UPSC Topper Strategy for Medical Science Optional by Dr. Piyush Singla (Rank-84)
Medical Science Optional
I would like to discuss it under following heads
Why Medical Science as optional–
There are several reasons.
1) If you are a medicine graduate or post-graduate with, the choice should be obvious. You have already studied almost the entire prescribed syllabus during your graduation years. All that you need now is a finishing touch to your existing knowledge base according to the Civil Service Examination..
2) Since the syllabus is fully laid out, it appears long at the first glance. But careful analysis show topics mentioned are ‘marked ones’ /important ones from our UG days so we have gone through them thoroughly earlier.
3) Being a Science subject, there is always a great degree of objectivity during the evaluation process. So you can be sure of not losing any marks on the grounds that your line of arguments / interpretation did not match with that of the examiner. Therefore, with Medical Science you can be fairly sure of your score being in accordance to you examination hall performance.
There are many apprehensions about MS as optional due to which many doctors don’t go for it like-
1) Lengthy syllabus
2) No coaching / no compiled stuff
3) Highly volatile nature of optional
4) Level of questions asked (like- Tough clinical questions may of PG standard)
5) Fear of inadequate study of foreign author books during UG days.
As any other medico I was also carrying similar apprehensions earlier. But careful planning and strategizing your preparation makes difference. I will answer each apprehension with a possible approach (what I followed)
There is no doubt that syllabus for MS is lengthy but much can be done for it.
-Start your one clinical and one non clinical part simultaneously to keep you in constant revision of basics .
– You can combine your topics from different sections like-
-I read all Neuro related topics either from physiology or from anatomy simultaneously and made notes (as much possible) for them.
– Combining physiology and medicine topics-
Studying topics under one heading will give you a detailed grasp like while doing Excretory system topics for physiology one can discuss clinical aspects of it under medicine. This gives you more confidence and deeper understanding of subject.
-Cover those areas first which are shorter and carries similar chances to appear in exam with longer ones like Dermatology, Forensic Medicine , Biochemistry , Pediatrics .
Considering the vastness of syllabus it’s always tedious to make personal notes of subjects but I must tell you strategized note making is HIGHLY USEFUL while revision.
I bought many post graduation exam (MD/MS) preparatory books (individual books) and made notes for many subjects like pediatrics , surgery, Pharmacology ,OBG( larger portion) etc.
Benefits-While going through those books one see that references are made from higher foreign authors which tackle your apprehension about inadequate reading from higher level books. Like- I made notes for surgery from individual pg preparatory book which took around 8-9 days but references for those topics covered include Love and belly , Sebastian etc which are sufficient to tackle higher level questions.
Courtesy: Dr. Piyush Singla