If you are an international student who has completed your MBBS course in a country of your choice, you may find yourself at a crossroads when it comes to deciding your next career move.

You might wonder if I should return to my home country and pursue a postgraduate degree (PG) or practice medicine. Or should I study further and apply to a PG course abroad after my MBBS?

In this blog, we will help you understand and make you aware of the career options for international MBBS students.

What is the next career step for MBBS Indian Students?

After completing their MBBS degree, they have various career options to choose from. They can pursue a postgraduate degree in their chosen specialty or opt for a residency in the USA and become licensed medical practitioners. Let’s delve into these steps in greater detail.

Get Your PG in India

Most MBBS students prefer to complete their PG without taking a break. If you are among them, then pursuing PG in India is a possible next step. This will help you become a specialist in your area of interest. To apply for a PG abroad after MBBS, you will be required to clear the NEET-PG entrance exam (The NEET results are valid only for the year you wish to get admission). 

In India, there are only over 36,000 PG seats available in an academic year. The difficulty in cracking the NEET PG exam is relatively high. If you do qualify and get admission, the duration of the course is three years. You can directly apply to colleges after you clear NEET. However, a few colleges may have their own entrance exams to further gauge the student’s skills. In India, the course fee for MD ranges from Rs.1 to 2 lakhs and students also get a stipend.

Residency in the USA

Post-residency,  international medical students attempt to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to become licensed medical practitioner in the USA. USMLE will be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This exam determines if a medical graduate is ready to enter a residency or fellowship programme in the US.

There are three stages in this examination:

USMLE 1 is a one-day examination and can be taken by the end of the 2nd year in MBBS. It is an online MCQ-based examination. 

USMLE 2 has two sub-steps, namely USMLE 2 CK and USMLE 2 CS. 

While USMLE 2 CK is a one-day examination that can be taken at various test centres worldwide at the end of the 4th year of MBBS, USMLE 2 CS requires the applicant to examine and diagnose a person acting as a patient. USMLE 2 CS exam can be taken only in five testing centres in the US.

USMLE 3 is an online exam. All medical graduates are required to pass this exam to be licensed doctors in the US.

Pursue PG in the UK

Like other countries, the UK also has an entry exam that lets foreign medical graduates study PG in the UK. Professional and Linguistic Assessment board Exam (PLAB) is a licensing exam that allows international medical graduates who completed MBBS outside the UK to pursue PG in the UK. PLAB exams have two steps, PLAB 1 and PLAB 2. 

PLAB 1 is a on-day written exam consisting of 180 MCQs that should be attempted in three hours. It is conducted four times every year in the UK and worldwide. Students should have cleared the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or the Occupational English Test (OET) to apply for PLAB 1 exam on the General Medical Council official website.

PLAB 2 is an objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) that includes 16 scenarios. This reflects the real setting of the practice and will be a mock consultation. This exam tests the applicant’s ability to engage with patients, ask the right questions, examine thoroughly, come up with the right diagnosis, etc. This clinical assessment exam can be taken in specific test centres in Manchester, UK. After clearing this exam, the applicant can apply for a UK medical license registration.

PG in New Zealand 

After completing MBBS internationally, an applicant can choose to study post-graduation in New Zealand by appearing for the NZREX exam (New Zealand Registration Exam.) NZREX is an objective structured clinical exam. Some of the basic eligibility criteria are:

  • IELTS with a minimum of 7.5 in speaking and listening and a minimum of seven in writing and reading. The scores should not be older than two years.
  • OET with a minimum of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in each of the four components taken within the last two years.
  • In the last five years, the applicant should have cleared at least one of the below exams:
    • USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (Clinical Knowledge)
    • Part 1 of PLAB Part
    • Australian Medical Council MCQ
    • Part 1 of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination

Apart from the countries mentioned above, international students can study PG in other countries with excellent education standards such as Germany, Australia, Canada, South Korea, etc. 

17 Alternative Career Options after MBBS for Indian Students

Most medical students think that only a few options such as PG, MS, or MD are available for them after they complete their MBBS course abroad. However, the world of medicine is constantly evolving. It gives scope to medical graduates to choose a path they like. Some of the alternative yet equally skilled career options are listed below:

  1. Medical teacher or professor
  2. Medical writing/journalism
  3. Entrepreneur 
  4. Clinical researcher 
  5. Pharmaceutical researcher
  6. Organ transplant coordinator
  7. Forensic medical officer 
  8. Forensic psychiatry
  9. Public services
  10. Radiology
  11. Holistic healthcare provider
  12. Sports medical healthcare providers
  13. Medico-legal advisor
  14. Hospital management and administration
  15. Exercise medicine and coach
  16. Bacteriologist
  17. Aerospace medicine

Alternative Diploma Courses after MBBS Abroad in

After completing MBBS abroad, there are also several alternative diploma courses that you can consider. Some popular options include:

  • Clinical pathology
  • Anesthesia
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Pathology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Radiotherapy
  • DVL
  • Occupational therapy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Health education
  • ENT
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Hospital administration
  • Immunohematology
  • Microbiology

Other Courses to Pursue after Studying MBBS Abroad 

Completing an MBBS degree is a significant milestone for any medical student. However, there are several other courses that you can pursue after studying MBBS abroad. Here are some of them:

  • MBA in Hospital Management
  • MBA in Healthcare Management
  • MBA in Hospital Administration
  • MBA in Bioinformatics
  • MSc in Computational Biology
  • Masters in Pharmaceutical Marketing
  • Hospital quality management and control
  • Yoga and wellness
  • M.Tech in Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences

Alternative Medicines to Consider

After completing MBBS, it’s worth exploring other options in the field of alternative medicine. These include:

  • Medical Statistics
  • Clinical Biomarkers
  • Stem Cells
  • Biosensors
  • Cancer Biology
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Immuno-technology
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Nanomedicine
  • Telemedicine

What Would You Choose?

By now, it is clear that there are a plethora of options available for students after they complete MBBS abroad. The career choices are limitless. The big question is, what is your passion? Which specialization are you interested in? This will determine the rest of your future career.

Choosing a specialization, diploma, or post-graduation in an area you are not interested in will not bring job satisfaction in the long run. We know this is not an easy decision, but you will be able to make the right choice with proper research, introspection, and guidance.

The Bottom Line

From pursuing a clinical career in their home country or abroad to exploring research opportunities or further specializations, the possibilities are endless. It is important for students to research and explore their options thoroughly and make an informed decision based on their interests, skills, and goals.

With dedication, hard work, and the right guidance, international MBBS students can build a successful and fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.


Which country is best for job after MBBS?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it depends on various factors such as personal preferences, job opportunities, salary, and work environment. However, countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom are popular choices for MBBS graduates due to their advanced healthcare systems and high demand for medical professionals.

What is the best career option other than MBBS?

There are many great career options other than MBBS, depending on your interests and skills. Some popular alternatives include:
Paramedical Science
Hospital and Health care Management
Alternative Medicines

Can I get job in India after MBBS from abroad?

Medical graduates who have obtained an MBBS degree from abroad can return to India and work in both public and private hospitals after clearing the NMC (National Medical Commission) exam.

Which career is best in MBBS?

There are several career options available for MBBS graduates, such as medical teacher or professor, medical writing/journalism, clinical researcher, and more. The best career option depends on an individual’s interests, skills, and career goals.