Are you a young doctor in Pakistan? Run

Underpaid, overworked, and with surprisingly few options available the best financial decision for young doctors in Pakistan is to leave

Are you a doctor in Pakistan? Have you just graduated and are about to begin your house job? Or are you possibly in your last couple of years of med school? For that matter are you even a mid-career young-doctor working as a PG Trainee or an MO? If any of these apply to you, we have a piece of advice: run. Give whatever test you need to, find whatever opportunity you can in a different country, take your skills, and leave. 

Young doctors in Pakistan are being robbed blind. As one of the most highly skilled professionals in the country, they are overworked and underpaid. And unless you have either the right connections, a wealthy background, or access to the correct institutions setting up a private practice (which is where the money is at) is next to impossible. 

A bad financial decision

There are two kinds of medical students. Those that go to government medical colleges and those that go to private ones. While the private ones are dreadfully expensive, costing on average Rs 5-6 million for a full ride through five years, the pay-off is far from immediate and difficult to achieve. And even for those studying on subsidised rates at government colleges the path to financial stability is paved with uncertainty. 

After MBBS, a student starts working as an HO (House Officer)- what is commonly known as House Job. A fresh graduate isn’t licensed to be a medical practitioner. The Pakistan Medical Council (PMC) issues a temporary licence. An HO becomes an MO (Medical Officer) if they begin working immediately after the completion of their House Job. In case they pursue further training (i.e. specialisation), they’re known as PGs — post-graduate trainees.


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Bakht Noor
Bakht Noor
Bakht Noor is an author at Profit. She covers human development and urban issues and can be reached at [email protected]


  1. This is true across most profesisons including accountancy , IT sector etc !
    The excessive focus on Doctors is reflective of a typical mind set in Pakistan about Medical being too esteemed a profession.

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  3. Good to see, main stream papers are highlighting the docotors woes, have read some comments by some people below this articles facebook post regarding why docotors should be paid more when economy is weak.
    The thing is if you divide the salary by days a PG doctor earns around Rs.3000/day roughly, with working hours that touch more than 60/week with night duties and hard area duties like E.R.
    If we see the whole picture we can realize the pay is not proportionate to the work. Take with it the rising cost of living, and multiplying costs of homes/means of traveling.
    What are the solutions? God knows but from the doctors perspective 2 out of 3 are planning to proceed abroad for training and better compensation and work life balance

  4. The prevalent mentality in Pakistan is that medicine is a very respected field of work, which is shown in the disproportionate importance placed on physicians.

  5. As a doctor, I really appreciate the helpful stuff you guys put out there. Please continue to publish content of this nature, as I am actively looking for content similar to that which you have posted.

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