MBBS | Medical degrees | Bachelor of Medicine | Bachelor of Surgery

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) are usually used as synonyms. At some institutions, such as Oxford and Cambridge, it was possible in the past to be awarded the two degrees in different years!
In many countries, the degrees are awarded after an undergraduate course lasting five or six years. In some cases, a graduate in another discipline may subsequently enter a special graduate-entry medical course, reduced in duration to account for relevant material covered or learning skills acquired during the first degree. In some cases the old first year courses (for six year degrees) in the basic sciences of physics, chemistry and biology have been abolished, and that standard has to be reached by means of school examinations before entry. However, in most countries a newly-graduated Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery must spend a specified period in internship before they can obtain full qualification as a medical practitioner.

Classification
Medical degrees differ from other undergraduate degrees in that they are professional qualifications which lead holders to enter a particular career on successful completion. This is not the case with most other undergraduate degrees, while the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery are undergraduate or graduate degrees (depending on the institution), they are perhaps more accurately conceptualized as a so-called first professional degree. Other professions whose qualifications follow a similar pattern include:

• Dentistry
• Engineering
• Optometry
• Pharmacy
• Qualifying law degree
• Veterinary medicine

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery are usually awarded as general/ordinary degrees, not as honours degrees, and as such the graduate is not classified as for honours degrees in other subjects. However, at many institutions (for example the University of Manchester in England and the University of Dundee in Scotland) it is possible for the degrees to be awarded with Honours (i.e. MB ChB (Hons)) or with Commendation, if the board of examiners recognises exceptional performance throughout the degree course. Very few of these are awarded.


More often, it is possible to study one subject for an extra year for an intercalated honours degree. This is usually a Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSci), Bachelor of Medical Biology (BMedBiol) or similar: at Oxford and Cambridge in England and Dublin in Ireland Bachelor of Arts degrees are awarded. At a few universities most medical students obtain an ordinary degree in science as well: when the University of Edinburgh had a six year course, the third year was followed by award of an ordinary BSc (MedSci).


In Australia, The University of Melbourne in Australia offers an Arts Degree (BA) to a medical student on the completion of two extra years of undergraduate study, and Monash University offers a Law degree (LLB); if the optional Law degree is undertaken, on completion of their degree the student may choose to do a one-year internship at a hospital and become a doctor, or spend one year doing articles to practice thereafter as a lawyer. At the University of Nottingham in England all medical students on the five year course obtain a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci) degree without an extra intercalated year. The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland along with certain National University of Ireland medical schools offers a BMedSci qualification on completion of a thesis based on 2–3 months of summer research; only students achieving honours in their preclinical courses are eligible to receive the degree. At Imperial College London and University College London, certain medical students are able to extend their intercalated year to an extra three years, thus temporarily exiting the MBBS course to complete a PhD. Upon completion of the PhD, the student is required to sit the remaining 2 years of the medicine course in order to receive his/her MBBS degree. The University of the West Indies, Mona in Kingston, Jamaica automatically awards a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci) degree to all students who have successfully completed year 3 of their MB BS program.


Progression:
Medical school graduates are only entitled to use the courtesy title "Doctor" upon registration as a medical practitioner with the relevant regulatory body in their respective country. (The name can have a prefix “Dr.”)

Medical graduates are also eligible to sit various postgraduate examinations, including examinations for membership and fellowship of professional institutions (such as Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons), postgraduate Masters degrees (such as a Master of Surgery or Master of Obstetrics) and a postgraduate doctorate in medicine (e.g. Doctor of Medicine, if earned in Ireland, the UK or Commonwealth nations), and board certification examinations.


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