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

Dec 18, 2015


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.



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.

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.

Also Read:  Mock tests for NEET SS Aspirants

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.

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. 

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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.

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 the surgical specialties such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, and gynecology.
  • MD is a medical degree that focuses on non-surgical specialties such as internal medicine, pediatrics, and radiology.
  • MCh is an advanced degree in surgical science.
  • DM is an advanced degree in medical specialties. It is a three year advanced doctorate level course. 

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

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.