B.A.M.S. (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) is a recognized bachelor degree in India for Ayurveda (India’s Ancient System of Alternative Medicine). BAMS is recognized under the Indian parliamentary act “The Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.” According to law, it is equal to other medical degrees in India and a person graduated in Ayurveda can perform same legal work such as issuing medical certificates etc. as the other medical degree holder can do.

The BAMS course duration is five and half years including 1 year’s compulsory internship. The five and half year’s undergraduate course provides skills in ayurvedic clinical practice and helps understanding modern science as well. However, the syllabus of BAMS course is like an integrated degree, which includes teachings of ayurvedic as well modern medicines, but BAMS degree holders are not permitted to practice modern allopathic medicines throughout the India except some states. Read below Supreme Court judgment regarding this.

About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian Science, which diagnoses, prevents and treats diseases on basis of three body humors (VATA, PITTA & KAPHA) and two humors of mind (RAJA & TAMA). Every symptom and sign is specific to these humors, which helps telling the physician about the dominance of the humor. After diagnosing the disease and humors, ayurvedic doctors decide medicines on basis of primary dominance, secondary dominance and tertiary dominance of humors to re-harmonize and re-balance the natural states of the humors. This requires a careful observation and deep understating, which makes the ayurvedic science toughest than other health systems. You cannot prescribe same medicines even for same disease in different individuals even with a slight change in symptoms. Wrong medicine can result in treatment failure.

Ayurveda is now spreading all around the world due to its efficacy and wonderful results in chronic diseases and ailments declared incurable in other system of health care. Nowadays, ayurveda becomes a crucial part of healthcare for general people all around the world. People are interested to take ayurvedic treatment for diseases, which are difficult to cure in other medicine systems. Therefore, BAMS degree also becomes very important in Indian education system, but still it has no legal recognition outside India.

About CCIM

CCIM is the abbreviation used for the Central Council of Indian Medicine, which is the statutory body and council constituted under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. It was established on 10 august 1971. CCIM is responsible for framing and implementing of various regulations in ayurveda, Siddha and Unani colleges. The Curricula and Syllabi of BAMS, BUMS and BSMS are decided by CCIM. All colleges providing education in Indian system of medicine are required to be affiliated with Universities and CCIM. Affiliation criteria are prescribed by CCIM. The BAMS course is conducted according to the rules and regulation of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, New Delhi.

Admission criteria for BAMS

If you want to do degree in Ayurveda, then you need to pass out 12th class with medical science. The essential subjects in 12th class are Physics, Chemistry and Biology. In addition, you should secure minimum 50% or above marks in these subjects.

Candidate interested for admission to the first professional of the BAMS course require fulfilling following criteria:

  1. Age Limits for BAMS: 17 years or above (The minimum age limit to get admission in BAMS is 17 years and now, there is no upper age limit.)
  2. Minimum Educational qualifications: 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology

With above criteria, students are eligible for entrance examination for BAMS. Admission is based on the rank obtained in the entrance examination conducted by various universities in states of India. After securing good rank, the student can get admission in BAMS first professional, which may be provisional and need to be approved by concerned University.

BAMS Course & Duration

BAMS degree comprises of four professionals and one-year compulsory internship.

Course DivisionDuration
First Professional12 Months
Second Professional12 Months
Third Professional12 Months
Fourth (Final) Professional18 Months
Compulsory Internship12 Months
Total Duration5 Years 6 Months

BAMS graduate are eligible for registration as ayurvedic physicians at CCIM or State Ayurvedic and Unani Boards. Their status is equal as other medical graduate in India, so they are also eligible for various appointments related to ayurveda in central and state government.

Subjects in BAMS

The B.A.M.S course includes four professional and one-year compulsory internship after the completion of three professionals. Subjects of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery are as follows:

First Professional (Duration: 12 Months)

It consists of 5 subjects as given underneath:

SubjectsEnglish Translation
Ayurveda Itihas & Padartha VijnanaHistory of Ayurveda & Meta Physics
SanskritSanskrit Language
Kriya SharirHuman Physiology including ayurvedic concepts, complete modern physiology and biochemistry
Rachana SharirHuman Anatomy including dissection & complete modern anatomy
Maulik Sindan Avum Ashtanga Hridayam (Sutrasthana)Basic Principles of Ayurveda & Ashtanga Hridayam (Sutrasthana) – Basic Classical text of Ayurveda related to basic principles of Ayurveda

Second Professional (Duration: 12 Months)

Second Professional consists of 4 subjects as given underneath:

SubjectsEnglish Translation
Dravyaguna VijnanaPharmacology & Materia Medica
Rasashastra And Bhaishajya KalpanaAyurvedic Pharmaceutical Science
Agada Tantra, Vyavhar Ayurved And Vidhi VaidyakToxicology, Medical Jurisdiction And Forensic Science
Charaka Samhita (Purvardha Vol. 1)Ayurvedic ancient text – CHARAKA SAMHITA Vol. 1

Third Professional (Duration: 12 Months)

Third Professional consists of 5 subjects as given underneath:

SubjectsEnglish Translation
Rog Nidana Evum Vikriti VigyanaPathology & Microbiology (Including Ayurvedic Concepts)
Charaka Samhita – Uttarardh (Vol. 2)Ayurvedic ancient text – CHARAKA SAMHITA Vol. 2
Swastha Vritta & YogaPreventive and Social Medicine (Community Medicine) & Yoga
Prasuti Tantra Evum Stri RogaObstetrics and Gynecology
Kaumar Bhritya (Bal Roga)Pediatrics

Fourth Professional (Duration: 18 Months)

Fourth Professional consists of 5 subjects as given underneath:

SubjectsEnglish Translation
Kayachikitsa (Including Manas Roga, Rasayan & Vajikarana)Internal Medicine (Including Psychiatric Disorders, Rejuvenation & Aphrodisiac Science)
Shalya TantraGeneral Surgery
Shalakya TantraDiseases of Head & Neck, Ophthalmology (Eye), ENT & Dentistry
PanchakarmaAyurvedic body Detoxification procedures
Research Methodology & Medical StatisticsResearch Methodology & Medical Statistics

Internship (Duration: 12 Months)

You college may likely to divide your internship as follows:

DepartmentsDuration
Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine)4 Months
Shalya Tantra (General Surgery)2 Months
Shalakya Tantra (ENT, Eye & Dentistry)2 Months
Prasuti Tantra Evum Stri Roga (Obstetrics and Gynecology)2 Months
Kaumar Bhritya (Bal Roga) – Pediatrics1 Month
Panchakarma1 Month
Total Duration12 Months

License to Practice Ayurveda

After completing BAMS, you will require contacting State Ayurvedic and Unani Boards in the state in which you want to practice ayurvedic medicine for registration and getting a license to Practice Ayurveda. This registration provides you a license to practice ayurvedic medicine in the particular state for which you are registered.

To practice throughout India, you require registering yourself with CCIM (Central Council of Indian Medicine). This license allows you to practice ayurvedic medicines anywhere in India.

Higher Studies after B.A.M.S

There are numerous opportunities for BAMS graduate to pursue further studies as follows.

  1. MD – In various subjects as studied during BAMS course
  2. MS – In various subjects studied in BAMS
  3. M. Sc. – Medicinal Plants
  4. MPH – Masters in Public Health
  5. MBA – In hospital management or any other specialization

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

BAMS graduate can choose MD (Doctor of Medicine in Ayurveda) in various subjects that he/she has studied during his/her graduation. There are many colleges and universities in India, which provide post graduation courses in ayurveda subjects. However, the selection is based on entrance examination and syllabus of entrance examination is entire syllabus of BAMS degree.

One can pursue MD in following subjects:

SpecializationEnglish Meanings of Subjects
Ayurveda Sinddhant and Darshana (Maulik Siddhanta)Basic Principles of Ayurveda and Meta Physics
Rachana SharirHuman Anatomy
Kriya SharirHuman Physiology
Ayurveda SamhitaCharaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita & Vagbhata
SwasthavrittaSocial and Preventative Medicine
Dravyaguna VijnanaAyurveda Materia Medica or Herbology or herbal science including modern pharmacology and essential drugs
Rasa Shastra & Bhaishajya KalpanaAyurvedic pharmacy
Rog Nidana & Vikriti VigyanaDiagnosis & Pathology
AgadaTantra, Vyavhar Ayurved & Vidhi VaidyakToxicology, Medical jurisdiction and forensic science
KayachikitsaInternal Medicine
Kaumar Bhritya (Balroga)Pediatrics
PanchakarmaFive Detoxification procedures
Prasuti Tantra Evam Stri RogaObstetrics & Gynecology

MS Degrees – Master of Surgery

SpecializationEnglish Meanings of Subjects
Shalya TantraSurgery
Shalakya Tantra (ENT)Ear Nose Throat (ENT)
Shalakya Tantra (Netra Roga Vigyana)Ophthalmology (Eye)
Prasuti Tantra Evam Stri RogaObstetrics & Gynecology

Higher Study After Post Graduation in Ayurveda

You can further pursue higher studies in ayurveda after completing post graduation.

Master of Philosophy

One can also pursue master of philosophy after completing post graduation. Many institutes are providing M. Phil. degrees in some of subjects.

Doctor of Philosophy

After post graduation, one can do doctor of Philosophy (D. Phil.) in following subjects:

  • Ayurveda Sinddhant and Darshana (Maulik Siddhanta)
  • Rachana Sharir
  • Kriya Sharir
  • Ayurveda Samhita
  • Swasthavritta
  • Dravyaguna Vijnana
  • Rasa Shastra & Bhaishajya Kalpana
  • Rog Nidana & Vikriti Vigyana
  • AgadaTantra, Vyavhar Ayurved & Vidhi Vaidyak
  • Kayachikitsa
  • Kaumar Bhritya (Balroga)
  • Panchakarma
  • Prasuti Tantra Evam Stri Roga

Career Options & Scope after BAMS

  1. Private clinic or General Ayurvedic Practice
  2. Specialized Clinic or Specialized Practice
  3. Government Jobs as Ayurvedic Medical Officer
  4. Research Worker
  5. Healthcare Administration
  6. Health Supervisor
  7. Manager in ayurvedic pharmacies

Private Clinic (General Ayurvedic Practice)

After learning ayurveda and working under an experienced physician to gain skills in diagnosis and treatment, one can start his own clinic. This option is always available for every BAMS degree holder. BAMS doctor can easily earn his livelihood through his general ayurvedic practice.

Some states also allow BAMS graduate to practice modern medicine or emergency medicines in villages, where is a shortage of modern doctors for welfare of the public. India is facing shortage of doctors in villages and BAMS can help Indian public by serving in villages. Many BAMS doctors are practicing in villages successfully and earning their livelihood.

Practicing in villages is an option, but one can do a good ayurvedic practice in cities as well. Now people are turning to ayurveda and herbal medicines because of many side effects of modern medicines and due to some obstinate diseases, which are difficult to cure with allopathy. Most of ayurvedic medicines containing herbal ingredients or calcium and mineral-based preparations (like Praval pishti, Mukta pishti, Godanti Bhasma, Abhrak Bhasma, Jasad Bhasma etc.) are safer and well tolerated in most of people. However, there are medicines, which should be used in limit like Rasa Formulations and heavy metal containing bhasma etc. for safety of patients. Safely profile of these medicines is not yet well established and researches are going on this subject.

Earning of BAMS Doctors in Private Clinic

It is yet very difficult to tell about the average earning of BAMS doctors in private clinics, but it is assured that they can earn well to live a good life. The profit from private clinics of most of our colleagues ranges from a minimum of Rs 20000/- to a maximum of Rs 150000/-. Several factors can play a role in your earning after BAMS in private clinic.

How to Become a Successful Ayurvedic Physician

In private clinic, consider following points for becoming successful ayurvedic physician.

Success PointsWhat to Do
Accurate DiagnosisLearn ayurvedic physiology and pathology thoroughly. Start learning NADI PARIKSHA from college time. Find good Vaidya outside college to learn this.
Quick visible relief from symptomsUse Panchakarma & potent herbs. Make a list of effective herbal formulations for your clinical practice.
Affordability of MedicinesHerbs & Natural Remedies based practice and do not use of metal-based medicines.
Quality of medicinesDo not rely on the market and prepare your own medicines for your patients.
Good communicationImprove your communication skills

Key of Success: You should keep patience for your recognition in private clinic. It may take time (1 to 3 years), but it will give you lifetime comfort and financial freedom. Just you need to develop skills to diagnose the diseases accurately according to the ayurvedic science and give appropriate treatment for them. This is the key of success in ayurveda.

Specialized Clinic

Specialized practice means to practice in a limited field of medicine like pediatrics, gynecology, gastroenterology, mental diseases, joints pain, liver disorder etc. It may include only a single disease as well.

According to our experience, this option is more successful and affordable. In a general clinic, you may require many ayurvedic medicines, which may be difficult to start-up. Some of ayurvedic medicines are very expensive that include gold (Swarna Bhasma), silver (Chandi Bhasma) etc. A good general ayurvedic clinic may require initial investment of 2.5 to 5 Lakh Rupees, which may be difficult for some of our BAMS friends.

One can start Specialized Clinic with initial investment of 25000 to 200000 rupees. Your advertisements also become easy and people may recognize you for a specific disease, it helps building clientage easily. In a general clinic, you have a long list of diseases and advertisement for every disease becomes difficult and if you write list of all diseases, then people may feel difficulty to decide to visit your clinic for which disease. Now, there is a trend of choosing medical specialist.

For this, you can pursue further study in your dream field. Alternatively, you can get experience in your dream field under medical specialist of concerned medical branch.

Government Jobs

There are many BAMS graduates coming out every year after completing/passing out BAMS and there are a few numbers of government jobs with a lot of competition. Therefore, scope in the government sector is remained only for limited successful candidates in competitive examinations.

Outside India – Scope of BAMS Abroad

However, Ayurveda starts gaining popularity in foreign countries as well including US, Australia, etc., but BAMS degree is not yet recognized outside India.

Therefore, if you are trying to pursue your career after BAMS outside India, you should re-evaluate your decision. Yet there are very less chances to get a VISA of Canada, Australia, U.S.A., UK or European countries on basis of BAMS course or experience in Ayurveda.

However, some countries (especially Australia) may evaluate your skill on basis of alternative medicine or complementary health therapist. After skill assessment, you also require state nomination, which is less likely to open for complementary health therapist from this year (2015).

You cannot even use the title ‘Doctor’ before your name in these countries. Only Australia’s law may allow you to use doctor title before your name.

However, many ayurvedic doctors are residing in foreign countries and they had to complete other courses to survive there and registered as herbal practitioner or Naturopathic practitioners. Most of BAMS doctors moved to foreign countries on study visa. BAMS degree holders can do post graduation in Master of Public Health abroad.

Quick Tip: Ayurveda has no scope in skilled visa (main category) provided by other countries. Therefore, choose another course if you want to go abroad, which has international standard and worldwide recognition.

Can BAMS doctor practice allopathy?

It depends on state government rules. Many states in India don’t permit BAMS doctors to use modern medicines in their practice. However, only following states allow BAMS doctors  to practice modern medicine.

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Himachal Pradesh
  3. Karnataka (allowed from 2013)
  4. Maharashtra
  5. Tamil Nadu
  6. Uttar Pradesh (In the pipeline and may allow in near future, according to recent news) – Now we did not have any update on this, please check with your state government. (updated on 4 Sept. 2015)

NoteAccording to the judgment of the Supreme Court of India, the state government can allow BAMS doctors to practice modern medicine if there is a shortage of doctors in that state.

Disclaimer: We didn’t have sufficient information if your state government allow you to practice allopathic medicines. Please do ask from the state government in written.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. After BAMS, you can work as a qualified physician in Ayurvedic Medicine.
  2. There are many opportunities waiting for you to serve people suffering with obstinate or ‘difficult to cure’ diseases. Ayurveda has cure for some of them.
  3. Own private clinics are better than private jobs. A good ayurvedic practice can give you a financial freedom.
  4. In Government jobs, you will get same pay scale as any other registered medical practitioner gets.

Cons

  1. Job opportunities in private sector for BAMS doctors are also good, but we still cannot compare it with MBBS doctors.
  2. BAMS doctors receive less remuneration in private set-ups or hospitals as compared to MBBS doctors.
  3. Government jobs for BAMS are very limited as compared to MBBS.
  4. Less recognition of BAMS degree outside India

Further Reading

  1. Should I do BAMS or BHMS?
  2. BHMS