We have a simple question for all the medical aspirants out there- just how many aspirants have written or applied to MBBS or BDS seats in India this year, or over the past few years? Why we ask particularly of MBBS and BDS is because these two are most preferred choices of students aspiring to pursue a profession in medicine.
Ofcourse a career in medicine is good but what's important is to understand your readiness to put in all it takes for its preparation. This year, more than 10 lakh students applied for MBBS and BDS and the competition increases every year. With that, the level of competition increases as well.
However, with advancement in medical sciences today, almost every branch is a specialized field in itself. And they are such, only because of their rising demand. With today’s rising population and sedentary lifestyle, the need of appropriate and affordable healthcare for all is growing with each passing hour. So, it’s fair to say, that as a medical aspirant, you should look beyond the traditional MBBS and BDS. One, because alternative career possibilities can lead to setting up own practice or clinics. Two, you can specialize in a particular field of medicine.
Some of the major alternative courses for a career in medicine are Homeopathy (BHMS), Ayurveda (BAMS), Unani (BUMS), Naturopathy (BNYS), Physiotherapy, Speech and Hearing, Optometry, Radiography, Dialysis Technology among others. You can also think of pursuing Masters in hospital administration. After any of these courses, work up your way in managerial positions.
Let's find details of some of the best top alternative, yet promising academic disciplines of study for entry into the world of medicine.
M.Sc. Biochemistry deals with the study of chemical processes in living organisms through combined use of Biology and Chemistry.
After completion of this course, one can easily find jobs in Biotechnology firms, Chemical industries, Medical and Industrial laboratories, Life Science companies, Health centres, Hospitals, Petroleum companies, Pharmaceuticals and Educational institutions.
The major job profiles in this line are Lab Technician, Medical Transcriptionist, Clinical Laboratory Technologist, Toxicologist, Research Scientist, Healthcare Scientist, Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, Consultant, Patient Care Coordinator, Pharmacologist, Biomedical Scientist, Biochemist, Clinical Scientist, Associate Professor etc.
Salary of M.Sc. Biochemistry Professor- INR 30,000-40,000 per month
Starting Salary in Private Firms- INR 25,000- 80,000
Salary of Biochemists working in clinical laboratories- INR 4 Lacs per annum
Salary in Biochemistry combined with Biotechnology- INR 2.7 Lacs per annum.
Salary after M.Sc. Biochemistry- INR 3 Lacs per annum
This is a 4 year course, based on medicinal chemistry and analysis of data with regard to knowledge of prescription and manufacturing of medicinal drugs and their various dosages for various illnesses etc.
Admissions are generally done through GPAT (Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test) or any other state-specific entrance exam.After the completion of course, first requisite is to be registered as Registered Pharmacist at the Pharmacy Council of respective state.
If you aspire to pursue higher education in the same field, you can enroll for M.Pharm. or PhD. You can also write government exams like SSC, UPSC, State PSC etc. Through MBA, you can also pursue Health Care Management.
The common job profiles in private and government sectors are Pharmacist, Drug Inspector, Health Supervisor, Medical Underwriter, CRO, Data Validation Associate and Medical Representative. And, of course you can also be an in-house pharmacist or chemist.
Salary for Drug Inspector- INR 55,000 to 65,000
Salary for state government’s health programs and contractual pharmacists- INR 12,000 to 36,000 per month
In private sector specifically, there are plenty of opportunities in Pharmaceutical Marketing, Production, Quality Control, Regulatory Affairs, and Medical Underwriting.
Starting Salary in pharmaceutical marketing- INR 18,000-35,000
Salary for production and quality control- INR 9,000-21,000
Salary in Medical Underwriting- INR 40,000
3) B.Sc. (Hons) Bioinformatics
B.Sc (Hons).in Bioinformatics focuses on application of computer technology to visualize, analyze andinterpret information in complex biological data. It has immense scope in the field of medical biology, chemistry, pharmaceuticals and medicine for complex biological and medical research and development and genetic diseases.
This undergraduate degree can be followed up with Post Graduate Diploma in Bioinformatics or MSc Bioinformatics, for those who wish to go for higher education.
Also, there are a plenty of job opportunities such as Bioinformatics Analyst, Medical Coder, Gene Analyst, Protein Analyst, Biochemist, Research Associate or Assistant in pharmaceutical companies and Scientific Writer.
Average salary- INR 3-10 Lacs per annum
4) B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Technology
The allied health profession ofMedical Laboratory Technology deals with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. This is a task of importance as you make the initial diagnosis, based on which a doctor will make the observations.
After this course, one can work as Medical Technologist, Lab Technician, Lab Manager, Lab Supervisor, Lab Assistant or Lab Analyst.
Government hospitals, Private hospitals, Clinics, Nursing homes, Independent commercial medical labs and Pathological labs often recruit such professionals.
Average salary- INR 2-5.5 Lacs per annum
5) B.Sc. Physiotherapy
It is one of the emerging healthcare services in India. Why? Because of its core area of function; focusing on improving physical functions of the human body, through assessment and treatment by physical means. Simply put, to regain from a state of incapacity due to accident or illness.
Rehabilitation Specialist, Sports Physiotherapist, Physiotherapist, Wellness Coach or Personal Trainer are some of the usual job profiles after course completion.
Physiotherapists work in the settings of Hospitals, Nursing homes, Residential homes, Rehabilitation centers, Private practices or Private clinics, Out-patient clinics, Community health care centers, Sports fitness centers, Health clubs, Occupational health centers, Special schools and Elderly care homes.
Average salary in private hospitals- INR.15-20,000 per month
Average salary in government hospitals- INR 30,000
Average salary of a Superintendent- INR 60-70,000 per month
Average salary of Chief Physiotherapist- INR 80,000
6) B.Sc. Psychology
Psychology basically focuses on the study of human behavior and state of mind, which helps in identifying and diagnosing any psychological problems or disorders. Here, treatments are on individual basis through varied forms of therapy and counseling. A quite rewarding profession, as you get to help a person figure out their state of mind in traumatic or distress situations and bring them to their sane state.
Now, after a basic course or diploma in Psychology, one can contribute quite well to the mental health sector as a Psychologist Counselor, Career Counselor, Psychiatrist, Recreation Worker, Psychiatric Technician, Human Resources, Neuropsychologist or even a Social Worker. For that matter, Clinical psychology, Counseling, Health psychology, Organizational psychology, Sports psychology, Educational psychology, Research and School Counseling are some of major areas that one is usually employed in.
Average salary for psychologist- INR 3 Lacs per annum
7) B.Sc. Clinical Research
Again, a prominent area in Medical Sciences, it focuses on safety and effectiveness of medications and diagnostic products made for human use. This sort of research is majorly carried out before release of any medicine in the market.
Clinical Research Associate, Biostatisticians, Clinical Research Managers are some of the job profiles offered to a clinical research graduate. A Master's degree is also beneficial for managerial positions.An average salary of INR 3 Lacs can be expected for a fresher in this field. And it can double up to 6 Lacs with expertise and higher qualifications.
So, there you are! Go ahead and try out your luck and time. Go beyond the traditional paths; break the traditions, and do the unconventional to make your contribution in the field of medical sciences.