WHAT TO READ?
It is the first question arising in everyone’s mind before embarking on a year of preparations. Given the myriad of literature available to help you in your preparation, a sound plan to approach the preparations is essential. Let us look and weigh the pros and cons of different strategies.
Types of reading material available:
1. Explanatory Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) books
2. Only Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) books
3. Notes and High yield books.
4. Text books
5. Other materials
6. Mock Tests
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with explanations.
Most useful books in this category are Mudit Khanna and Amit-Ashish. You should read them at least thrice. First reading should be a through one and one should go through all the references. In the second reading just read the explanations and in third read only the important facts that you have underlined or highlighted in first two readings. Whether you believe it or not, it is possible to get a decent rank with just this alone, but you should have gone through all the references given there.
Only Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) type of books.
A lot of such books are available in market. Both Pulse and Cross are equally good. Read them after you have mastered subjects, so that you can pinpoint errors and assess yourself.
High yield notes
These are required for smaller subjects. Paras and Ramgopal are acceptable. SARP series has lot of errors, so it can be difficult for first time users
I belong to anti-textbooks community. They are for your knowledge, you can't answer entrance exam questions with this knowledge. You can use them to read chapters of which you know nothing. Otherwise they are useful only to understand difficult parts.
If you think you are well versed with all these, you can go for PRE-TEST series. In the recent past , lot of questions were repeated from this series but at present it is not the case. But still they are useful to improve your understanding, guessing skills and to get an edge over others. Once you have mastered the main subjects you can go through Ramgopal, ROAMS. They give details in a nutshell and that will be useful to recollect things that you have learned here and there. Apart from these, notes of various coaching classes are useful but don’t read many. Stick on to only one.
These are very crucial to assess your ongoing performance. Don’t miss them for want of time. Attempt as many as possible.
GENERAL READING SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Note: Subjects marked with * signify that I didn’t read any separate book for it.
Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology is a must. No other go.
Harper's Biochemistry: Genetics, proteins n amino, enzymes, electron transport
Lippincott's Biochemistry: DNA, RNA, metabolic cycles
Pre-test Self-assessment and Review: Biochemistry and Genetics by Catherine Wenz Johnson: Since it is a bit difficult subject, it is worth going through this book.
Ananthanarayanan: Easily readable. Concentrate on morphology, biochemical, any typical features.
If you have read infection in Harrisons Principles of Internal Medicine that is enough.
Robbin's Pathologic Basis of Disease:Inflammation, necrosis, immunology. Neoplasm, staining in general pathology section. Systemic pathology is not very useful..
diffi to read KDT and remember.. go for high yield notes..
read Harrisons Principles of Internal Medicine table on adverse effects.
Preventive and Social Medicine
Park is essential.
Browse through net for latest facts . 3 or 4 questions are asked every year.( WHO website)
Either Basak or Khurana as the mainstay.
Parsons Diseases of the Eye only for reference.
If time permits go for Clinical Ophthalmology by Kanski.
Easily scorable. Dhingra is enough.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine- to read or not to read? It is better if you have started in your final year. Otherwise it is difficult. You can read important topics like Heart, Nephrology, Neurology, Haematology, AIDS etc
Bailey & Love's Short Practice of Surgery
Short cases by Das.
Time permits- Schwartz pretest
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Again it is a scoring subject. Dutta and Gynaecology by Shaw are enough.
Refer to Williams Obstetrics for controversial topics like breast feeding, IUCD, OCP,etc
Ghai is the mainstay but mostly questions are taken directly from nelson.
Nelson Textbook of Paediatrics is worth going through. Topics like hypospadias, undescended testis, cleft lip, PEM, vesico uretheral reflux, development, jaundice, neonatal hepatitis etc.
No need to read separately. Go through Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine first chapter.
Pretest is very useful..
First 400 pages of Lee's Synopsis of Anaesthesia
I was thinking about reading Aids to Radiological Differential Diagnosis by Chapman, but time was not there. It s a worth try.
Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine enough.
Roxburgh's Common Skin Diseases is good to read.
Even though I have mentioned text books, I used them only for back reference. But I think I was doing fairly good in my under graduation. That helped me a lot. So if you have missed that time, then you may need to go through the textbooks. Go through these suggestions patiently. I might have missed many but I am open to answer your queries if you believe it is useful. I would continue about how long to read daily, total months required for getting reasonably good ranks and important topics to concentrate, impact of repeat questions.
HOW LONG TO READ ?
Great individual variations.. my advice will be spare at least 6 to 8 hrs for sleep. That s more important.. without adequate sleep, whatever you read ll become waste.. don’t sacrifice sleep for anything. Read at least 8 hrs a day . if possible increase to 10 hrs. I think that is more than enough. Start gradually, then slowly increase to your maximum ability. Then gradually decrease as exams are nearing.. don’t read too much near exams. It s not possible to retain a lot near exams.. last one month, don’t read anything new. Do only revision of what you have learned so far.
TOTAL TIME SPAN:
If you seat properly and continuously without those duty doctor jobs, it s possible to crack a good rank in six to seven months, assuming you have done fair enough during your under graduation days. Otherwise it may be ten months or so.
One of characteristics of Indian exams is more than 50% are repeat from previous questions. It s important that you are aware of this fact. So, most crucial in your preparation will be to answer those repeat questions without fail. If you fail in that, however hard you have prepared, you might have answered difficult questions correctly. But that doesn’t matter. you would be pushed down in rank list. So. Please don’t underestimate repeat questions as easy. Pay utmost attention to them.
Again I am stressing on mock exams. Please spend one or two days in checking those answers and assessing where you slipped. Whether it is a lack of knowledge or you didn’t give proper attention, always try to correct yourself.