Difference Between MD and MS

Medical Science is a vast field and there are many domains that one can study. Depending on the domain of study some various specializations and courses teach in greater detail about one particular area of study. These specializations determine the branch of medicine that a doctor will work in.

MD vs MS

The main difference between MD and MS is that MD stands for Doctor of Medicine, which is the field that involves drugs and medication. MS on the other hand stands for Master of Surgery, which is required to become a practicing surgeon. Only doctors with an MS qualification can perform surgery.

MD vs MS

MD is a doctor who specializes in general medication by prescribing drugs and other medicines to the patients. As a physician, a doctor can choose to work at a medical facility, like a hospital, or open a private clinic for treating their patients. However, a doctor with an MD qualification cannot perform surgery.

MS is a qualification that is required to become a practicing surgeon. This is a specialization that doctors can study after the completion of MBBS. This course qualifies a doctor to become a general surgeon and work in the operating theaters of hospitals. It is a highly regarded post-graduation course in medical science.

Comparison Table Between MD and MS

Parameters of Comparison MDMS
Definition MD stands for Doctor of Medicine MS stands for Master of Surgery 
Qualification It qualifies a doctor as a general physician It qualifies a doctor as a general surgeon 
Work domain Physicians diagnose patients and prescribe the medication and drugs required Surgeons operate on patients that require severe surgery 
Work procedures Doctors with MD degrees are mostly not permitted to perform medical procedures involving higher complications  Surgeons can also refer general medications to their patients
Workplace Doctors of Medicine can work either in a hospital or in a private clinic  Surgeons usually work in high facility medical centers 

What is MD?

MD stands for Doctor of Medicine. It is a branch of medical science that focuses more on the medicines, drugs, compounds, and other substances that are used to treat patients of different illnesses and diseases.

It is a specialization course that is studied by medical professionals after the completion of their MBBS. Thus as the course deals with the treatment of disease using medicines, it is an allopathic course.

Allopathic doctors can further specialize in different domains after the completion of MD. They can also work in the research and development of different medications, such as the development of drugs and compounds for a specific disease. 

Pediatrics, Psychiatrists, Geriatric medications are also differently available for Allopathic doctors after the completion of MD.

Allopathic doctors can work in varied places, from high facility hospitals to private clinics, to even government and civilian establishments. But irrespective of the place of work, their work mostly is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients through the use of different medications. 

Almost all the countries in the world award MD qualification after the completion of a specific number of course work, which could range from 2-2.5 years of postgraduate after the completion of an equivalent professional degree (Bachelors/Masters) in medicine.

What is MS?

MS stands for Master of Surgery. It is a medical degree and is available for medical professionals after the completion of their primary graduation course in medicine. Although in many countries the degree can only be studied after completing a certain amount of work experience in the field.

The course covers the different aspects of surgical treatment and trains individuals in surgical procedures and operations that require delicate surgery.

Hence, it is very different from other allopathic degrees, which concentrate more on medicinal treatment and the usage of drugs to treat problems.

MS is also a broad course by itself, as there are many specializations within surgery that individuals can take up. These include specializing in the surgical procedures of a particular organ of the body or specializing in the treatment of a particular complication.

In the field of medical science, Ms is a highly regarded post-graduation course, owing to the difficulty of the theoretical part of the course along with the incredibly difficult training of the different complicated medical procedures.

As a post-graduation course, it lasts for up to two to three years in a medical college, with training and actual surgical experience in the field. Colleges also require the submission of a thesis topic, which could be of the individual’s choice.

Main Differences Between MD and MS

  1. MD stands for Doctor of Medicine, whereas MS stands for Master of Surgery
  2. MD qualifies a doctor as a general physician, whereas MS qualifies a doctor as a general surgeon
  3. A physician uses allopathic methods for the treatment of a medical complication. A surgeon uses surgical procedures and medical operations for treatment of problems
  4. Doctors possessing an MD degree are mostly not permitted to perform medical operations involving higher complications, whereas a surgeon can also prescribe generic medicines to their patients.   
  5. An MD doctor may work at a medical establishment or in a private clinic. General surgeons usually work at high facility medical establishments


Medical Science is one of the most important fields of study and the advancements in the field of medicine are some of the most crucial aspects that separate the world of today from the early days of allopathic treatment.

As a broad field, medical science encompasses many procedures and methods of treatment for curing some of the most complicated problems known to man. Both MD and Ms represent the two poles of medical science.

MD is one of the oldest branches of medicine and it teaches the allopathic methods of treatment of different diseases. Thus it involves studying the different chemical compounds and drugs that are used to treat different complications.

MS on the other hand is one of the most advanced and complicated branches of medicine, as it deals with performing surgery and operation for the treatment of different problems.


  1. https://www.bmj.com/content/334/7600/gp173?utm_campaign=tbmj&utm_content=consumer&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=trendmd&utm_term=1-A
  2. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wk/acm/2016/00000091/00000010/art00015
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