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

Dec 18, 2015

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

Students who are incredibly passionate about the Medical field often search for answers to queries like DNB full form in medical, DNB in medical and many others when they are just pursuing MBBS. 

Their research becomes even more prominent when they complete their MBBS and start venturing into post-graduate studies.

Which one to go for after MBBS, DNB or MD/MS? Which one provides a secure future?

This is a matter of intense confusion among the young MBBS doctors who want to go for post-graduation. 

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

Don’t worry. Through this blog post, we’ll try to present a clear picture of all the aspects of DNB and MD/MS courses and which is the best option for you.

Let’s start by first understanding DNB and MD/MS in detail. 

What is DNB? 

Diplomate in National Board (DNB) is a postgraduate degree awarded by the National Board of Examination (Under the Union Ministry of Health and Welfare, Government of India) to Specialist Doctors in India after completion of their three-year residency. 

The duration of DNB courses can vary from three to six years, depending on the speciality. DNB courses have a continuous assessment process with periodic evaluations, and its exams are conducted by the National Board of Examination (NBE). 

DNB courses are more focused on practical training and hands-on experience. That’s why DNB is considered equivalent to MD/MS.

What is MD/MS?

Doctor of Medicine/Master of Surgery is a postgraduate degree offered by medical colleges and universities in India. MD/MS courses are recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI). 

The duration of the MD/MS course is generally three years and focuses on providing specialized training in various medical fields. 

MD course in India is done after MBBS and helps you get an in-depth understanding of a specific field of medicine. You develop the ability to diagnose and offer the right treatment and medication to patients once you complete the MD course. 

MS course in India after MBBS helps you gain deep knowledge in the surgery field. This field includes patient care, critical surgeries, hands-on clinical experience, clinical discussions and much more. 


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DNB and MD/MS- An Overview

A postgraduate 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 specialities.



Getting admission in a government institution to pursue MD/MS is a difficult job, especially getting your choice of institution/branch. To enrol in MD/MS, you need to clear a tough nationwide entrance exam, NEET PG. 

You have to pay a big amount of capitation fees to get admission in most private institutions, which is unaccounted for.


Getting admission in DNB is comparatively easier than MD/MS. There is a better chance of getting an institution/branch of your choice. To enrol in the DNB program, you need to clear the NBE common entrance test which is relatively easy compared to MD/MS exams followed by an interview at the institution of your choice.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About UP NEET PG 2023 Counselling

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 the latest equipment and practices like in corporate hospitals. Institutions vary widely according to their patient load and also within an institution between specialities. Academics, however, is average as there is not much time to spare.

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 government institutions consider doctors with DNB. Some medical colleges insist on 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.

Also Read:  Mock tests for NEET SS Aspirants

Which is Better? DNB or MD/MS

  • DNB and MD/MS are equal in value if you want to practice in a private job in India.
  • MD/MS degrees are considered more prestigious and offer more opportunities in academic and research fields. 
  • For a teaching job in a Medical college MD/MS is preferred a little bit more.
  • DNB degree offers more opportunities in clinical and private practice. 
  • Also, for practicing overseas DNB is preferred a bit more.

Also Read: DNB Medical or MD / MS - Advantages & Disadvantages

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 the concerned speciality 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.

Also watch a detailed video on NExT: Exam in two steps? Everything you need to know by Dr. Deepak Marwah PrepLadder Neet Pg :

Lastly, no matter which career path you choose for your medical PG, appearing for the NEET PG entrance exam will remain a constant. So once you've decided on a career option that's right for you, your complete focus should be on preparing for the entrance exam. 


What is the difference between MS and MD, Mch and DM? What should we take after MBBS?

MS (Master of Surgery), MD (Doctor of Medicine), MCh (Master of Chirurgiae) and DM (Doctor of Medicine) are all postgraduate degrees that can be obtained after completing an undergraduate degree in medicine (MBBS).

  • MS is a surgical degree that focuses on surgical specialities such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, and gynaecology.
  • MD is a medical degree that focuses on non-surgical specialities such as Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Radiology.
  • MCh is an advanced degree in surgical science.
  • DM is an advanced degree in medical specialities. It is a three-year advanced doctorate-level course. 

After completing MBBS, doctors can choose to pursue a postgraduate degree in a speciality of their choice. The selection of the postgraduate degree program will depend on the doctor's interests and career goals.

What is DNB full form?

DNB full form in medical is Diplomat in National Board. It is a postgraduate degree awarded by the National Board of Examinations under the Union Ministry of Health, India. To enroll in DNB program, you need to clear the NBE common entrance test.

What is the difference between DNB and MD/MS?

Both DNB and MD/MS are postgraduate medical degrees. The main difference between the two is in the way the degree is obtained. MD/MS is awarded by a medical college, usually affiliated with a university, after completing a 3-year long course of study. DNB, on the other hand, is awarded by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) after completing a 3-year long course of study at a hospital or medical institution that is recognized by the NBE.

Which is better: DNB or MD MS?

DNB (Diplomate of National Board) and MD/MS (Doctor of Medicine/Master of Surgery) are both postgraduate medical degrees in India, but they are different in terms of the curriculum and the way they are awarded. 

DNB is awarded by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) and is equivalent to MD/MS degree awarded by universities. However, DNB is only awarded to candidates who have completed their training in institutions that are recognized by the NBE. On the other hand, MD/MS is awarded by universities. In terms of curriculum, MD/MS is more research-oriented, while DNB is more clinically oriented.

In terms of career prospects, both DNB and MD/MS are well-respected degrees and hold equal value. However, MD/MS might have an edge over DNB in certain job opportunities like teaching or research positions. So, ultimately which is better depends on individual career aspirations and preferences.

Is DNB higher than MS?

No, DNB is also a post-graduate master's degree equivalent to MD/MS degree.

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