NEET PG and DNB CET admission and counselling guide

DNB CET 2020

There are always lots of queries regarding the DNB CET counseling in form of e-mails, messenger, and sometimes even calls before the counseling.

It is impossible to reply to all of them but most importantly my knowledge regarding counseling is not fresh, the dynamics change every now and then, the training institution change from bad to good and vice versa.

Helping choose the training centers at a particular rank and labeling institutions good or bad is not only impossible but also unfair. It may misguide you. The reason is choices can not always be academic centric but may have many personal angles like the family, economy, location etc.

However, putting up the criteria on how to choose is definitely possible.
This post is a small question-answer session I have done with Arun, who has better insights on the overall process as a fresher. I hope it includes most of the queries as I remember, asked by you guys. But if there is anything I left, leave it in the comment, and I will get back to you.

There are only 2 types of candidates who never have any tension during counseling.

The first 10 rankers or those whose rank is in that range where you are sure that you won’t get anything. Rest everyone gets tensed or confused, whether they will get the subject and/or hospital of their choice and a lot of questions in the mind.

One of the most prominent is Should I choose DCH over DNB in Pediatrics, as the former is difficult to pass? Well, our take on this is DNB, for a very obvious reason, a diploma vs degree, so the decision is clear.

Detailed discussion on this will deviate from the purpose of this post, and you can read the entire discussion on this here.

I like pediatrics and getting it through DNB. I am getting MD/MS in other specialties. What should I do?

Making a choice between MD/MS vs DNB in the same subject is not difficult, lets accept the fact that DNB has hardship, but just remember that if you get a very good DNB institute say for example Gangaram or KKCTH, you actually may become a better clinician.

I don’t want to comment on the quality of education in MD vs DNB as it will be a distraction from topic, however, both MD and DNB can be very good or bad depending upon the environment and learning opportunities you get in that particular institute. A government place is not necessarily a true package of training or a guarantee of best education.

By no means MD give you a guarantee to teach correct/ updated clinical science. My take: If you have a very good rank and get DNB in a good institution. Don't hesitate! rather than working in a bad place for MD

Diploma vs DNB? which one to choose

Many of you may not be getting MD, instead may be getting diploma in the specialty, you want!

Confused? This discussion might help you a bit on that. Diploma vs DNB

I don't know which subject to choose for DNB?

By the time results are out most of us are able to decide our future branch. But for some confused souls, let your interests during internship/ house surgeoncies guide you.

Decide whether you want medical, surgical, or non-clinical branches as the first step.

Let your personality, capacity for working hours, guide you to decide on hard-working branches vs cool branches, remember there is long way after postgraduation, any cool branch may demand further education too in the future.

On that note, most of the branches now require further subspecialty training. If you have a hardcore interest in a subject, let not the things like the economy and working hours misguide you, you stand a good chance of becoming a famous pediatrician than a bad radiologist.

Surgical branches have good money but establishing yourself is not an easy task post PG. They are riskier in terms of medicolegal aspects also. There is a blanket notion that all surgical specialties in DNB are bad and are a definite “not to be taken”

However, My experience on this is different: Following the same dictum, I helped chose DOMS for my wife in place of DNB at the center like Shankara Netralaya.

Studied in one of the so-called best ophthalmology government hospitals and presently studying in a very good DNB institute for secondary DNB now, she clearly understood that DOMS was mere waste of time (2 additional years) without much clinical advantage.

She could have got an even better DNB institute during her primary counseling than the present which was botched because of mere following the dictum.

That is why it is important to do your homework well before counseling not only for the DNB centers but also for MD and Diploma centers if you are thinking of them over DNB.

Medicine and Pediatrics require a lot of patience, but there is always a place for you, there is a wide range of sub-specialties attached to keep you progressive.

Academic always runs in the blood, you can teach, practice, and learn forever. Money depends on location, your ability to specialize further, and many other factors.

Stress is inevitable, legal issues are there but manageable! besides what is not risky Non-clinical branches are good, pure academics so can satisfy your teaching instincts, no legal risk, cool life but money mark is limited and there is retirement.

If you have not purely inclined to money-making, love cool life, off you go! I have decided on my specialty, what order of preference should I set? Before I start, always keep the option of another specialty ready in case you don’t get the specialty of our choice, you should have your second list ready.

How to choose a good medical institute for DNB, what are the criteria I should be looking for?

Then comes the point of maximum confusion as to which hospital to select. The following are the characteristics of a good college/hospital.

  1. Has been running a successful DNB program for some years. Successful means not just having a good pass percentage, but low dropouts. Always enquire about the 3-year pass percentage.
  2. Whether the hospital has a good academic program and whether they promote academics or are they just looking for low pay workers
  3. Whether they have a DNB examiner and if they have, then definitely it’s a good institute. If they have a bonafide DNB teacher who has good teaching experience, that is also a plus point.

Always enquire about the hospital before taking it. Even if it’s a hospital of good repute to the public, it may be a bad DNB institute. Never pre-judge an institute before actually enquiring.

Actual Enquiry means, going physically and enquiring. If not possible, talk to the postgraduates there. It is always preferable to talk to at least 2 people since each person will have their unique view about the institute based on their experiences.

An example I cite often is myself and my batchmate.

When we were in our first year, both of us advised others against taking our institute, by the second I would advise taking and he to not opt for it; by the third year he had also sort of mellowed down after seeing other institutes, and now both of us recommend the institute strongly to others.


It all depends on what you need and how you will cope. Easy if your sole aim is academics but some people are extremely homesick and opt for places near their home.

Patient load:

Don’t presume that the more the patient load, the better the hospital or vice versa. An institute can have a good patient load but maybe an average DNB institute, while a not-so-busy place can be a good place to learn, albeit have to practice in a more busy place later on.


I am comparing 2 hospitals for this, Pediatrics at Manipal Hospital Bangalore and Baptist Hospital Bangalore.

Manipal has excellent academics with state-of-the-art PICU and NICU, has a good passing percentage, and has ample free time and provision for good study leave.

But, being a pure corporate hospital, patients are more demanding and work might be stressful and you will get less of hands-on exposure even in the ICU and no independent duties in the ICU at all.

On the other hand, Baptist is more like a government with lots of patients, individual duties, good exposure, and hands-on experience. But the working hours are hectic and there is no provision for study leave and secondary's especially found this a bit tiresome after their DCH days.

Both are excellent institutes for pediatrics and the best in Karnataka. Which one would you choose would depend purely upon you! Suggest on how to be prepared before counseling Always have a list of specialties and the institutes in order when going for the counseling.

Don’t get fooled by what others say at the venue. The best way to get a good seat ( other than writing the exam well and getting a good rank) is to do good research and be prepared for the best and worst scenarios.

The second round of counseling is a gamble. Most of the time, good seats come in the second round, but if you are getting a seat from your list in the first round, go for it.

This time, with DNB happening, after all, India and state counseling, the chances of seat blocking and wasted seats seem to be less but the actual counseling may open up surprises.

What are some general tips for attending DNB CET counseling rounds?

  1. Be there on time.
  2. Triple check whether all documents are there along with 2 extra copies. I know that only 1 is required, but do have 2 spare copies each.
  3. Make sure that you have the draft ready or your card with you.
    Never forget to take photo identity proof along with you.


To conclude, be prepared, do ample research, and hope for the best. All the best. Leave your question in the comment box and we will try to get some answers for you.

Disclaimer: The above views are personal and as such, there is plenty of scope for disagreement and is by no means a gold standard document. All of this may not be practical for a lot of people, but this is the best possible way to decide.


About Author

Arun Thomas | DCH, DNB(Pediatrics), Fellowship(Pediatric Intensive Care)

Arun is DNB in Pediatrics from Manipal, Banglore and is currently working as Pediatrician at Aster Medcity, Kochi, Kerala


about authors

Ajay Agade | DNB(Pediatrics), FNB(Pediatric Intensive Care), Fellowship in Pediatric pulmonology and LTV

Ajay is a Paediatric Intensivist, currently working in Pediatric Pulmonology & LTV at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS, London

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