Although DNB and MD/MS are considered to be equivalent, the seats available for students to pursue post-graduation programmes under DNB are limited. In the case of MD/MS, there are multiple institutes offering seats to the aspirants.

After completing the MBBS degree course, most students prefer to opt for a postgraduate degree course. For medical graduates, there are quite a few options to choose from, the most popular being MD, MS, and DNB courses. Admission to these courses is through a common entrance test, NEET-PG, which makes the journey beyond this a little tricky. DNB courses are considered equivalent to a master’s degree in India. This makes the choice difficult for many candidates. While the courses may look similar to many, there are few contrasting differences between these. Let us start with an introduction to these courses.

Diplomate of National Board (DNB) is a medical qualification awarded by the National Board of Examinations (NBE). The DNB course is approved by the Government of India and is considered equivalent to the postgraduate and post-doctoral programs offered by the medical colleges in India. Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Master’s in Surgery (MS) is mostly limited to a post-graduation course in general medicine and surgery.

Now, we shall discuss the differences between the two similar, yet different, programs based on their admission process, eligibility, and career prospects.

What is the difference in the admission process of DNB, MD, and MS courses?

Admission to DNB

Owing to a limited number of seats, the admission process for a DNB program is based on the merit and the performance of the students in medical entrance exams. Each candidate should submit their internship completion certificate in addition to the Certificate of Permanent registration with the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The entrance examinations conducted for admission to the program include:

  • National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for postgraduate courses (NEET PG) for admission to post MBBS programmes
  • Diplomate National Board Common Entrance Test (DNB PDCET) for admission to post MD/MS/DNB programmes

Candidates can apply for DNB course offline as well as online.

Admission to MD/MS

Admission for MS course is based on merit or entrance-exam. A large number of colleges carry out counseling and choose students through the merit-list set by the state-wise universities. Some colleges carry out entrance exam to choose students for this course admission. Major entrance exams carried out by the colleges and universities are:


Some colleges conduct a personal interview along with the entrance exam. Based on the performances, candidates are selected for the course admission. Few colleges admit candidates directly for this course.

The procedure of admission to the MD program might vary across institutes. Some institutes carry out their entrance exams for admission, while some choose students based on their score at the level of graduation. Moreover, most colleges in India depend on the candidate’s performance in the national-level entrance examination, NEET PG.

Some major entrance exams held in the country are:


What is the eligibility criteria for admission to the DNB, MD and MS courses?

What are the eligibility criteria for admission to the DNB, MD, and MS courses?

Eligibility for DNB courses

The eligibility criteria for DNB is as follows:

  • Those who have qualified their Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree or equivalent examination with a minimum aggregate of 50 percent marks are entitled to admission
  • Candidates who have passed NEET PG/DNB PDCET are eligible for admission
  • They should have finished their one-year internship
  • For admission to the DNB program, Candidates must not be over 50 years of age Individuals with a medical degree having a certificate of permanent registration given by MCI can opt for the course
  • Candidates who have passed MBBS from foreign universities can also seek admission

Eligibility for MD/MS courses

For admission to MD in General Medicine course, applicants need to complete MBBS/BAMS with at least a score of 50 percent, with a one-year compulsory internship. Also, a minimum total score of 60 percent is required at the graduation level. Also, candidates need to be eligible for an institute, national or state-level entrance test for admission to the course.

For admission to the Master of Surgery (MS) course, aspiring candidates need to complete MBBS from a medical college recognized by MCI. Candidates who have passed their bachelor’s degree with 50 percent of marks are eligible for this course. However, the percentage may differ from one college to another.

What are the difference in the career prospects after DNB, MD, and MS courses?

Career prospects of a Diplomate National Board (DNB) course

After the completion of the course, candidates have a range of opportunities to work as specialists in diverse genres of medicine. They can choose to become faculty professors for their specialization subject in universities and colleges. They can also choose to become Paediatric, Anaesthesiologist, Broad Specialists and Super Specialists like Nephrologists, Orthopaedics, Cardiologists, Neurologists, and much more.

Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Salary (in Rs LPA)
PaediatricianDiagnose and treat disabilities, illnesses associated with infants and children.20-35
AnaesthesiologistMonitoring, managing the right amount of anesthesia after understanding the patient’s history during key operations.10-11.9
OphthalmologistDiagnose and treat illnesses associated with eyes and harms of eyes.10-12
GeriatricianDiagnosis and treatment of illnesses for treating immobilization problem in old adults.12-16
NephrologistSpecializing in disease related to kidney, treating and diagnosing the ailment.16-21
CardiologistDiagnosing and treating cardiovascular ailments and endorse consciousness of heart health12-16

Career prospects of an MD/MS degree

Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Salary (in Rs LPA)
Neonatal SurgeonNeonatal Surgeons are accountable for operating on infants and fixing defects that require surgery.10-15
Vascular SurgeonThey are accountable for determining which instruments and methods of surgery might attain a successful result.10-12
Plastic SurgeonPlastic Surgeons perform processes to enhance the patient’s look, fix deformities, and mend injured tissues.12-14
ResearcherResearchers are accountable for interacting with team managers and confirm that all projects and tasks are on the agenda.5-6
BacteriologistA Bacteriologist is in charge of observing and researching different sorts of microorganisms in stages of change and advancement.1.28-8.61
Physiologist Physiologists work in social insurance offices and doctor’s facilities. They monitor human physiological organs and frameworks to treat and analyze chronic diseases and physiological clutters.3.71-12.89
GynaecologistGynecologists give restorative treatment to ladies before, during, and after pregnancy and also guide patients about anti-conception medication.2.94-12.41
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