MD Pharmacology

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Jun 28, 2023 18:32PM IST

MD Pharmacology

Doctor of Medicine in Pharmacology, also known as MD Pharmacology, is a three-year medical course that deals with the action of drugs on biological systems and their response to the body. The course is a combination of experimental and clinical sciences. While experimental pharmacology course deals with drug action in diseases, clinical pharmacology is necessary for prescribing practice in medicine, pharmacovigilance and clinical trial.

Students who have studied MBBS are eligible to study MD Pharmacology courses. They must have obtained at least 55% to be eligible to apply for the course in a reputed medical college approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC). They also need to qualify for entrance examinations such as AIIMS PG, NEET PG, JIPMER, PGIMER and AFMC PG. The course has to be done offline in full-time mode as it involves practical and clinical learning. 

The purpose of MD Pharmacology is to create professionals who deliver high-quality healthcare facilities and provide research and training opportunities. Students must be able to explain the concepts and principles of Pharmacology and therapeutics. The top medical universities providing the course are AIIMS, PGIMER, JIPMER, Christian Medical College and Kasturba Medical College.

MS in Pharmacology courses usually cost anywhere from INR 10,000 to INR 10,00,000. Some of the top recruiters in this field of medicine are Max Hospital, Apollo, Action Balaji and Fortis Healthcare. In general, graduates can expect to earn between INR 3 lakhs and INR 10 lakhs every year. Let us find out more about MD Pharmacology courses here.

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MD Pharmacology Course Highlights

Here is a brief overview of MD Pharmacology courses in India and the details related to it: 

Name of the CourseMD Pharmacology
Degree LevelPostgraduation
Course ModeRegular 
Course Duration3 years
Qualification RequiredMBBS degree
Exam TypeSemester-based
Admission ProcessEntrance-based
Fees RangeINR 10,000-10,00,000
Career ProspectsAcademics, pharmaceutical industry, government research institutions, writing domain, clinical researcher
Top RecruitersApollo, Columbia Asia, Fortis Healthcare, Max Hospital, Jaypee Hospitals
MD Pharmacology Course Highlights
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About MD Pharmacology

An MD Pharmacology course is a separate medical discipline and should not be confused with pharmacy. The discipline encompasses drugs’ chemical properties, biological effects and therapeutic effects. There are two important branches of pharmacology:

  • Pharmacokinetics: It is related to the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs. Simply put, it is the effect of drugs on the body.
  • Pharmacodynamics: It involves the molecular, biochemical, and physiological effects of drugs. Here, the response of the body to drugs is studied.

Pharmacology is a unique combination of knowledge from various disciplines such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary science and nursing. It is also closely knit with other bioscience disciplines such as biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, immunology, genetics and pathology.

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Why Choose MD Pharmacology?

A career as an MD in Pharmacology helps one explore many aspects of drug discovery, development, and drug safety. The knowledge can be utilized to improve and even save lives. Along with it being a rewarding career prospect, it is also of high responsibility. The benefits of MD Pharmacology courses are ample and some of them are discussed below:

  • Those who have a knack for learning, observing, and making discoveries can study MD Pharmacology. As the industry is dynamic and new learnings are being added every now and then, those who are pursuing this field can constantly benefit from new developments. 
  • Students can make a valuable difference in the lives of patients by extending and improving the quality of their lives. They will be able to reduce the pain and suffering of the patients. Those who seek a fulfilling career in biomedical sciences can opt for the course.
  • They can also teach undergraduate students in medicine and allied healthcare services and help them become competent healthcare professionals.
  • Besides, students will be able to carry out research projects from planning to publication.
  • Students who are interested in the research aspect of drugs, teaching students, and investigating ways of creating remedies to many physical and mental illnesses of people and animals.
  • It is a good choice for students who want to make a major contribution to understanding both novel and current disease processes. Further, it is suitable for candidates who want to spread awareness about pharmaceutical products. 
  • Good communicators can pursue the course as they can explain to patients the treatments and also communicate with other healthcare professionals.
  • MD Pharmacology courses open doors for high salaries as the demand for practitioners is higher than the supply. Therefore, those who want to earn a high graduate salary must apply for the course.
Why Choose MD Pharmacology?
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MD Pharmacology Entrance Exams

To study MD Pharmacology at a renowned medical university in India, it is necessary to appear for a competitive entrance test. Admission to the course is based on the performance of the candidate at any national level, state level, institution-specific or autonomous examinations conducted by various bodies. Here are the top MD Pharmacology entrance exams for aspirants:

Entrance Exam

Full Form



National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduate

It is a national-level postgraduate exam conducted for admission to pharmacology courses.


Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research

It is an institute-specific test conducted for admission twice a year for admission to MD in pharmacology.


Armed Forces Medical College Postgraduate

For career prospects in defence services, this exam is taken.


All India Institute of Medical Sciences Postgraduate 

AIIMS PG is an entrance exam taken by the autonomous institute, AIIMS for admission to MD pharmacology.


Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research

The exam is conducted by PGIMER Chandigarh for admission at the postgraduate level.


Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka

It is a medical entrance exam that is specific to Karnataka.

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MD Pharmacology Eligibility Criteria

Students who aspire to study MD Pharmacology courses must know the eligibility criteria before they apply for the course. Given below are the entry requirements for MD pharmacology:

  • Students must have completed MBBS from a recognised medical college or possess a provisional MBBS pass certificate.
  • Candidates must have secured at least 55% in the undergraduate examination.
  • It is compulsory for the candidate to perform a rotational internship of 1 year after completing MBBS.

Applicants must qualify in the entrance examinations required for admission to a specific institute. In the case of NEET PG, candidates must have at least 50 percentile for general candidates and 45 percentile for reserved category.

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How to Get Admission to MD Pharmacology Courses?

The admission process in MD Pharmacology entails meeting the eligibility criteria and qualifying for the entrance examination. The process for admission has been simplified below:

  • Step 1: Fill up the application form.
  • Step 2: Submit the personal details and documents accurately.
  • Step 3: Appear for the entrance test.
  • Step 4: Participate in an interview or group discussion.
  • Step 5: A merit list will be prepared of the qualified candidates.
  • Step 6: Seats are allocated to students based on their rank.
  • Step 7: Complete the admission process by paying the fees.
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Popular Pharmacology Colleges in India

Aspirants should be aware of the medical varsities that offer MD Pharmacology. The list of popular pharmacology colleges in India to pursue an MD is given below:

Medical College/ University


Christian Medical College



New Delhi

St. Johns Medical College


Kasturba Medical College


KPC Medical College and Hospital


Armed Forces Medical College


Institute of Medical Sciences-Banaras Hindu University


Maulana Azad Medical College

New Delhi

Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University


MMC Chennai - Madras Medical College


Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences


Grant Medical College


Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College


Rangaraya Medical College


Sarojini Naidu Medical College


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City-Wise Top Colleges for MD Pharmacology in India

Let us explore some of the top colleges in major Indian cities for MD Pharmacology:

New Delhi and NCR

Some of the popular colleges in the capital city of India for MD Pharmacology are:

  • Lady Hardinge Medical College
  • Maulana Azad Medical College
  • UCMS
  • GD Goenka University
  • Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute


Pune has the most acclaimed medical colleges that provide MD Pharmacology courses. The colleges are:

  • Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth
  • Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research 
  • Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research
  • Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital
  • Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospitals


The top medical colleges in Kolkata that offer MD Pharmacology courses are:

  • Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research
  • Midnapore Medical College And Hospital
  • Tropical School of Medicine


The medical colleges in Bangalore are famous for providing MD Pharmacology courses. Some of them are:

  • St. John’s Medical College
  • MS Ramaiah Medical College
  • Dr. BR Ambedkar Medical College
  • KIMS Bangalore
  • Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre


The renowned medical colleges in Chennai that offer MD Pharmacology courses are:

  • Sri Balaji Medical College and Hospital
  • Saveetha Medical College
  • The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University
  • Stanley Medical College
  • Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center
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Study MD Pharmacology Abroad

There is no denying that MD Pharmacology courses abroad lead to rapid advancement in career of students where they can contribute to improvement and development of medical treatments. One can take advantage of the various facilities provided at universities abroad which will widen the personal horizons as well as help to experience a new culture. The top pharmacology colleges abroad are listed below:

University/ College


Arizona State University 

United States

Centennial College


Florida A&M University

United States

Keele University

United Kingdom

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

United States

MAHSA University


RMIT University


Trinity College Dublin


Ulster College

United Kingdom

University of Tasmania


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MD Pharmacology Syllabus

The course content of MD Pharmacology includes both clinical and experiential sciences targeted to improve the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of the practitioners. Some of the objectives of the MD Pharmacology syllabus are:

  • Ability to describe and apply principles of pharmacology to explain mechanisms and effects of drugs used in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the human body.
  • Understand and explain the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs.
  • Get knowledge on essential medicines and pharmacovigilance.
  • Explain to patients the effects and side effects of drugs and the need to adhere to the medication.
  • Communicate effectively with students, peers, faculty, and staff regarding the rational use of drugs.
  • Demonstrate ethical behaviour and integrity.
  • Demonstrate skills in writing prescriptions.
  • Ability to analyzeMuscles and evaluate research papers.
  • Ability to perform in vitro and in vivo animal experiments.
  • Demonstrate presentation skills at academic meetings and publications.

The MD Pharmacology courses syllabus contains broadly the following topics:

Pharmacology Syllabus

Drug receptors and Pharmacodynamics

Basic and molecular pharmacology

Clinical pharmacology

Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics 

Clinical Pharmacokinetics

Drugs acting on Central Nervous System


Drugs modifying renal function

Reproductive Pharmacology


Autonomic Pharmacology

Gastrointestinal drugs

Antimicrobial, antiparasitics, disinfectants, antiseptics

Antiviral drugs

Drugs acting on Smooth muscles

Ocular pharmacology

Use of drugs in pregnancy

Perinatal and Pediatric Pharmacology

Geriatric Pharmacology

Drug development and Regulations


Drug delivery systems

Heavy metal poisoning

Over the counter drugs

Dietary supplements and herbal medicines


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MD Pharmacology Course Curriculum

The course curriculum of MD Pharmacology is self-directed and consists of academic and laboratory work. Acquiring practical training is extremely important while studying the course.

The pharmacology curriculum is explained below in detail:

  • Classroom Teaching: Formal teaching is an important component of the course. Along with it, there are other programmes held such as journals, group discussions, seminars, case discussions, interdepartmental case or seminar discussions and practicals.
  • Conference and Paper Presentation: Besides classroom learning, a PG student will also have to present a poster, read a paper at the national or state level and present a research paper that should be sent/ accepted for publication.
  • Training Programme: A postgraduate student has to participate in the training programme for undergraduate interns and students.
  • Practical Learning: Students will get practical training in experimental pharmacology, clinical pharmacology and chemical pharmacology.
  • Thesis: Under the guidance of a teacher, MD Pharmacology students have to write a research paper or thesis. This step is done to ensure that they have a spirit of enquiry and know the techniques of research, critical analysis and acquaintance with the latest advancements in the medical field.
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MD Pharmacology Scope in India - Career and Job Prospects

A medical pharmacologist can find ample opportunities in academics, the pharmaceutical industry, government research institutions, clinical research organisations, regulatory bodies or as scientific writers. 

Government organisations often employ MD Pharmacology graduates at important research centres such as the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and Centres of Disease Control. In addition, private research organisations utilise the expertise of pharmacologists. 

Medical graduates must be aware of the opportunities that are open to them after the MD Pharmacology course. Here are some of the top career paths:

  • Physician-Scientists: In this job role, medical personnel translate basic scientific research into clinical practice. They may be associated with a hospital where they are supposed to advise on the effect of drug reactions.
  • Clinical Pharmacologists: They are involved in the study of drug metabolism or pharmacogenetic research. 
  • Leadership and Management Positions: An MD in Pharmacology can take up leadership and management positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Medical Writing Skills: Medical writing includes writing scientific documents which can include writing review articles, research articles or literature related to the promotion of drugs. The writer is supposed to provide unbiased, updated and accurate medical knowledge.
  • Pharmacovigilance Officers: They perform the task of detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of negative effects of medicines or vaccines.
  • Teaching or Training: Pharmacologists can join teaching or research careers in all areas of health sciences with a special focus on pharmacology speciality. 

Some other popular job roles are drug safety physician, medical adviser and medical reviewer.

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Higher Studies after MD Pharmacology

After MD Pharmacology, students can either search for a lucrative job opportunity or move on to higher studies that will help them to get a salary hike and also make them experts in their field.

They can pursue hospital management courses to get into management and managerial positions in hospitals. 

Also, there is scope to acquire a three-year degree in surgery that is MCh where they will get practical training on surgery. Besides, they can study MD in general medicine and practice as general physicians on completion of the course.

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Salary after MD Pharmacology

After MD Pharmacology, a candidate earns a good income for the position they hold. They can increase their salary as their experience and skill in the field increase. The salary as per job roles are given below:

Job Role

Average Annual Salary (in INR)


6lakhs to 8 lakhs

Pharmacovigilance Officer

6 lakhs to 7 lakhs

Scientific Writer

7lakhs to 8 lakhs

Biomedical Scientists

6 lakhs to 8 lakhs

Clinical Research Associates

3lakhs to 5 lakhs

The top recruiters are pharmaceutical companies, educational institutions, hospitals, clinics, medical services. The companies that recruit are Sun Pharma, Cipla Abbott India and other pharma companies.

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Skills Required for MD Pharmacology

Besides theoretical knowledge of the subject, pharmacologists also need some other skills that make them highly employable. The skills that they must possess to reach the pinnacle of success in their career are:

  • Communication Skills: The professionals must be able to communicate effectively the uses and side effects of various drugs therefore communication skills are extremely important. It is one of the most important skills that help manage and conduct everyday activities. 
  • Leadership Skills: Often MD pharmacologists have a team to monitor and guide. In such cases, having leadership qualities benefit them to manage their team effectively and smoothly. 
  • Problem-Solving Skills: They must have an analytical bent of mind to solve critical problems related to pharmacology. With experience and knowledge, these skills tend to improve.
  • Time Management Skills: One has to manage their time well when in such a responsible position. Therefore, one who can efficiently manage time can make progress in leaps and bounds.
Skills Required for MD Pharmacology
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FAQs about MD Pharmacology

What are some of the preparation tips for the entrance exam for MD Pharmacology?

Those who intend to do an MD pharmacology need to prepare from their MBBS syllabus for the entrance exam. They should have a thorough understanding of the course curriculum along with a strong knowledge of medicine. Apart from that, they must be dedicated to working on improving their medical skills.

Which other countries provide job opportunities for MD Pharmacology?

The other countries where MD Pharmacology students can get profitable and lucrative job offers are UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. There is high demand for pharmacologists in these countries where they can also expect to earn well. Moreover, it yields a high return on investment for MDs.

What is the salary package for MD Pharmacology?

The salary package of MD Pharmacology depends on the job role. Mostly, one earns between INR 3 lakhs and 10 lakhs. That said, the salary keeps increasing with skills, expertise and knowledge and the mid-career salary is high for MD pharmacology graduates. Both private and government sectors pay high salaries for this designation.

What are the branches of MD Pharmacology?

The branches of MD Pharmacology are:

  • Pharmacokinetics: It deals with what the body does with drugs.
  • Pharmacodynamics: It is the biochemical and physical effects of drugs.
  • Pharmacotherapeutics: It is related to the use of prevention and treatment of diseases.
  • Pharmacognosy: It deals with the study of drugs from natural resources.
  • Toxicology: It is the study of poisons.

What are the areas for recruitment after MD Pharmacology?

Graduates with MD Pharmacology are in high demand in every area of work fields and are highly employable after completion of their degrees. They get employment opportunities in areas such as medical facilities, hospitals, public healthcare, research, technology and related fields. They are preferred in biomedical companies, drug centres, laboratories and educational institutions. 

What are the subjects in MD Pharmacology?

There are both core and elective subjects in MD Pharmacology. Some of the top subjects are: 

  • General pharmacological principles 
  • Allied sciences
  • Experimental pharmacology
  • Screening for drugs and statistics 
  • Pathology
  • General Medicine
  • Community Medicine
  • Physiology 

How to get into MD in Pharmacology?

To get into MD in Pharmacology, one has to complete an MBBS degree. After that, they need to appear for a PG-level medical entrance test. If selected, they have to undergo rigorous studies and training for three years to finally be awarded an MD in Pharmacology. In the process, they also learn to interact with other healthcare professionals.

Can I get admission to MD Pharmacology without an entrance exam?

No, you cannot get admission to MD Pharmacology without an entrance exam. It is imperative to qualify for a medical entrance exam for postgraduation. You can take the national level. state-level or institute-specific tests to qualify for a seat. Additionally, you may also need to appear for group discussions and personal interviews. Some of thee popular entrance exams are NEET-PG, AIIMS PG and JIPMER.

Can I do MD in Pharmacology after BSc?

No, you cannot pursue MD in Pharmacology after BSc. It is a medical degree and can only be studied by MBBS graduates. You must get at least 55% in an undergraduate course. Besides, an MD in any other medical specialisation can also get a double degree by studying MD in Pharmacology.

Is it worth doing MD in Pharmacology?

Yes, it is worth doing MD in Pharmacology. There are lots of scope and opportunities for graduates in various reputed private and government organisations. Also, the research on drugs is increasing and it mandates the need for more pharmacologists in the country. You can also pursue an academic line after completion of the degree.

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