How to become a physician in India

How to become a physician in India

How to become a physician in India
Mandira Pangeni

Becoming a physician in India is a noble and rewarding journey that requires dedication, education, and clinical training. If you've ever wondered about the path to becoming a doctor in India, this guide is here to illuminate the steps and processes involved. 

Whether you're a student aspiring to pursue a medical career or simply curious about what it takes to become a physician, this blog will provide valuable insights into India's exciting world. 

MBBS Admission


MBBS Eligibility: 

50% marks in 10+2 or equivalent examinations with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology as compulsory subjects. Minimum age limit- 17 years.

MBBS Course Fee

INR 1,000- 50,00,000

MBBS Colleges

AIIMS, CMC Vellore, Lady Hardinge Medical College

MBBS Salary

INR 5-12 LPA

What is a Physician?

A physician is a highly trained and licensed medical professional specializing in diagnosing, treating, and preventing various illnesses, injuries, and medical conditions in patients. Physicians are commonly referred to as doctors and are at the forefront of healthcare delivery. They deeply understand the human body, medical sciences, and healthcare practices.

Physicians typically follow a rigorous educational path, including completing a bachelor's degree, attending medical school, and undergoing residency training in a specific medical specialty. They may specialize in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, dermatology, etc..

Check, MBBS in India

Roles and responsibilities of a physician or a doctor:

The term "doctor" encompasses many branches and specializations within the medical field. Doctors may be general practitioners or experts in specific fields. 

A doctor, or physician, holds a valid medical license and is responsible for providing healthcare services. 

Doctors can practice independently or work within hospitals, emergency rooms, laboratories, or other medical institutions. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Patient Assessment: Doctors inquire about and analyze a patient's health concerns, probing to understand the various symptoms or issues they may be experiencing.
  • Diagnosis: Doctors make educated guesses or conduct physical examinations to arrive at a diagnosis after assessing the patient's condition.
  • Accurate Diagnosis: Following the diagnosis, doctors accurately identify the patient's illness or medical condition.
  • Treatment: Doctors prescribe medications and develop treatment plans to cure the patient's ailment or improve their health.

How to Become a Doctor: Eligibility Requirements

To pursue a career in medicine and become a general physician, candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria, depending on whether they apply for NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for undergraduate courses or NEET-PG for postgraduate studies. Here are the eligibility requirements:

Age Criteria:

  • Candidates must be at least 17 years old at the time of admission to undergraduate courses.
  • The upper age limit for NEET is 25 years, with a relaxation of up to 5 years for candidates from SC/ST/OBC/EWS categories.
  • Indian candidates planning to study MBBS in foreign countries must qualify for NEET.

Also, See Top MBBS Colleges in India

Foreign Candidates:

Indian citizens, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) aspiring to study MBBS abroad must adhere to the regulations set by the respective state governments.

NEET PG Eligibility:

Indian citizens and foreign citizens who have completed MBBS from overseas medical colleges and have qualified for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) Screening Test are eligible to apply for NEET-PG.

Entrance Exams Required:


  • NEET is mandatory for candidates aspiring to become general physicians.
  • Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), NEET is the gateway to pursuing MBBS for the next five years.
  • The offline exam requires candidates to complete 12th-grade education with relevant subjects.
  • NEET is conducted in 11 languages to accommodate a diverse range of candidates.

7 Last-minute Preparation Tips for NEET


NEET-PG is required for those seeking to specialize in a medical field (MD) after completing MBBS.

  • The National Board of Examination (NBE) conducts NEET-PG.
  • This computer-based test is conducted in English and lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  • The NEET PG Question Paper is divided into Pre-Clinical, Para-Clinical, and Clinical.

Advantages of Becoming a Physician

  • High Compensation: Physicians are among the highest-paid professionals globally, with steady income growth.
  • Job Security: The demand for physicians continually increases, ensuring stable employment prospects.
  • Fulfilling Work: Physicians find satisfaction in helping and caring for patients and earning appreciation.
  • Career Progression: The medical field offers ongoing career development opportunities, including postgraduate degrees like MS or MD.

Disadvantages of Becoming a Physician

  • Lengthy Education: Becoming a physician requires extensive education and training, spanning over a decade, including undergraduate, medical school, and residency.
  • High Educational Costs: Medical education can be expensive, leading to substantial student loan debts that may take years to repay.
  • Long Working Hours: Physicians often work long and irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and overnight shifts, which can affect work-life balance.
  • Emotional Stress: Dealing with patients' illnesses and sometimes complex outcomes can be emotionally taxing, leading to burnout or compassion fatigue.
  • Administrative Burden: Physicians often need help with administrative tasks and paperwork, diverting time and attention from patient care.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the first step to becoming a physician in India?

The initial step is to complete a 10+2 education focusing on science subjects, including Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

What is the entrance exam for undergraduate medical courses in India?

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is the primary entrance exam for MBBS and BDS courses in India.

How long does it take to become a physician in India?

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) is typically five and a half years, followed by a one-year internship.

What are the options for specialization after completing MBBS?

After MBBS, you can opt for various specializations like Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Internal Medicine, and more through postgraduate courses (MD/MS/DNB).

Are there any age limits for appearing in the NEET exam for undergraduate courses?

Yes, the upper age limit for the NEET exam is 25 years (with a relaxation of up to 5 years for SC/ST/OBC/EWS candidates).

Can I pursue an MBBS abroad and practice as a physician in India?

You can study MBBS abroad but must qualify for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) to practice as a physician in India.

What are the eligibility criteria for the NEET-PG exam (postgraduate specialization)?

To appear for NEET-PG, you need an MBBS degree and complete your internship by or before the specified deadline. Foreign medical graduates with an FMGE qualification are also eligible.

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