The Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) are some of the most pursued Medical Science courses both in India and abroad. To enroll in either of these two courses, a candidate has to appear for the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET). Though both the courses are offered at the undergraduate level, there are some major differences between these two. Apart from the curriculum, the programs differ in the completion period. While an MBBS course runs for 5.5 years, the duration of a BDS program 4.5 years. Also, an MBBS course is regulated by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and BDS is authorized by the Dental Council of India (DCI). Every year, hundreds and thousands of students appear for medical exams to kickstart their careers in this stream. Despite this, India faces an acute shortage of specialized medical professionals, especially in the rural pockets of the country. To overcome this burden, the National Institute for Transforming India, popularly known as the NITI Aayog, has recently given in-principle approval to a BDS to MBBS Bridge course.
But what exactly is this course about? In this blog, we will cover the key elements of this bridging program, its eligibility criteria and top universities and institutes you can pursue it from! But before delving into the salient features of this program, let us understand what a bridge course entails.
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What is a Bridge Course?
A bridge course is generally a university preparation course to prepare students for their chosen degree program and the bridge course is mainly considered as the basis of admission to the main program. In order to etch their name in the best education systems in the world, countries across the globe have introduced various changes in their teaching standards and course offerings. Apart from the traditional short term, degree, and certificate programs, universities now also offer bridge courses. The main advantage of such types of degree courses have been given a rundown below:
- It imparts knowldege in less time, helps in skill development and thus enhances performance.
- It opens the door to an array of career opportunities across sectors as one can take an alternate route of course.
- Options like BDS to MBBS bridge course run for a very short duration. Thus, students can equip themselves with the requisite knowldege and career skills in an affordable and time-saving way!
Bridge Course: BDS to MBBS
Having a distinctive approach, a BDS to MBBS Bridge course allows Dental Science graduates to practice as general physicians in various hospitals, clinics, and organizations across India. On successful completion of this course, the graduates are required to spend at least 3 years in rural areas compulsorily. Recommended by the Dental Council of India, the primary objective of this 3-year program is two-fold.
- First, the bridge course will benefit BDS graduates who are still seeking full-time employment opportunities.
- Second, this innovative program will provide an opportunity for those students pursuing Dental Sciences to change their career paths after completing a degree program.
Thus, a BDS to MBBS Bridge course has the potential to fill the lacuna created by the lack of skilled medical professionals by providing graduates of Dental Science with an opportunity to discover the vast arena of Medicine and Surgery.
Eligibility Criteria for BDS to MBBS Bridge Course
With the admission process yet to be finalized, the Dental Council of India has proposed the following process for those wanting to pursue a BDS to MBBS Bridge course:
- The applicants will either have to give an entrance exam OR,
- The marks secured by their candidate in their Bachelor of Dental Science will be taken into picture OR
- The admission will be granted by a mix of both the above-mentioned criteria.
Although the curriculum has not been framed, there is a possibility that the bridge course will follow the syllabus and examination pattern of an MBBS program.
How to Pursue Bridge Course after Completing BDS?
- In order to join the BDS to MBBS bridge course, the candidate must ensure that they obtain exceptional grades in the degree program as there are high chances that the cumulative marks will be given a preference to grant admission.
- Secondly, one may also be required to prepare for a medical entrance test which may include both BDS and MBBS syllabus in-depth.
- Some of the subjects that may be a part of the curriculum include Oral Medicine, Pathology, General Surgery, Forensic Dentistry, Biochemistry, Anesthesiology, etc.
Alternate Bridge Courses in India
Apart from the proposed BDS to MBBS Bridge course, there are various other popular bridge courses offered pan-India. One such program is the Community Health and Nursing program. Running for a period of 6-months, the program is offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The primary objective of this program is to strengthen the Primary Health care centers (PHCs) across the country by enhancing the skills of RNRM (Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife), nurses, and Ayush practitioners. Further, there are several similar bridge programs in Medical Science that you can go for in the field of Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Alternative Medicine, amongst others.
Top Universities Offering BDS
A BDS degree is more of a basic qualification you will need to fulfill in order to apply for a bridge program like a BDS to MBBS course. Below we have listed down some of the major international medical universities that are known for offering Bachelor of Dental Science:
- The University of Manchester, UK
- The University of Queensland, Australia
- Saint Clair College, Canada
- McGill University, Canada
- AIMST University, Malaysia
MBBS After BDS
Want to pursue MBBS after BDS? You can pursue either BDS to MBBS bridge course or study an MBBS degree abroad after completing BDS to get a globally recognised degree and become a medical practitioner. Here are the top MBBS colleges in India:
- All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi
- Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry
- Christian Medical College, Vellore
- King George’s Medical University, Lucknow
- Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
- Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
- Madras Medical College, Chennai
Here are the best countries to pursue MBBS abroad after BDS:
The BDS to MBBS is a recommendation of the Dental Council of India. The course is likely to be introduced to provide better employment opportunities to the BDS graduates. Indian universities will be incorporating these courses soon.
Yes, you can study MBBS after BDS. Some universities conduct an entrance exam for the bridge course whereas others just look into your academic qualifications.
Medical courses are considered among the toughest courses in the world. BDS being one of them is surely a tough course comprising of theoretical as well as practical training.
After completing the bridge course between MBBS and BDS, they can do general practice. Completing the bridge course is an essential part to start the general practice.
Most of the Indian medical universities are likely to keep the course duration – 3 years for the prospective students planning to study MBBS after completion of BDS.
Hence, as a relatively new program, a BDS to MBBS bridge course aims to provide Dental Science graduates with an opportunity to attain an MBBS degree and become a certified physician and delve deeper into the path of Medicine and Surgery. If you are planning to opt for a Medical course and don’t know where to begin, you can always reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and we’ll guide throughout the process of selecting an ideal course that fits your interests to completing the admission process and getting shortlisted.