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MD Vs MS: What After MBBS?

Shruti ChatterjeeUpdated On: July 19, 2022 02:23 pm IST

Want to understand the difference between MD and MS? Here are some of the pointers to keep in mind before choosing the PG medical course, viz. MD and MS. Here are the differences and the similarities between the two degrees and the career prospects after graduating from the respective courses.

MD & MS Difference

The field of medicine in India has been one of the disciplines that have had a massive following for decades. Students across India choose the discipline to pursue the programme in India, due to the impressive career opportunities and growth. However, graduating MBBS is not the last step to growing in the field. Various eminent medical colleges in India offer postgraduate courses which can be pursued after the completion of an MBBS degree, viz. MD and MS.

MD and MS have been, for decades, been the choice of postgraduate courses for MBBS graduates across. MD or Doctor of Medicine and MS or Master of Science are two different fields of becoming a doctor that any MBBS graduate can pursue. However, an MD or MS degree is pursued in different specialisations and fields of medicine.

Inevitably, both MD and MS branch out to different fields of medicine and develop into different career paths for those who graduate from the degrees. Even though an MD or MS graduate will have similar career opportunities, MS graduates usually earn a lot more than MD graduates. Here are some of the difference between MD and MS and what you should pursue after MBBS.

Why Should One Take Up a PG Course After MBBS?

In order to be successful in the Indian medical industry, it is almost mandatory for Indian doctors to pursue a PG course after completing their MBBS. The completion of MS or MD courses after MBBS also opens up many job opportunities and a substantial hike in salary. 

Demand for MS and MS Doctors

It is quite obvious that post-graduate medical candidates will have a higher demand in the healthcare sector. Patients will prefer a specialist when it comes to particular health issues. For example, a patient with skin disease will not go to see an MBBS doctor and opt for a specialist doctor with an MD degree in dermatology. Similarly, in order to be eligible for performing any kind of surgery, an MBBS graduate needs to obtain an MS degree.

Career Prospects for doctors with a Postgraduate degree

While a candidate with an MBBS degree has favourable career prospects, a doctor with specialised skills in a particular field such as Obstetrics and Gynaecology will have in-depth knowledge of the topic. An MD degree in the field of speciality enables doctors to gain optimum skills for diagnosing illnesses, provide them with greater confidence, and improves their ability to communicate. A doctor with an MD or MS degree after an MBBS course will have an upward career trajectory by working as a skilled and knowledgeable specialist or a surgeon.  

Salary of doctors post their MS or MD course

As mentioned earlier, there is a huge difference between the income of an MBBS doctor and that of a doctor with an MS or MD degree. Hence, the chances of building a satisfying career by studying for a postgraduate degree after MBBS seems to be the most viable option.


One o the major elements for choosing between MS and MD is truly understanding what either of the fields has in store for you. The first dominant difference between the degrees is the area of expertise that the degrees will train you.

Master of Surgery is a degree specialised to train you into becoming a trained and qualified professional in using tools and equipment to treat patients. A great deal of training goes into training all MS students, to save the patients from both minor and deadly diseases, alike. Nonetheless, MD or Doctor of Medicine offers training in saving patients from diseases, however, without the need of being an expert in using tools and equipment. This is the major difference between the two degrees. Although, it should be noted that there are certain areas where surgery can be a part of MD.

An MD aspirant, after the completion of his/her course, will go on to become a physician in the field he/she took an MD specialisation in, meanwhile, an MS graduate will go on to pursue a career as a surgeon.

Experts, both academic and doctors who have been working in their respective fields have stated both MD and MS garner similar career opportunities, depending on the skill and aptitude of the candidate. They claim that choice should depend on what the candidate prefers to do. However, a career path in the field of surgery results in better pay than that of a Physician.

Specialisations in MD and MS

MD and MS courses are usually done in different medical specialisations, therefore, after your MBBS, you can specialise in the areas of your interest. Here are some of the specialisations in MD and MS, which you can pursue after an MBBS.

MD Specialisations

MS Specialisations


General Surgery


Plastic Surgery



Community Medicine

Paediatric Surgery



Family Medicine


General Medicine



Cardiothoracic Surgery

Health Administration






Pulmonary Medicine


These are just some of the specialisations that are available across the medical colleges in India. The industry of medicine is an advanced industry, therefore, the number of specialisations that will be available to pursue after MBBS will be vast. Since medicine has been a course of choice for many people in India, the competition in the discipline has been high, forcing many candidates to pursue higher education in specific specialisations and super-speciality courses as well. However, to pursue a super speciality course, you must first complete one of the PG medical courses, which also includes MD or MS.

Career Prospects of MD and MS

As mentioned above, the career prospects of an MD or MS graduate are similar if not equally rewarding. Like many other professions, the skills and qualifications along with your aptitude in the area will directly affect your career growth. Both MS and MD have similar career opportunities, with both fields catering to different medical treatment procedures.

MD and MS are postgraduate courses, which means that the candidates will only be able to pursue the course after completing their MBBS. In the stream of medicine, a postgraduate course is usually pursued when medical aspirants wish to become specialists in specific areas. Therefore, regardless of the degree that you pursue under MS or MD, your career path will be defined as per the specialisation that you have chosen.

As per the statements of experts, the career path for both MD and MS depends on the skills acquired by the candidate along with their aptitude in the subject. They also claim that while a Physician cannot perform surgical treatments, a surgeon may be able to take up the profession of a physician, but with a little bit more education in medicine. Other experts and doctors state that many medical aspirants go for super-speciality courses as well, as this helps them improve due to the complications and advancements that have taken place in medicine.

MD and MS freshers can expect to earn anywhere between ₹50,000 - ₹60,000 per month. However, a lot depends on the kind of specialisation that had been chosen by the candidate along with the place of establishment where the candidate receives his/her job. Some specialisations may even allow freshers to earn near a lakh to 1.5 lakh per month. Like every other profession, the annual package along with the career growth will increase with the skill and experience that he or she gains from his job.

What’s Better - MD or MS?

The question as to which degree will be better for you depends completely on your aptitude and skills along with your interest. While choosing, one should factor in different aspects of the job. An MS graduate or surgeon will have to work with human tissue and blood, which might make some medical aspirants squeamish. If you are one of those who cannot stand the sight of blood and lacerations, then surgery is not the right option for you.

Talking to experts in the field, they stated that surgery requires one to be passionate about the field. Moreover, a great hand over the skills, knowledge and aptitude in the field is a major requirement as well. All the experts in the field state one thing - Both are equally good with good career opportunities and growth.

Therefore, the decision comes down to which course you think will suit you and whether or not you will be able to handle the sight of blood and gore and still have the ability to carry out surgical treatments with utmost discipline and skill. More importantly, you should ask yourself about the field that interests you, as MD and MS are not the only options to pursue after MBBS.

Also Read:Check out the NEET 2020 Exam Day Rules and Regulations

Course Duration and Exam Required for MD and MS

MBBS graduates who wish to pursue higher education in the field of medicine will be able to pursue a postgraduate degree in the field. The postgraduate degree, viz. MD or MS, are conducted for a duration of 3 years, in the specialisation of your choice. However, the trend these days have been to pursue a super-speciality course in Doctor of Medicine (DM) or Master of Chirurgiae (M.Ch). Pursuing these additional courses will add another 2 -3 years, depending on the speciality chosen by you.

However, like any other medical courses offered in India, all the candidates must have a valid NEET score. To pursue MD and MS courses, the candidates are required to sit for NEET-PG. All MD/MS Colleges in India take admissions based on the scores obtained by the candidate in NEET PG, therefore, it is necessary for all aspiring candidates to sit for the entrance.

Check out the list of exams for MS and/or MD degrees in India

Name of exam

Course name

Conducting Body



National Board of Examination (NBE)


MD/MS/PG Diploma

National Testing Agency (NTA)



All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)



Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER)



National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)



Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)

List of MD/MS Colleges in India

If you are interested in pursuing an MD or MS course in India, then you can check the list of MD/MS Colleges in India. You will be able to pursue, both MD or MS from the colleges that have been mentioned below.

MD/MS College in India






Armed Forces Medical College


Maulana Azad Medical College


Kasturba Medical College


Madras Medical College


Government Medical College


Government Medical College


Government Medical College


Banaras Hindu University


Also Read:Check out the List of AIIMS Colleges Located in India

As mentioned above, aspirants of the postgraduate medical programmes, MD and MS will be able to pursue their degree in different specialisations in MD or MS Colleges in India. All aspirants must go through the eligibility criteria for the MD or MS courses that are offered by the colleges, institutes or Universities. NEET-PG score is an important eligibility criterion, which should be met by all the aspiring MD and MS students.


Do MS graduates earn more than MD graduates?

Surgery is delicate work and it requires an extraordinary amount of skills to become a surgeon. When it comes to the salary of MS graduates, it is substantially higher than MD graduates. 


Is NEET PG the only exam for studying MS/MD courses?

No, there are other entrance exams along with NEET PG that students can appear to study MS/MD courses such as INI CET, AIAPGET, JIPMER PG, PGIMER PG, NIMHANS PG, and AIIMS PG.

Can an MBBS graduate doctor perform surgery?

No, although surgery is a part of the MBBS syllabus, in order to perform surgery, one needs to complete 3 years of the MS program.

How much does an MD and MS fresher earn?

An MS/MD fresher can expect to earn anything between INR 50000- 600000 per month. But it also largely depends on the specialisation chosen by individual students. Some specialisations allow freshers to earn INR 1.5 lakh per month. Just like any other profession, doctors’ annual packages also increase with years of experience and expertise in the field. 


Is an MD course better than an MS course?

There is no justifiable argument for an MD course being better than an MS course. Each of these courses has its own importance and demand. Students need to choose between an MD and MS on the basis of their aptitude, interest, and capability. 


What is the course duration for an MS program in India?

Students opting for an MS program in India need three years to complete their MS course. 


Is there a good demand for MS and MD doctors?

Yes, there is a lot of demand for qualified and experienced doctors with MD/MS degrees. Patients also prefer to consult with a specialist when it comes to specific issues that they are dealing with instead of going to a doctor who has just completed their MBBS degree.

Do I need to appear for MCC counselling for getting admission to MD/MS program?

Yes, candidates who wish to gain admission into an MS/MD program must follow the MC counselling guideline suggested for respective colleges. Students are required to register themselves on MCC’s official website in order to attend the NEET PG counselling. Then only they will be able to get admission to their desired medical college. 


What are some of the top medical colleges to study MD/MS?

There are several institutes in India where students can complete their MS/MD degrees. But some of the top institutes are AIIMS Delhi, St John’s Medical College, Bangalore, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, and Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi.

What are the documents required for admission to MD/MS course?

In order to gain admission to an MD or an MS course, students must carry their NEET PG scorecard, NEET PG Admit card, Class 10 and 12’s mark sheet, MBBS Mark sheet, provisional certificate, and character certificate.


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