DNB or MD / MS- Which is Better for Your Career Growth? | PrepLadder

Which one to go for after MBBS, DNB or MD/MS? This is a matter of intense confusion among the young MBBS doctors who want to go for post graduation. Which one provides a secure future?

There are many similar questions that confuse the aspirant for opting the right PG courses.

Here we put forward a clearer picture about all the aspects of DNB and MD/MS courses.

Also read: Advantages and disadvantages of doing DNB over MD/MS


DNB and MD/MS- An Overview

A post graduate degree Diplomate in National Board (DNB) is awarded by the National Board of Examinations under the Union Ministry of Health, India. DNB candidates are trained at big private hospitals, while the MD/MS candidates are trained at Medical Colleges. DNB residency positions are available in 54 specialties.

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Getting admission in a government institution is a difficult job especially getting your choice of institution/branch. To enroll in MD/MS you need to clear tough nationwide entrance exam (Thus, specialized coaching centers have come into existence to train for these entrance exams).

You have to pay a large amount of capitation fees for getting admission in most private institutions which is unaccounted.

Comparatively, it is quite easy to get admission in DNB. There is a reasonable chance of getting institution/branch of your choice. For enrolling in DNB program, you need to clear NBE common entrance test which is relatively easy compared to MD/MS exams followed by interview at the institution of your choice.


DNB and MD/MS- Course

There are two scenarios depending on the patient load and type of equipments available as most of the government institutions have a very high patient load but a little time for academics – didactics, presentations, research etc. So in this case one will be working in the specialty and learn on the job and at the end of the course, the candidate will be prepared and confident to practice independently.
However, many private institutions have less patient load but they emphasize more on academics. In this scenario one will be good in theory and to an extent in practice too. But one will require extra training before becoming independent.

One major advantage of private DNB institutions is exposure to latest equipment and practices like in corporate hospitals. Institutions vary widely according to their patient load and also within an institution between specialties. Academics however is average as there is not much time to spare.

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Clearing the final exam

Clearing the final Examination is almost a guarantee in one or more attempts in the case of MD/ MS if one gets admission in it. However in DNB there is no such guarantee and the pass rate is also abysmal.


DNB vs MD/MS-Career:

Most of the government institutions considers DNB. Some medical colleges insist on some extra work experience to consider DNB. Thus there is no big difference in getting a job.
Though in private practice, DNB might face difficulty initially due to the perception among the general public but can be recognized to be considered on par.


DNB vs MD/MS- Views from people:

Former academic cell chairman of MCI Dr Ved Prakash Mishra said that the general body of MCI had debated the issue at length and decided against equating the two. However, the council had allowed parity of DNB to regular PG qualification only in case the incumbent had one year research associateship to his/her credit along with three years of tutorship in concerned specialty in a recognized medical college,” he said. “During PG course students are entitled to teach undergraduate students and this teaching was counted as ‘teaching experience’. Such a situation does not exist in non-teaching hospitals,” added Dr Mishra. 


However, many senior practicing doctors express views in favour of equating DNB with MD/MS. Dr Rajesh Swarnakar, a senior chest physician, categorically stated that DNB was definitely a superior degree than PG and hence there was no question of equating the two. “The standard is so high that merely 5-15% clear the exam. DNB admissions are centralised and there is no scope for any manipulation. Hence DNB is not equivalent to MD/MS but is much superior,” he said. Dr Swarnakar pointed out that the DNB examination had much more recognition abroad as compared to other PG degrees in medicine from India. 



  • They are equal in value if you want to practice in a private job in India.
  • For a teaching job in Medical college MD/MS is preferred a little bit more.
  • For practicing overseas DNB is preferred a bit more.


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Shweta Taprial

Shweta has expertise in curating academic content and has assisted thousands of students in cracking various competitive exams and Owning their Dream.