There are two kinds of doctors in the world: those who see it as a career requiring selfless dedication and those who see it as a job that involves prescribing medication..The first kind is becoming very rare, dwindling species, serving in the few large public hospitals which mostly treat the poor and needy. The stipend that interns earn at the hospitals makes a part time job at McDonald's appear lucrative. After years of academic slog, resident doctors make less money every month than fresh MBA's/MTechs .So, yes, the 'noble profession' hangover remains a key motivator for those seeking careers in medicine.The advantage of Biomedical engineering is you can still save life without actually being a medical Doctor.
The most wanted!
Medicine and engineering have long been the two 'most wanted' careers for middle class India .Slowly and steadily, though, engineering seems to be gaining ground. Four years of engineering study at a decent college fetches you a well-paying job. Or one can choose to go abroad for further studies with a good possibility of financial aid and a quick job.
Five years of basic medical study -- even from the best institution -- gets you nowhere.
You have to do a post graduate specialisation (another three years). Preferably, you must also go in for 'super-specialisation' (another two years).
After these 10 to 11 years of study, the future is still uncertain.
The irony is that the demand for a doctor's service is, by definition, ever increasing. Especially in a populous country like ours.Setting up practice, though, is not easy because in this profession, reputation brings in clients. Moreover, reputations take years to build, especially when senior doctors are too insecure to promote junior talent and seldom, if ever, retire!
The lonely, more difficult profession
Medicine, thus, is not only a difficult profession, but a lonely one. Many, many doctors rarely take vacations, afraid of losing patients to rivals. Many others work long, stressful hours not just because it is their duty to attend to the sick but because consulting at three different hospitals and running one's own clinic/s is the only way to build a name. There is also the system of General Practitioners referring patients to particular specialists and labs for a 'kickback'. Newly minted doctors may recoil at the thought, but seniors see it as a standard practice.
More troubling are the doctors who order unnecessary tests, prolong hospital stays and generally prove themselves unworthy of the patient's trust. These are the rotten eggs that exist in every profession. Except, here, the guilt is compounded by the nature of the work. So, like I said, these are the dudes who see Doctor as just another job which involves prescribing medication.
"BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING ROCKS "- Compare yourself an Engineer to above said Doctors
The balancing act
Between the 'excessive dedication' and 'excessive medication' lot lie the majority of doctors, trying to balance the conflicts of the profession. To serve without losing one's humanity, yet keep a distance in order to preserve one's sanity. To make a good living, yet resist the temptation to make an indecent one. Part of the problem is that every doctor is competing for the low-hanging fruit, i e the well heeled patient. The irony is, there is a huge demand for even ordinary MBBS graduates, but in areas where doctors fear to tread. And I am not talking about rural Orissa or Assam
Who will make more money?
Coming back to the career question: medicine versus Biomedical engineering, I think there is no question that in the long run, good doctors will always be in demand (and make money).
The question a student needs to answer is: do I have the required patience?
Both PMT and JEE are difficult exams, but making it to IITs or other prestigious engineering colleges means no more worries.And offcource there are state CET's ....where i beklive you dont need to worry if you just want to be " an ENGINEER" for karnataka around there are around 70,000 seats every year OMG!!.Even Chennai hits the list but exact data unknown .
Some interesting facts there are around " 113 universities and 2,088 colleges with 8,5000 passing out every year surveyed (2009)" in INDIA .According to the All India Council for Technical Education, India produced 401,791 engineers in 2003-04, 35 per cent being computer engineers. In 2004-05, the number of engineering graduates increased to 464,743, of which 31 per cent were computer engineers. Compared to India and China, the United States produces only 70,000 engineering graduates every year. All of Europe produces just 100,000.
Medical students, on the other hand, must again compete for scarce PG seats. And consider alternative options, if they fail to get one.
These options include 'going abroad' and something special is going on now a days :
The GRE route of 'going abroad' seems to be gaining popularity. It is easier both to get there and get a job.
And, do you know, doctors are even aspiring for MBA /MTECH courses! Although the number is tiny, it is happening.
1% of IIM Ahmedabad's class of 2006 lists its background as 'medicine'. That is just about three students, but it was unheard of until recently.