BAMS as a Career in India - A medical degree in Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) has gained immense relevance and opened up lucrative career avenues for the pursuants today. Careers360 brings to you an informative piece about BAMS as a Career in India. Read below to find more.
From frankincense toothpaste and natural medicine cabinet to swapping coffee for turmeric milk and mouthwash for coconut oil pulling, the ancient medical science of Ayurveda is rapidly tapping into the everyday life of the 21st century.
BAMS as a Career in India has shifted, altered and gained in importance, as it rides on the growing interest wave across policy corridors and amidst consumers in India. Did you know the consumption of Ayurvedic products constitutes for more than 41 percent of personal care market in India? “The time to pursue the study of Ayurvedic system of medicine has never been better. There is a positive environment for the subject across the country. Earlier wariness and suspicion of patients is rehabilitating into prompt adoption. The change in environment is well supported by government’s efforts of employing veterans with knowledge of Ayurveda who are readily pushing for increased interaction between modern and traditional system of medicine,” says Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Gupta, Medical Superintendent and HoD at All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), Delhi.
BAMS as a Career in India - Bridging the gap
Many states in India are looking up to Ayurvedic doctors to bridge the deficient doctor-patient ratio in the country and the government is investing in providing research grants for Ayurveda. “For a student with passion and interest for 5,000 years old ayurvedic system of medicine, the career opportunities are abound and the times to come will be better,” added Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Gupta.
BAMS as a Career in India - About BAMS
BAMS is an undergraduate degree in Ayurvedic system of medicines which is recognized under ‘The Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970’. It is a 5.5 years course comprising 4.5 years of main study period and one-year of compulsory internship. Upon successful completion, BAMS graduates are conferred with the title of Doctor and Vaidya.
“The duration, structure, selection criteria and recognition given to BAMS graduates is on the same lines of MBBS. I was always sure that I don’t want to pursue MBBS, and BAMS came as a lucrative alternative option to me to become a doctor,” says Bhawna Dutt, who graduated in BAMS from Tibbia College and Hospital of University of Delhi.
BAMS as a Career in India - Dual knowledge: Ayurveda-cum-Allopathy
BAMS isn’t just about imparting ayurvedic knowledge. Bhawna says, “Dual knowledge of modern and ayurvedic medicine is pivotal to our field. In the last 1.5 years of study period before internship, we were also taught about allopathic medicines and got trained in its clinical practices albeit in lesser details. I used to attend about nine hours classes at allopathic hospitals like Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital and NC Joshi Hospital, which gave me the comfort and the confidence of working as an alternative medical practitioner. It also helped me understand the intricacies of modern medicine along with ayurvedic medicine.”
On a lighter note, Bhawna says, “In the days to come, who knows the reverse might also become true too, and the students of modern medicine might also be taught alternative medicine.”
BAMS as a Career in India - Curriculum
The curriculum of Bachelors of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery is divided into four professional years, with three yearly (12 months each) professional years and one 18 months (1.5 year) professional year. In first year, the students are taught anatomy, physiology, history of Ayurvedic system of medicine, followed by the study of toxicology, pharmacology, et. al. in second year.
The third and the fourth years comprise practical training through clinical practice and specialized knowledge. The fifth year is compulsorily dedicated to internship. Ayurvedic therapies such as mud therapy, acupressure, etc. also form a part of the curriculum in this year.
BAMS as a Career in India - Eligibility and admission
To pursue BAMS, a student must have passed his/her 10+2 in medical stream (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). The admission process for BAMS has been standardized from 2017 onwards with National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) becoming the sole basis for admission for the course. Students interested in BAMS will have to appear for NEET which is the same requirement for MBBS candidates. Candidates will be admitted on basis of the scores obtained in NEET. One will need to obtain a minimum of 50th percentile (40th percentile for reserved categories) in NEET to qualify for admission.
BAMS as a Career in India - Colleges offering BAMS
A number of distinguished colleges in India offer BAMS including Ayurveda and Unani Tibbia College, University of Delhi; National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur; Institute of Medical Science, Varanasi, among others.
BAMS as a Career in India - Ayurveda is the need of the hour
“It is a highly rewarding profession. For a student with a belief in Ayurvedic system of medicine, this career field has a lot to offer. Don’t run from it because it will take 5.5 years,” said Dr. Gupta. Comparing the practices of Ayurvedic and Modern medicine, he contemplated, “Lifestyle disorders such as joint pain, obesity, diabetes are rampant today and Ayurvedic medicines offer an effective solution to them. Modern medicine is result oriented, but has more side effects.”
Bhawana also added, “For Osteoarthritis (joint pain) for instance, modern medicine will work only as long as you pop anti-inflammatory. Ayurveda though takes more time to reap results, but it removes the problem from root. A resort to Ayurvedic treatment at appropriate juncture can help them avoid expensive surgeries and medicines.”
BAMS as a Career in India - Career avenues
The surge of Ayurveda industry in the country has seen an equal rise in the demand of BAMS graduates. After completing the course, one can pursue a number of career avenues. After graduation, if one wants to treat patients and practice, then joining government or private hospitals is a good place to start. BAMS graduates can join as Medical Officers at government hospitals, dispensaries and other public sector units.
Graduates can also work in pharmacy or ayurvedic drug manufacturing industries and can also start their own clinic. According to Bhawna, the two fields within Ayurveda that are popular all across the world and not just India are, Panchkarma and Kshar Sutra Therapy. These therapies are not only popular, but are highly rewarding in terms of money.
“The Panchkarma therapy is well known throughout the world, and it is especially thriving in Kerala. Panchkarma involves detoxification of body through therapies. It is a lucrative career option and one can easily earn 25,000 to 30,000 per therapy which usually lasts for 15 to 30 days. Kshar Sutra is related to surgery, and used to cure ano-rectal diseases like pile, fistula, etc.,” Bhawana says.
BAMS as a Career in India - Advanced degree and research
If one wants to specialize and look forward to becoming a researcher or enter academia, then going for further studies such as MD/MS becomes important. After BAMS, post-graduation specializations can be pursued in medicine, gynaecology, surgery and panchkarma, among others.
Apart from general specializations, masters in hospital management or healthcare management can also be opted once the course has been completed. With an advanced degree, research organizations like Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) can be joined. Clinical research is another booming area which can be taken up. Other than that, one can pursue a career in teaching as well.
“All India Institute of Medical Studies (AIIMS) Delhi has started a research centre on convergence of modern medicine with traditional, with a core focus on Yoga and Ayurveda. We often go there to give presentations, present findings and have enriching discussions,” shared Bhawna.
BAMS as a Career in India - Choose with a belief
It’s not only about having enough career options. Whether or not there is a passion for the field will highly impact one’s fitness for a career. “The irony of Ayurvedic practice of medicine is people come to us not as their first choice of treatment, but only when they have tried every other option available to them. I often wonder what marvels Ayurveda could do if they would come to us right at the onset of a disease,” points out Bhawna.
BAMS as a Career in India - Desire to explore the field
Given the novelty and the popularity of the field and its recent acceptance around the world, it is of foremost importance that the practitioner has an unwavering belief and desire to explore the nuances of this field, before one sail their ship for BAMS.
It is a highly rewarding profession. For a student with a belief in Ayurvedic system of medicine, this career field has a lot to offer. Earlier wariness and suspicion of people towards Ayurveda is rehabilitating into prompt adoption. Lifestyle disorders are rampant today and Ayurveda offers effective solution to them
Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Gupta,
Medical Superintendent and HoD, All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), Delhi
We were given dual knowledge of modern and ayurvedic medicine. In the last 1.5 years of study period before internship, we were taught about allopathic medicines and got trained in its clinical practices albeit in lesser details
BAMS Graduate, Tibbia College and Hospital, University of Delhi
The curriculum of BAMS is divided into four years with three years (12 months each) and one of 18 months (1.5 year)