Career in Medicine – Top Medical Specializations in India

After Engineering, Medicine is the most popular career choice among the students. But, beyond MBBS, do you know which other medical specializations and super specializations are available in India? Let’s find out!

Created On: Sep 17, 2018 18:37 IST
Modified On: Jan 16, 2020 12:54 IST
Career in Medicine – Top Medical Specializations in India
Career in Medicine – Top Medical Specializations in India

The medical field is known as one of the most respectable career options in this country. Doctors are recognised and upheld in every culture, religion, and economic setup. This profession not only gains appreciation due to the financial stability it offers but also due to the fact that doctors dedicate their lives to improve healthcare in government hospitals and rural areas for a bare minimum compensation.

You can pursue MBBS by appearing for the AIIMS entrance exam for admission to various AIIMS colleges, especially AIIMS Delhi. For admission to various other government medical colleges like Christian Medical College Vellore, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, you must appear for NEET.

NEET is an extremely popular entrance exam amongst medical aspirants and doctors since it opens gateways to a large number of medical colleges across the country. In fact, over 13 lakh students had appeared for NEET 2018 in May 2018. However, there are only 60,000 seats in India for MBBS courses. This is an overall flowchart of career options available for a medical aspirant:

Career in Medicine – Top Medical Specializations in India


As the population increases, the requirement for better healthcare and highly trained doctors gradually increases. Which is why, many MBBS aspirants aim to pursue a specialisation and even a super specialisation in fields of their choice.

Here are some options after a recognised MBBS degree:

Specialisation degrees:

To be eligible for admission in a specialisation degree like Post graduate diploma, MD, or MS, you require a NEET PG, AIIMS, JIPMER, PGI Chandigarh or a valid state CET score. To pursue a DNB degree, you require a DNB CET score. Let’s have a look at each of these courses.

1. Post graduate diploma: If you wish to complete your specialisation in two years after graduating with an MBBS degree, you can pursue a Postgraduate Diploma, recognised by the Medical Council of India. You can pursue several fields like radiology, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, diabetology, etc. Some of them are:

  1. PGD in Anesthesia: You will learn about various types of anaesthesia like general and local Anesthesia, dosage and the application of Anesthetics.
  2. PGD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: This course involves the study of female reproductive organs while pregnant, or otherwise.
  3. PGD in Child Health: This course will prepare you to provide nursing care to infants, children, and adolescents at primary and secondary level.

2. MD - Doctor of Medicine: MD is a postgraduate degree which deals with fields that do not require surgical skills. However, there are some exceptions. This is a 3 year program. There are several fields that you can pursue. Some of them are:

  1. MD - General Medicine: This course deals with the prevention, detection, and treatment of common medical illnesses, rare diseases, advances, and technologies in medicine. You will also manage medical emergencies, and carry out research.
  2. MD - Pediatrics: This course focuses on medical conditions affecting babies, children, and young people. You will learn about neonatal, neurology, and nutrition amongst children. You will also learn about disorders and vaccine preventable diseases.
  3. MD - Radiodiagnosis: This course focuses on the use of radiation, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance for diagnostic, therapeutic, and research in medicine. You will study about Cardiovascular Radiology, Neuroradiology, and Mammography, among other forms of radiology.
  4. MD - Pathology: This course is the study and diagnosis of diseases by examining organs, tissues, fluids, and whole bodies. They generally work with other doctors, scientists, and health professionals in hospitals and clinics to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases.
  5. MD - Microbiology: This course deals with the study of organisms and infectious agents that cannot be seen with the naked eye. You will study the interactions of microorganisms with humans and other organisms that exist and affect our lives.

3. MS - Master of Surgery: MS is a postgraduate degree that deals with fields which require surgical skills. The only Non-Clinical Branch with an MS degree is Anatomy. Clinical Branches for MS are- General Surgery, ENT, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and gynecology. This is a three year long course. There are several fields that you can pursue. Some of them are:

  1. MS - General Surgery: This course deals with the surgical treatment of abdominal organs like stomach, intestines, gallbladder, liver, etc. You will also operate patients with appendicitis and hernia.
  2. MS - Ophthalmology: This program deals with the anatomy, physiology, and diseases of the eye. You will be a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems.
  3. MS - Orthopaedics: This program deals with disorders in the musculoskeletal system. These disorders can be acute, chronic, traumatic, or simply overuse injuries. They address disorders like arthritis and congenital deformities.
  4. MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Obstetrics and Gynecology are the two surgical–medical specialties. Like the PGD in ObGyn, this course also deals with with the female reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant state. The difference being, that an MS is much more in-depth than a PG diploma.
  5. MS- ENT: This course deals with the treatment and diagnosis of diseases and disorders about the ear, nose, and throat. You will learn about various aspects like the larynx, using radiology in ENT, and the skull base.

4. DNB - Diplomate of National Board (Specialization): This degree is awarded by the National Board of Examinations under the Union Ministry of Health, India. DNB candidates are trained at high end private hospitals, while the MD/MS candidates are trained at Medical Colleges. Admissions to this course are based on your DNB-CET score. DNB residency positions are available fields like anaesthesiology, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, radiodiagnosis and radiotherapy, physiology, and many more.

Super Specialisation degrees:

For a DM or M.Ch. degree, you require a NEET SS, AIIMS PG, JIPMER, or PGIMER score. For a DNB SS degree, you need a DNB CET SS score.

1. DM - Doctor of Medicine: This is a Super Specialty Degree which you can pursue after completing MD. This is a three year program. There are several fields that you can pursue. Some of them are:

  1. DM - Cardiology: This program deals with disorders of the heart. You will learn how to treat congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and electrophysiology.
  2. DM - Neurology: This program deals with disorders in the nervous system. More specifically, it deals with the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system.
  3. DM - Nephrology: In simple terms, Nephrologists are kidney doctors. They diagnose and treat diseases and disorders related to kidneys. This is a three year course which deals with topics like renal failure and dialysis.

2. M.Ch - Master of Chirurgical: This is a super speciality degree which you can pursue after completing MS. This is a three year course. There are several fields that you can pursue. Some of them are:

  1. M.Ch. - Neurosurgery: This course deals with the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of disorders that affect any part of the nervous system. These disorders largely affect the spinal cord, brain, and the peripheral nerves.
  2. M.Ch. - Plastic Surgery: This course deals with the correction of the human form. This course includes various types of surgeries like microsurgery, hand surgery, reconstructive surgery and treatment of burns.
  3. M.Ch. - Urology: This course focuses on the issues related to urinary tracts of both men and women. It also deals with diseases and issues in the male reproductive system. The course also addresses UTIs and sexually transmitted diseases, along with paediatric urology.

3. DNB - Diplomate of National Board (Super Specialization): For a DNB Super Specialization degree, you must give the DNB CET SS exam. You can pursue medical or surgical super specialisations. Courses like Cardiac Anaesthesia, Neurology, Cardiology, and Neonatology fall under Medical Super Specializations. Courses like Neurosurgery, Paediatric Surgery, and Plastic Surgery fall under Surgical Super Specializations. You can pursue some of these Super Specializations directly after your MBBS as 6 year courses.

About the Author:


Manish Kumar graduated from IIT Bombay in 2006 with a degree in Metallurgical and Materials Science. He then pursued masters in Materials Science Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Post his graduation, he joined Indian School Finance Company, where he was part of the core team responsible for business strategies and growth. In 2013, he co-founded SEED Schools, a venture focused on improving quality of low-cost K-12 education in India with a vision to make quality education accessible. He is currently Vice President of Product - Learning & Pedagogy at

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