DNB (now DrNB) 6 year courses: Course List, Review, Advantages, Disadvantages

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DNB (now DrNB) 6 year courses: Course List, Review, Advantages, Disadvantages

A discussion on DNB 6 year courses

+91 90745 *****: I would like to know about DNB Super specialty direct 6year courses!
DNB CTVS 6 years?
Is it worth doing it at the Max hospital,Delhi?
How is the teaching /hands-on / case load and environment?

World Surgery Forum: 1) I would advise against it. Better to do MS/ DNB General Surgery first and then choose a super specialty.

World Surgery Forum: 2) I personally know quite a few people who left 6 year CTVS course in between.

World Surgery Forum: 3) Hands on for the whole 6 years in an Institute like Max in Delhi will be limited to opening and closure.

+91 90745 *****: Is it the same for plastic surgery and neuro too

+91 90745 *****: Ok sir.

World Surgery Forum: For Neurosurgery also you will only get steps in between but never the full surgery. But the course satisfaction and tolerance for Neurosurgery 6 year course is better than others.

World Surgery Forum: Plastic surgery is also good if you really like plastic surgery as you will get to see good procedures, work-life will be balanced as they rarely take cases in an emergency. Hands-on will be average, you will get parts of large closures if you are good at it.

+91 90745 *****: Thank you for your time sir

World Surgery Forum: 👍

DNB (now DrNB) 6 Year Course List

The DNB 6 year courses include the following super specialities:

  • DNB Cardio Thoracic Surgery
  • DNB Neurosurgery
  • DNB Paediatric Surgery
  • DNB Plastic Surgery

DNB (now DrNB) or MCh direct 6 Year Course Advantages

  • Once you are into the course you will come out as a super specialist without the need to appear in another entrance exam.
  • Save one year of preparation for NEET SS which is commonly spent in preparation by most candidates.
  • If you are very sure of the speciality you might want to get in so doing General Surgery might seem like a waste ofb3 years.
  • A good institute like AIIMS or NIMHANS can have a lot to offer even if its a long 6 year course in the same institute
  • It is for you if you are not particularly interested in taking more time to crack other entrances or you are scared that you might not get any other seat.
  • You don’t have to serve any bond to the government. Some states are so crazy that they may ask you to serve a bond of 5+ years or pay up an obscene amount of money if you fail to do so.
  • If your Institute supports good hands on exposure then it may give you an edge in your surgical skills over 5-6 years.

DNB (now DrNB) 6 Year Course Disadvantages

  • Most Institutes in India are not resident friendly and teaching and hands on exposure are always on a back seat. The resident is just a servant to prepare patients for surgery and manage cases in the ward/ICU. Surgical hands on exposure may be limited to skin opening and closure and assisting. If this is the case, a 6 year course will just become like a jail where you will be stuck for 6 years.
  • If after 3–4 years of doing your DNB 6 year course, you realize that the specialty is not your calling and you decide to leave, then you would have spent 3–4 years of your life with nothing to show for it.
  • You have the same team through 6 years and if God forbid you are stuck with any toxic faculty, each day will be a pain to pass by.
  • Committing to a 6 year course and successfully completing the whole period without dropping in between requires great mental strength and resilience and utmost love for the specialty you have chosen.

DNB Cardiothoracic Surgery (CTVS) 6 year Course Review

DNB is usually not preferable amongst surgical specialities as a first choice because any private institute will usually not allow you to take a free hand in surgery residency as the patient is paying and there is a high risk of litigations in case of bad outcomes! My serious suggestion is that instead of going for a DNB Cardiothoracic Surgery (CTVS) 6 year course, get into MS General Surgery and build your basic surgical skills and then go ahead with your MCh Cardiothoracic Surgery. Considering that CTVS is not a very competitive branch, there is a very high chance that you can clear the MCh CTVS entrance in the first attempt.

“Provided two simultaneous applications with the same experience, corporate will prefer MCh. It would be highly recommended to do general surgery first” – Chirantan Mangukia, Consultant Cardiovascular Surgeon at Wockhardt Hospitals (2016-present) (Link:https://qr.ae/pGVNIB)

DNB Plastic Surgery 6 year Course Review

Pros: The majority of famous and successful plastic surgeons are in the private practice. So you get to learn from them the pearls to succeed in the practice.

Cons: In the majority of the places where DNB is offered are Private institutes, so hands-on is restricted.

DNB Neurosurgery 6 year Course Review


  • In a technological intensive specialty such as Neurosurgery, private hospitals can provide good exposure to it. The operation theatres are technologically fully equipped with Neuronavigation, High-end microscopes, C-Arm, O-arm, MRI Brain Operative Suite, Intraoperative USG,Neuromonitoring. All these are seldom available in majority of the government hospitals.
  • Oportunity to learn the principles from leading successful neurosurgeons who are in private practice

Cons: In the majority of the places where DNB is offered are Private institutes, so hands-on is restricted. Hands on usually includes a few steps in any procedure, otherwise mostly you are assisting.

DNB Paediatric Surgery 6 year Course Review


  • Working in the same department for 6 years has its own benefits. You will be well versed with every aspect of paediatric surgery given that the institute is a busy one which offers good exposure to all kinds of cases.
  • The OT is better and post operative care of patients if also good which you can learn from and apply in your future practice.


  • You are expected to be as good as an MS general surgery passout in assisting the cases in initial days itself and thus may have to face a lot of toxicity due to faulty techniques.
  • You may not get much exposure for adult surgery cases due to limited posting (9months).
  • It may get monotonous and you may become disinterested by the end of it.

Check out related posts

Exam Pattern and Best Books for Preparation of INI CET Exam (AIIMS PG Entrance Exam)

How to choose a good DNB institute in counselling?

Best MCQ Books for General Surgery for Indian PG and Super Speciality Exams

Best specialties after MS/ DNB General Surgery ? (Pros and Cons) – Part 1

Frequently asked questions about choosing Neurosurgery career

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