In this career guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about doctor as a career, from roles and responsibilities, to work environment and roadmap to becoming a Doctor.

Who's a Doctor?

We have all been to the doctor at least once in our lives, and the sight of a clinic or a hospital is not alien to us. Whether it’s a sore throat or broken bones, this person in the ‘white coat’ cures it all.

Although you might have a general idea of what a doctor does, the term ‘doctor’ itself is very broad. There are several fields or specialisations like gynaecology (Women’s health), orthopaedics (bone health), cardiology (heart health), etc. There are also different methods through which doctors practice, like surgery, oral medication, physiotherapy, radiology, etc.

What will you do?

Diagnosing and treating patients.

You must make the right diagnosis, explain the treatment plan to patients, provide treatment, and follow-up on the patient’s recovery.

Example: An ENT specialist will diagnose and treat patients for a common cold as well as advise them for nose or ear infections or injuries.

Prescribing the right medication.

Once you have diagnosed a patient and identified what illness they’re suffering from, you must provide them with the right treatment and medication so they can get better.

Example: A doctor would generally prescribe a dose of paracetamol for a patient suffering from a fever.

Providing necessary information.

You must provide patients with the necessary information like the risks of the illness they have or the advantages and disadvantages of the treatments suggested.

Example: An ophthalmologist will give patients all the required information before prescribing treatment for their eye conditions; this could range from getting laser treatment to wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Staying up-to-date with advances in your field.

You must be well aware of all the advances in the field of medicine so you can provide optimal care and treatment to your patients. This includes prescribing the right medication and diagnostic tests.

Example: A radiologist will use a routine x-ray for minor bone injuries like fractures but may involve advanced scans like PETs and MRIs to detect tumours that involve muscles and bones.

Providing follow-ups.

As part of your patient’s recovery, you must arrange for adequate follow-ups to ensure that the treatment you have suggested is benefitting the patient or not.

Example: A physician will recall a patient with typhoid fever for follow ups even after treating the patient to avoid any chances of relapse.

Obtaining informed consent for treatment in writing.

Most major treatments will require you to obtain written consent either from the patient or their family. You must explain the exact procedure to the patient, the risks involved and then ask for their consent to perform the treatment.

Example: A heart surgeon will inform the patient’s family about all the risks and possibilities of going ahead with an angioplasty (a surgery done when the arteries in the heart have a blockage) and get their written consent before beginning the procedure.

Maintaining doctor-patient confidentiality.

You must protect the privacy of your patients by keeping their personal health information confidential.

Example: A psychiatrist will treat patients who are depressed or have personality disorders, but not share any information given by the patient.

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Where will you work?

Government-run healthcare facility

Here, you would work on shifts with other doctors to treat patients. Government hospitals pay lesser, but you would have slightly more time for yourself as you work with a team of other doctors.

Multi-speciality hospital

Here, you will work with one department depending on your specialisation. You would be a resident doctor here and be required to dedicate all your working hours to this hospital. 

Healthcare Centre

You could work as a visiting doctor at healthcare centres, where you would practise certain hours a day- this way you can practise at different locations and have a wider patient circle. 

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

STEP 1: Class XI-XII/Junior College

Choose science after class 10 with a focus on subjects like biology, physics and chemistry. You can also start preparing for the competitive entrance examinations alongside.

STEP 2: Entrance Exam

To get admissions into a medical college, you need to pass an entrance test. There are many such exams including the AIIMS entrance exam, the AIPMT exam and the BHU PMT. However, the most common medical entrance exam is the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The eligibility for this test is at least 50% in your class 12 exams with physics, chemistry, and biology/biotechnology as your subjects.

STEP 3: Graduation

Pursue an MBBS degree for your graduation. At the end of your graduation, you will have to do a compulsory internship. This could mean one year of work with the hospital attached to your college or in any other hospital approved by your college. Use this time, to get a better idea of the branch you want to specialise in.

STEP 4: Registration

It is necessary to register with your State or Central Medical Council to officially practice as a doctor. It is a crime to practice without a license. Once you get licensed, you are officially a doctor. Congratulations!

STEP 5: Land a Job

There are chances that you will work with the same hospital you interned with. If not, you can start with working as a resident medical officer at a multi-speciality hospital or clinic. Doing this will help you a lot as you will work alongside nurses and other staff members under seasoned professionals. This will serve as a great experience for you.

STEP 6: Postgraduate Degree

Once you have worked for a while, you will be able to decide your specialisation. Usually, a full-time specialisation course goes on for three years, while a diploma course lasts for two years. You could pursue a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Master of Surgery (MS) course.

STEP 7: Further Specialisation/ Work

You can opt to study a niche in the specialisation you have chosen. Several fields like cardiology, surgery, etc., have super specialisation courses that you may opt for. If not, you can begin practising as a doctor with your newly obtained knowledge.

Thinking of a career as a Doctor? Take the Mentoria assessment test & talk to our career counsellors to get personalized step-by-step guidance for your future career path.

What skills would you need?

Problem-solving Skills

Problem-solving Skills

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You need to perform research on the eggs, sperms and embryos you obtain from the patient. This will involve some long hours of research.

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Scientific Skills

Scientific Skills

A logical mind can reason well, and reasoning before reaching any conclusions is very important in any scientific field. You must, therefore, have a scientific bent of mind along with an interest in life sciences.

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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

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Social Skills

Social Skills

You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.

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Time Management

Time Management

The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.

How do you make it to the top ranks?

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Medical Intern

After you have completed your graduation, you can join a hospital or a clinic as a medical intern. This would be your first step as a doctor. You will work under the supervision of senior doctors and learn the basics.

Resident Medical Officer

You would be working as an employee at a hospital or a clinic. Your work would involve conducting basic check-ups and working closely with nurses as well as other departments. You would work under the guidance of senior doctors.


On the basis of your medical speciality, you will work as a physician offering diagnosis and treatment for minor and major medical problems. You will assist senior physicians in different settings – hospitals, clinics. You could also start your own private practice.

 Senior Physician

At this stage, you will oversee the work of the physicians. Depending on your specialisation, your work will majorly include conducting complex surgeries, providing appropriate treatment and care to the patients.

Chief Physician/Head of the Department

You would head a department and be responsible for the day-to-day clinical operations. At this stage, your job would involve more administrative work than clinical. Your main concern will be to provide quality health care to patients.

Hospital Executive Officer

Here, you are captain of the ship. You will be responsible for the overall functioning of the hospital. And work on improving the hospital. You would work closely with the board of directors and plan the betterment of the hospital and its services. You will direct and supervise the governance of the hospital.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

If you plan to establish your practice here, pursue medicine in India. This is because studying in India would help you understand the need here and help you build a network. India boasts of well-known medical institutes that offer good practical as well as theoretical knowledge. You can study medicine at colleges such as AIIMS Delhi, KGMU Lucknow, MAMC Delhi, Sharda University, SRM University and others. To secure a seat in a government-run medical college, it is important for you to secure good marks in the NEET exam. Pursuing a career in medicine from a government-run medical college would cost you anywhere between INR 1,00,000 to 2,00,000. Whereas, studying medicine from a private institution would cost you INR 5,00,000 to INR 50,00,000. In India, pursuing medicine would also give you an opportunity to receive live practice sessions and deal with rushed patients. Studying medicine in India would take up to 4-5 years.

To study medicine overseas, it is important for you to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). This is a screening test that helps universities examine your capability to cope with medical education. Russia and China are the top destinations for Indian medical aspirants looking to study at a foreign university. Top foreign universities offering good MBBS courses are Saint Petersburg Medical University, Volgograd Medical University and Tver State Medical Academy. Pursuing medicine overseas would give you good exposure and help you build a strong international network. A medical degree from a foreign university would cost you anywhere between INR 25,00,000- INR 60,00,000 per year, depending on the university you opt for. The courses vary from 4-7 years.  If you don’t intend to move abroad, then you can opt for an online medical certification course offered by various US and UK universities. If you plan to study abroad, then you can look for a job there. You can also pick up a specialisation and carve your own niche to attract better job opportunities. However, if you have an MBBS degree from a foreign university and are looking to work in India then you would have to appear for the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), a screening test held by the Indian Medical Council to determine whether you are qualified for practice and further study in the country.

How much would you get paid?

The exact number of your salary will depend on your skills, qualifications, work experience, and the organisation you’re working for. However, we can give you a general idea of what doctors make. 

What are your career options?


An audiologist specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders in adults and children. The primary job of an audiologist is to conduct hearing exams, adjust and maintain hearing aids. An audiologist possesses comprehensive knowledge of human auditory and vestibular systems. These doctors typically work in hospitals or have their own clinics.


These doctors specialise in heart-related issues. A cardiologist focuses on the treatment of the heart and its blood vessels. While the primary job of a cardiologist is to treat heart patients, they also deal with patients showing symptoms that could affect the well-being and functions of the heart.


A dermatologist especially focuses on the diagnosis of conditions associated with skin, hair and nails. This specialisation also involves conducting various procedures such as botox, and laser treatments.


This kind of specialisation involves the study of illnesses and issues related to the endocrine system and the glands. The endocrine system is responsible for secreting and regulating the hormone levels in the body. Further specialisation in Endocrinologist involves behavioural endocrinology and comparative endocrinology.


A gastroenterologist focuses on diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract. This includes the stomach, small intestine, large intestine and the pancreas. They perform various medical procedures such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, ERCP, liver biopsy and others.


The study of Nephrology is related to the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. A nephrologist is trained to conduct kidney biopsy, dialysis and offer treatment for chronic kidney diseases.



Ophthalmologists deal with the study and treatment of diseases and disorders of the eyes. They specialise in treating conditions such as cataract, glaucoma and others. They recommend medications for eye diseases and also implement laser therapy and perform surgeries when required.



A neurologist deals with the study of the human brain and in determining the causes and treatment of conditions such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Dementia. Neurologists also study the nervous system and are trained in the treatment of diseases related to it.



A radiologist is a physician trained in interpreting diagnostic tests. They specialise in conducting medical imaging that helps in diagnosing and treating diseases within the body. Their job mainly involves performing X-ray radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine including positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


More commonly known as ENT specialist. They deal with the diagnosis and treatment of ailments related to the ear, nose and throat. Otolaryngologists specialise in offering surgical and medical management of disorders related to ear, nose, throat, neck and head.

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Take the quiz to test your knowledge and find out how #CareerReady you are!



1. What does a doctor do?

2. Which of these is NOT the responsibility of a doctor?

3. Which of these environments is a doctor NOT required to work in?

4. Which of these functional skills is an absolute must-have to be a good doctor?

5. Which of these soft skills is NOT required to be a doctor?

6. What kind of work does a doctor do at an entry-level job?

7. Which of these is the most common entrance exam for doctors?

8. Doctors need NOT be…

9. Approximately how much do doctors earn in a private clinic?

10. What does an Audiologist do?


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