Duration of MS After MBBS: Navigating Specialization in Surgery

After completing an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree, many medical graduates choose to specialize further in surgery by pursuing an MS (Master of Surgery) degree. The duration of an MS program varies depending on the country, the surgical specialty chosen, and the requirements set by medical regulatory bodies. Let's delve into the typical duration and pathway to obtaining an MS after MBBS:

Browse best ScrubsCollection

Duration of MS Program After MBBS:

  1. In India:
    • In India, the duration of an MS program typically ranges from 3 to 5 years. The duration varies based on the surgical specialty chosen, such as General Surgery, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, etc.
    • MS programs in India often involve clinical rotations, surgical training, research projects, and a final examination or thesis defense.
  2. In the United States:
    • In the United States, the duration of an MS program varies depending on the surgical specialty and the training pathway chosen. Most surgical residencies in the US last between 5 to 7 years.
    • After completing a 4-year medical school program (MD or DO), graduates typically undergo residency training in their chosen surgical specialty.
  3. In Other Countries:
    • In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, the duration of an MS program varies based on the local medical education system and surgical training requirements.
    • MS programs in these countries typically involve a combination of clinical training, research, and examinations to achieve specialization in surgery.

Explore All Women's Scrub

Pathway to Obtaining an MS After MBBS:

  1. Completion of MBBS Degree:
    • The journey towards obtaining an MS begins with completing a 5 to 6-year MBBS program from a recognized medical institution.
  2. Entrance Exams and Residency Matching:
    • After obtaining the MBBS degree, aspiring MS candidates may need to clear entrance exams or residency matching processes to secure a residency position in their chosen surgical specialty.
  3. Residency Training:
    • Once accepted into a residency program, MS candidates undergo rigorous clinical training and education under the guidance of experienced surgeons and specialists in their chosen field.
  4. Completion of MS Program:
    • During the MS program, candidates acquire advanced surgical skills, perform procedures, participate in research projects, and prepare for specialty board examinations.
  5. Certification and Licensure:
    • Upon successful completion of the MS program and specialty board examinations, candidates may obtain certification from surgical boards or medical regulatory bodies to practice independently as specialists in their chosen surgical field.


The duration of an MS program after MBBS varies depending on the country, surgical specialty, and educational institution. Pursuing an MS after MBBS offers medical graduates the opportunity to specialize in surgical fields, acquire advanced skills, and contribute to patient care through surgical interventions. By understanding the pathway and duration of an MS program, medical graduates can make informed decisions about their career advancement in the field of surgery.


What is the difference between an MS and an MD degree after completing MBBS?

An MS degree typically focuses on specialization in surgical fields, while an MD degree encompasses a broader range of medical specialties, including non-surgical disciplines.

What are the eligibility criteria for applying to an MS program after completing MBBS?

Eligibility criteria may include completing a recognized MBBS degree, obtaining a satisfactory score on entrance exams or residency matching processes, and meeting any specific requirements set by the medical institution or regulatory body.

Can international medical graduates apply for MS programs in countries like the United States or Canada?

Yes, international medical graduates can apply for MS programs in countries like the United States and Canada. However, they may need to fulfill additional requirements, such as passing standardized exams like the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) or the MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination).

What are the different surgical specialties available for MS programs, and how does one choose a specialty?

Surgical specialties include General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology (ENT), Urology, and more. Choosing a specialty often depends on individual interests, aptitude, and career goals.

What is the duration of a typical MS program, and does it include research opportunities?

The duration of an MS program varies by country and specialty but generally ranges from 3 to 7 years. Many programs offer research opportunities, allowing candidates to engage in clinical or academic research projects alongside their surgical training.

Are there any financial assistance options available for MS students, such as scholarships or grants?

Yes, many institutions offer scholarships, grants, or financial aid packages to support MS students with tuition fees, living expenses, and research endeavors. Additionally, government-sponsored programs and external organizations may offer funding opportunities.

Can MS students pursue part-time or online programs to accommodate other commitments?

Part-time or online MS programs are less common due to the hands-on nature of surgical training. However, some institutions may offer flexible learning options or hybrid programs to accommodate students with specific needs or commitments.

What is the process for obtaining surgical licensure after completing an MS program?

The process for obtaining surgical licensure varies by country and jurisdiction but generally involves passing specialty board examinations, completing residency training, and fulfilling other licensing requirements.

Do MS students have opportunities for international surgical electives or rotations?

Yes, some MS programs offer opportunities for international surgical electives or rotations, allowing students to gain exposure to surgical practices and healthcare systems in different countries. These experiences can broaden clinical perspectives and enhance cultural competence.

What are the career prospects for MS graduates, and are there opportunities for further specialization or subspecialization?

MS graduates can pursue careers as surgical specialists in hospitals, clinics, academic institutions, or private practice. Additionally, some may choose to further specialize or subspecialize through fellowship programs in areas of interest within their chosen surgical field.