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Know How to Become a General Physician in India – A Complete Pocket Manual

How to Become a General Physician

We have all heard our parents tell us in childhood that become a doctor or an engineer. These are always considered as high esteemed careers. People consider the career of a doctor as a noble profession as it involves saving a life, giving respite to struggling people, etc. If you ever wanted to work in a field helping and assisting people, saving their life. If ever treating people from injuries and illness motivated you, you should try a career of a physician.

A general physician is a medical specialist who treats, prevents and diagnoses chronic diseases. Chronic diseases. Injuries are non-fatal meaning they normally do not cause death. Some of the diseases or sicknesses that a general physician treats are common flu, fever, headache, malaria, body injuries, typhoid, etc. As a general physician, you will be the first person that a patient normally contacts when they are suffering from a sickness or illness. You will treat them if the illness or injury is chronic else if there is a need of a specialist physician, you will recommend the same to patients. You will also give them advice on treatment, healthcare, nutritional diet, etc.

Why become a General Physician?

As a General Physician, you will diagnose, treat and prevent human diseases and ailments by prescribing various medicines and providing advice, education and instructions about healthcare. You will not be a Specialist Surgeon but you will be required to provide the first level of healthcare services to patients at hospitals, health clinics, physician’s clinics or at patients’ homes.

Mostly, you will diagnose, treat and prevent common diseases and ailments such as colds, stomach infections, flu, common skin infections, minor injuries, etc. In most cases, you will provide the first level of healthcare and if required, you will refer patients to specialists. For example, for checking high blood pressure in the range of 85-125/130 (the normal range is 80/120), you prescribe medicines and advise on how to keep blood pressure in check. But if a patient with blood pressure, say, 90/140 or higher comes to you, then you should refer the patient to meet a cardiologist as soon as possible although you may prescribe some medicines to reduce his blood pressure immediately.

Take another example. You may treat a common skin infection or allergy but if you see that after a particular period of time, the infection is not cured, then you have to refer the patient to a Dermatologist.

In hospitals, in most situations other than a high degree of trauma (from injury, heart attack, etc.), you will attend the patients who arrive at the emergency and also at the general medicine departments. You will review the condition of the patient and understand their symptoms. Then either you will do the treatment yourself or depending upon the symptoms, you will have to refer the patients to specialist physicians or surgeons.

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  1. General Practitioners treat patients suffering from acute and chronic illnesses. Chronic illness is generally a non-life-threatening disease. They are the most common form of medical doctors. Most of the people first go to them when they suffer from any illness or sickness and based on the conditions, they may treat the patient or refer them to a specialist doctor. As a general practitioner, you will not be confined to specific body organs or have any particular skills in treating people. You will be first in line with medical experts treating patients of any age and any sex.

What does a general physician do?

  • As a general physician, you will prescribe medicines, and administer treatment, therapy, medication or vaccination.
  • You will advise on physical exercises, diets and other related aspects for helping a patient recover from an illness or disorder.
  • You will keep track of the health conditions of patients before surgical operations, after surgical operations and during the recovery period in general.
  • You will address concerns or answer questions that patients have about their health and well-being.
  • You will advise patients about nutrition, hygiene, etc.
  • You will keep updated with new technologies and instruments related to treatment.
  • You will maintain cordial relations with other specialists and paramedics.
  • You will supervise, perform or interpret diagnostics tests. You will also analyze records, reports, examinations etc. to diagnose the condition of your patients.
  • You will collect, record, and maintain patient information, including medical history, reports, or examination results. 

How to become a General Physician – Eligibility Criteria

After your senior/higher secondary studies in the science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Biology you can study for an undergraduate degree in Medicine & Surgery (MBBS). Followed by an MD degree specialized in cardiology, urology, endocrinology, or other particular fields of medicine.

Educational Fees

The cost of becoming a general physician in India can vary depending on several factors, such as the institution or university you choose, the state or city you live in, and the duration of the course.

In general, pursuing a medical degree in India can be quite expensive, with costs ranging from several lakhs to a few crores depending on the institution. However, the Indian government has made efforts to keep the cost of medical education affordable, especially for those from economically weaker sections of society.

In government-run medical colleges, the tuition fees for an undergraduate medical course (MBBS) can range from around INR 10,000 to 1 lakh per year. However, in private medical colleges, the fees can be much higher, ranging from INR 10 lakhs to 1 crore for the entire course.

Job Opportunities

  • After M.B.B.S., you can join a health center or health clinic, government medical hospitals, Railway hospitals, or private hospitals, as a Medical Officer.
  • You may set up your own practice after having a few years of experience in a hospital.

Salary of General Physician

After completing MBBS:

  • At the entry-level, one joins as a Medical Officer and earns about Rs. 40,000 – 60,000 a month.
  • With a work experience of 5-6 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 80,000 to 1,00,000 per month.
  • With an experience of 8-12 years, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,00,000 to 1,40,000 per month.
  • At the senior level with over 12-15 years of work experience, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,60,000 to 2,10,000 per month or even more.

Career progression in this profession

As a General Physician, you can grow from the position of a Medical Officer to a Senior Medical Officer in a hospital. To build your career in a specialty area of Medical Science, you need to do an M.D. or M.S. after MBBS.

Indian Medical industry is growing exponentially riding on strong demand due to rising incomes, greater health awareness and an increase in access to insurance. It might grow to 373 Billion USD in 2022 as per a report by Also, with the introduction of Ayushman Bharat, Insurance and medical benefit are given by the Government of India, and more and more people will start using medical facilities. The hospital industry is expected to go up at a rate of 16-17% per year from 2017 to 2022. With rising income, medical insurances and better education about health, the future prospect of a physician are high in the near future in India.

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