TOPPER'S TALK

                                                                                                        

Dr. Ravi Sharma

Dr. Ravi Sharma


My parents have always inspired me to become something more than just a doctor, someone who can bring about a change in medical science in India.
I believe time management is the key. Honestly speaking I started my preparation in JAN 2014 but because of hectic rural posting for first 3 months of internship I could not study much. So I geared up my preparation from 1st April, 2014. Self Study is important but has to be complemented by group study. During group study, we used to divide topics and then daily discuss those topics .This helped me and my friends complement each other’s weak topics. I used to study 4-7 hrs/day during the months of April-July 2014 because of hectic internship but in last 3 months( Aug-Oct) I studied 10-12 hrs/ day in planned intervals of 3-4 hrs sitting/interval.
I think your strategy should depend on the time you have at your disposal. So plan well before you start your preparation keeping in mind your priorities, but don’t procrastinate as plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. I used to glance through the previous year questions and select important topics for each subject, and read them in detail from standard textbooks and MCQ books.
Yes, I did make notes and considering the time crunch everyone faces in the last one week before the exam, I feel that notes are really helpful.
I used study 4-7 hrs/day during the months of April-July 2014 because of hectic internship but in last 3 months (Aug-Oct) I studied 10-12 hrs/ day in planned intervals of 3-4 hrs sitting/interval.
I did have a timetable, but I couldn’t stick to it because of hectic internship.
We all pass through an inevitable phase of frustration and despair during our exam time, so I was no exception. But you have to keep your cool and go on. PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY. I was lucky to have friends who were always there to cheer me up and boost my morale. And very importantly we need to learn to let go all the thoughts that disturb us and be optimistic about future. And I feel sublimation is a wonderful defence mechanism to bring out your anger and frustration in a productive and creative way.
I attended classroom coaching for only selected subjects which I thought were weak. I relied mostly on self-study and group study with my friends. I don’t think classroom coaching is essential for getting a good rank.
Yes, I gave online tests during my internship. They helped me know my weaknesses and my strengths and helped me keep my pace during preparation.
Subjects must do for SELECTION- 1. Medicine + relevant RADIOLOGY 2. Pathology 3. PSM 4. Paediatrics 5. Surgery 6. Anatomy 7. Pharmacology 8. Forensic 9. Biochemistry 10. Ophthalmology
Anatomy – BD Chaurasia, Student Gray’s (Reference) Physiology – Ganong Biochemistry – Harper, Genetics from Lehninger Pathology – Robbins Microbiology – Ananthnarayan Pharmacology – KDT Dr. Vivek Lanka: The books that I used for theory are: Anat– IAMS class notes Physio– IAMS class notes Biochem– IAMS material and the entire molecular biology from Harper. Path– I read only Hemat, tumour markers, staining and fixation aspects from IAMS class notes. I did not read the rest of pathology from any material. I just revised general pathology from Robbins (Obviously. Because it’s just my favourite book!) Pharm- Garg plus CNS and Chemotherapy from Katzung Micro– IAMS material and USMLE first aid chapter for Virology (has some good mnemonics) Forensic– Across ENT– Did not read ENT that well. I just read the throat part from IAMS material. Most of the questions from Ear and Nose are either usually covered in Anat or easily answered with logic (that’s my opinion) I just read laryngeal and Nasopharyngeal Ca from Medscape because laryngeal ca was asked in the last exam. Ophthal– Retina. Especially normal anatomy and physiology, Diabetic Retinopathy, Detachments and ROP from Yanoff & Ducker. The rest from Ruchi Rai. I referred quite a lot of doubts in other topics from Yanoff and noted them down in Ruchi Rai. PSM– Vivek Jain and Anthony N Glaser for Biostatistics (brilliant book!) Medicine– “Harrison Based Teaching” volumes by Speed. Psych– IAMS material is undoubtedly the best. Also I updated myself with some of the new changes in DSM-5 and read USMLE first aid for its mnemonics Dermat– IAMS class notes Surgery– Did not read well. Just referred some of the doubts that I got while doing repeats and some closely related topics from Sabiston. Ortho– Maheshwari. I added a few points to it from Apley during my MBBS days. Read the same book. O and G– IAMS class notes for Obs. Punit Bhojani for Gynae Paeds– IAMS material and WHO-AIIMS collaboration centre website. Anesthesia– Ajay Yadav Radiology– Bipin Daga mostly. Saw the initial chapters on radiation physics in Sumer Sethi. – Sumit Seth ENT – Dhingra Ophthalmology – Khurana SPM – Park Medicine – Harrison Surgery – Bailey and Love Orthopaedics – Apurv Mehra Paediatrics – Ghai OBG – JB Sharma (Obs), Shaw (Gynae) Anaesthesia – Ajay Yadav Dermatology – Neena Khanna Psychiatry – Niraj Ahuja
I don’t think you need to read Harrison cover to cover. The important topics which have been asked in last 6-7 years previous year exams can be read. Harrison is more of a reference but it is an indispensable companion of any medical student especially for controversial questions.
Exam specific books: Amit Ashish (AIIMS) Vol 1 (2007-2013) Mudit Khanna (AIPGMEE) Subject wise books: 1st year Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology – ACROSS 2nd year – Pathology – Gobind Garg and Sparsh Gupta Pharmacology – Gobind Garg and Sparsh Gupta Microbiology – Rachna Chaurasia Forensic Medicine- Sumit Seth 3rd year ENT- Coaching notes (DAMS) Orthopedics- Apurv Mehra Ophthalmology – Ruchi Rai SPM- Vivek Jain Final year Radiology – Dr.Sumer Sethi’s book Psychiatry- ACROSS Medicine – Dr. Thameem’s Notes + Mudit Khanna + Harrison as reference Surgery – DAMS Coaching Notes + DBMI Surgery T&D Notes Pediatrics – Arvind Arora Obstetrics – Gynaecology – DAMS Coaching Notes Anaesthesia- ACROSS Dermatology – ACROSS
I didn’t prepare for Image Based Questions per se. Most of the image based questions are asked in a background of a clinical scenario which you can easily answer if you have good conceptual hold of the topic. If you want to invest some time, then going through the images of Robbins 9/e and Harrison 18/e would be a good choice.
I had a strategy in my mind. I didn’t take pressure, I kept myself calm. I sat quietly for 30 min before my exam putting together all my strength and confidence. I planned that I will go through all 200 questions in 2 hrs and reconsider the questions marked for review in remaining one hr. I was almost close…I finished all 200 questions in 2 hrs 10 min and then reviewed the marked questions in 50 min.
I will probably take up a surgical speciality (General surgery/ Neurosurgery) because for becoming a skillful surgeon you need good hand eye coordination, a skill which i feel i have.
1. Be confident. Even if you start late you can get a top rank.!!! 2. You need 1 yr of focused preparation to crack AIIMS. 3. Don’t cram; understand well….at the end, your basic knowledge matters. 4. Don’t read too much, revise more. 5. If your target is AIIMS, read more of conceptual things rather than factual knowledge ( NO ONE ASKS NAMED SIGNS, FACTUAL POINTS in AIIMS… they are useful only in NEET) Quoting Ben Carson (Pioneer Neurosurgeon) – Always remember, YOU can do anything anyone else in this world can do, only YOU can do it better…. My best wishes to everyone. Thank you.
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