As a new doctor starting out in the field of medicine, it is important to know the various options available after graduation. This post serves an introduction to the various specializations and super-specializations that can be pursued by a medical graduate. While it is by no means exhaustive, the article will offer an introduction to the Medical Council of India’s recommendations & mandates for medical courses.

The Medical Council of India (MCI) is a statutory body responsible for maintaining highest standards of quality of medical education in India and recognition of medical colleges in India1.

According to experts, about 12,000 doctors complete post graduation per year in India2, and over 40,000 doctors compete for PG admissions every year. The good news is, considering the need for more postgraduates especially in rural areas, the government of India has plans to increase the number of these seats. Undergraduates thus wanting to pursue a specialization thus have a plethora of options.

Apart from doctors residing in India, non resident Indian doctors also have some seats allocated to them. This is of significance for students from underdeveloped countries where good medical knowledge is not available.

Numerous postgraduate and super-specialty courses are recognized by the MCI, and the PG courses offered by various medical institutions fall into various categories.

In this article


1. Post graduate diploma

Eligibility criteria: Recognised MBBS degree.

There are a total of 61 options of subjects for pursuing a post graduate diploma3. A representative list of PGDip specializations:

  • Anaesthesia
  • Child health
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetology
  • Opthalmology
  • Nutrition
  • Microbiology

Tenure: As per MCI guidelines, this is a 2 year course.

2. Post Graduate Degree

Eligibility criteria: Recognised degree of MBBS or its equivalent.

There are a total of 78 options, in which doctors can pursue either an MD or an MS.

MD (Doctor of Medicine)

A representative list of MD specializations:.

  • Anaesthesia
  • Anatomy
  • Geriatric medicine
  • General medicine
  • Forensic medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Paediatrics
  • Radio-therapy

MS (Master of Surgery)

Eligibility criteria: Recognised MBBS degree.

A representative list of MS specializations:

  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopaedics
  • ENT
  • Traumatology and Surgery
  • Anaesthesia

Tenure: As per MCI guidelines, PG medical education in broad specialities is a 3-year course.

3. Superspecialization

There are several options for super speciality courses, which can be taken up after pursuing a postgraduate degree.


Eligibility criteria: Recognised post-graduate degree.

A representative list of DM super-specializations:

  • Clinical Haematology
  • Pulmonary medicine,
  • Neuro-radiology
  • Oncology
  • Nephrology


Eligibility criteria: Recognised MS degree.

A representative list of MCh super-specializations:

  • Hand surgery
  • Oncosurgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Plastic surgery


Eligibility criteria: A recognized post-graduate degree.

A representative list of PhD specializations:

  • Biology
  • Pathology
  • Anaesthesia
  • Forensic medicine
  • ENT

Tenure: Super-specialization is a 3-year course.


Doctors can thus leverage this knowledge in making a more informed decision about their career. We will be posting more such articles in the coming days, to help you better evaluate the world of medical education and make the most of it.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD


  1. Medical Council of India,
  2. Doctors start a movement to equalise medical seats
  3. Post graduate and Super speciality options available in India
  4. Medical council of India

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