Medical Education in India is amongst the most valuable and respected education sector in India. Medical Studies in India are also highly competitive and candidates have to clear a medical entrance examination for admission into various Medical Colleges in India. Some medical courses in India are the most sought after, i.e. MBBS in India is the major amongst them.

Medical Studies in India are pursued in the disciplines of medicine, nursing, dentistry, rehabilitation and physiotherapy, pharmacy, public health/hospital management and allied health sciences.

Indian medical education has a high value all over the world. The number of successful health practitioners in varied areas and under various capacities, itself speaks for the value of Indian medical experts. Highly acclaimed and well known doctors and nurses in foreign countries like U.S.A. and U.K. are of Indian origin.

Speaking of popularity, Indian medical education courses are also pursued by a substantial number of foreign nationals. Medical Studies in India are also cheaper for foreign students, especially those from western nations.

 Classification of Medical Education in India 

ISMH – Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopath includes Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. Various medical courses belonging to this area include B.A.M.S., B.H.M.S., M.D., Diploma and Certificate Courses.

NISM – Non-Indian System of Medicine includes Allopathy which is also known as the modern system of medicine. Various medical courses belonging to this area include M.B.B.S.,  M.D., M.D.S., M.S. etc.

Most prominent medical education in India is that concerning with 4 major disciplines viz.  medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy. Each field was governed by their respective councils i.e. –Medical Council of India, Dental Council of India, Nursing Council of India and Pharmacy Council of India.

Dental Education in India

Dental education in India is governed by the Dentists Act, 1948 (XVI of 1948) which regulates the Dental Education and the profession of Dentistry throughout India. It is financed by the Govt. of India in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Department of Health) through Grant-in-aid. Dentistry courses in India have witnessed an exponential growth within the last two decades so has the number of dentistry institutes and graduate dentists. Figures of 2010 (ministry of health and family welfare, india) show that there is an annual intake of 23,690 graduates. BDS is the most common sough-after course here.

Nursing Education in India

Nursing education in India has expanded considerably post independence.

There are six levels of nursing education in India today. They are :

  1. Multi Purpose Health Worker Training (ANM or MPHW)
  2. Female Health Supervisor Training (MPHS-F)
  3. General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM)
  4. BSc. Nursing
  5. MSc. Nursing
  6. M.Phil. and Ph.D.

The ANM and GNM are conducted in schools of nursing. The last 3 are university level courses and the respective universities conduct examinations. Beside there are several certificate and diploma courses in specialties.

Current Educational Pattern in Nursing

1. Non University Programme

  • Basic – ANM-GNM
  • Advance-Post-Certificate Diploma

2. University Programme

  • Basic- B.Sc. (N)
  • Post-Basic B.Sc. (Regular)
  • Post-Basic B.Sc. (N).IGNOU
  • Advance: M.Sc. (Nursing)
  • M. Phil.
  • Ph.D.

Distance Medical Education in India

Distance Medical Education in India is restricted to a few institutes. Medical courses are more practice based than theoretical so practical education through distance media is supplemented through intense practical and clinical programme of varying duration viz. 10 – 30 days, held every month or as required. At the same time various workshops, seminars and clinical training on a monthly basis are also conducted. These are further helpful in practical training. Such training programmes benefit a large number of students. Apart from the conventional medical fields, different alternative therapies, traditional medicine and holistic healing courses are also imparted through distance mode of education. These can also be completed in a shorter duration based on the student’s ability and performance. Degree of Alternative Medicine does not require registration from Medical Council of India in order to practice as per their letter no. MCI – 34(I)/ 96 Med./10984. This letter is addressed to the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines. Some online universities like the IGNOU are collaborating with various national and international organisations for the development of medical education through distance mode.. IGNOU provides in-service training for medical, nursing, paramedical and allied personnel through the distance education mode.