author image
By Dr GB Rajan

The Specialist Doctor - Starting a Practice

It was in the spring of 1999. Half of my post graduate colleagues, who were in the govt service, knew where to head, once the speciality medical qualifying exams were over. For others, like me, the future looked bleak and blank ahead.

Having experienced the ups and downs of a specialist in govt and private sector, almost two decades later, the situation is more or less the same for a fresh specialist about to start practice.

In India, as of 2017, its estimated that 60% In-Patient and 80% Out-Patient care happens in the private sector. For a population of 1.35 billion we have only 10,22,000 allopathic doctors of which 25% could be expected to be inactive, due to ageing and other issues.

The Indian doctor/population ratio is about 1:1700, though the WHO recommends 1:400. Every year around 60,000 allopathic medical graduates join the practice pool compared to 14500 post graduate degree holders.

We are short of qualified doctors, even more so of qualified speciality doctors. In which case, it must then be a cake walk for the fresh specialist doctor.

In the next few articles, I am going to share with you the if, why, where and when of medical practice for a freshly passed out specialist doctor.