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Find The Difference Between MD And DM

Difference Between MD and DM

Once you’ve graduated with your MBBS degree, you’re posed with a conflicting choice for your career ahead. An MD or a DM? Pursuing either one is often inevitable for a long-term career. The best way to start is to find and understand the difference between MD and DM. An MD is a Doctor of Medicine, whereas a DM means a Doctorate of Medicine. 

You can see the in-depth difference between MD and DM in the following sections!

Difference Between MD and DM: Overview

To get a quick idea of the difference between MD and DM, refer to the table below, which summarises the points between the two medical degrees.

MeaningDoctor of MedicineDoctorate of Medicine
Level of EducationPrimary medical degree: PostgraduateSpecialisation medical degree: postdoctorate
EligibilityMBBS or equivalentMD or equivalent
Scope of practiceGeneral careSpecialised care
Duration of programmeTwo to four yearsThree years
Academic rolesBroad range of opportunitiesResearch and teaching opportunities
Hospital rolesGeneral roles, physician, etc.Specialised consultant
Average starting salary8 LPA per year10 LPA per year
Common degreesMD in Anesthesiology, MD in Psychiatry, MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology, MD in General Medicine, and MD in PediatricsDM in Neurology, DM in Immunology, DM in Clinical haematology, DM in Medical Oncology, and DM in Cardiology

What Is An MD?

As mentioned above, an MD refers to a Doctor of Medicine. It is essentially a master’s degree offered to candidates who have completed their MBBS and fulfilled the prerequisites to practise as a licensed doctor. However, some countries also consider it similar to a PhD. Typically, its duration is two to four years. Acquiring an MD is often considered a benchmark for any qualified doctor, whether a physician, surgeon or specialist.

Here are some of the popular MD degrees:

  • MD in Anesthesiology
  • MD in Physiology
  • MD in Forensic Medicine
  • MD in Aviation Medicine
  • MD in Psychiatry
  • MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • MD in General Medicine
  • MD in Biochemistry
  • MD in Radiology
  • MD in Ophthalmology
  • MD in Geriatrics 
  • MD in Biophysics
  • MD in Radio Diagnosis
  • MD in Pediatrics
  • MD in Health Administration
  • MD in Community Medicine
  • MD in Radiotherapy
  • MD in Pathology
  • MD in Hospital Administration
  • MD in Dermatology
  • MD in Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases
  • MD in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • MD in Microbiology
  • MD in Venerology

What Is A DM?

A DM, or a Doctorate of Medicine, is a postgraduate super speciality degree of three years. It is typically a specialist degree where doctors attain their specialisation in a specific domain of medicine. Several doctors choose to pursue a DM after completing their MD. A DM programme allows the doctor to acquire intensive, research-focused knowledge to become an expert in a particular field.

Find some of the popular DM degrees here:

  • DM in Pulmonary Medicine
  • DM in Gastroenterology
  • DM in Endocrinology
  • DM in Medical Gastroenterology
  • DM in Neuroradiology
  • DM in Nephrology
  • DM in Rheumatology
  • DM in Clinical Pharmacology
  • DM in Neonatology
  • DM in Neurology
  • DM in Immunology
  • DM in Clinical haematology
  • DM in Medical Oncology
  • DM in Cardiology

Eligibility Criteria

One of the most significant aspects of any degree is eligibility. Similarly, when looking at the difference between MD and DM, it’s essential to analyse their eligibility criteria. Look at the following points for the standard eligibility criteria for MD and DM in medical fields:

Eligibility For An MD

The following points are considered for a standard MD in any university or institution.

  • An MBBS or relevant bachelor’s degree in the medical field.
  • Results of standardised tests
  • GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Interviews
  • Practical tests

Eligibility For A DM

The following aspects are considered for any standard DM in famous universities.

  • Candidates are often required to have an MD.
  • Results of standardised tests
  • GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Interviews
  • Practical tests
  • Some institutions may require work experience.
  • Academic records

Thus, it is evident that even though a few requirements for DM, MD are similar, a Doctorate of Medicine requires further qualifications and details.

Top Universities For A Medical Degree For MD And DM

Source: @https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/05/08/johns-hopkins-2020-planning-task-force/ 

When exploring the best institutions for acquiring an MD or a DM, several aspects, like the global rankings, cost of tuition, the standard of education, facilities, and teaching staff, must be analysed. Consider the table below to find the top universities in the world for completing an MD.

UniversityQS World University Rankings 2024Average cost of tuition (in USD)
Harvard University, USA4USD 69,300
Oxford University, UK3USD 37,637
Stanford University, USA5USD 58,746
John Hopkins University, USA28USD 62,850
Cambridge University, UK2USD 12,367
University College London, UK9USD 47,674
Karolinska Instituet, Sweden10 (2023)USD 36,519
Imperial College London, UK6USD 63,227
University of California, Los Angeles, USA29USD 49,559
University of California, San Francisco, USA8 – by subjectUSD 52,606

Future Scope

One of the significant points of the difference between MD and DM  is the future scope and career opportunities. Having varying degrees, it’s evident that they would have different prospects for career growth. An MD often brings up a more comprehensive range of job prospects than a DM because of its generalisation. On the contrary, DM graduates experience fewer job prospects but often hold reputed positions as experts in speciality hospitals and institutions. The average starting salary for an MD graduate in India is 8 LPA per year. On the other hand, a DM graduate usually gets a starting salary of 10 LPA per year.

To explore your options further, refer to the most common career opportunities after an MD below:

  1. Clinical practice as a general practitioner or physician
  2. Hospitalist roles
  3. Research and teaching
  4. Healthcare Administration

Similarly, here are the most common career options for a DM graduate:

  1. Specialised clinical practice
  2. Research and teaching
  3. Hospital Leadership

MD Or DM: Which One To Choose?

After completing your bachelor’s degree or MBBS, deciding which degree to pursue is often tough. Although both are medical degrees, they both have different career opportunities, future prospects, etc. Thus, the decision is often best made by analysing the intricacies of the degrees and what you can achieve through them. In case you’re confused about the decision, ask yourself the following questions:

MD – Doctor of MedicineDM – Doctorate of Medicine
Do you want more flexibility?Do you want to gain a higher specialisation?
Do you want to care for a range of patients?Are you interested in specialised fields?
Do you want to keep your specialisation on hold?Do you want to pursue research or teaching?
Do you wish to start practising faster?Do you want to be an expert in your field?

Ultimately, the decision to pursue an MD or a DM completely depends on your personal choices and career goals. The major difference between MD and DM is the specialisation and depth of study. However, that doesn’t necessarily entail that you stick to one degree. Several students proceed to acquire a DM after graduating with an MD. If you feel you can invest as many resources as required to get an MD and then a DM, that’s often the best course of a long-term career. However, if you wish to start your practice as soon as possible, get an MD and start working!


Q1. Which is higher MD or DM?

Ans: DM, or Doctorate of Medicine, is the higher degree when compared to an MD, or Doctor of Medicine. In most cases, an MD is a mandatory requirement for gaining entry to a DM programme.

Q2. Can I do DM without MD?

Ans: Completing an MD or an equivalent degree is often a mandatory entry requirement for DM programmes and courses.

Q3. How long is DM after MD?

Ans: A DM degree is usually three years long after an MD. This also includes the test period.

Q4. Can MD doctors do surgery?

Ans: Doctors with an MD cannot perform surgery in India. They need to complete specific specialisation courses for surgery.

Thank you for reading our guide to the Difference Between MD and DM! Let us know your queries and opinions in the comments below!

1 thought on “Top PGDM Courses In Canada: Universities, Specialisations & Eligibility”

  1. I have done Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts from India and completed my graduation in the year 2022 .I am 22 years old. After graduation, I have done 1 year paid internship from USA .Now, I would like to take occupational experience and learn culinary skills and also do masters in Culinary arts.How can I find the college n best course / country where I can persue studying further

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Difference Between MD and DM

Find The Difference Between MD And DM

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