At 65%, girl students have outnumbered boys in securing seats for medical and dental courses across Punjab in the 2021-22 session.
Of a total of 2,052 students enrolled in these courses, 1,333 (65%) are girls, keeping up with the trend of at least last seven years when the number of girl students has been more than boys.
Girls have outnumbered boys in the bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) course this year too. A total of 612 (83%) girls, highest ever in the history of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), took admission to the course in the 2021-22 session against 131 boys (17%).
The data shows that the trend continues to grow as boys have less interest in dentistry as 490 (37%) seats are vacant in 10 dental colleges across the state. Sixteen dental colleges in Punjab offer 1,330 BDS seats.
Similarly, 77% of girls have taken admissions to MDS course and the figure has not gone below 72% in past four years. In the academic session 2021-22, 105 girls have been admitted to the MDS course and the number of boys is 30. Twenty-three MDS seats out of a total of 158 remained vacant.
BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur said more girls are joining medical courses in the state and are performing better in all streams. “There is a stiff competition between boys and girls for admissions to MBBS or MD/MS courses, but in past few years, boys have not shown much interest in dental courses. Most of the students’ first preference is MBBS. It’s only after failing to secure the required rank in NEET, they opt for the BDS courses. The major reason behind more girls joining the BDS courses is migration abroad. In most cases, if students do not qualify for the MBBS course, parents prefer to wait or send them abroad for studies,” he added.
An official of the BFUHS said due to the lack of job opportunities in the dentistry sector, boys focus more on pure medical stream or allied medical courses such as ayurveda and homeopathy. “Despite dominating in taking admission in dental courses, there are a very few girls who are practising after completing their course,” the official said.
BFUHS former vice-chancellor Dr SS Gill said: “The trend to go abroad and lack of job opportunities back home are the major reasons behind this trend. There is need to create job opportunities within the state.”
More girls in MBBS for 7th year in a row
Girls in the state have outnumbered boys in taking admissions to undergraduate medical courses in the state medical colleges for the seventh year in a row as 55% of students enrolled in the MBBS course are girls. Around 66% of the students admitted to the MBBS and BDS courses in Punjab colleges this year are girls.
Over the last seven years, state colleges have enrolled more girl students than boys and the trend continues to grow as the figures remained over 53% in the past seven years.
The data furnished by the BFUHS shows that 721 (55%) girls joined the MBBS courses this year, while the number of boys is 588. The figure was highest in 2020-21 when 603 (56%) students were girls while there were only 472 boys in the course.
PG courses: Boys change the trend
Around 54% of students admitted to postgraduate courses (MD/MS) this year are boys. Of 464 students in PG courses, 250 are boys and 214 are girls.
In 2020-21, 284 (56%) girls were admitted to MS/MD courses, while the number of boys was 224. Similarly in 2019-20, 280 (58%) girls were admitted to the PG courses and the number of boys was 198. In 2018-19, there were more boys, 243 (56%) than girls (195) in MS/MD courses, reveals the BFUHS data.