One of the seven Ayush systems, Siddha system of medicine is an ancient traditional system of medicine that originated in South India. It is believed to be one of India’s oldest documented systems of medicine which is based on a combination of ancient medicinal practices and spiritual disciplines.
The term Siddha means achievements and Siddhars who defied death preached the philosophy of Siddha medicine and theory of immortality and have achieved perfection in medicine. Eighteen Siddhars are said to have contributed towards the systematic development of this system, who recorded their experiences in the Tamil language. Agathiyar, one of the eighteen Siddhars is the founder father of Siddha medicine. Although it is mainly practised in the southern part of India, its importance and reach have grown globally across the world.
Education in Siddha
Standards of medical education in Siddha are laid down under the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) which is a statutory body constituted under the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.
Under Graduate Courses (BSMS)
BSMS courses are offered in two Government Colleges at the state level and in a number of private Medical Colleges.
Post Graduate Courses – PG (MD (Siddha) & PhD programme)
The postgraduate courses in Siddha are offered in two Government Medical Colleges at the State level and the National Institute of Siddha at the Central level. The Ph.D. programme is conducted in the National Institute of Siddha and Government Siddha Medical Colleges.
National Institute of Siddha https://nischennai.org/index.html
The National Institute of Siddha (NIS), Chennai is a premier institute run by the Ministry of Ayush for imparting training, teaching, and research in Siddha. This is an apex Institute for Siddha medicine to develop human resources, render quality health care services, promote and propagate Siddha medicine and undertake researches to establish evidence-based medicine.
Established in the year 2005, NIS offers important courses like Postgraduate course M.D (Siddha) and PhD. programmes in various disciplines of Siddha medicine. Its curriculum is meticulously planned to integrate the benefits of a traditional healthcare system with modern science.
MD Siddha Courses
Branch I: Pothu Maruthuvam (General Medicine) This branch covers systemic disorders, non communicable disease management and various treatment modalities in Siddha
Branch II: Gunapadam (Siddha Pharmacology & Pharmacognosy) Includes detailed study of medicinal plants, minerals, metals and animal origin products, purification methods of toxic plants, mineral and metals.
Branch III: Sirappu Maruthuvam (Special Medicine) Detailed study of external therapies mentioned in Siddha (32 Types), special therapies like Varmam, Yoga for various diseases. It also covers skin diseases, psychiatry and rejuvenation therapy.
This branch is divided into
Branch IV: Kuzhandhai Maruthuvam (Paediatrics) Detailed treatment methods for various Paediatric disorders, Antenatal Care and preventive measures for children.
Branch V: Noi Naadal (Siddha Pathology) This branch deals with the various diagnostic methods of Siddha in addition to the modern diagnostic methods.
Branch VI: Nanju Nool (Toxicology) Toxic bites management & management of drug interactions. Study of toxicity by animal models. Standardization procedures of various Siddha formulations.
National Institute of Siddha is recognized by The T.N.Dr.M.G.R Medical University, Chennai for conducting Ph.D programme in 6 Departments of Siddha specialty. The Ministry of Ayush, Govt. of India has sanctioned 12 research fellowship (i.e two for each department) with a monthly stipend. The PhD qualified candidates will be selected by conducting an entrance examination. The six specialties are
Salient Features of NIS
Offers Postgraduate courses in eight disciplines
Offers PhD. in six disciplines
NABH accreditated hospital – Ayothidoss Pandithar Hospital – 200 bedded
160 seated state of the art auditorium
Modern Diagnostic Laboratory
Library with reading room and computer facility.
CPCSEA registered animal house
Over the years Siddha medicine has gained a lot of popularity globally because of its benefits and acceptance as a traditional and complementary system of medicine. This in turn has opened up an array of career opportunities for those studying Siddha medicine. Once a student completes his/her Bachelor of Sidhha Medicine and Surgery( BSMS ) he or she has to register with the State Council of Indian Medicine/ Central Council of Indian Medicine to be eligible for practising Siddha medicine all over India.
A BSMS qualified Siddha doctor can get an appointment in government hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) through the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. Appointments are also catered for in Central Government Health scheme (CGHS) wherein Siddha graduates get appointed as Medical Officers in CGHS wellness centres in cities like Chennai and Delhi.
Various openings at different levels are also available for Siddha graduates under the Ministry of Ayush, Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS), National Institute of Siddhaand the Central Council of Indian Medicine.
The Kerala Government also has employment opportunities for Siddha doctors in its Indian medicine dispensaries.
Owing to the awareness and appreciation of Siddha system of Medicne by the public, Siddha doctors have ample of opportunities in the field of private clinical practice, teaching career in private medical colleges, pharma industries and research units.