Medical college in India

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In India, a medical college is an educational institution that provides medical education. These institutions may vary from stand-alone colleges that train doctors to conglomerates that offer training related in all aspects of medical care. The term is synonymous with "medical school" as used in the US and some other countries. MBBS is a degree in Modern Scientific Medicine established by Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and continued in National Medical Commission Act 2019. After MBBS, they register with state medical councils .


Indian law requires these institutions to be recognized by the Medical Council of India.[1] The Indian government keeps an updated list of these approved medical colleges.[2] Many Persons without MBBS degrees practice like doctors in India. They are called quacks. Quacks are punishable with imprisonment of up to 1 year under section 15 of Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and section 34 of National Medical Commission Act 2019.[citation needed]


Admissions to courses in Medical Colleges of India have been streamlined in the last few years. There criteria vary from one country to other. For example, applicants should be undergraduates when they apply to American universities while they pursue bachelor's degrees when they apply to China medical colleges.[citation needed] The whole admission process is under a major reform with ongoing court cases from parties against it. In general, admission was based on one of the following:

  1. Marks obtained in the competitive examinations conducted at central level (NEET)
  2. Minimum 50 %(for general category) Marks obtained in PCB(P stands for physics,C stands for chemistry and B stands for biology) in the final examinations of Std. XII.
  3. Donation/Management based seats.

Similarly for Post-graduate degrees and diplomas (residencies) the competitive examinations conducted at central (NEET) level forms the basis for admission or donation based seats. Specific institutions may also require a personal interview of the candidate but this is more in cases of sub-specialty courses.

These donation based seats have come under heavy criticism because this makes effectively India the only country that authorises, as official policy, the sale of medical seats by private medical colleges, implicitly accepting the principle that the ability to pay, and not merit, is what counts. These illegal capitation fees range from Rs.50 lakh to Rs.1 crore for a MBBS seat.For any medical seat a student from general category should minimum have scored 50 percentile in NEET UG to get seat in UG courses.[3] But medical colleges in states like Kerala, require minimum marks / ranks in their respective competitive entrance exams even for the management seats.

In order to reduce stress of multiple examinations and ensuring minimum competence and importantly with the purpose to weed out corruption in medical education across the country NEET-UG and NEET-PG were first proposed in the Vision 2015 by Board of Governors (BOGs) appointed after by Government of India after dissolution of MCI.NEET examination is a single window for entry into a medical college.[4] Although specifics of implemented NEET for UG and PG courses are different from what was proposed in Vision 2015 document, it has essentially maintained its core purpose.


NEET-UG (Undergraduate), for MBBS admission 2020-21 India & Abroad and BDS courses, was conducted in 2013 by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). NEET-UG replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges themselves. However, many colleges and institutes took a stay order and conducted private examinations for admission to their MBBS and BDS courses. Nevertheless, many other reputed institutes such as the Armed Forces Medical College and Banaras Hindu University have opted to admit students on the basis of the NEET-UG. The first exam was held on 5 May 2013,[5] and the results were announced on 5 June 2013.[6] In India, there is a huge competition to qualify for an MBBS seat. In NEET-UG 2013, among the registered candidates, a total of 7,17,127[clarification needed] candidates were eligible to appear in the NEET-UG, 2013, out of which 6,58,040[clarification needed] candidates appeared in the test and 3,66,317[clarification needed] candidates qualified the test for 31,000 seats. This makes a 4.71% appearing the exam to securing a seat success rate.[7][8]

On 18 July 2013 the Indian Supreme Court struck down the NEET exam with a 2:1 decision. The Medical Council of India has appealed for a review in August 2013, in may of 2016 supreme court of India cancelled all medical exams and NEET(UG) and NEET(PG) becomes an only way to get admission in almost all medical colleges of India. From 2019 NEET Examinations are conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).


Similarly for Post graduation courses (residencies), the NEET(PG) is the single eligibility cum entrance examination for MD/MS and post-graduate diploma courses. This effectively replaced the existing AIPGMEE and similar state level exams for entry into post-graduate courses. The first NEET(PG) was conducted by the National Board of Examinations from 23 November – 6 December 2012, which was referred to as the testing window (with 24th, 25th, 28 November and 2 December as non-testing days). The test was a computer-based test unlike the traditional paper and pen based test AIIMS had been conducting over years for admission to 50% all India quota Post graduate courses in the country. In all, 90,377 candidates took the exam.[9]

Foreign nationals[edit]

Apart from non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin (NRI) quotas in different government as well as private colleges, Government of India has also allocated a number of seats for students from developing countries where facilities for medical education are either inadequate. The exact number and country-based allocation of these reserved seats may vary annually.

Students seeking admission to the reserved seats are required to apply through the Indian missions abroad or through the diplomatic missions of the respective countries in India. The Indian Embassy or High Commission in a country will be able to provide more information on request. The requirement for an entrance is usually waived for such sponsored candidates.[10][11]

Its important to note that foreign nationals wishing to take seats through NRI quota should still qualify through NEET (at least for all government colleges) and seats will be allotted on merit in that quota from all the NRI candidates eligible.[12] The fee structure for NRI candidates is also different.

Courses offered[edit]

MBBS undergraduate course[edit]

A medical college offers graduate degree Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). Only institutions offering MBBS course in its curriculum are referred to as a Medical Colleges.[13] The college may teach Post Graduate as well as Paramedical courses. The admission to government MBBS programs is highly competitive.

The MBBS course starts with the basic pre and para-clinical subjects such as biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, pathology and pharmacology. The students simultaneously obtain hands-on training in the wards and out-patient departments, where they interact with real patients for five long years. The curriculum aims to inculcate standard protocols of history taking, examination, differential diagnosis and Complete patient Management. The student is taught to determine what investigations will be useful for a patient and what are the best treatment options. The curriculum also contains a thorough practical knowledge and practice of performing standard clinical procedures. The course also contains a 12-month-long internship, in which an intern is rotated across various specialties. Besides standard clinical care, one also gets a thorough experience of ward management, staff management and thorough counselling skills.

The degree awarded is "Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery". The minimum requirements for the MBBS course are 50% marks in physics, chemistry, biology and English in the '10+2' examinations. For reserved category students the requirement is 40%. MBBS admissions are not centralised. The admission requirements differ across universities. Generally, students who attain higher marks in the qualifying examinations and in the Medical Entrance examinations conducted by various agencies are accepted onto the MBBS course.

Entrance examinations were conducted by the following agencies and abolished in 2019:

  • AIIMS Entrance Exams – All India Institute of Medical Science
  • NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) - National Testing Agency
  • JIPMER Entrance Exams – Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research

Postgraduate courses[edit]

All the major colleges also have Postgraduate Degree or Diploma courses in their programmes. The awards conferred are Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D Medical) Master of Surgery (MS) Master of Science (M.Sc Medical) or Diplomate of National Board (DNB)). The MD/MS degrees are offered by the universities affiliated to the Medical Council of India and the DNB degree is awarded by the National Board of Examinations, an independent autonomous body under the Ministry of Health, India. They are available in different streams of medical science such as General medicine, General surgery, Orthopaedics, Radiodiagnosis, Radiotherapy, ENT, Obstetrics and gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Anaesthesia, Paediatrics, Community medicine, Pathology, Microbiology, Forensic medicine, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Physiology etc. Degree courses are of 3 years duration while diploma courses are of 2 years duration. Following post-graduation, students can opt for further super-specialization in their area of interest by opting for courses called DM or DNB (Doctorate of Medicine), or MCh or DNB (Master of Chirurgery/Surgery) again of three years duration.

An MD or a DNB (general medicine or paediatrics) is the basic requirement for specialisation in Cardiology, Nephrology, Neonatology, Gastro-enterology, Neurology except for Clinical Hematology (Pathology or general medicine), etc., while an MS or a DNB (general surgery, ENT or Orthopaedic surgery) is the basic requirement for Neurosurgery, Urology, Cardio-thoracic & Vascular Surgery, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Paediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, etc.

Family medicine has now become an area of priority in India, and many teaching hospitals offer DNB (Family Medicine).

Post-doctoral fellowship courses in Neuro-radiology, Neuro or Cardiac anesthesiology, etc. are offered by select institutions.

List of states by number of medical colleges (2020)[edit]

S.No State/Union Territory Number of Colleges offering MBBS[14] State-run Colleges Private Colleges Govt. college seats Private College Seats Total no. of seats
1 Andhra Pradesh 27 12 15 1900 1900 3800
2 Assam 6 6 0 900 0 900
3 Bihar 11 7 4 540 369 909
4 Chandigarh 1 1 0 150 0 150
5 Chhattisgarh 9 6 3 500 300 800
6 Delhi 7 7 2 800 200 1000
7 Goa 1 1 0 150 0 150
8 Gujarat 22 9 13 1530 1400 2930
9 Haryana 6 2 4 600 1400 2000
10 Himachal Pradesh 6 6 1 720 0 720
11 Jammu and Kashmir 4 3 1 400
12 Jharkhand 3 3 0 250 0 250
13 Karnataka 43 11 32 1350 4655 6005
14 Kerala 24 6 18 1000 1850 2850
15 Madhya Pradesh 11 5 6 760 900 1560
16 Maharashtra 43 19 24 2200 2995 5195
17 Manipur 2 2 0 200 0 200
18 Mizoram 1 1 0 100 0 100
19 Odisha 11 7 4 1050 350 1400
12 Puducherry 9 2 7 225 900 1125
21 Punjab 7 3 6 350 645 995
22 Rajasthan 10 7 3 900 400 1300
23 Sikkim 1 0 1 0 100 100
24 Tamil Nadu 42 19 20 2205 2850 5055
25 Telangana 24 7 17 1050 2500 3050
26 Tripura 2 1 1 100 100 200
27 Uttar Pradesh 27 12 15 1449 1800 3249
28 Uttarakhand 4 2 2 200 250 450
29 West Bengal 14 13 2 1650 300 1950
SI South India 154 52 102 6830 13705 20535
WI West India 77 34 43 4540 5295 9835
NI North India 70 37 33 4499 3745 8244
EI East India 47 37 10 4116 1010 5026
T Total 348 160 188 19985 23755 43640

Other health care courses in India[edit]

They include

  1. Pharm D, Doctor of Pharmacy
  2. B.A.M.S., Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery followed by M.D.
  3. B.H.M.S., Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine & Surgery followed by M.D.
  4. B.N.Y.S., Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences followed by M.D.[15]
  5. B.S.M.S., Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery followed by M.D.
  6. B.U.M.S., Bachelor of Unani Medine and Surgery followed by M.D.

Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha Homeopathy are collectively called as AYUSH – Alternative medicine.

  1. M.Sc Medical , Ph.D Medical.[16]
  2. BSc, MSc Nursing
  3. BSc Medical Lab Technology
  4. B.Pharm, M.Pharm., PhD
  5. B.P.T, M.P.T, PhD (Physiotherapy)
  6. B.D., M.D.S (Dental Surgery)
  7. [B.O.T] (Occupational Therapy)
  8. BSc [Speech Therapy]
  9. Bsc [Neurology]


Professionals holding Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Science (BNYS), Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS), Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS), Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) or Bachelor of Electro-homeopathy Medicine and Surgery (BEMS) degrees are referred to by the title of "Doctor" and use the prefix "Dr".[citation needed]

I (First) MBBS[edit]

The pre-clinical course consists of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, and these are the basic subjects of medical students and it lasts for a year. Prior to 1997 the I MBBS consisted of 1½ years, but this was trimmed to make more time available for clinical exposure. Passing the I MBBS final examination is mandatory to proceed with the course. A candidate failing the first MBBS examination is detained until all the 1st MBBS subjects are cleared. However the MCI has changed this in regulations on graduate medical education 2012. In many universities if one does not clear a subject that student will get into an intermediate batch. It is a severe drawback. Morning session usually consist of an Anatomy lecture followed by dissection, except for one day when a class in biostatistics may be taken. Afternoon sessions consist of a theory class followed by laboratory work in Physiology or Biochemistry or it may be histology branch of anatomy.

II (Second) MBBS[edit]

Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, and Forensic Medicine for one and half years. After clearing all the four subjects a student advances to III MBBS. The lecture classes and lab work of these subjects are usually held in the afternoons to enable students to attend the clinical wards and out patient departments in the mornings. These are followed by Short postings (15days duration) in Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Forensic medicine, Skin & Leprosy,& Respiratory medicine & TB. This may be followed directly by major postings or a clinical posting in Community Medicine may intervene.

III (Final) MBBS – Part I[edit]

Part I consists of one year, where Social and Preventive Medicine (Community Medicine), Ear Nose and Throat and Ophthalmology form the core subjects.

III (Final) MBBS – Part II[edit]

One year of focused training in the four basic clinical subjects, namely: Medicine, Surgery (incl. Orthopaedics), Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology. On passing the final MBBS examination, a candidate is awarded provisional registration by the MCI or the State medical council and can start the internship. Permanent registration (license to practice) and the final Medical degree (i.e., MBBS) is given only after successful and satisfactory completion of the Compulsory Rotatory Resident Internship, also called the CRRI.

Internship and residency[edit]

After successful completion of the MBBS course, one has to compulsorily work in the hospital attached to the medical college or in any other approved hospital allowed in some medical colleges, for a period of one year. This posting is called the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship or the House Surgeon in Kerala/Tamil Nadu. The student gets the degree only after satisfactory completion of the CRRI. An Intern (also called an Internee or a CRRI) is posted in all the clinical departments of the hospital on a rotation basis. This gives him or her the basic clinical and practical knowledge about all the disciplines of medicine and makes the medical graduate fit to work in the community as a General Physician. The schedules of an intern is usually extremely exhaustive. For example, one may have to work for the whole night and then have to start the next day duty only after about one or two hours. This may last till the afternoon. 24-hour sleepless duty at a stretch is not uncommon and sometimes the scheduled breaks are also not allowed by the superiors. He or she is also paid a monthly stipend for his work in the hospital which differs in different medical colleges on the basis of the management. The person is licensed to practice medicine only after completion of this internship. And only after finishing internship, one can receive his MBBS degree and can pursue postgraduate studies.

The Internship is different from House Officership (which may follow Internship), as understood in UK and other countries. The latter is not a compulsory tenure. The House Physician or House Surgeon, unlike an Intern, works in a particular department of his or her choice and is paid a monthly 'salary' for his work in the hospital (especially, in the UK). The American counterpart is simply called a "Resident" (i.e., a Resident Physician or a Resident Surgeon).

Post-internship, some graduates may choose to work in different medical specialities and are often referred to as House Officers or House Physicians or House Surgeons. This is different from postgraduate training and does not lead to award of a degree. A doctor undergoing higher speciality training is referred to as a "post-graduate trainee" or simply a PGT. House Physicians, PGTs and interns are also called junior doctors across Indian hospitals. PGTs and House Officers are sometimes referred to as Junior Residents. After completion of postgraduate work, doctors may enter subspeciality training and are then known as "post-doctoral trainees" or simply PDTs. They are also called as senior residents at some institutes.

Residency work hours[edit]

The entire period of residency in India can be very demanding, both physically and psychologically. The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (Mard) had filed a compliant with the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission (MHRC) regarding resident doctors being made to work for more than 30 hours at a stretch.[17] There have been instances of doctor suicides due to stress and burnout.[18] Institutions have been criticised for lack of hygienic food supply to resident doctors and their shabby living conditions.[19]

Postgraduate specialisations[edit]

Subject Degree Diploma
Anaesthesia MD/DNB DA
Anatomy: MS/DNB/MSc(Medical) Not Applicable
Biochemistry MD/DNB/MSc(Medical) Not Applicable
Community Medicine/PSM MD/DNB DCM/DPH
Dermatology MD/DNB DDVL/DVD
Family Medicine MD/DNB Not applicable
Forensic Medicine MS/DNB DFM
General Medicine MD/DNB Not applicable
General Surgery MS/DNB Not applicable
Microbiology MD/DNB/MSc(Medical) Not applicable
Nuclear Medicine MD/DNB DRM
Orthopaedics MS/DNB D Ortho
Ophthalmology MS/DNB DO/DOMS
Obs & Gynaecology MS/DNB DGO
Palliative Medicine MD NA
Pathology MD/DNB DCP
Pharmacology MD/DNB/MSc(Medical) Not applicable
Physiology MD/DNB/MSc(Medical) Not applicable
Paediatrics MD/DNB DCH
Psychiatry MD/DNB DPM
Pulmonology MD/DNB DTCD
Radiodiagnosis MD/DNB DMRD
Radiotherapy MD/DNB DMRT
Tropical MD DTMH

Work abroad[edit]

India has been one of the most important source country of medical doctors for the advanced countries since the 1960s.[20] An estimated total of 20,315 emigrated Indian physicians and 22,786 Indian nurses were working in the OECD countries in the year 2000.[21] With 59,523 physicians of Indian origin working in the English speaking Western world (the US, UK, Australia and Canada combined) in 2004, India had become by far the single largest source of emigrated physicians in the world.[22]


  1. ^ Medical Council of India: Home Page
  3. ^ Rao, Sujatha (26 June 2013). "Doctors by merit, not privilege". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013.
  4. ^ Medical Council of India (March 2011). Prof S.K. Sarin (ed.). Vision 2015 (PDF). Medical Council of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  5. ^ "National Eligibility cum Entrance Test - NEET UG, 2013". Central Board of Secondary Education.
  6. ^ "National Eligibility cum Entrance Test - NEET UG, 2013 Results". Central Board of Secondary Education.
  7. ^ himanshu (5 June 2013). "CBSE NEET UG 2013 results announced, 3 lakh Students qualified but the irony is that the NEET UG 2013 has been quashed by supreme court bench headed by judje kabir almtas". One India. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013.
  8. ^ himanshu (6 May 2013). "Medical entrance exam NEET UG 2013 held Smoothly". One India. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013.
  9. ^ "NEET PG results out, counselling to follow". The Times of India. TNN. 18 May 2013. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013.
  10. ^ "AIIMS: Admission Guidelines". AIIMS. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  11. ^ "BHU: ADMISSION PROCEDURES". Banaras Hindu University. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  12. ^ Bhalla, Sanjeev (10 July 2013). "NRI students into Medical Colleges". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013.
  13. ^ "MBBS providers are medical colleges" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Asian Age.
  18. ^ Times Of India
  19. ^ ""Overworked" PGI resident docs seek better living conditions - Indian Express". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  20. ^ Basant Potnuru (2017). "Aggregate availability of doctors in India: 2014–2030". Indian Journal of Public Health. 61 (3): 182–187.
  21. ^ Ayona Bhattacharjee (2013). "Migration of Indian health professionals to selected European nations: The Case of Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden" (PDF). CARIM-India Research Report 2013/07. Page 10.
  22. ^ Mullan, Fitzhugh (2005). "The Metrics of the Physician Brain Drain". New England Journal of Medicine. 353 (17): 1810–1818. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa050004. PMID 16251537.

External links[edit]