MBBS Degree vs. MD Degree: A Guide (2023)


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MBBS Degree vs. MD Degree: A Guide

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Compared to the MD degree in the US, becoming a doctor involves a different degree pathway for commonwealth students.

MBBS Degree vs. MD Degree: A Guide (1)

In commonwealth countries, such as Great Britain and India, students who want to study medicine and become a doctor earn their MBBS degree, which stands for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Science. MBBS is a professional undergraduate degree that students can begin after finishing their secondary education.

An MBBS degree is equivalent to an MD degree in the United States, which is a professional degree you earn after first completing your bachelor’s degree. With the MBBS, you do not need to earn a traditional bachelor’s degree. Instead, you will gain a medical education from your degree program before completing additional training (called the Foundation Programme in the UK) and finishing with either general practice or specialty training.

The process for applying to an MBBS program and becoming a doctor differs from what medical students face in the US. In this article, we’ll review key facts about the MBBS degree, how it compares to an MD degree in the US, and what you can do with the degree.

MBBS degree: Key facts

The MBBS is usually a five-year undergraduate degree that commonwealth students complete when they want to become a doctor. However, some programs take six years to complete because the institution expects you to earn a Bachelor of Science (BSc) as part of your training.

By the time a student applies to a medical program, they have likely taken several foundational science courses as part of their high school (or secondary) education. For example, in the UK, medical applicants are often expected to show high scores on both their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) and A-levels.

Earning an MBBS means that students are certified to care for patients as junior physicians but do not have any specialized training. Graduates are expected to complete two years of additional training, which rotates them through different specialties. Once they identify a specialty they like, they can apply for additional training, which can take anywhere between three and eight years.

(Video) type of medical degree in medical career

MBBS coursework

Many medical programs follow a progressive education that begins with classroom training before moving into practical clinical training. Over the course of your first and second year (and, in some programs, your third), you can expect to learn about patients’ health needs and how to care for them.

Some common themes you may encounter throughout your initial time in an MBBS program include:

While each program differs, in a five-year program, your final two or three years tend to focus on transitioning you into practice. During this time, you may get the opportunity to begin learning about specialties—like psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, or neurology—and completing an internship or assistantship to gain real-world experience.

Medical specialties with an MBBS

After you have earned your MBBS degree and completed the required additional training, you either have the option of training to become a general practitioner or studying a specific area of medicine—called a specialty.

The length of your training will depend on your program. In the UK, general practitioner training takes three years, while other specialties take between five and eight years.

Common specialties include:

  • Allergy and immunology

  • Cardiology

  • Emergency medicine

  • Internal medicine

  • Neurology

  • Obstetrics and gynecology

  • Pediatrics

    (Video) What is MD Course With Full Information? – [Hindi] – Quick Support

  • Pulmonology


MBBS graduates are considered qualified doctors who can treat basic health matters, while they continue acquiring additional training. In that regard, they are similar to MD graduates in the US, who are expected to complete a three-year residency after finishing medical school.

In the US, the path to becoming a doctor often begins as an undergraduate. Many students choose a medical major or one in the natural sciences to gain a foundational knowledge before applying to medical school. They must also take the MCAT entrance exam.

Given how competitive med school can be, some students enroll in a postbaccalaureate program after earning their bachelor’s to improve their grades, better prepare to take the MCAT, and overall strengthen their chances of being accepted.

Once accepted to med school, it typically takes four years to earn an MD degree. As students prepare to graduate, they begin applying for a three-year residency at teaching universities and hospitals around the country. Once “matched” with a program, they take their state’s licensing exam so they can begin practicing medicine as part of their residency program.

Length of time to become a doctor

It takes about 11 years to become a general practitioner in the US, from undergraduate to residency. UK students, on the other hand, will take eight years to complete all requirements, from MBBS to general practice (GP) training. However, it can take much longer (two to five additional years) to become a specialist.

MD academic degrees

In Great Britain and other commonwealth countries, an MD is an academic degree known as a Doctor of Medicine that takes two years of full-time study to earn. Before applying, students often must have clinical training. They will be expected to conduct original research and write an original thesis.

Can US students apply to MBBS programs?

The short answer is: yes. But the requirements for each university differ. If you’re interested in attending medical school outside of the US, it’s best to research the application requirements and contact the admissions office with any questions you may have as a prospective international student. If accepted, you may have to apply for a visa to study internationally.

It’s also worth noting that many commonwealth countries classify university fees into two categories, one for “home” students and one for “overseas” students. You may face higher fees as a result of your student status.

MBBS degree in the US

MBBS graduates who are interested in practicing medicine in the US must usually complete a three-year residency to finish their training. You may need to apply for a visa before submitting your residency applications, and it’s recommended to apply to at least 25 residencies.

MBBS degree alternatives

When you are interested in working in health care, there are a number of advanced degrees you can earn if a medical degree doesn’t seem like the right choice or the time commitment isn’t feasible.

  • Nursing: You can earn a nursing degree at many different levels, including associate, bachelor’s, maser’s, and doctorate. Learn more about how to get into nursing school. Nursing is a fast-growing career in the US with the potential for high-income. The median annual wage for a nurse practitioner, which requires a master’s in nursing, is $107,030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [1].

  • Public health: Earning a master’s in public health can be an excellent way to move into senior roles dedicated to working with communities and other larger populations. Within public health, you can concentrate in one of several areas, such as physical health, epidemiology, or environmental health. Learn more about public health and what you can do in the field.

  • Social work: A master’s in social work is typically required to become a licensed clinical social worker and work with individual clients or groups to improve their mental health and well-being. Learn more about different social work degrees and the careers they can lead to.

  • Health care administration: Health care administrators keep medical practices and hospitals operating smoothly. Roles in this field typically combine an understanding of business with a deep knowledge of health care. Learn more about what it takes to earn a master’s in health care administration and what you can do with the degree.

MBBS Degree vs. MD Degree: A Guide (2)

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1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Careers for nurses: Opportunities and options, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2020/article/careers-for-nurses-opportunities-and-options.htm.” Accessed September 1, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.


MBBS Degree vs. MD Degree: A Guide? ›

MBBCh & MBBS: These are MD-equivalent degrees given by medical schools that follow the United Kingdom medical education system. Both acronyms are derived from Latin and mean “bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery.”

Is MBBS equal to MD? ›

MBBCh & MBBS: These are MD-equivalent degrees given by medical schools that follow the United Kingdom medical education system. Both acronyms are derived from Latin and mean “bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery.”

What is the equivalent of MBBS in the US? ›

An MBBS degree is equivalent to an MD degree in the United States, which is a professional degree you earn after first completing your bachelor's degree. With the MBBS, you do not need to earn a traditional bachelor's degree.

Is MBBS accepted in USA? ›

MBBS applications are accepted at universities in the United States for the autumn and spring semesters. International students can apply to universities in the United States through AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service). Some of them accept applications directly through their websites.

Is Indian MBBS valid in USA? ›

A professional degree in Medicine in USA is known as MD. One needs to complete 4 years of undergraduate studies and clear the MCAT exam to pursue MD in USA. Is MD from India Valid in USA? Yes, MD in India is valid in USA provided you clear the United States Medical Licence Examination.

How many years is MBBS in USA? ›

In the USA, MBBS is a postgraduate program, while in India, it is a bachelor's degree. Approximately four years are required to finish the program, which is equivalent to an MD (Doctor of Medicine).

What degrees are equivalent to MD? ›

Equivalent Degrees. The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees (MB BS or MB ChB, and several variants) are equivalent to the North American MD degree. The American osteopathic medical degree (DO) is identical to the training requirements and practice rights of the MD degree.

Can MBBS do MD in USA? ›

In USA, an Indian student after completion of MBBS cannot practice directly since the basic level of study to practice is postgraduate medicine in USA. USMLE has clearly defined the medical courses after MBBS to be completed in USA.

How can I become a MBBS Doctor in USA? ›

How to become a doctor
  1. Complete an Undergraduate Education. ...
  2. Pass the MCAT Examination. ...
  3. Apply to Medical School. ...
  4. Complete Training at Medical School. ...
  5. Pass Parts I & II of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) ...
  6. Match with Residency. ...
  7. Graduate from Medical School & Start Residency.

Is MBBS from Georgia valid in USA? ›

All MBBS graduates from Georgian universities can practice in any country they like, as long as they qualify for the respective country's qualifying exam. In the case of the US, the qualifying exam is USMLE.

Can I do MBBS in USA without MCAT? ›

Most US schools require the MCAT as part of your application unless you are entering medical school through a BS/MD degree or EAP program. Schools that don't require the MCAT in the regular admissions process are typically abroad, which may make obtaining a US medical license more complicated.

Does Harvard have MBBS? ›

Harvard is a prestigious university and a great choice to study MBBS in. If you wish to know the expenses and specialisation of MBBS at Harvard, please call our experts at 1800-572-000 who will inform you about the same in detail.

Which Indian degree is valid in USA? ›

Typically, if you have a master's degree or a doctoral degree from India evaluated, you'll most likely get the same degree title as a US equivalency. However, if you're evaluating a bachelor's degree, it can be tricky. Here's why: The length of an Indian bachelor's degree is 3 years.

Can Indian MBBS doctors work in USA without Usmle? ›

You need to complete Residency in the USA and have the state license. Although residency is a paid program, you would have to invest a minimum of 3 years. Upon completion of residency, you have to apply for a state board license in the state you would like to practice medicine.

How many years is MD in USA? ›

Time and Duration. The duration of an MBBS course is four years while an M.D. is for another three years. The undergraduate pre-med course is four years while the USA M.D. programme is for four years.

Who is eligible for MD in USA? ›

In order to be eligible to apply to an MD program in the United States, you must have a bachelor's degree and have completed specific premedical coursework, such as biology, chemistry, and physics. You may also be required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

What is the salary of only MBBS in USA? ›

Salary of MBBS doctor in the USA

According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2021, the average annual salary for primary care physicians (including family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics) in the USA is around $242,000, while specialists earn an average of $420,000 per year.

Which country MBBS degree is best? ›

1. Singapore: It is considered one of the developed Asian countries, which offers a financial and shipping hub to many countries for trade. Singapore is also known for its quality of education, and one of the major courses provided here is MBBS.

What is higher than MD? ›

Doctor of philosophy: the highest college or university degree, or someone who has this”. A PhD can be awarded for carrying out original research in any field, not just medicine. In comparison to an MD, a PhD in a Medicinal field is focused on finding out new knowledge, as opposed to applying current knowledge.

What is the highest degree than MD? ›

After PG medical courses, candidates will be awarded Doctor of Medicine (MD), Master of Surgery (MS), PG Diploma, and Diplomate of National Board (DNB). After PG courses, aspirants can pursue SS degree after which they get admission to Doctorate of Medicine (DM) and Master of Chirurgiae (MCh).

Is MD equal to Masters? ›

The program in medicine lasts for 6 years, including a one-year clinical internship, and students are awarded Doctor of Medicine (MD) upon graduation. The degree is academically equivalent to a master's degree.

How much does it cost to do MD after MBBS in USA? ›

The USA is famed for its high-quality medical education, unfortunately, medical studies are quite expensive in the USA. The average annual tuition fees for an MD degree at top universities range from 52,456 to 84,996 USD/year.

How can I study MBBS for free in USA? ›

Scholarships For MBBS In USA
  1. Vagelos Scholarship.
  2. Harvard Medical School Scholarship.
  3. Stanford Institutional Aid.
  4. Financial Aid for Medical Students for International Students.
  5. ASAHP Scholarship of Excellence.
  6. NHS Corps Scholarship.
  7. Howard G. Lapsley Memorial Scholarship.
Nov 21, 2022

Is US MD accepted in India? ›

its valid , but to practice in US you need to pass the examination for that state .

Which doctor takes the shortest time to become? ›

The shortest residency programs
  • Dermatology: Four years.
  • Neurology: Four years.
  • Ophthalmology: Four years.
  • Physical medicine: Four years.
  • Emergency medicine: Three to four years.
  • Obstetrics-gynecology: Four years.
  • Pathology: Four years.
  • Psychiatry: Four years.
Sep 20, 2022

Is MBBS and MD same in Georgia? ›

Georgia offers 6 years of Medicine program and is termed as Doctor of Medicine (MD) which is equivalent to the MBBS in India.

Does US accept foreign medical degrees? ›

Any foreign doctor who wants to practice medicine in the United States must first: Pass the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Obtain ECFMG certification. Enter a fellowship or residency program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)

How many years is MBBS in Georgia? ›

6 Years

Is it easy to study MBBS in USA? ›

The curriculum and educational process involved in obtaining MBBS in USA are so extensive that it is considered equivalent to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. Admission to MBBS in USA requires a 4-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent with an overall aggregate of 83-86%.

Is MCAT necessary for MD in USA? ›

The MCAT is a requirement for most medical schools in the US and Canada. It is not a requirement for universities.

Can I get into Harvard Medical School after MBBS? ›

In many countries, students enter medical school directly from advanced secondary school, but to apply to Harvard Medical School you must first complete a bachelor's degree. If you are currently enrolled in any medical school or were enrolled previously, you are ineligible to apply to Harvard Medical School.

How many years does it take to study MBBS in Harvard University? ›

The Duration for MD~MBBS in America at Harvard Medical School is 4 years.

What GPA do you need for Harvard Medical School? ›

If your MCAT and GPA are excellent (517 and 3.8 or higher) or there are other extenuating circumstances about your background that distinguish you, try applying. Many people in medicine consider HMS the best medical school in the country so do what is within your control to make yourself a competitive applicant!

Can I graduate in India and get a job in USA? ›

FAQs. Ques 1) Can I get a job in the USA with an Indian degree? Ans) Of Course, you can get a job in the USA with an Indian degree if you have educational qualifications and specifications as per the requirements of the company.

Will my degree be recognized in the US? ›

A common question from international students is, “Will US employers accept my degree from abroad?” We're here to give you a deeper look into this. The short answer is, yes, the majority of US employers will accept your international degree.

Why do we have bachelors in USA and not in India? ›

American universities and colleges offer a myriad of courses and programs to choose from. You have the freedom to not only select the course content, but also the structure. At the undergraduate level, you have the liberty to pursue different courses before they you declare your major at the end of the second year.

What percentage of doctors in USA are Indian? ›

As of 2019, there were about 938,980 active physicians in the US; Indian-origin physicians account for at least 29.5% of the total physician population. It is noteworthy that India provides the largest number of International Medical Graduates to the US in absolute numbers.

How much Indian doctors earn in USA? ›

Average Salary of a Medical Professional in the US

The average salary of US doctors in 2022 is USD 183,429, which is equivalent to around 1.4 Crore Rupees. The lowest national annual average wage was USD 126,470, and the highest was USD 208,000.

Why are there so many Indian doctors? ›

The U.S. began recruiting doctors from India and other countries more than half a century ago to help meet the demand for healthcare services after Medicare was created in 1965. Because India is a former British colony, doctors there spoke English and had a leg up.

How much does MD cost in USA? ›

Cost to Study MD in USA

The MD in USA cost pertaining to the degree program usually lies in the range of 50,000 USD to 70,000 USD per annum. Another important aspect of the cost of MD in USA for international students is the cost of living which comprises accommodation, meals, transportation, books and supplies, etc.

Is it too late to become a doctor at 40? ›

There is no age limit for medical school. You can become a doctor in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s. In the end, medical schools want students who will make good physicians. Age is not a factor.

Can you practice medicine in USA without Usmle? ›

Without completing the USMLE (Step 1 and Step 2), you cannot apply for residency within the US as a foreign medical graduate. Likewise, without completing all elements of the USMLE (including Step 3), you'll be unable to apply for medical licensure within the US.

Are you still an MD without residency? ›

Can You Get An MD Without Residency? Yes. Residency is not mandatory, it is a specialty training program that you can choose to enter after completing your MD. However, residency is a mandatory step to achieving medical licensure in the US, which will allow you to practice medicine as an independent physician.

Who can use MD after name? ›

Most primary care teams are led by an MD (medical doctor) or a DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine). A medical doctor with an MD designation attends an allopathic (or traditional) medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Can MD practice in all 50 states? ›

Although federal standards govern medical training and testing, each state has its own licensing board, and doctors must procure a license for every state in which they practice medicine (with some limited exceptions for physicians from bordering states, for consultations, and during emergencies).

What is the highest level of Doctor? ›

What is the highest doctor position in a hospital? The highest position a doctor can attain is medical director. Medical directors supervise staff, enforce policy, and manage the services provided by the facility. They have the most authority and responsibility within a hospital.

Which is the highest degree in Doctor? ›

Where do you want to study? MD, or Doctor of Medicine, is the highest academic degree for surgeons and physicians. It can be a professional doctorate, as in the case of USA and Canada, or a research degree, as in countries following the UK tradition.

Is there a higher degree than MD? ›

Doctor of philosophy: the highest college or university degree, or someone who has this”. A PhD can be awarded for carrying out original research in any field, not just medicine. In comparison to an MD, a PhD in a Medicinal field is focused on finding out new knowledge, as opposed to applying current knowledge.

Is MD the highest medical degree? ›

While there are some medical degrees available at the master's level, such as a Master of Science (MS) in Medical Science or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), doctoral degree programs are the highest medical degree available.

What is the lowest rank doctor? ›

In doctor ranks, the lowest level is general practitioner, and the highest rank is ordinary. 1- (Dr.)

What is the lowest level doctor? ›

Intern. Once a student has graduated from medical school and started a residency, this doctor is called an intern. At some hospitals, they are referred to as first-year residents. Although interns do have medical degrees and are referred to as doctors, they're not licensed to practice medicine without supervision.

What are the ranks of a doctor? ›

If you enter as a licensed physician, your rank will typically begin at captain or major (Army/Air Force) or lieutenant or lieutenant commander (Navy), but it may be higher depending on where you are in your civilian career.

What is the hardest doctor degree to get? ›

1. Boarded Medical Doctor: After spending about eight years to earn your first degree, you are faced with between three and six years of residency. This is the most competitive field in education which means you must have passed through a very rigorous process to earn this certificate.

What are the top 5 doctors degree? ›

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery - MBBS.
  • Master of Surgery - MS.
  • Doctor of Medicine - MD.
  • Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery - BAMS.
  • Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery - BHMS.
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy - BPT.
  • Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery - BUMS.

What is the highest degree after MBBS? ›

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

MD is a professional medical degree that is awarded after MBBS from a recognised medical institute. After completing the course curriculum in a pre-clinical or clinical subject of non-surgical nature, the candidates receive an MD degree.

Is a PhD higher than an MD? ›

The PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is the highest graduate degree awarded by our universities. Health professionals receive undergraduate degrees in medicine. These are professional degrees, and not really doctorates. The MD degree is not a part of graduate faculties at North American universities.

Do you call an MD a doctor? ›

M.D., which can be used with or without the periods (M.D. or MD) is the designation for a medical doctor.

Is it harder to get into MD or do school? ›

Practically speaking, however, it is more difficult to get into an MD program vs. a DO program. During the 2021–2022 academic year, the average MCAT and GPA for students entering U.S. MD programs were 511.9 and 3.74, respectively.

Who is above an MD? ›

A managing director is below the CEO in a corporate hierarchy. The person filling this role reports directly to the CEO and must fulfill the CEO's orders and expectations.

Why choose a do over an MD? ›

The main difference in the training of DOs versus MDs is that DOs complete an additional 200 hours of coursework. This extra training focuses on bones, muscles, and nerves and how they affect the body's overall health. It also includes learning different OMM techniques to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses.

Is MD equivalent to Masters? ›

The program in medicine lasts for 6 years, including a one-year clinical internship, and students are awarded Doctor of Medicine (MD) upon graduation. The degree is academically equivalent to a master's degree.


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