Mankind has been fascinated by the uniqueness of the human body. We have immersed ourselves in finding cures of incurable disorders, in understanding the functioning of the human body and in prolonging human life. Over the ages, this practice has evolved from being just a philosophical question to a well-established scientific discipline. Medical courses now witnessed one of the highest number of enrollments in the world and of those courses, the MBBS degree is one of the most respected.

What is MBBS?

The word MBBS is a collectively abbreviated form of two degrees, the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. It finds its roots in the Latin words ‘Medicinae Baccalaureus Baccalaureus Chirurgiae’. One of the most common courses for students graduating highschool, it equips students with all the essential tools and techniques for a career in medicine. 

MBBS: Course Objectives

Given here are some of the objectives that an MBBS student is taught practice at all times. These objectives uphold the sanctity of the profession.

  • Carry out diagnosis and treatment of individual ailments as well as of the community in the capacity that they are charged with. All medical professionals are expected to perform their respective duties with responsibility and care.
  • Be well-versed with the rationale behind drugs and treatments. Moreover, he/she needs to be familiar with ‘essential drugs’, their dispensation and common side effects
  • Practice effective communication skills both verbally and written. This is required since medical professionals frequently interact with patients, families, peers and the rest of the community.
  • Always act according to the prescribed code of medical ethics.
  • Elementary management skillfulness in terms of equipment, drugs, finance and human resources.


The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test or NEET is a common entrance examination conducted for students looking to enter MBBS courses in public and private universities across the world. It is a 3-hour exam which tests knowledge across three subjects, namely Physics, Chemistry and Biology, which is further divided into Zoology and Botany. The NEET entrance exam is a deep and comprehensive evaluation of the applicant’s understanding of the above concepts. After recent changes, appearing in NEET has been made compulsory for those looking to go abroad for an MBBS degree. However, All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research(JIPMER) hold independent entrance examinations.

Read our NEET Eligibility blog to know more.

[Bonus] Also Read: How to Study Physics for NEET 

MBBS: Course Structure

A typical MBBS course runs for at least 5 and a half years, which includes a year of binding practical training in last two semesters. During the course, MBBS students are regularly brought in contact with practical cases and specimens that help them to understand the human body clearly. Some of the subjects and topics covered are summarised below:

MBBS: Subjects

An MBBS degree requires an extremely thorough knowledge of not only the human body but also of drug administration, disease diagnosis, and psychiatry amongst other essential subjects.

  • Anatomy

Neuroanatomy, Microanatomy, and Genetics all are comprehensively dealt with in the Anatomy course. Here, the student learns about the tissues and organs, their types, their internal structure and learn about various relationships among them in the human body. This MBBS course also deals extensively with the central nervous system’s basic composition. Genetic configuration, inheritance, and mutations are some of the other topics.

  • Genetics

Genetics is so vast that it deserves a whole course. Cell division, DNA, chromosomes, gene classification, sex determination, abnormalities and birth-related diseases, genital development from conception till birth and syndromes connected to genetic mutations and are all discussed under the head of genetics. Genetical research is still expanding and there is huge scope for students willing to make a career in it.

  • Biochemistry

MBBS students in the subject of biochemistry are primarily taught about cell structure and the components within the cell. It is concerned with chemical composition and function of biomolecules. It also deals with body enzymes, metabolism and the molecular makeup of antibodies in the body. Environmental hazards and their effects are also given an introduction.

  • Physiology

One of the core subjects of the entire MBBS course, this instructs students on the basic systems of the human body such as the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, reproduction, nerves and muscles, blood, and much more. Practical sessions on blood, nerves, muscles, special senses etc are conducted to give much-needed insight into how these organs actually function.

  • Forensic Medicine

With the integration of medicinal techniques into criminology and forensics, there  has emerged a steadily developing and necessary field. Students are taught about death, and types of deaths, procedures of medical examination, postmortem technique and medicolegal aspects of cases. The basic rationale behind is to help law enforcement with any help related to a case.

  • Microbiology

Infections and diseases caused by foreign particles are discussed under the head of microbiology. A student learns about types of infections, host-parasite relationship, transmission of infections, immunity towards a specific infective body and other important specifics in order to perform preventive and curative measures.

Also Read: Career in Microbiology

  • Pathology

Under pathology, an MBBS student learns in detail about cell injury, cell inflammation and repair and various diseases and disorders. Starting from common diseases like dysentery and fungal infections, it covers serious and life-threatening conditions like AIDS, rheumatic heart disease, tumors and herpes. 

  • Pharmacology

This is the study of drug or medicine administration. A doctor needs to be well aware and judge the patient, the disease, dosage, its effects and side effects before suggesting a particular drug. Here, a student is given training in the selection of a drug, its effects on the body and how to take into account various patient profiles so that side effects may be minimised. Practicals undertaken are extremely significant in this phase.

  • Community Medicine

A doctor practices medicine for the treatment and betterment of the community. Towards the community, he must practice with a sense of utmost responsibility and commitment. He must propagate the importance of cleanliness, sanitation, health and hygiene in the community. He may also collect and study the prevalent conditions of his community and better understand the extent of health hazards.

  • Surgery

All MBBS students are provided a foundational understanding of various surgical procedures and conditions. They are taught about when surgical conditions become necessary, tests to be carried out before operations and how to deal with complex situations involving pregnancy, haemorrhages, severe burns, septic shocks et cetera.

Other Important Subjects:

  • Psychiatry
  • Training
  • Dermatology and Venereology
  • Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics

MBBS from Abroad

The international education industry is seeing a growing trend of students choosing to pursue an MBBS from abroad. The specialised schools of medicine in United States of America, Canada, Australia, Europe, among other countries attract international students in abundance. With respect to eligibility, each and every country differs in terms of admission to international students. US and Canada admit students through the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for their medical programmes while the UK, Australia, and New Zealand admit through UCAT or UMAT. English proficiency is a basic minimum; while other countries may require proficiency in their native language. For applicants specifically from the Indian subcontinent, universities may require them to have completed at least one year of education in medicine after 12th grade. Further, country regulations may dictate separate post-study options for international MBBS graduates. It is important, thus, to research and go through the details right from application to post-study options.

Important Exams

Here is a list of some relevant examinations for students looking to complete an MBBS degree.

  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is a prerequisite examination that prospective MBBS students need to appear for in order to study in the US, Canada and at the Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School in Singapore. It is a comprehensive multiple-choice test which in addition to testing knowledge and understanding of natural, behavioral and social sciences, also tests thinking and problem solving skills. Overall, it tests the readiness of applicants for a degree in medicine. Incidentally, MCAT applicants have to travel to neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore as it is not offered anywhere in India.

  • UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test)

Starting from 2019, The UCAT will replace the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Science Admission Test (UMAT). The UCAT will be a common requirement for universities in United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The 2 hour online test comprises of five sections namely, verbal reasoning, decision making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement.  

  • United States Medical Licensing Examination(USMLE)

This is a specialised medicinal knowledge testing exam for those looking to practice in the United States. It is a three-level examination that leads to a US medical license. Applicants need to show competence and ability when encountered with sample patient scenarios. Knowledge of preliminary science concepts, clinical science, medical understanding, communication along with computer-based simulations of patient diagnosis, treatment and management. It is amongst the most difficult exams in the world.

  • Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT)

Universities that offer postgraduate degrees after MBBS in Australia, UK, Ireland and Poland require applicants to sit for the GAMSAT exam. It tests reasoning, critical thinking and interpretation skills. The sections of the test include Reasoning in Humanities and Social Science, Written Communication, Reasoning in Biological and Physical Science. 

  • Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE)

Overseas citizens of India or Indian citizens who have completed MBBS or medicine degrees from abroad and intend to practice and establish their careers in India are allowed to do so only after clearing the FMGE examination. However, those who already have medical certifications from UK, Canada, USA, Australia or New Zealand are exempted from this test. It is a tough two-and-a-half hour exam which tests a student’s core understanding of the field of medicine.

  • Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT)

Scores of BMAT are accepted across select universities situated in United Kingdom, Thailand, Spain, Netherlands, Singapore and a handful of other countries. It can also be taken in India to apply for universities that accept it, like Imperial College London, University College London, University of Leiden, Netherlands amongst others.

MBBS from Abroad: Destinations and Universities

This section lists some of the popular as well as upcoming countries one should look at while planning to pursue an MBBS from foreign countries

  • USA & Canada

John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, Pritzker School of Medicine at the Chicago University amongst others are some schools that carry extraordinary repute in the world. Applicants interested in studying in US or Canada need to submit scores of the MCAT exam. Other requirements include personal statement and letter of references.

MBBS in Canada

  • United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand

A majority of universities in UK, Australia and New Zealand offering MBBS degrees accept scores of the UCAT exam. Medical schools at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Otago produce some of the best medical professionals in the world. 

MBBS in Australia 

Upcoming Destinations

  • Europe

Countries like Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy are transforming into hotspots for MBBS education. While the regulations for international students are stricter and differ for each country, acquiring a degree in medicine is undeniably great and affordable. An MBBS in Europe affords students the opportunity to experience a vibrant culture at a inexpensive cost of education. Options to Consider if you plan to pursue MBBS in Europe:

MBBS in Belarus

MBBS in Hungary

MBBS in Poland

MBBS in Italy

MBBS in Romania

MBBS in Germany

  • China

The faculty and international reputation of Nanjing Medical University is representative of the growth China has made in the medical field. It is one of the topmost universities in the Chinese mainland. An MBBS from China is an affordable and worthy alternative to the extravagant options in North America or Europe.

  • Japan

Japan has mastered the art of medical research. Extremely successful in reducing health disorders and prolonging lifespans, Japan offers a promising opportunity for prospective medical students. Some top-notch choices for an MBBS in Japan are Tokyo Medical University, Kyoto University, Osaka Medical College and much more.

  • Russia

Medical schools and universities in Russia offer some of the most attractive MBBS and medical degrees in the world. They provide modern infrastructure at very reasonable tuition fees. Also, Russian universities do not require applicants to take a particular exam as they evaluate applications on their performance in previous studies. An MBBS from Russia is a genuinely great option.

  • Bangladesh

The University of Dhaka, Dhaka National Medical College and Southern Medical College, Chittagong are only a few of the options for Indian students looking to do an MBBS from Bangladesh. Closeness to India, inexpensive fees, a medium of instruction in English, currency benefits and a diverse culture makes Bangladesh a particularly valuable destination to consider.

Other Countries to Consider:

Career Options after MBBS

  • Physician
  • Researcher
  • Dermatologist
  • Dentist
  • Gynaecologist
  • Medical Analyst
  • Pathologist
  • Radiologist
  • Neurologist
  • Surgeon
  • Nutritionist
  • Forensic Officer
  • Paediatrician

Considering an MBA, read MBA after MBBS– A Killer Combination.

FAQs About Pursuing MBBS

Which country is best for MBBS?

MBBS is one of the most preferred courses by Indian students. There are thousands of students who pursue medical courses abroad from different foreign universities. One of the main reasons to pursue medical courses from a foreign country is the availability of seats and the amount of education which is cheaper as compared to Indian medical colleges. There are several universities providing quality MBBS courses abroad. Pursuing MBBS from a foreign country gives you a global perspective and great opportunities to explore in various fields. Here is a list of some of the best countries providing the best MBBS programs:

  • China
  • Germany
  • USA
  • Australia
  • UK
  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
  • Ukraine
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Russia
  • Poland
  • Canada
  • Philippines
  • Belarus 

Is pursuing MBBS abroad a good decision?

Pursuing MBBS abroad is one of the greatest decisions a student can make to draft his/her career. There are several prestigious universities offering quality education in medical science. Studying in a foreign university offers varied opportunities to explore different cultures and traditions as well as greater career prospects after graduation. Indian students can find better job opportunities after pursuing MBBS from a foreign country. Pursuing medical courses from a foreign country provides better education and adds rich value to your career. Another good reason to pursue MBBS abroad is that most of the universities are approved by the Medical Council of India and the World Health Organisation. 

Which country is the cheapest for MBBS?

One of the major reasons to pursue MBBS from a foreign country other than quality education is the fee structure. There are several reputed colleges and universities offering medical courses at quite cheaper or less expensive costs as compared to Indian colleges. China is highly preferred by Indian students to pursue MBBS program as the fee structure is less expensive. Another great option is the Philippines as it also provides quality medical education at low cost. Students can also consider Ukraine for low tuition fee and overall affordable destination for abroad education. There are other great options such as Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Russia, and Germany. 

Is NEET required for MBBS abroad?

The Medical Council of India has made the National Cum Eligibility Test, NEET entrance exam mandatory for applying to medical courses anywhere in India and abroad. The NEET entrance exam is a national level exam held in every state for students who want to pursue medical and dental courses in colleges in India and abroad. The NEET entrance exam acts as a criterion for getting admission into top medical colleges across the world. Thus, Indian students who are willing to pursue MBBS from a foreign country are required to qualify the NEET examination. 

What is the Eligibility to pursue MBBS abroad?

Following are some general eligibility criteria requirements to pursue MBBS from a foreign country:

  • Students who are willing to pursue MBBS from a foreign country are required to score 50% individually in physics, chemistry, and biology. 
  • Students are required to qualify for the NEET entrance exam. 
  • Students are required to be aged 17 years before 31st December 2019 to get admission into foreign medical colleges.
  • Students are required to pass class 10+12 from a recognised board of education.

Is MBBS from foreign countries valid in India?

Most of the medical universities in the world are globally recognised by the Medical Council of India and the World Health Organisation. Pursuing a professional degree from a foreign university automatically adds rich value to your career. There are several countries mentioned by the Medical Council of India which approves various foreign degrees valid in India and other parts of the world. Indian firms appreciate professionals with foreign degrees. Thus, students pursuing medical courses from foreign countries can practice medicine in India and other parts of the world. 

Is IELTS required to pursue MBBS abroad?

Most of the medical colleges and universities around the world does not require any language proficiency tests to get admission into MBBS programs. The only major criteria which has been set by the Medical Council of India and World Health Organisation is qualifying the NEET entrance exam. Although, there might be some colleges which require students to qualify IELTS  if they didn’t study the general level of English in class 12th.

How long does it take to complete MBBS abroad?

The duration of pursuing MBBS from a foreign country is 6 years. The whole MBBS program includes 5 years of medical education which comprises of detailed theoretical knowledge and skills related to different aspects of medicine, practical projects and working in the laboratories. The last 1 year of the course is dedicated to professional internships which can be pursued in campuses in their own hospitals where students get to assist their professors and doctors to gain practical knowledge. There are also some colleges which allow students to pursue internships in India. However, this is only applied by a few colleges. 

Is it possible to work while studying MBBS abroad?

Pursuing MBBS from a foreign country is a long and intensive program of 6 years which requires its students to put a lot of concentration and dedication. Students are required to be precise with their preparation for practicals and laboratory work which leaves no room for extra activities or jobs to work while studying. Working alongside the course is not advised by several universities. However, there are some universities that provide paid internships in the last year of the program for better practical learnings and knowledge.

Is pursuing MBBS in foreign countries safe for Indian students?

Every year, many students pursue higher education in various countries including MBBS. studying professional courses abroad is safe for international students coming from different countries. The government of different countries in association with embassies of respective countries provides special help and other support to students in case of any emergency. There are several countries with many Indian students who are living and studying there freely without any problem. Countries like Canada, Australia, Germany are some of the safest countries with low crime rates providing quality education in various disciplines. Students who are looking for safe options to pursue MBBS can choose either of these countries for their higher education. 

Can candidates from open school pursue MBBS in foreign countries?

The Medical Council of India has stated clearly in their provisions to study abroad that students who have pursued class 10th and 12th from a recognised board are allowed to take admission into foreign countries for further medical education. Students who have pursued class 10+12 from the National School of Open Learning or candidates from a state open school are not eligible to appear for the NEET entrance exam or take admission into foreign medical colleges and universities. 

What is the medium of instruction in various foreign universities offering MBBS?

The MBBS courses in most countries are English-based because of the strength enrolled in such courses that also include international students. The medium of education is English in most universities. Although there are certain universities and colleges which offer the language of the respective country to help students understand and communicate better while living and studying in the country.

An MBBS degree, apart from being a difficult course, is also one of the lengthiest. A student must know the ins and outs of the course before deciding on it. Apart from that, one must also have genuine conviction behind their decision. A well-informed decision goes a long way in forging a great career in medicine. The counsellors at Leverage Edu have made it their task to support students facing any difficulty about career choice, application or course prospects and have always endeavored to give students a leg up.

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