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With the emergence of non-surgical courses like nephrology, endocrinology, urology, cardiology, and medical oncology very few students opt for general surgery. WHO states that the doctor-patient ratio in India is 4.84 per 10,000 and will be challenging to meet the 1:1000 standards. The need for qualified doctors, especially general surgeons is increasing. A student to practice as a general surgeon should get excellent scores in grade 12, clear NEET UG, successfully complete MBBS, clear NEET PG and pursue MS, which offers specializations in ob-gyn, orthopedics, general surgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, and traumatology and surgery. Qualified general surgeons can set up clinical practice, work in private or government sectors or study further. Alternatively, students can pursue Fellowship with Master of Surgery at TAU which gives specialized training to students to clear MRCS exams. This will enable you to practice as a general surgeon in any country, not only in India.
According to the Union Health Ministry, only a very few take training to become surgeons due to the emergence of non-surgical courses such as nephrology, endocrinology, urology, cardiology, and medical oncology. Even though many aspire to become a General Surgeon, only a few become, as it is no easy feat. It requires dedication, patience, perseverance, and sacrifice.
Besides being a challenging career path, there is a huge demand for General Surgeons in India. Taking up this specialty is a better option for medical aspirants to have a demanding career in the Indian medical industry.
The Demand for General Surgeons in India
There has been a change in the mindset of students recently. Students have preferred specialties like nephrologists, endocrinologists, and medical oncologists for their market demand and accessible entry as compared with surgery.
In a study conducted by the economics and business policy faculty of FORE School of Management titled, Aggregate Availability of Doctors in India: 2014–2030, which concluded that:
As per the availability of practicing doctors in India for 2014 (the most recent data available), there were over 600,031 active practitioners available in India to serve its 1,239 million residents with a doctor-population ratio of just 4.84 per 10,000 people in contrast to WHOs standard of 1:1,000 doctor.
The study also emphasized that the prospects of the ratio improving over the next 15-year period look unlikely. It is going to be a significant challenge to reach WHOs recommendation of the doctor-population rate of 1:1,000 even by the year 2030, by when the population is projected to reach 1.476 billion. It is abundantly clear that India needs doctors and, more importantly, General Surgeons as they become the need of the hour.
Here are a few guidelines for aspirants who want to become a General Surgeon in India:
Step 1: Clearing 12th Exam
To become a General Surgeon, aspirants must first pass their 12th or pre-university course (PUC) with physics, chemistry, and biology (PCB) and required cut-off marks.
Step 2: Clearing NEET UG
Then, successful students now have to pass NEET. As it is the only entrance examination for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) admission in India with a total of 76,928 medical seats, barring 1,205 seats in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and 200 in the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) campus.
Step 3: Completing an MBBS Degree
Those who have secured a required percentile in NEET are now eligible to apply for MBBS, which is one of the most prominent graduate degrees for becoming a doctor in India. It is a UG level combination of two disciplines in medicine and surgery, which is offered by the government and private colleges across the country. This course is of 5-year duration, including Pre, Basic, and Paramedical subjects. In 5 years of study, students will also complete 12 months of compulsory rotatory internship.
Step 4: Clearing NEET PG
NEET PG, which is conducted by the National Board of Examinations, will be the basis of admission to MS courses in medical colleges in India—barring some exceptional colleges like JIPMER and AIIMS. These colleges have their procedure of examination and acceptance. To pursue an MS degree in the medical colleges in India, candidates have to fulfill specific NEET PG 2020 Eligibility Criteria, which include age limit, academic qualification, and internship requirements.
|NEET PG 2020 Qualifying Percentile|
|SC, ST, and OBC||40th Percentile|
|Unreserved Category (Persons with Disabilities)||45th Percentile|
Step 5: Taking-up an MS Degree
After completing an MBBS degree and passing NEET PG, the next step is to get a PG degree, with many having aim fixed on MS, which is one the most prominent PG courses after MBBS. This degree is your ticket to becoming a General Surgeon.
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- General Surgery
- Traumatology and Surgery
After finishing your MS degree, you will be able to practice as a surgeon in India successfully.
What Is Next?
The medical world is full of exciting opportunities that lead candidates to pursue specializations and super-specializations. Ultimately, these opportunities include better pay and higher job security too.
The recent years have seen a rise in specialty and super-specialty hospitals and are not expected to slow down any time soon. This boom in the industry means that there will be ever-increasing demands for MS specialists in the medical field. Here are some of the most sought-after career options for MS degree holders:
- Clinic Practice – Setting up a clinic has been a popular choice for many doctors. It has been so because it offers benefits to individual medical practitioners in various ways, such as the advantage of having private ownership over the clinic, setting custom visiting hours, and charging fees on a convenience basis.
- Government Job – There is substantial demand for doctors in public sectors. This demand is sure to provide practitioners with reaching a broad spectrum of patients, which ultimately gives job satisfaction and high job security. Besides, they get good and standard salary along with other benefits.
- Private Sector – India has become a medical hub not only for domestic patients but also for international medical tourists as well. Several global hospital chains are highly in need of skilled and qualified professionals. They are willing to pay handsomely. Some of these popular hospital chains include Max, Medanta, Fortis, Apollo Hospitals, and many more.
- Super-Specialization – Aspirants with a master’s degree have an opportunity to continue their education and pursue a super-specialty. Super-specialization courses generally take another three years. Super-specialty degree holders are preferred largely by super-specialty hospitals.
Doctors who have completed their super-specialization are often considered to be pioneers in the chosen field. Only a few can achieve this stage. Not only does it offer recognition but also better opportunities and class-leading pay among peers.
An Alternative Option to Become a General Surgeon
Medical professionals must have heard of the term MRCS (Membership of Royal College of Surgeons). The MRCS exam is an important milestone in the career of a surgeon. It determines whether the aspirant has the required attributes, knowledge, and skills to take up basic training and progress ahead as an efficient surgeon.
How Can Texila American University Help You in Becoming a General Surgeon?
Texila American University (Texila), in association with Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN), offers a Fellowship with Master of Surgery program that is designed specifically for doctors to build on their existing skills, knowledge, and experience and develop clinical and service mastery in the aspects of varied specializations. To encourage and nurture students, Texila has devised a curriculum with both clinical and theoretical components.
Along with this fellowship program, Texila also offers intensive training to take up exams of the respective Royal College. If you aspire to become a General Surgeon through MRCS, this fellowship program will help you to get the required training to get through the MRCS exam.
With this, we hope that you will have a better understanding of the need for General Surgeons and the steps involved in becoming a General Surgeon in India. Good luck!