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MBBS Course Structure and Curriculum

MBBS is the abbreviated form of the graduate degree program Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. It is one of the most sought-after professional degrees by students all over the world. A degree in medicine gives the prefix ‘Dr’ to an individual’s name and opens up a vast range of job opportunities. They can work with government or autonomous health establishments or even venture into private practice.

However, earning a degree in medicine is no cakewalk. It is one of the most challenging courses in higher studies in science. It requires endless hours of dedicated learning and significant effort to become a doctor. Apart from the theoretical knowledge and practical experience, the individual should have good communication and patient care skills to make a mark in the field. Let’s take a detailed look at the MBBS course structure and its curriculum.

MBBS Course Duration and Structure in Different Countries

As we know, MBBS is an undergraduate degree program in the field of medicine. The course duration and structure of MBBS changes according to the country you choose to do the course. It generally varies from four to seven years. The course duration of MBBS in countries like Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, China, and such, is of six years. It takes five years to complete MBBS in Kazakhstan.

The course duration of MBBS in Russia is six years for people who opt to study in English medium while it is seven years for those in Russian medium. The Doctor of Medicine degree (equivalent to MBBS in other countries) in the Philippines extends to five and a half years. The undergraduate course in medical science is of four years’ duration in Guyana. In Australia, the course duration varies from four to seven years, depending on the university you prefer to study.

The course structure of MBBS in India is formulated by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The total course duration of MBBS in India is five and a half years. This includes four and a half years of academics followed by a mandatory internship in clinical practice for one year. The academic course structure is divided into nine semesters.

The Subjects Covered in MBBS

The students enrolling for an MBBS course gain academic knowledge of human anatomy, cytology, pathology, pharmaceuticals, drugs formulations and its effect on the human body, through theoretical and practical experiences. Although the core curriculum is similar, the subjects in MBBS slightly differ according to the country and universities within the country. The MBBS course curriculum can broadly be divided into three categories – pre-clinical, para-clinical, and clinical studies.

  • Preclinical – The first two semesters come under the pre-clinical phase of the MBBS course. During this period, the course focuses on subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology. The student gets introduced to subjects like Community Medicine and Humanities.
  • Paraclinical – The para-clinical subjects are taught from the third to the fifth semester. It includes subjects like Forensic Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, and so on. The phase also includes a detailed study into Community Medicine and Toxicology.
  • Clinical – It starts from the sixth semester and continues until the ninth semester. Students are taught about Obstetrics and Gynecology, medicine and surgery, and the allied specialties of both. The subjects in medicine include General Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radio-diagnosis, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary Medicine, and more. The surgical training will focus on subjects like General Surgery, Orthopedics, ENT, Anesthesia, Physiotherapy, and Rehabilitation, and such.

Internship in MBBS

The internship program for MBBS is known as the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI). It is also called as House Surgency in MBBS curriculum. It refers to the one-year compulsory internship for the MBBS students during the final phase of the course in a hospital attached to the medical institution, or an approved hospital where an internship is allowed. In this phase, the student will undergo practical training in various departments of the hospital on a rotation basis. They will get practical experience in Casualty, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgical Procedures, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Medicine, ENT, Community Medicine, and more.

What are the post MBBS options?

The Post Graduation studies in MBBS are classified into Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Surgery (MS). The candidate has to clear NEET-PG (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for Medical Postgraduate Courses – MD/MS/Diploma) after MBBS to get admission in PG/PG diploma courses in medicine or surgery. The doctor is called a surgeon after MS while they are referred to as physician after completion of the MD course.

There are various specialization options possible in post-graduate studies of medicine. The PG specializations in MBBS include Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Internal Medicine and Plastic Surgery, to name a few.  The duration of the course is three years. After MBBS, students can go for diploma courses in various subjects like Health Education, Clinical Pathology, Occupational Health, and so on.

For people who want to enter into alternative career options after MBBS, they can go for specific courses that suit their interests. For example, some students opt for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and build a career in hospital management.

Super-Specializations After MBBS

It is the age of super-specialty hospitals and doctors with specialization have higher career growth prospects. These days, people tend to consult a specialist doctor instead of a general physician.  The course structure of super specialty specialization differs as per the institute.

A super-specialty degree in Medicine is called Doctorate of Medicine (D.M), and surgical super specialty degree is called as Master of Chirurgiae (MCH). Some of the common super-specialization courses are Cardio-Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Neuro-Medicine, Pediatric Surgery, Microsurgery, Aviation Medicine, and Gastro Surgery to name a few.

Winding up

A career in medicine is considered to be a service to the society. Hence, it’s a noble way to make a living. A doctor is looked upon with high respect in the society. Thus, a degree in medicine is the first step to building a career of high recognition and fame along with financial security.

The details mentioned above of the MBBS course curriculum are written on a general note, and it varies as per the institute one prefers to study. No matter where you study MBBS, a student in medicine should possess certain skills like mental alertness, compassion, empathy, stamina, authenticity, and so on, to build a successful career.

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