Estimated Numbers of Non-Clinical Job Opportunities in India

The total number of non-clinical job opportunities for MBBS physicians in India is approximately 60,000.

non clinical jobs in india
Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl

These opportunities can be grouped into the “traditional” and the “newer” types. The number of traditional non-clinical opportunities could be three times of the newer ones. 

The work profile of these non-clinical opportunities was discussed in the article “Non-Clinical Opportunities for Physicians In India” published at The article can be accessed by clicking here.

Traditional Non-Clinical Opportunities 

Medical Teacher: India has over 450 medical colleges that produce medical graduates of modern medicine. Each such college has the departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Forensic Medicine, and Preventive and Social Medicine which primarily consists of Physician-medical teachers, with each such college employing around 75 such physicians. Besides the medical colleges, physicians are additionally employed by standalone dental colleges, nursing colleges, and paramedical colleges. Thus, there may be over thirty-five thousand physicians engaged in teaching basic sciences to medical students.

Chief Medical Officer: They may also be known as the Civil-Surgeon/Health-Officer. Currently, each administrative district of India has around 10 to 20 physicians engaged in solely administering the government-administered health programs. Given the fact that there are over 600 such districts in India, the number of physicians engaged in administering health programs may exceed ten thousand.

Medical Scientist: Over 25 ICMR institutes dedicated to biomedical research and a similar number of Non-ICMR institutes dedicated to healthcare research employ several hundreds of doctors in the role of a medical scientist. Each such institute commonly employs five to 10 physicians.

Newer Non-Clinical Opportunities 

Medical Diagnostics: Over five thousand physicians providing radiology services and almost a similar number of pathologists, microbiologists, medical biochemists put together, providing lab services, thus, resulting in a total number of over ten thousand diagnosis-experts. While many of these personnel work in the premises of hospitals, the recent trends follow that these are only rarely attached to the hospital as a business unit and mostly work as independent entities.

Hospital Administration: These physician executives usually have a hospital administration qualification or a general MBA from a business school. Each hospital brings an opportunity for at least two to five physicians in the role of a hospital administrator popularly known as the medical superintendent. Given that India has over 500 large privately owned hospitals having greater than 100 beds, there may be over two thousand hospital administrator physicians.

Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices: Each company may require two to five such positions and given that there are around 400 such successful pharma companies. The number of physicians working in these two roles in India may be up over two thousand. 

Information Technology: There are about 100 odd companies/startups which offer jobs in different healthcare IT segments, such as, hospital information systems, artificial intelligence, literature review, data enrichment services, clinical data management, drug discovery, etc. The number of physicians working in these companies in India may be about one thousand. 

Insurance: With over 30 companies dealing with health insurance products and a similar number of TPAs, Trusts etc. the insurance industry employs, probably, few hundreds of Indian physicians with two-three physicians working in each organization on an average.

Consulting (NGOs/Business): A hundred-odd Indian physicians work as healthcare consultants, with a select few of them working independently.

P.S. Many of the non-clinical opportunities in India accept the bachelor’s degree (MBBS) as an entry requirement, but for maximizing the career growth and professional satisfaction, a master’s degree (MD/MS) in the select specialty is preferable. By and large, very few non-clinical careers demand the physician to hold a doctorate (DM/MCh).

Do you agree with the estimates of the numbers of non-clinical doctors in India? Feel free to share your views.

Views expressed are personal

Last Updated On 09/23/2019 07:30 PM

Author Profile: Dr. Naval Asija is a New Delhi based non-clinical doctor having health administration postgraduate training. Since 2018, he has been writing/blogging full time on health issues. In the past, he has worked for a decade in healthcare, in different organizations, namely Innodata India Pvt. Ltd., Win-Medicare Pvt. Ltd., National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project and the National Polio Surveillance Project.
The author can be contacted through
journey of a non clinical doctor


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The work profile of these non-clinical opportunities was discussed in the article “Non-Clinical Opportunities for Physicians In India” published at The article can be accessed by clicking here.

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