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    MD Psychiatry

    Nov 24, 2022 20:50PM IST

    MD Psychiatry Course Overview

    A three-year postgraduate medical program specializing in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of other mental health and related issues, the Doctor of Medicine in Psychiatry course can be pursued by graduates with an MBBS, BHMS, BDS, and DMS. With an immensely high demand for skilled and qualified psychiatrists in the country, choosing a career in the field will be highly rewarding, both financially and career-wise.

    With hundreds of universities and medical colleges across the country offering the course to aspirants, aspirants have various options to choose from. However, those interested in pursuing the course will have to attempt and clear an entrance test like NEET or any other university-specific entrance test.

    Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to pursue job roles such as Child Psychiatrist, Neuropsychiatrist, Special Education Teacher, Forensic Psychiatrist, and many more. Similarly, institutions across different private and public sectors require skilled and qualified professionals to aid in achieving their objectives and projects.

    MD Psychiatry Course Highlights

    Here are some of the highlights of MD Psychiatry courses in India:

    Name of the Course

    MD Psychiatry




    3 Years

    Exam Type


    Minimum Qualification Requirement

    MBBS + NEET-PG or equivalent

    Average Initial Salary

    INR 2-8 Lakhs Per Annum

    Selection Process

    Entrance Exams and Interviews

    Popular Entrance Exams for MD Psychiatry


    Top MD Psychiatry Specialisations in India

    Clinical Psychiatry


    Child Psychiatry

    Behavioral Specialist

    Prison Psychiatry

    Forensic Psychiatry

    Minimum Aggregate Required for MD Psychiatry Admissions


    Major MD Psychiatry Recruiters

    Fortis, Indian Council of Medical Research, Max Healthcare, Apollo Hospital, Educational Institutions, etc.

    Top MD Psychiatry Colleges in India

    All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

    Christian Medical College (CMC)

    Jawaharlal Institute of Medical Education and Research (JIPMER)

    Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)

    St John’s Medical College

    Why MD Psychiatry?

    Pursuing the MD Psychiatry course in India is among the more underrated options chosen by medical aspirants. However, there are several reasons why pursuing the course after under-graduation can be one of the best decisions to make. Listed below are some of the reasons why one should study MD in Psychiatry in India.

    Career Prospects: As per a study conducted by the government, it was revealed that there were only .75 psychiatrists for every 100,000 people, whereas the desirable number of psychiatrists should be 3 per 100,000 people. Therefore, this dearth in the number of qualified professionals means that psychiatrists have a good chance of living a lucrative career.

    Career Satisfaction: Working with people and helping them overcome their challenges can be a rewarding experience. While not every interaction and patient will be a success, the challenges a psychiatrist may face and the new solutions and treatment plans they may have to create for every patient may lead to them experiencing high career satisfaction as well.

    Salaries: While the initial salaries may not be as high as expected, with experience and expertise, psychiatrists will inevitably see a good raise in their annual salaries. From private institutions to public hospitals and clinics, their salaries will primarily depend on the job roles, experience, and place of employment.

    Popular Specializations in MD Psychiatry

    As is common across the medical field, candidates may choose among a number of popular specializations in MD Psychiatry. Some of these specializations include:

    • Clinical Psychiatry
    • Neuropsychiatry
    • Child Psychiatry
    • Behavioral Specialist
    • Prison Psychiatry
    • Forensic Psychiatry

    MD Psychiatry Entrance Exams

    To study MD Psychiatry, candidates will need to present valid NEET-PG scores or any other scores that are accepted by their desired university. In most cases, medical colleges across the country accept NEET-PG scores, however, renowned private institutions like AIIMS, JIPMER, and many others conduct their entrance tests for PG medical courses. Some of these entrance tests are as follows:

    • NEET-PG (soon to be replaced by NExT)
    • INI CET + Interviews
    • PGIMER + Interviews

    Note: The minimum score required for each of these tests for the course will be determined by individual universities. Therefore, it is advisable to thoroughly check the admission requirements before submitting the application form.

    MD Psychiatry Course Eligibility Criteria

    In addition to the entrance test scores, as mentioned above, candidates will also be required to meet additional course-wise requirements. These requirements will be individually defined by each medical college. Listed below are some of the general eligibility criteria for MD Psychiatry in India, that candidates need to satisfy, regardless of the medical institution they are applying to:

    • All applicants should have an NMC-recognised MBBS degree with the required scores.
    • Typically, universities require candidates to present a minimum of 50-60% aggregate score during their MBBS. Some universities may also accept other medical degrees.
    • Candidates must also appear for the NEET-PG test in the year they wish to pursue the course. Some universities may conduct their entrance tests for PG medical courses. Therefore, check the individual course requirements before starting the application process.

    Note: The National Medical Commission (NMC) of India is soon preparing to replace the NEET-PG examination with the National Exit Test (NExT), which will act as a licentiate test as well as an entrance test to PG medical courses in India. Therefore, keep a look out for the announcement before submitting the application and test scores.

    How to Get Admission in MD Psychiatry Course?

    Having satisfied all the eligibility criteria for the course, aspirants can continue to complete the admission process for MD Psychiatry. As stated above, the admissions to the course are done based on entrance test scores and interviews, where applicable. Check out the following admission process for MD Psychiatry, if candidates wish to study the course in the coming academic year.

    • For universities enrolling students on the basis of NEET-PG scores, admission will be completed via the NEET-PG selection process. For other universities, candidates may be asked to attempt university-specific entrance tests.
    • Candidates who clear the qualifying percentile for the desired courses will be eligible for admission to their desired universities.
    • After the scores have been secured, candidates may be asked to sit for an interview to finalize their admission to the MD Psychiatry course.

    Top MD Psychiatry Colleges

    Being a medical course, students will be able to pursue the courses across government and private medical colleges across the country. Some of the top MD Psychiatry colleges have been listed below.

    MD Psychiatry Fee

    Candidates interested in pursuing an MD Psychiatry course in India may refer to the approximate chargeable course fee range listed below. It should be noted that the course fees charged by public and private institutions will vary significantly. However, while private medical colleges may charge more, it will be more difficult to get a seat in public medical colleges for MD Psychiatry courses.

    Type of Institution

    Approx. Course Fee Range (in INR)

    Public Medical Colleges

    20,000 - 1,00,000 per year

    Private Medical Colleges

    4,00,000 - 20,00,000 per year

    MD Psychiatry Syllabus

    As a graduate medical program, universities and colleges offering the course will include the following MD Psychiatry syllabus and subjects:

    Year 1

    Semester 1

    Semester 2

    Learning Theories

    Clinical Psychiatry

    Basic and applied Electrophysiology

    Course, Outcome, and Prognosis of Schizophrenia

    Excitatory Amino Acids in Psychiatric Disorders

    Biological Basis of Schizophrenia


    Etiological Theories of Mood Disorders

    Aggression: Psychology and Biology

    Antisocial Personality Disorders

    Information Processing: Brain Models of Mind

    Subtypes of Depressive Disorders and their Clinical Relevance

    Magnetic Resonance and Implications for Psychiatry

    Organic Delusional, Mood, and Personality Disorders

    Year 2

    Semester 3

    Semester 4

    Reactions to severe stress

    Psychological management of sexual dysfunctions

    Recent advances in eating disorders

    Models of psychotherapy: An overview

    Anxiety disorders

    Supportive psychotherapies

    Biological Basis of Anxiety

    Management of a Suicidal Patient

    Nosological status and clinical features of Neurasthenia

    Behavioral therapies

    Non-organic sleep disorders

    Scientific evaluation of the efficacy of psychotherapy: methodological problems

    Somatization disorders: Diagnosis and clinical features

    Drug treatment of generalized anxiety and panic disorders


    Role of Lithium in Psychiatric disorders


    Electroconvulsive Therapy: current trends

    Year 3

    Semester 5

    Semester 6

    Ethics in Psychiatry

    Dementia: Differential Diagnosis and Management

    Integration of Mental Health into Primary Care - Its Role and Future in India.

    Psychological Aspects of Gastrointestinal Disorders

    Learning Disorders of Childhood

    Psychological Aspects of Breast Cancer

    Neuro Psychological Assessment of Children

    Stress and Psychological Disorders

    Child Abuse and Neglect

    Concept and Assessment of Disability

    Neuro Psychological Assessment of Children

    Stress and Psychological Disorders




    Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

    Note: It should be noted that there will be additional subjects and topics that will be included each year. The subjects mentioned above are just a few of the many topics candidates may have to complete throughout the degree coursework.

    Course Structure of MD Psychiatry

    Those planning to study the course will have to follow a course structure for MD Psychiatry that has been defined by the medical college they wish to study at. It should be noted that the course structure will be unique to individual universities and colleges, however, the general course structure for the course is as follows:

    • Six semesters of core and elective subjects.
    • Guests Visits.
    • Research Projects.

    Best Books for MD Psychiatry

    There are several books that may be suggested to you by your Psychiatry teachers and professors. However, there are hundreds of highly recommended books that you can read and enhance your skills, knowledge, and understanding of the field entirely. Listed below are some of the books suggested by Ben White, a leader and well-renowned professional in the field of Psychiatry:

    • Psychiatry Test Preparation and Review Manual (Kenny and Spiegel)
    • Kaplan & Sadock’s Study Guide and Self-Examination Review in Psychiatry
    • Residency Handbook of Psychiatry
    • Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology
    • Cafer’s Psychopharmacology
    • Essentials of Clinical Psychopharmacology
    • Kaufman’s Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists
    • Neurology for the Non-Neurologist
    • Psychiatric Interviewing: The Art of Understanding
    • A Clinicians Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health
    • Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond
    • Becoming a Therapist
    • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Manual

    MD Psychiatry Scope in India - Career Options and Job Prospects

    As stated above, a government survey revealed that there are a total of 9,000 psychiatrists in the country with 700 new qualified psychiatrists being produced each year. The survey highlighted that there are only .75 psychiatrists for every 100,000 people in the country, which is extremely low. Therefore, a career in psychiatry, especially in India, will turn out to be a good decision for many interested in the field.

    Moreover, most psychiatrists are settled in metropolitan areas or large cities, leaving a large portion of the Indian population devoid of access to qualified professionals. As psychiatrists, candidates will be able to assess, diagnose and treat students through psychotherapy, counseling, administration of drugs and if required, conduct electric convulsive therapy as well. In many cases, psychiatrists will often work with other occupational therapists, social workers, and physicians to help in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

    MD Psychiatry Job Roles in India

    After completing the MD Psychiatry course in India, there are several different roles that graduates can get into, some of which have been listed below:

    • Child Psychiatrist
    • Clinical Psychiatrist
    • Forensic Psychiatrist
    • Prison Psychiatrist
    • Behavioral Specialist
    • Special Education Teacher
    • Psychiatric Social Worker

    Note: The job roles and responsibilities will differ from institution to institution. Therefore, to understand what roles await you after your degree, you can check the major employment portals and find out the popular roles available after MD Psychiatry in India.

    MD Psychiatrists Top Employers in India

    Some of the top areas of employment where MD Psychiatry graduates can find employment include:

    • Hospitals
    • Public & Private Clinics
    • Health Departments
    • Schools
    • Own Businesses

    Among the top employers for MD Psychiatry in India have been listed below:

    • AIIMS
    • Apollo Healthcare
    • Fortis Healthcare
    • Max Healthcare
    • Indian Oil
    • GE Global Research
    • Tata
    • Reliance

    MD Psychiatry Salaries in India

    As stated above, the salaries the MD Psychiatry graduates may receive in India will vary depending on their place of employment, job role and other influential factors. Listed below are the average salaries of psychiatrists in different roles:

    Job Role

    Average Yearly Salary (in INR) 


    6-9 LPA

    Psychiatric Social Worker

    4-6 LPA

    Child Psychiatrists

    8-12 LPA

    Special Education Teachers

    1-2 LPA

    Note: The salaries listed in the table above have been provided for reference purposes only. The actual salaries candidates can expect will vary depending on the place of employment, the job role, the years of experience, and other influential factors.

    MD Psychiatry Salaries in Government Roles

    Listed below are the salaries candidates can expect if they are employed in a government-run medical institution.

    Job Role

    Average Yearly Salary (in INR) 


    6 LPA

    Psychiatric Social Worker

    4 LPA

    Child Psychiatrists

    8 LPA

    Special Education Teachers

    1 LPA

    MD Psychiatry Salary in Private Roles

    For those looking for job roles in private medical institutions after their MD Psychiatry course, they can expect the following salary packages for different roles.

    Job Role

    Average Yearly Salary (in INR) 


    9 LPA

    Psychiatric Social Worker

    6 LPA

    Child Psychiatrists

    12 LPA

    Special Education Teachers

    2 LPA

    It should be noted that both the tables above depict expected salaries and not the actual salaries paid to professionals in the role currently. It should be noted that the salaries in both the government and private sectors will depend on different factors including the job description, place of employment, the years of experience of the candidate, and many other factors.

    Required Skill Sets for MD Psychiatry Career

    Inevitably, to become a good Psychiatrist or pursue an MD Psychiatry course, there are particular skill sets. With the help of these required skill sets for the MD Psychiatry course, candidates will be able to ensure that they complete the course with ease and have a good career after graduation. Some of the skill sets include:
    Communication: With one of the services provided by psychiatrists being counseling, having excellent communication skills will set candidates up for success from the beginning. Good psychiatrists should be able to use different communication tools and techniques to bring out the necessary information, to properly evaluate and diagnose a patient.
    Sensitivity and Empathy: Among the necessary skills include sensitivity and empathy, wherein professionals are alert and understanding of the different challenging situations in their patients’ lives.
    Perception: Understanding situations will include assessing the patients during their sessions. This includes discerning why a patient reacts in a certain manner to specific situations. Primarily, psychiatrists should be able to discern non-verbal cues that a patient may display during a session.
    Logical Reasoning: A must-have skill, all psychiatrists must be able to develop inductive and deductive reasoning skills. In other words, psychiatrists must be able to address different issues brought up by the patients during their sessions and be able to develop effective treatments for each individual patient.
    Stress Management: Psychiatrists will often deal with situations where patients are stressed out and need help calming down. Therefore, having the skills and knowledge to neutralize a situation in the quickest and most effective manner possible.

    Apart from these skills and qualities, every MD psychiatry graduate should possess the basic people skills required by every medical professional to allow for the seamless and efficient execution of medical procedures.

    FAQs about MD Psychiatry

    What subjects are taught in MD Psychiatry in India?

    There are a variety of subjects and topics that you may learn in an MD Psychiatry course, which includes Learning Theories, Clinical Psychiatry, Antisocial Personality Disorders, Reactions to severe stress, Models of psychotherapy: An overview, Biological Basis of Anxiety, Behavioural therapies, Ethics in Psychiatry, Psychological Aspects of Breast Cancer and many more.

    Are psychiatrists real doctors?

    Yes, psychiatrists are real doctors who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses pertaining to mental health. Those interested in pursuing a career in the field will be required to apply for an MD Psychiatry which is a medical course, requiring a NEET-PG score and an MBBS degree or any other accepted undergraduate medical degree.

    How long is an MD Psychiatry course in India?

    Most MD Psychiatry courses in India are offered as a 3-year postgraduate medical degree for MBBS degree holders. Therefore, if you are interested in pursuing an MD in Psychiatry course in India, then you must earmark 3 years for higher studies. Moreover, you will need to complete an undergraduate medical degree and clear the NEET-PG exam to enroll in the course.

    Is Psychiatry a good career for Indian students?

    Yes, pursuing a career in psychiatry in India can be a good career move for Indian students as there is a significant need for skilled and qualified professionals in the field. As per a government survey, it is estimated that there are .75 for every 100,000 people in the country, which is extremely low.

    Do Psychiatrists perform surgery?

    No, psychiatrists do not perform surgical procedures, however, a qualified psychiatrist can recommend or even order surgery if the situation calls for it. Nevertheless, since Psychiatrists have an MD in Psychiatry, they are not qualified nor skilled to undertake surgical procedures. Their duties solely include evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients through medicines, if needed.

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