Insights into doctor as profession
- The profession of a doctor is associated with real veneration and high salaries.
- You’d have to completely give up your personal comfort and social life to be a doctor, especially in private hospitals. This career is associated with a poor work-life balance. I myself get holiday only on Holi, otherwise, I don’t get time even on weekends.
- If you want better work-life balance as a doctor, then join government hospitals. Though, you will have to sacrifice a little on salary, but you will make it up with own private practice plus the freedom to work at your own pace.
- Becoming a doctor not only depends on your hard slog and intelligence but also on your luck as among the lakhs, that sit for the MCAT, only 8–10% gets selected.
- AIIMS is the number one college of India for medical education followed by some more institutes like Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and my own college, King George’s Medical College.
- You become “God on Earth”, once you start practicing as a Doctor and are successful in treating the patients.
- The career of a doctor is one of the most expensive careers in India. It is because it takes too many years to become qualified doctor plus education is generally expensive unless you are super genius, who will manage to get into top government schools with full scholarships.
- You may have to deal with rude relatives of the patients, who may accuse you of serious charges if you’re unsuccessful in saving your patient.
- An introvert with a scientific bent of mind, who can stay dedicated to his books and work for hours will be happy becoming a Doctor.
Name – Dr. Sanjay Nagar
Profession – General Physician. Runs own clinic
Age – 53 years
Gender – Male
Industry – Healthcare
City – Dadri, UP
Where have you been born and raised?
I was born in a village Dujana, which is near Dadri in UP. I had my schooling and college in Kanpur and Meerut respectively. After MBBS, I returned to my village and have been practicing here since then.
My father was a Consolidation officer while my mother was a homemaker. We were an upper-middle class family. I have 3 siblings.
Who had the most influence on you and how?
My mother had the most influence on me and my siblings, as she used to study with us. Yes, you read it right, she completed her schooling along with us after marriage. This motivated me a lot and helped me stay committed to my education.
Please give a summary of your career.
I did B.Sc. from Meerut University and MBBS from King George’s Medical College. Then I did MD from Santosh Medical College of Ghaziabad. Then, I came back to Dadri and started working in different hospitals in night and day shifts as guest professor and resident doctor. These included Nagar Hospital of Dadri, Sharda Hospital in Greater Noida, and Yashoda Hospital of Ghaziabad.
Later, I opened my own clinic and started practicing as a private doctor. I’ve been practicing for 24 years.
Which institutes are best for the medical education?
Of course, AIIMS is the number one college of India for medical education followed by some more institutes like Banaras Hindu University, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Aligarh Muslim University and my own college, King George’s Medical College.
Besides that, it’s highly recommended that you take coaching to prepare for the medical education Entrance Exams conducted by these colleges. Some of the best coaching centres are Aakash Institute, Allen Career Institute, Brilliant Tutorials, Bansal Classes, Delhi Academy of Medical Sciences (DAMS) and Oasis Educational Services.
What are the costs associated with the medical education?
The career of a doctor is one of the most expensive careers in India. If you choose to do an MBBS from one of the private colleges, you should be ready to spend anywhere between 15–40 lakhs INR on your medical education. Government medical colleges offer MBBS course at a highly subsidised cost ranging from 25,000–75,000 INR for the complete course. However, in the Government sector, there are only 183 medical colleges, offering less than 25,000 seats. So, it’s really difficult to get in there.
What are the typical entry level jobs in this profession?
You’ve to complete your 12th with at least 60% aggregate in the Science Stream (PCB). Today, students start preparing for the medical education entrance exams as early as in their 8th. The entrance exam is called Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which they have to appear after 12th. Because of very high competition these days, I recommend that average students take coaching from a good coaching institute.
Medical Colleges used to conduct their own Entrance tests like AIIMS Entrance Exams – All India Institute of Medical Science Entrance Exam, AIPMT- All India – Pre-Medical/Pre Dental Entrance Exam, AIMS – Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences etc. But from this year, AIPMT and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges themselves have been replaced by the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG.
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) is an undergraduate course in medicine and surgery. The duration of the course is four and half years, divided into nine semesters of six months each. After completion of the course, the candidate has to undergo a mandatory one-year internship. So, the total course duration is five and a half years.
Most students after MBBS, try to specialise in a specific field (i.e. MD/MS). For that you have to take the PG (post graduate) medical entrance exams like AIPGMEE etc. after completion of your MBBS. MD is the Master program in Medicine and MS is for Master in Surgery.
After completing MS, a person becomes a surgeon while the one who takes up MD is a called a physician.
After PG, some opt for M.Ch./DM etc. But that’s completely up to you.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect as doctor?
It pays as good as it costed you considering all the money, time and hard work you’d to put in becoming a doctor.
Though, each individual earns according to his skills, reputation, location and area of practice. It also depends on whether running own clinic or employed by private hospital or by Government hospital.
Following is the salary a general physician in a government hospital. But, bear in mind that doctors visit multiple private clinics/hospitals as well as handle walk-in patients in their home. Therefore, they generally earn much more than this.
Starting out – 5 lakhs INR per annum
5 years of experience – 6 lakhs INR per annum
10 years of experience – 7 lakhs INR per annum
15 years of experience – 10 lakhs INR per annum
20+ years of experience – 15 lakhs INR per annum
Please describe your work.
My work as a doctor comprises seeing patients in my clinic. I diagnose ailments, suggest tests and prescribe medicines. I also do rounds in the hospital, making notes on patient’s condition, advising patients on how to stay healthy and talking to them about further treatment.
Doctors keep up to date by taking classes and regularly reading books and medical journals. We also invest time in completing administrative duties such as updating patient records, returning phone calls or dealing with various office issues.
A doctor is essentially working round the clock because he/she can be called anytime due to emergencies. However, even a typical working day has very long working hours.
I myself get holiday only on Holi. Otherwise I don’t get time even on weekends.
On the other hand, government doctors get 17 gazetted and 15 casual holidays in a year. They also get 15 holidays as summer vacation and 15 as winter vacations.
What are some of the positives which would encourage someone to consider doctor as a profession?
The first benefit is the prestige accompanied with this career. A Doctor is considered next to God. S/he seems like a magician to people who brings back people to life and saves their lives. The moment you introduce yourself as a Doctor, the other person immediately forms an image of due veneration for you. The word “Dr”, which gets prefixed before your name once you’ve that MBBS degree in your hands, is not a small word. The respect you earn through this is greater than any worldly pleasure.
Secondly, as a doctor you earn a lot. You won’t ever die hungry even if you have just completed MBBS from a small private institute. There is much need of doctors in India. You’ll always be receiving enough patients which would keep on increasing with your reputation. In a private hospital, you’d earn at least 500 INR just for seeing a patient for like 10 minutes in your office doing nothing more than diagnosing the issue, prescribing medicine or giving healthy advice.
For those who want to give their services to the nation, this is the best career. There are a number of charitable hospitals in the country where you can cure poor patients at subsidised prices and earn their blessings. You can choose the amount of time you want to contribute there and work accordingly for the upheaval of those who are actually in need.
Finally, the scope of medicine and the stability in this career is unmatchable. There is great scope of growth and success if you’ve the dedication and talent.
Therefore, it’s the best profession due to these many reasons.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?
The biggest challenge is the training and education only. It’s so hard, long and costly that even if you’ve the talent and interest, you may not be able to become a great doctor.
A live example of this is Mr. J.C. Chaudhry, the founder of Aakash Institute. He couldn’t become a doctor himself in spite of his crazy interest and dedication but when he himself tutored students for the exam, they passed with flying colours; proving the fact how talented he was. It’s more about luck sometimes.
Even if you become a doctor, then also you have to keep studying throughout your life. You’ve to be up-to-date all the time even after those rigorous 8 years of MBBS and PG.
The following challenge is mainly with private practitioners and those who are doing the necessary rotating internship. You literally get no time for your family and loved ones or to dedicate to your social life. Emergency calls can be on their way anytime so you have to sacrifice your comfort for your profession.
Another challenge comes in the type of people you’ve to deal with in this profession. Just like you become God to them when you are successful in curing their loved one, you become the murderer if you are unsuccessful in saving the life of the patient. They may get aggressive, abusive and even violent. Some may give you death threats. You need to be emotionally strong to move on with these negative emotions then.
Some hospitals even hire bouncers to deal with such people.
As a doctor, you’ve to be really patient and careful. Your one mistake can compromise with someone’s well-being and even life.
What are the relevant skills/technologies/trends that are commanding premium in your job profile?
To be successful in the MCAT, you’ve to develop advanced knowledge in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Anatomy, Biology, Physics and Calculus.
In MBBS, you’ll deal with subjects like Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Microbiology, Forensic Medicine, Ophthalmology, Preventive and Social Medicine, ENT medicine, Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Radiology, Anaesthesia and Dermatology.
It’s recommended to take up MD or MS, which gives you specialization in fields like Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Neurology, Anaesthesiology, Cardiology (MD) and Paediatric Surgery, Plastic surgery, Cardio-thoracic surgery, Urology (MS).
What kind of a person would be happy in your career?
An introvert with a scientific bent of mind, who can stay dedicated to his books and work for hours will be happy becoming a Doctor. He or She has to be really patient and relaxed. S/he should be the kind of person who would have no issues in sacrificing his/her personal comfort, family, social life etc. for his/her profession.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?
I’ve no will to choose another career now. But I would have become an IAS if I weren’t a Doctor. That’s what I miss.
What would be your advice to medical education students or professionals, starting their journey on a path like yours?
Stay dedicated to your books. Leave everything from your social life to fun activities. Take the help of coaching as it’s highly recommended and just don’t lose hope. The path is not easy but a really rewarding one. If you have the will, no one can stop you from doing this.
Contributing Writer — Yashika Bhati