The medical profession is highly sought in India. Changing lifestyles, high-stress careers and a burgeoning population in India has caused a high demand for medical services. Studying medicine in India is a competitive process and requires specialized education starting at the undergraduate level, which is earlier than required in the United States. Every year, about 1.6 million aspiring medical students compete for a few thousand seats.

Aspiring doctors should enroll in a science-heavy curriculum in high school. Take electives in biology, chemistry and physics, as these will prepare you to take the highly competitive entrance exams for medical schools.

Take the required entrance exams for each medical college to which you apply. You may have to take several exams, as some colleges -- such as the All India Institute for Medical Sciences -- have a specific entrance exam. In other cases, there are statewide medical entrance exams. If you are applying to medical schools in multiple states, you may have to take a separate exam for each state.

Enroll in a bachelor’s degree in medicine at a medical college. Unlike in the United States, a prospective medical student in India has to obtain a specialized bachelor’s degree called a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). This is typically a four and a half year program. The MBBS degree includes courses in many fields including pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology and other essential medical subject areas.

Graduates with an MBBS degree typically perform an internship of six months to a year, in which they gain clinical experience working in different rotations in a hospital. At this point, an Indian doctor is qualified to become licensed by the State Medical Council of the relevant state and to practice medicine.

Doctors may continue their medical educations by pursuing post-graduate studies . These will lead to an MD degree in a specialized field such as general medicine, psychiatry or orthopedics. While an MBBS is eligible to practice medicine, an MD will land more prestigious and higher-paying assignments.