What percent of MBBS doctors fail to do PG (MD/MS) in India?
- Dr.Devpriyo Pal
A large percentage.
A significant percentage.
A shameful percentage.
Let’s look at the number of post graduation seats. The data is from 2017/2018 but I’ve assumed a 10% increment.
Total number of MD+MS+Diploma seats in India: somewhere in the ballpark of 30, 000.
This includes all Government and Private medical colleges.
Total number of MD+MS+Diploma Government seats: comes to around 20,000.
Total DNB seats - Around 2300.
Now let’s take a look at the number of people trying to get into these seats.
2017: 1.16 lakh
2018: 1.26 lakh
2019: 1.48 lakh
So, in 2019, of the 1.5 lakh people who are appearing for the exam, only only 32k will get a PG seat and only 20k will get it in a government medical college.
Furthermore, within these 32k around half the departments are not mainstream clinical departments that people want to take up. Understand this, I am not insulting or undermining the importance of any department. I am merely stating a fact - that people have always preferred certain clinical branches over others.
These preferred clinical branches close out before 16,000 ranks.
And most importantly, the increment in the MBBS seats are more than the increment in PG seats. Much more. So this situation is going farther and farther away from UG-PG equalisation. It is becoming tougher and tougher with every passing year.
So, What do you think?
I think it’s terrible and the future is dark and dreary for the young doctors.
I blame the government. Not the population or the competition. It has undoubtedly aggravated the problem but it didn’t cause it.
The government has completely emasculated the MBBS degree by ensuring there is no proper system in place.
Making this 65% work will not only help the doctors, it will also decrease the out of pocket expenditure for patients.
Anwyay, give me one reason why a patient would go to an MBBS doctor if they had other options.
You can’t, can you? Because there isn’t one.
People in India can directly go to a cardiologist or a neurosurgeon. They do not need to be referred based on medical indications. This system undermines the very existence of MBBS.
An MBBs graduate is more than capable of treating common ailments and it is in his job description to identify something that needs a more detailed assessment and refer the case to a specialist. This job, however, is done (quite incorrectly in most cases) by the patients themselves (aided undoubtedly by Google) which, as I said before, makes a person with an MBBS degree…what exactly?
On one hand, the government is allowing around 30–35% MBBS doctors to specialise and on the other hand they are rendering the remaining 65-70% virtually useless.
65–70 percent. Let that sink in.
The only place where a fresh MBBS doctor enjoys respect and gets patients are places where there aren’t specialists around.
Our previous generation was lucky. Experience still counts for something and they made a name for themselves as a good MBBS doctor before the shit hit the fan and now possess a good clinical practice but new MBBS graduates have their work cut out for them.
In a city, what options does an MBBS doctor have?
Working as a House-staff or non-academic JR in a government hospital - good for clinical experience but not sustainable.
Working as an RMO in a private hospital - good money and nice clean place to work at but not sustainable because after a point you start feeling resentful about the fact thaf you’re merely following orders and not doing anything independently. The fact that your career and learning are both devoid of a upward curve doesn’t help either. Remember, those who work as RMO for years don’t do it because they LOVE it.
Private practice - Good luck getting patients in a place where there are 10 endocrinologists, cardiologists and Pediatric surgeons in a 5 km radius.
Government service: This can land you anywhere in a hilly or tribal areas where you have to work in a set-up with severe limitations in terms of supplies, personnel and infrastructure, no security, terrible residential quarters and several hundred kilometers away from a tier 1 city.
Medical education is no longer a 6 year course. The MBBS degree has been reduced to a Pause in the medical education. The final exam has been reduced to a mid-term exam of sorts.
It is at least a 9 year course (UG+PG) with a devastating exam in the 6th year which screens more students.
So, I’ll say this. If you choose to become a doctor in India, know this -
Yes, it is still better to be an average doctor than an average engineer.
You’ll always have enough work and money to feed a family of 3–4 people and live comfortably.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll specialise quickly or even at all. The numbers above prove it.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be happy with the work you end up doing. It can be quite different that what you dreamt of when you imagined yourself as a doctor.
There’s a chance that you’ll be beaten up if you start working in sub-urban and rural areas.
Being a doctor is no longer synonymous with 100% job satisfaction.