Becoming a doctor is a demanding yet highly rewarding path that requires unwavering dedication, perseverance, and a genuine passion for healing and improving lives. Read more career blogs at college49.
Who is a Doctor?
Doctors are highly skilled and qualified professionals with medical licenses, entrusted with the responsibility of promoting longer life expectancy and improving social welfare. The invaluable knowledge and unwavering commitment of doctors play a vital role in the recovery of individuals who have battled severe illnesses like cancer, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and more. However, it is noteworthy that the current Doctor-to-Patient ratio in India stands at 1:1456, falling short of the World Health Organization’s recommended ratio of 1:1000. This disparity highlights the challenges faced in meeting the healthcare demands of the population.
Becoming a doctor is a formidable pursuit, with approximately 15,000 students aspiring to enter the medical profession each year. To embark on the journey of becoming a doctor after completing 12th grade, aspiring candidates must opt for the Science stream as their secondary education and then pursue the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree, which spans five years. Admission to MBBS programs is typically granted through a rigorous Medical Entrance Exam like NEET, conducted annually. Aspiring doctors have the opportunity to pursue various undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses offered by esteemed institutions across the country.
What does a Doctor do?
Here are some common duties associated with being a doctor:
- Listening to Patients: Doctors carefully listen to patients to understand their symptoms and medical history, which helps in the diagnostic process.
- Diagnosis: Doctors perform thorough examinations and utilize their medical knowledge to diagnose the underlying cause of a patient’s illness or condition.
- Prescribing Medication and Administering Treatments: Based on the diagnosis, doctors prescribe appropriate medications and treatments to manage or cure the patient’s health issues.
- General Examinations and Diagnostic Procedures: Doctors conduct general physical examinations and order laboratory tests or procedures to gain a deeper understanding of a patient’s ailment or illness.
- Follow-up Treatments and Referrals: Doctors provide follow-up care to monitor the progress of the patient’s treatment or refer them to other specialists if needed.
- Training and Education: Experienced doctors often train resident doctors, imparting knowledge and skills in various surgical techniques or diagnostic procedures.
What Do a Doctor’s Skills Have?
To become a successful doctor, one must not only acquire the necessary educational qualifications but also develop a range of essential skills. These skills not only facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the medical profession but also provide a competitive advantage and the potential for excellence.
Outlined below are some of the key skills required to become a doctor after completing the 12th grade:
- Solution-Oriented Thinking: Doctors must possess the ability to think critically and come up with effective solutions to medical issues and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking: The capacity to analyze complex medical situations and apply logical reasoning is crucial for accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment plans.
- Prescribing Medications Correctly: Doctors need to have a comprehensive understanding of pharmaceuticals and the ability to prescribe medications accurately and safely.
- Staying Up to Date on Medical Research: Keeping abreast of the latest medical advancements and research findings enables doctors to deliver evidence-based care and stay at the forefront of medical knowledge.
- Active Listening: Active listening skills are essential for doctors to effectively communicate with patients, understand their symptoms, and gather relevant medical information.
What is the qualification of a Doctor?
To pursue a career in medicine, meeting the eligibility criteria is essential. Here are the key requirements:
- MBBS Degree: The primary requirement is obtaining a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree, which serves as the gateway to a medical career. Alternatively, aspiring medical professionals can pursue other degrees such as BDS (Dentistry), BAMS (Ayurveda), BHMS (Homeopathy), BSMS (Siddha), and BUMS (Unani). The duration of the MBBS course is typically 5 and a half years, including a mandatory one-year internship.
- Educational Qualifications: Students must complete their 12th grade with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology as core subjects. A minimum aggregate score of 55% is generally required for eligibility.
- Entrance Examinations: Students must qualify for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), a common entrance examination conducted for admission to MBBS courses. Many colleges and universities also conduct their own entrance examinations as part of their admission process.
What are the Benefits of a Doctor?
Becoming a doctor offers numerous benefits that make it one of the most esteemed professions globally. It presents a multitude of advantages that are unique to this career path. For those with a profound interest in science and medicine, pursuing a career as a doctor brings forth various professional benefits and opportunities. Let us explore some of the advantages of choosing a career in medicine.
- Lucrative Salary: The noble nature of the profession aside, the potential for a high salary allures many aspirants. Doctors enjoy higher salaries compared to most other professions worldwide. This financial aspect serves as a significant motivation for students who aspire to become doctors after completing their secondary education.
- Positive Impact: Doctors have the privilege of saving lives and contributing to the betterment of humanity. The invaluable work they perform brings immense satisfaction and a sense of reward. Doctors are respected members of society due to the critical role they play, which serves as a constant source of motivation and generates a positive impact in their careers.
- Job Security: With a high demand for healthcare professionals, the field of medicine offers exceptional job security. Once licensed, doctors can practice anywhere in the world without worrying about job stability. This sense of security contributes to the overall appeal of the profession.
- Continuous Learning: Being a doctor means embracing a lifelong journey of learning. Each day presents new and unique cases that offer immense opportunities for growth and knowledge acquisition. The dynamic nature of the medical field ensures that there is no end to the learning process, fostering professional development with every case encountered.
- Unparalleled Experience: The experience of being a doctor and saving lives is unparalleled. Often, doctors are credited with giving patients a second chance at life. The journey of becoming a doctor and the process of treating patients are inherently fascinating, making each day an intriguing challenge and a source of positive experiences.
- Career Progression: A career in medicine knows no limits. Completing the MBBS program is merely the beginning. Following the completion of MBBS, doctors embark on an internship and subsequently secure positions as permanent doctors in hospitals. Pursuing post-graduation, such as MS or MD, opens up avenues for specialization. Throughout their careers, doctors encounter diverse patients with complex conditions, constantly expanding their knowledge and engaging in research to address new and intricate diseases.
- Global Respect: The medical profession is universally regarded with utmost respect due to its commitment to serving and saving lives. Doctors learn to work with authority and are entrusted with the faith of people, which serves as a powerful motivation to contribute to the betterment of humanity.
- Travel Opportunities: While doctors may not always have the freedom to choose their preferred work location or city, they often have the opportunity to travel to different places when emergencies, pandemics, or natural calamities arise, offering unique exposure and experiences in diverse environments.
What are the different types of a Doctor?
There are various categories of medical professionals who specialize in different aspects of human health and provide specialized services in the field of science and medicine. Here, we will explore some of the distinct types of doctors and their respective areas of expertise:
- General Physician Specialization: General physicians are widely available in hospitals, clinics, and local communities. They offer primary medical care, diagnose common ailments, and refer patients to specialized doctors if necessary. General physicians prescribe initial treatments and medications. To pursue a career as a general physician, candidates can opt for an MD General Medicine program offered by reputed colleges. Admission to these colleges is based on entrance exams. Average Annual Salary: INR 7.10 LPA.
- ENT Specialist Specialization: ENT specialists focus on the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of ear, nose, and throat-related conditions. They also address speech and hearing impairments in children. Aspiring individuals can pursue courses like MS ENT from renowned colleges specializing in ENT studies. Average Annual Salary: INR 9.6 LPA.
- Dentist Specialization: Dentists specialize in treating dental issues, including teeth, gums, and related problems like cavities, tooth extraction, and root canal treatment. They possess expertise in diagnosing root canals, wisdom teeth complications, and dental fillings. To become a dentist, candidates can pursue BDS or MDS programs offered by top dental colleges in India. Average Annual Salary: INR 7.7 LPA.
- Cardiologist Specialization: Cardiologists deal with various cardiac cases and assess heart conditions through procedures such as ECG, TMT, and Eco-Cardio. They provide treatments to prevent cardiac arrest and ensure optimal heart health. Aspiring cardiologists can pursue an MD Cardiology program from reputed colleges specializing in cardiology studies. Average Annual Salary: INR 14.70 LPA.
- Psychiatrist Specialization: Psychiatrists specialize in mental health, diagnosing psychological issues and understanding the causes of mental disorders. Regular mental health check-ups are beneficial even when apparent symptoms are not present. Students aspiring to become psychiatrists can pursue an MD Psychiatry program offered by top psychiatry colleges in India. Average Annual Salary: INR 15.51 LPA.
- Pediatrician Specialization: Pediatricians focus on providing medical care to infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. They play a crucial role as primary healthcare providers from birth to around 18 years of age. Candidates interested in a career as a pediatrician can pursue MD Pediatrics courses offered by reputable pediatrics colleges. Average Annual Salary: INR 9.60 LPA.
- Oncologist Specialization: Oncology is the study of cancer, and oncologists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of cancer patients. They offer specialized medical care to individuals diagnosed with cancer. Aspiring oncologists can pursue DM Oncology courses from esteemed oncology colleges across the country. Average Annual Salary: INR 9.45 LPA.
- Neurologist Specialization: Neurologists focus on the anatomy and disorders of the nervous system. They provide medical attention to individuals experiencing neurological conditions. If someone encounters a nervous breakdown, it is advisable to seek consultation from a neurologist. Aspiring neurologists can pursue DM Neurology from renowned colleges specializing in neurology studies. Average Annual Salary: INR 11.64 LPA.
What is the Salary of a Doctor?
Here is an overview of the average annual salaries for doctors in different specializations:
|INR 14.70 LPA
|INR 11.64 LPA
|INR 10.80 LPA
|INR 7.10 LPA
|INR 9.60 LPA
|INR 9.60 LPA
|INR 9.45 LPA
How to Become a Doctor in India?
To embark on the path of becoming a doctor, you need to start laying the foundation during your high school years. Here are the essential steps:
- Choose the Science Stream in High School: Opt for the science stream (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) at the 10+2 level in school. This stream provides the necessary foundation and knowledge in science subjects, which is vital for pursuing a higher degree in medicine.
- Go for a Degree in Medicine: The Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree is the basic course required to become a doctor.
- Opt for a Specialization: After completing the MBBS degree, you have the option to pursue a higher degree in medicine and specialize in a particular field of interest. You can pursue a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in a specific specialty such as cardiology, neurology, or gynecology. Alternatively, you can pursue a Master of Surgery (MS) degree to become a specialized medical surgeon. These postgraduate degrees typically have a duration of 3 years and encompass both theoretical knowledge and practical training to equip you with the necessary skills and expertise in your chosen field. Higher medical degrees open up more career opportunities beyond MBBS.
- Join a Hospital or Practice Independently: After completing your MBBS or higher medical degree and obtaining registration as a doctor, you can choose to work in a hospital or healthcare institution as a doctor or specialist. Alternatively, you have the option to establish your own independent practice by opening your own clinic to provide medical care to patients.
1. How long does it take to become a doctor?
The duration varies, but typically it takes around 10 to 12 years, including undergraduate studies, medical school, residency, and any specialized training.
2. What qualifications do I need to become a doctor?
To become a doctor, you need to complete a medical degree such as MBBS, MD, or DO, followed by postgraduate training and licensure.
3. What is the difference between an MD and a DO?
MD stands for Doctor of Medicine, while DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Both degrees qualify you to become a licensed physician, but DOs receive additional training in the musculoskeletal system and holistic patient care.
4. What are the typical work hours for doctors?
Work hours for doctors can vary depending on their specialty and practice setting. Many doctors work long and irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and being on-call for emergencies.
5. How can I specialize in a particular field of medicine?
After completing medical school, you can apply for residency programs in your desired specialty. Residency training provides specialized knowledge and hands-on experience in a specific area of medicine.
6. How do doctors stay updated with advancements in medicine?
Doctors stay updated through continuing medical education (CME) programs, attending conferences, reading medical journals, and participating in research activities. It is crucial for doctors to keep abreast of the latest developments in their field.
7. What are the challenges doctors face in their profession?
Doctors face challenges such as heavy workloads, long hours, high patient expectations, and dealing with complex medical cases. They also encounter emotional challenges when delivering difficult news or managing patient outcomes.