Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by one of our passionate writers, Mr Ravindra Nath. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.

The total number of Indian students going abroad to become doctors has been steadily increasing over the years. A large number of reasons are behind this phenomenon, including job prospects, ease of admission etc.

Most students who want to pursue M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) abroad are influenced by the extremely competitive and unrealistic admission criteria in Indian medical colleges. With admissions in top government institutions like Maulana Azad Medical College, AIIMS etc. being so tough, there is realistically a very big chance that you will not get into government medical college even if you have scored well. The problem starts with the limited number of seats in medical schools, which is fiercely aggravated by the problem of reservation for various castes and communities in both central and state government colleges, as imbibed in the constitution of India. As an instance, the unreserved category got 337 seats out of total 672 MBBS seats in seven AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Institution.

Students who do not get into government colleges are left only with the options of private medical colleges where the standard of education isn’t anywhere near great along with the exorbitant fees. India is the only country where medical seats are officially sold, therefore, acknowledging the importance of money power over merit. In private medical colleges significant numbers of seats are paid seats at undergraduate and post graduate levels, which are beyond the payment capacity of a common person. For example the illegal capitation fee for one MBBS seat ranges from 50 lakh to one crore Indian rupees (74,800 to 149,600 US dollars). These seats are mostly taken by the offsprings of rich businessmen or practicing doctors who want their next generation to take over an existing practice. To avoid a situation in which they have to pursue M.B.B.S. from a private medical college, many students choose to pursue their undergraduate education abroad at medium or high level university. Not only are the admissions comparatively much easier than what they are at government medical colleges in India, but the standard of education at a medical college abroad is generally much higher than what it is at a private medical college in India.

Students who want to pursue academic (non-clinical) subjects, especially the ones related to research, often tend to go abroad to pursue their postgraduate studies. This is primarily because the research opportunities that are available abroad are much better than the opportunities available in India. There is more support, better infrastructure and better prospects for students conducting their research abroad. Not only that, but certain subject specializations and programs (related or unrelated to research) are not even offered in India.

Also, the work conditions for doctors in many public hospitals are quite miserable. Trainee doctors (Interns) who form the backbone of the system have to labor unreasonably long hours. Moreover, many public hospitals are underequipped with inadequate facilities. Overcrowding and poor doctor to patient ratio further adds to the stress. The doctor to patient ratio in India is almost 1:1,700. In addition, the salary that they get does not cover their basic needs and is not as per the inflation. On top of it, there is no safety and incidences of assaults on the doctors by patients or their relatives are quite common. The conditions of accommodation provided to the doctors who should be considered precious human resource are pathetic too in many medical colleges.

 These all factors have led to significant discontent among medical aspirants and they are going abroad to pursue MBBS and become doctors.

Reference

  • Becoming a doctor in India: once a cherished dream, no longer cherished though by Richa Arora

About the author

Ravindra Nath is in the final year of M.B.B.S program, from North DMC Medical College & Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi (India). He is a recent addition to the IFMSA family and is extremely enthusiastic in taking part in its many workshops and events. He is currently involved in and wants to pursue a career in public health. He is quite committed to community service. He is an inborn leader & proficient in Oral and Written Communication Skills, with a nag for Networking and Managerial Skills. He also holds the position of Deputy Director in Fraternity of Seekers.  His special interests include research in the field of neurology, trauma surgery, public health and learning more about Auto-Immune diseases & Indigenous form of Medicines. He absolutely adores TED talks and war history!

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