are aplenty, MRCP and MD are among the most popular PG courses after MBBS. Here is a simple guide explaining the choices, the scope, and the salary for a student with an MBBS degree.
Pursuing an MD course after MBBS
For Indian students with a science background, MBBS is a natural choice. In terms of career choices, students bank upon practicing medicine or entering medical research. Postgraduate program opportunities for MBBS graduates are aplenty. Students who plan to continue post-graduation in India are mandated to pass the entrance exams – NEET PG and AIIMS PG.
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Surgery (MS) and diploma courses are among the most popular options for MBBS graduates. One can pursue postgraduation in specialties like:
- Internal medicine
- Family medicine
- Surgical oncology
- Emergency medicine and more
MD in General Medicine is a two-year (can be three years in some colleges) PG course that delves deep into medicine. The minimum score required to secure a seat in a college varies from one institution to another. Students are required to review the eligibility criteria set by institutions and prepare hard accordingly.
Pros and Cons of MD
Pros of studying MD are:
- Hands-on experience in treating a large pool of patients
- Minimalistic needs
- Getting the basics right
- Opportunity to discover super-specialties
- Less taxing than surgical subjects
- Opportunity to work in government institutions
- Can easily migrate and settle in foreign countries
Cons of studying MD are:
- Not the right choice for students interested in performing surgeries
- Students should read rigorously as the course is in-depth and dynamic
Career opportunities for MD
In general, doctors apply for jobs in government after completing MD in General Medicine to become a physician or have their setup for practicing medicine. In government setups, doctors can earn starting from 3 -10 LPA depending upon the state where they work, their rank, and the skillset they possess. Within the framework, the government conducts various exams; upon clearing which doctors get promoted with a higher salary. One of the major advantages of working at government hospitals is that it provides job security more than private hospitals.
Candidates also have the option to work in private hospitals. The pay scale varies depending on the size of the hospitals. In multi-specialty hospitals, doctors have the potential to earn anywhere between 3 – 5 LPA depending on the hospital, rank, and skillset. Two years into the practice, a skilled doctor has the potential to earn Rs 1 lakh or more per month.
Candidates also have the option of becoming a faculty in medical college. For doctors having experience from 6 years to 22 years, they have the potential of earning up to Rs 15 to Rs 17 LPA.
After completing MD, doctors can also pursue a super specialization, i.e., DM degree. Some of the standard super-specialty streams are:
- Clinical hematology
As the pandemic revealed, many states appointed medical doctors at the helm to fight the virus.
Besides opportunities within the country, physicians can also choose to do residency programs or fellowship programs in the US that requires passing USMLE. For practicing in the UK, doctors should clear PLAB. And for Australia, candidates need to clear the written test conducted by the Australian Medical Council. The pay scale is also better than in Indian hospitals.
MRCP Fellowship course after MBBS
Yet another popular choice is Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom (MRCP). It is a globally recognized diploma and specialty certificate examination. Candidates taking the exam outside of London should have at least 12 months of postgraduate experience in a medical setup with proper qualifications.
The examination assesses the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and behavior of medical practitioners. The candidate is mandated to clear all three parts of the examination to be certified by the board.
The three-part examination consists of two written tests and one clinical examination.
- MRCP(UK) Part 1
- MRCP(UK) Part 2 Written
- MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical (PACES)
The part 1 and part 2 tests consist of multiple-choice questions in the best of five systems.
The final part, also known as MRCP Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills (PACES), is the clinical examination. The practical assessment consists of five medical stations designed to assess the student’s ability to evaluate various skillsets.
The first station assesses the respiratory system and abdomen for 10 minutes each. The second station examines the student’s ability to analyze the patient’s history for 20 minutes. The third station tests the ability to assess the cardiovascular system and neurological assessment for 10 minutes each. The fourth station tests the student’s communication skills and dealing with medical ethics for 20 minutes. The fifth station comprises two abilities that deal with integrated clinical assessments for eight minutes each. The student must focus on history and assessment, frame diagnosis plan and treatment, and communicate to the patient.
Pros and cons of MRCP
Pros of MRCP are
- Gaining wide knowledge
- Better quality of recommendations to concerned specialty doctors
- Great career trajectory
- Retaking examinations
- Gaining confidence while treating patients
- Giving constructive inputs during ward reviews
- Gaining commitment
- Less stressful as they go up the career ladder
Cons of MRCP are
- The cost incurred to retake the examination is high
- Diversion while getting foundation year skills
- Fatigue and mental exhaustion
Career options after MRCP
After clearing MRCP, a candidate can work as a medical specialist or an assistant professor in government or private institutions.
Candidates can choose to pursue a super specialty course.
Doctors can obtain the GMC registration in the United Kingdom after clearing IELTS. MRCP-certified doctors can also work in other countries upon fulfilling the criteria of registration to practice medicine.
Candidates who clear MRCP exams get recruited in the ST3 criteria of Specialty training. Upon going to the ST6 level, Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs) gets conducted. After clearing, doctors receive the Specialist Certification (CCT) and thereby get qualified as consultants. The basic salary range for ST3 begins from £ 47,132.00, and the gross salary could go up to £ 63,260 per annum in NHS.
MD could work well for students interested in serving society and enhancing skills on the job. It will also work great for those willing to delve deep into a particular geographical region that could lead to research. For students who are eager to explore other parts of the country and gain knowledge on endemics of an area from scratch, MRCP could be suitable. It also gives them the prestige to chair global conferences as they are certified by a worldwide board. Have you made up your mind yet? Register to pursue a Post Graduate Medical Program at Texila American University here. Decided to go ahead with Fellowship in Internal Medicine (MRCP)? Fret not; we’ve got you covered with that too.