Many students dream of becoming a doctor since childhood, and choose the medical (PCB) stream after class 10th. The first thing that comes to mind when they think of getting the “doctor” tag is MBBS.
Due to limited knowledge of their options, they assume that MBBS is the only course for them, thus ending up narrowing their choices.
But there are other course options available in medicine apart from MBBS (and in allied medicine too)! The top ones include BDS, BAMS and BHMS.
So, if you are still stuck on only one course, have no idea which is the right one for you, don’t worry. We will help you take the right decision by explaining the major difference between these courses.
Let’s start with the basics.
What do MBBS, BDS, BAMS and BHMS stand for?
MBBS (Or: Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Medicine) is the predominant medical undergraduate course in India. It is the route to become a doctor of modern medicine in the country.
BDS (Or: Bachelor of Dental Surgery) degree is one of the most popular and designated degree courses in dentistry in India. This course is one of the most sought-after courses in the medical field, only next to MBBS.
BAMS (Or: Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) is an integrated degree in the medical field, and is specially designed to teach students the systems of the traditional Indian system of Ayurveda.
BHMS (Or: Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery) covers the various aspects of medical knowledge of the homeopathic system. After completing this degree, you become eligible to practice as a doctor in homeopathy.
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Admission Process: MBBS vs BDS vs BAMS vs BHMS
To get admission into these medical courses in India, students have to complete their 10+2 education with Physics, Chemistry & Biology and score a minimum 50% marks (40% in the case of reserved category).
Now let’s look at the specific admission requirements for each.
To get admission into an MBBS institute, you will need to appear for the national-level Examination, NEET (National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test). This exam covers most of the medical institutes in India. However, there are a few other specific entrance exams, such as AIIMS and JIPMER.
For BDS programs too, students need to appear in NEET. After clearing the entrance exam, seats are allotted in the counselling process, based on rank, filled choices and availability of seats.
From 2018 onwards, all aspirants for BAMS need to clear the NEET examination.
To get a seat into BHMS, you will have to go through the NEET exam. The selection will be done based on the final merit as the sum of the total numbers obtained in the qualifying examination in 12th and the number scored in the entrance examinations, followed by the personal interview.
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Course Duration: MBBS vs BDS vs BAMS vs BHMS
MBBS is a 5.5-year degree (4.5 years’ academic education + 1-year mandatory internship). After course completion, students are supposed to participate in hands-on training in hospital wards and out-patient departments. This provides them with real-life experiences in practising and performing clinical procedures integral to their further practice as a doctor.
The BDS is a 5-year degree program (4 years’ academic education + 1-year mandatory internship). This course can be pursued through full-time and part-time courses.
The BAMS is awarded after the completion of 5 years and 6 months’ degree program. This period includes the 4 and a ½ year academic session and one-year internship program with live practical.
The BHMS is awarded after the completion of 5.5 years’ academic program, containing the 4 and 1/2 year academic session and one-year internship program with live practical. This program can also be pursued through distance education.
Top Colleges/Institutions for MBBS, BDS, BAMS and BHMS
In India, there are many medical colleges imparting quality education in these four courses. Some of the leading institutes for each of them are listed below:
Some Top Colleges For MBBS:
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
- Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC)
- Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER)
- Christian Medical College (CMC)
- Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
- King George’s Medical University, Lucknow
Some Top Colleges For BDS:
- Dental College & Hospital, Aurangabad
- Dental College & Hospital, Mumbai
- Dental College, Gujarat
- Government Dental College & Research Institute, Bengaluru
- Amrita College of Dentistry, Kerala
- Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
- King George’s Medical University, Lucknow
- Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram
- Govt. Dental College & Hospital, Andhra Pradesh
Some Top Colleges For BAMS:
- Institute of Medical Sciences Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
- Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai
- Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam
- Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla
- Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore
Top Colleges For BHMS:
- National Institute of Homeopathy, Kolkata
- Bharati Vidyapeeth Homeopathic Medical College, Pune
- Government Homeopathic Medical College, Bangalore
- Pt. Khushilal Sharma Government Ayurveda College, Bhopal
- Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot
*Note – The above-mentioned lists of colleges are indicative. These are by no means exhaustive or represent rankings of institutions.
Career Opportunities: MBBS vs BDS vs BAMS vs BHMS
I am listing out some career opportunities graduates typically go for after completing each of the four courses.
After MBBS: Specialist Doctor, Physician, Surgeon, Medical Professor or Lecturer, Research Scientist, etc.
After BDS: Dentist, Dental Surgeon, Endodontic, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist, Oral Surgeon, Orthodontic, Paedodontic, etc.
After BAMS: Therapist, Sales Representative, Pharmacist, Clinical Trial Coordinator, Medical Representative, Ayurvedic Doctor, Sales Executive, etc.
After BHMS: Pharmacist, Doctor, Public Health Specialist, Medical Assistant, Lecturer, etc.
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Higher Education Opportunities: MBBS vs BDS vs BAMS vs BHMS
After completing your MBBS, you can either go for an MS (postgraduate degree in general surgery) or an MD (postgraduate degree in general medicine). To gain admission to these, you will need to clear the NEET PG or other university and state level exams.
After completing your BDS, MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) is the logical step for students wishing to pursue higher education in dentistry. All India Post Graduate Dental Entrance Exam (AIPGDEE) is the national level exam for admission. You can also pursue MBA in Public Health and MBA in Hospital Management after BDS.
You can go for an MD or MS in Ayurveda after completing your BAMS. BAMS graduates can also pursue higher studies in many medical-related disciplines. A few options include Master’s in Public Health, Master’s in Health Administration, Post Graduate Diploma in Emergency Medicine and many other postgraduate courses.
The most common option for higher studies after BHMS is MD in Homeopathy. Many graduates also opt for alternate courses in medicine, such as Master of Science in Regenerative Medicine, Master of Science in Psychiatry, Master of Science in Endocrinology, Master of Hospital Management, etc.
Further doctoral level education (Doctor of Medicine) is also available after master’s in each of these courses.
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Which Course Should You Go For?
You will come across a lot of people who will tell you how MBBS has an edge over other courses and you should only pursue MBBS. But such people also speak from inexperience. The career opportunities after each of the courses are abundant, so you should choose a course that matches your interests.
MBBS: Beyond doubt, the medical field is dominated by doctors with MBBS qualifications. If your aim is to get an edge over others and you can put in the immense hard work and perseverance needed to get into the most competitive course in India, then go ahead with MBBS by all means.
BDS: There are plenty of good jobs available after getting a degree in BDS and if you are confident enough about dealing with patients, you can even set up private practice. Those interested in teaching can also acquire teaching jobs in top dental colleges.
BAMS: Ayurveda is widely accepted in India as an alternative to western medicine. If you are interested in the traditional Indian system of medicine and are ready to deal with difficult languages like Sanskrit, then go for BAMS. Moreover, the course also puts less financial burden on you, since its fee is much lesser than that of MBBS.
BHMS: Homeopathy is also a popular alternative to western medicine, and if you believe in its effectiveness, then becoming a practitioner of homeopathy can be a good option. However, pursue this course only if you want to practice homeopathy wholeheartedly. In terms of the difficulty level of the course, it is considered equivalent to MBBS.
We hope now you have a clearer picture of the differences between these four courses. However, if you still feel confused and can’t figure out about the right course fit for yourself, then feel free to speak to career experts.