In India we have a special respect, love and affection towards doctors. The rich culture and heritage may be one reason, why a doctor enjoys a special attention and respect in the society, irrespective of the specialty or the number of degrees to his credit, but being a doctor is not that easy, years of rigorous education and then practice take all the juice out of life.
Unlike other western countries, a doctor in India is too engaged with his patients, In the good olden days, people also choose this profession as a service to the society and dedicated their lives.
The medical education in India is quite different from the west, If one wishes to become a doctor in India, after the senior secondary examinations, one has to appear for the entrance examinations that opens up the gates of a medical college, where one undergoes MBBS degree course that is of five and a half year duration, along with one year compulsory residency. Once the individual completes his / her program, they can start practicing as doctor, they can work as duty doctors or resident doctor. Further one can appear for MD / MS program, which is a higher postgraduate degree in the respective specialty.
MD in Medicine
MD is awarded to those medical graduates who are holding the MBBS degree, and after three years of study and passing an examination, which includes both theory and practical, in a pre-clinical or clinical subject of a non-surgical nature. The original research element is not as prominent here, as this is primarily a clinical qualification resembling the professional doctorates of the USA.
MS in Surgery
Similarly in surgery, orthopedics and gynecology the equivalent degree is Master of Surgery (MS). DNB (Diplomate of the National Board) qualification is considered equivalent to the MD and MS qualifications, the difference in both the qualifications is that MD / MS is awarded by the Medical council whereas DNB is from the Diplomate of national board. That can be obtained by passing an exam conducted by national board of examinations after completing 3 years post MBBS training in hospitals recognized by the board.
DM in Medicine and MCh in Surgery
One can go for further specialization in medical or surgical fields, after the first postgraduate degree, which is either MD / MS or DNB. This requires three years of hard rigorous training and study and then passing an examination, both theory and practical, and the degree awarded is DM (Doctorate in Medicine, supers specialty doctor) eg DM in Cardiology, Neurology, Nephrology, Gastro-enterology etc. For surgical sub specialties the degree awarded is MCh, eg MCh (Cardiac Surgery), MCh (Neurosurgery) etc. The DM or MCh degrees are considered equivalent to the Fellowship training offered in the US and are considered as post-doctoral degrees in India, similar to the PhD in India. Once a doctor gains a specialized degree, He / She would further practice in a super specialty hospital.
DNB- Diplomate of National Board
The Diplomate of National board or DNB is the title provided by the National Board of Examinations. It is usually noted as DNB after the name of the individual who has been conferred it. The National Board of examinations is governed by the educational arm of the Health ministry of India. DNB degree was introduced by the Health Ministry in 1975 to provide bench mark standards for higher education in India and to meet global standards.
There are also several diploma and other short-term CME programs for doctor, programs that help them in skills development and knowledge up gradation to new international norms and guidelines.
Considering the population of India, the doctor patient ratio difference is much higher, though India is country where the maximum number of medical students graduate every year, brain drain is one of the major reasons why we have such huge difference in the doctor patient ratio. Doctors migrate to other developed in pursuance of better opportunities.
Slowly but steadily, India too is catching up to the international level and with emergence of many corporate hospital would help retain those highly qualified specialist doctor with in India.