Medical college (India)

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In India, Medical College refers to 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 Schools as used in the USA and some other countries.


Indian law requires these type of institutions to be recognized by the Medical Council of India.[1] The Indian government keeps an updated list of these approved medical colleges.[2]


Medical colleges in India are owned, funded and administered by one of the three following sources, each having distinct admission processes:

  1. The Government of India
  2. State Governments
  3. Private Organisations


Undergraduate courses

Prospective students for an undergraduate course leading towards a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree must have completed a HSC (10+2, or high school) with the Science stream, including the subjects Biology, Chemistry and Physics with at least 50% marks.

Graduate courses

An MBBS degree with registration in the Medical Council of India is the basic requirement for all graduate courses in the field of medicine and surgery. In India, these courses are often referred to as Post-graduate courses as MBBS is considered to be a "graduate degree" (although equivalent to the western "undergraduate degree"). In India, students skip the four year degree, as in the US, (aka the Bachelors degree) with two intensive years of high school coursework (grades 11-12) and immediately start at medical school. High school graduates in India are usually better prepared in their skills in science than their counterparts in the US (however, in the US, after high school nearly all American students receive 4 additional years of science and non-science education at a University to receive a Bachelor's degree), and their education in India is generally very focused or technical in nature rather than the broad liberal model seen in the US.

Admission process

Admission criteria differ from one part of the country to another and even from Institution to Institution. In general, admission is based on one of the following:
1. Rank obtained in an entrance examination conducted by the state/central government or the Institution.
2. Marks obtained in the final examinations of Std. XII.

For post graduate courses, rank obtained in an entrance examination forms the basis for admission. Specific institutions may also require a personal interview of the candidate.

The Government of India has 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 against 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 last date of submission of application is usually the 28th February of the corresponding year. An international student must have completed 12 years of schooling. International students studying in schools in India can apply pending the declaration of their Higher Secondary (10+2) or equivalent examination results. The marks sheet of the examination should be sent within 10 days from the declaration of the result to: Students Cell, Room No. 1009, Ministry of External Affairs, Akbar Bhavan, New Delhi. International students can seek university admission to undergraduate courses in Engineering, Medicine (MBBS) and Dentistry (BDS) in private colleges.

Courses offered

A Medical College offers the basic undergraduate course MBBS. In fact only institutions offering MBBS course in its curriculum are referred to as a Medical Colleges. In Addition, the college may teach Post Graduate as well as Paramedical courses

The MBBS course starts with the basic non 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. The curriculum aims to inculcate good habits of history taking and examination. The student is taught to arrive at a differential diagnosis and to determine what investigations will be useful in a particular case.

Postgraduate courses

All the major colleges also have Postgraduate Degree or Diploma courses in their programmes. The awards conferred are Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Surgery (MS) or Diplomate of National Board (DNB)). The MD/ MS degrees are offered by the Universities affliated 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, Radio-diagnosis, Radiotherapy, ENT, Ophthalmology, Anesthesia, Pediatrics, Community medicine, Pathology, Microbiology, Forensic medicine, Pharmacology, Anatomy, etc. Degree courses are of 3 years duration while diploma courses are of 2 years duration. Following post-graduation, students can opt for further sub-specialization in their area of interest by opting for courses called DM or DNB (Doctor of Medicine), or MCh or DNB (Master of Chirurgiae/ Surgery) again of 3 years duration.

An MD or a DNB (general medicine or paediatrics) is the basic requirement for specialization in Cardiology, Nephrology, Neonatology, Gastro-enterology, Neurology, 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.

Although Family welfare is an area of priority, surprisingly no institute offers a Post Graduate Degree in Family Medicine and only a few Institutes offer a Diploma in Family Medicine. Post-doctoral fellowship courses in Neuro-radiology, Neuro or Cardiac anesthesiology, etc are offered by select institutions.

Paramedical courses

The paramedical courses include

  1. B.Sc Nursing
  2. B.Sc Medical Lab Technology
  3. B.Pharm
  4. B.P.T (Physiotherapy)

and many more.


The duration of MBBS is five and half years, consisting of 4½ years of didactic lectures and clinical observership and one year of hands-on work as an intern or house surgeon.

I (First) MBBS

The pre-clinical course consists of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, and 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. All such candidates together form an "Additional Batch". The Additional Batch is never reunited with the original batch and for the remaining tenure these students are isolated from their parent batch and carry a personal stigma. This is considered a major drawback of the Indian medical education system.

II (Second) MBBS

Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology and Forensic Medicine for one and half years. After clearing all the 4 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.

III (Final) MBBS - Part I

Part I consists of one year, where Social and Preventive Medicine (Community Medicine), ENT and Ophthalmology form the course subjects. The lecture classes of these subjects will be in the afternoon. ENT and Ophthalmology Wards will be in the morning and will form part of the clinical studies.

III (Final) MBBS - Part II

One year of focused training in the basic clinical subjects, namely, Medicine, Surgery, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology. On passing the final MBBS examination, a candidate is awarded provisional registration by the MCI or 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 completion of Compulsory Rotatory Resident Internship (or CRRI or House Surgeoncy).


After successful completion of 4 1/2 year MBBS course, one has to compulsorily work in the hospital attached to the medical college for a period of one year. This posting is called the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship or the House Surgeoncy. The student gets the degree only after satisfactory completion of the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship. An Intern (also called as an Internee or a CRRI or a House Surgeon) is posted in all the clinical departments of the hospital on a rotation basis. This imparts him 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. He/ 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 licenced to practice medicine only after completion of this internship. And only after finishing internship, one can pursue Post Graduation studies.

Postgraduate courses

Subject Degree Diploma
Anaesthesia MD/DNB DA
Anatomy MD/DNB Not Applicable
Biochemistry MD/DNB Not Applicable
Community Medicine MD/DNB Not Applicable
Dermatology MD/DNB DDVL
Forensic Medicine MD/DNB Not applicable
General Medicine MD/DNB Not applicable
General Surgery MS/DNB Not applicable
Microbiology MD/DNB Not applicable
Orthopedics MS/DNB D Ortho
Ophthalmology MD/DNB DO
Obs & Gyencology MD/DNB DGO
Pathology MD/DNB DCP
Pharmacology MD/DNB Not applicable
Physiology MD/DNB Not applicable
Pediatrics MD/DNB DCH
Psychiatry MD/DNB DPM
Pulmonology MD/DNB DTCD
Radiodiagnosis MD/DNB DMRD
Radiotherapy MD/DNB DMRT

Ranking of medical colleges

There is no centralized system of ranking medical colleges in the country, that is approved by either the central government or the Medical Council of India. A number of newspapers and magazines have conducted surveys in the past, ranking the various colleges on the basis of their facilities, patient load, placements achieved by their alumni and so on. While a number of institutions that are controlled or aided by the Central/ State governments have achieved a sort of Ivy League status (in India), a few privately run institutions also find mention in most of these lists.

As per the Doctor NDTV Survey (2007), the ranking of the Medical Colleges in India is as follows (though other surveys may give other ranks):

  1. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi (Central Govt.)
  2. Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore (Pvt.)
  3. Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune (Ministry of Defence)
  4. Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry (Central Govt.)
  5. Madras Medical College (MMC), Chennai (State Govt.)
  6. St. John's Medical College, Bangalore (Pvt.)
  7. Kasturba Medical College, Manipal (Pvt.)
  8. Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), Delhi (State Govt.)
  9. Stanley Medical College, Chennai (State Govt.)
  10. Grant Medical College, Mumbai

However, for the Surgical branches, the four Municipal/ Government colleges in Mumbai are also preferred. These include G.S. Medical College, TN Medical College, L.T. Medical College and Grant Medical College.


See also

External links

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