Why Doctors are preferring Radiology and Medicine Over Surgical Branches.

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doctors choosing radiology and medicine

Reasons why doctors are preferring radiology and medicine over surgery.

There was a time when majority of top rankers in NEET PG would opt for surgical branches but the scenario has been steadily changing since 2020 and now doctors are preferring radiology and medicine over surgery. If the seat matrix of top 100 rankers of NEET PG is anaalysed since 2020 one striking feature is significant drop in doctors who opted for surgical branches.

Amongst top 100 rankers in NEET PG in 2020, 8 opted for Gen surgery whereas in 2021 and 2022 5 and 1 doctors amongst top 100 NEET PG rankers opted for Surgery.

 This year out of 100 NEET PG toppers Medicine and Radiology were the most sought after specialisations. In fact since previous 5 years many doctors preferred diploma in radiology to degrees in other branches.

 The question is why doctors are preferring radiology and medicine over surgical branches.  

Many attributes this thing to the violence against doctors which is more likely to occur in surgical branches. The specialisations such as radiology and pathology are being seen as safe branches having less chances of direct confrontation with patient and violent relatives.

The cases such as the assault on ophthalmology surgeon of JJ hospital by relatives of a patient in which one of the assaulted doctors has almost lost his one eye or the case of  surgeon in Dhule who  was beaten black and blue after he asked family members of a patient to take him to another centre since there was no neurosurgeon on duty were the cases which had serious impact on the way young doctors perceive surgical branches. And these cases are not isolated news of violence against doctors is almost a daily occurrence. Many of these cases are not even reported. The action against the culprit is usually not taken because of the charged atmosphere and because at the time of this violence the relatives are usually emotionally charged (below image taken from TOI).

violence against doctors

Not only incidence of serious violence but in some cases the doctors have even lost their lives because of the attacks by the relatives of patients. Take for example the case of dr Vandana Das from Kerala who was stabbed multiple times by her patient without any provocation.  (Read story of Dr Vandana)

dr anju murder

Previously many doctors chose surgery because of commitment they had towards patients and they felt surgical branches to be more challenging. But now the scenario is changing and many doctors have now became more concerned with work and family life balance. Many young doctors do not want to be on their toes 24 hours a day and feel that there must be a balance between work and family life.

This has led to many doctors opting for branches such as radiology and pathology. Radio-diagnosis as a specialised branch has an advantage of working from home as many of the young radiologists do not even have their own clinic or diagnostic centres and rather they work from home in tele-radiology companies and get handsome remuneration.


Though central as well as various state governments are coming up with stringent laws to prevent attacks against doctors these efforts are not yet effective because of the workload in government hospitals. In comparison to workload the working force is often insufficient in these government hospitals and that is the main reason for friction between patients’ relatives and doctors.

Doctors are realising that these cases against doctors can not be prevented even if the governments try their level best. Being a doctor is becoming increasingly risky. It is but obvious that every doctor can not be provided security all the times. Moreover in today’s society the doctors many times are seen as evil who just want to mint money at the cost of patients health. Many doctors can not handle this round the clock stress and hence many doctors are opting for less risky branches such as radiology, pathology and even non clinical branches.

This is not a good Omen from the perspective of public health. 

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