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Scope of MD SPM in Tamil Nadu – What to do after DPH , MD Community Medicine

Scope of MD SPM in Tamil Nadu – What to do after DPH , MD Community Medicine
We got the following question from one of the doctors and we have slightly edited and modified the question to preserve anonymity

Sir. Im Dr ________ finished my MD PSM from ____ in _____ . I received a recruitment call from TNPSC. If i join TNPSC, what would be my career sir? Medical officer in PHC / Specialist as PSM. Kindly guide me sir to TNPSC / Private medical college.

Scope of MD SPM in Tamil Nadu - What to do after DPH , MD Community Medicine

Scope of MD SPM in Tamil Nadu – What to do after DPH , MD Community Medicine

Our Reply

A doctor with MD SPM has a wide variety of career choices

  1. Government of Tamil Nadu
    1. Medical Officer
    2. Health Officer
  2. Government of India
    1.  Central Institutes
  3. Private
    1. Private Medical College
    2. Other Private Organisations and NGOs
  4. International Agencies

Government of Tamil Nadu :

There are two cadres for doctors in Tamil Nadu

  1. Medical Officer Cadre
  2. Health Officer Cadre

Of the nearly 15000 doctors in Tamil Nadu Medical Services, Most of them belong to the former and a few to the latter.

Medical Office Cadre

Doctors are recruited into this cadre through various means

  1. 1. General TNPSC – conducted in 1998, 1999, 2003 Oct, 2005 Oct, 2009 Feb
  2. 2. Womens Only General TNPSC – Condcuted in 2000
  3. 3. Special TNPSC – Conducted in 2003 Jul, 2007 Dec, 2009 Nov – for regularising doctors appointed through the following modes
    • (a) 10 A 1
    • (b) Post PG Compulsary Service
    • (c) Relaxation of 10 A 1
    • (d) Contract Medical Officers
    • (e) Contract Medical Consultants
  4. 4. MRB – a process in evolution. For more details about MRB, please see this link

Once Appointed as Medical Officer, the doctors with MBBS Qualification are posted in Primary Health Centres. Those with Post Graduate Diploma / Degree are posted in Government Hospitals or Medical Colleges based on the speciality. Those with Postgraduate Degrees in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Pathology, Microbiology, Forensic Medicine and Social and Prentive Medicine are posted in Medical Colleges

So, for a doctor with MD SPM, after getting selected by TNPSC for Assistant Surgeons, the Career Graph will be like this
Senior Resident –> Assistant Professor –> Associate Professor –> Professor –> Head of the Department –> Dean — > Director of Medical Education
Of course, not every one can become a HOD, Dean and DME

The advantages of this cadre are

  1. Gazetted Officer
  2. Permanent Job
  3. Regular Pay
  4. Job in Medical Colleges
  5. Can be in the same Medical College (with rare exceptions)
  6. Can become a professor quite early than compared to say General Physicians etc
  7. Suited for those who like teaching
  8. Relatively peaceful 9 to 5 life
  9. No emergencies
  10. Vacations
  11. Need not depend on consultants sending you cases

Disadvantages of medical officer cadre

  • 1. All life in Medical College can be boring (depends on the person)
  • 2. Will not have the same amount of “respect” that a Health Office gets from other departments

Suppose the doctor had not completed MD SPM while applying for TNPSC, he / she would be first posted in a PHC and then transferred to Medical College

Health Office Cadre

This cadre is under the control of Director of Public Health
The appointment and transfer are by the Government
The career progression will be
Municipal Health Officer –> Deputy Director of Health Services –> Joint Director of Health Services –> Additional Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine –> Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Of course, not every one can become a DPH

The advantages of health officer cadre are

  1. Adventurous !
  2. More “respect” as compared to Medical College Professor

The disadvantage of health officer are

  1. Transfer often
  2. Field Job
  3. Have to deal with people of all spheres of life – politicians, businessmen etc
  4. Job involves dealing with Epidemic and Natural Disaster

Government of India

Working as a Professor of Community Medicine in a Central Government Institute has the same advantages and disadvantages but few more advantages

  1. Can remain in the same medical college till retirement (unless the circumstances are extraordinary)
  2. Time based promotion
  3. More Pay and Allowances and Perks as compared to State Government


Private Medical Colleges

  • Working as a Professor of Community Medicine in a Private college is same as that of a government college, but usually the pay is more and the disadvantage is that the individual may have to accept and enforce the policies of the private management, even if he or she does not like them

Other private organisations and NGOs

As Epidemiologists, Research officers in medical research organisations and pharmaceutical industries.

9.Public health project manager in private NGOs.

10.Jobs in occupational health such as industries both in India and abroad.

  1. More initial Pay package


  1. Not a permanent job

International Agencies

MD SPM Candidates can also opt for employment in International Agencies like UNICEF, WHO and Projects (IPPV etc), UNICEF, NICD, ICMR, NACO, RNTCP, NBCP


  1. High Pay and Allowances


  1. Have to travel a lot
  2. Not a permanent job. need to look for the next project
  3. May have to even look for chances abroad (well, you can even consider it as advantage:) )


Each and every opportunity has its own advantages and disadvantages
You have a take a decision based on the following

  1. Do you like teaching
  2. Do you dislike teaching
  3. Do you like administration
  4. Do you dislike Administration
  5. Do you want a permanent job once for all
  6. Do you want to settle in one place
  7. Do you like changes
  8. Do you like to work in a project mode
  9. Do you want to practice GP in the evenings
  10. Do you need immediate money at once and can decide to settle after few years
  11. Do you like going abroad
  12. Do you dislike going abroad


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