Interview: Dr. Rituraj Upadhyay, Rank 46 in AIIMS-PG Jan 2015
Dr. Rituraj Upadhyay who has secured Rank 46 in AIIMS PG Exam for January 2015 session which was held on 9th November, 2014 (Sunday) and results were declared on 13th November, 2014. . He has done his MBBS from AIIMS, New Delhi.
Q. In what year did you pass out your MBBS (Completion of Internship)?
Ans. December 2014
Q. What were your MBBS percentage marks (aggregate or final year) ?
Q. What is the secret of your success?
Ans. Perseverance, a clear mind set and a passion to achieve what I want no matter how many obstacles come in my path. And I started a bit early, that helped.
Q. How was your internship?
Ans. A few months like rural postings were somewhat hectic, but rest of the time it was fixed duty hours. The best thing I find about my college is that there are numerous opportunities to learn things and acquire clinical skills, at the same time no pressure to do them. So it gives you ample free space in mind to think and do what are you best at.
Q. When did you seriously start preparing for the entrance exam?
Ans. I used to be regular in my studies since 6th semester (pre-final year). And by regular, i don’t mean i would sit all day cramming up books , no i kept everything balanced. Securing a good rank in pg is important but that is not the be all and end-all of life. You ought to be a good doctor first, and that is not defined by your ranks.
Q. How many hours did you study each day?
Ans. Initially i used to study 4-5 hours regularly but in the last 6 months or so around 10-12 hours a day. Even in the last month, i did use to take a break for sometime, watch some movie or tv show.That’s all right as long as you can study seriously for the rest of the time.
Q. Which books did you read for the theory part?
Ans. Harrisons, Park, Robbins
These are all standard books and must reads. For other subjects what you have read during MBBS should suffice.
The most useful textbooks though are Ganong for physiology, Dhingra for ENT, Manipal manual of surgery , Dr JB Sharma’s book of obstetrics and OP Ghai for Pediatrics.
Q. Which books did you read for MCQs revision? Which revision books were the most productive and which were least?
Ans. My favourite books are subjectwise books of Arvind Arora (volume 1 and 2) especially Radiology , Anaesthesia , Ophthalmology and ENT.
The most important books which you can’t leave at all are Dr Gobind Rai Garg and Sparsh Gupta’s books of pathology and pharmacology. Dr. Sumit seth’s forensic medicine , Dr. Ruchi Rai’s ophthalmology and Dr. Apoorv Mehra’s Orthopedics are also very good.
Across is the least productive book by far.And Microbiology and Obs Gynae are the least productive subjects.
I read coaching notes for other subjects and practiced questions, that should suffice.
Q. Which subjects did you focus on?
Ans. Ophthalmology , Pathology , Pharmacology and PSM thoroughly. Skin , Anaesthesia , Radiology , Psychiatry and Forensic medicine are almost equally important.
Q. What were your study methods? How many revisions did you do for each subject?
Ans. I had attended coaching in both Dams and Dr. Bhatia’s institute and had compiled notes for half of the subjects. I read each subject from my coaching notes about 5-6 times atleast and did questions along with that.
Some teachers whom I found exceptionally good were Dr. Arvind Chaudhary (Medicine) , Dr Rajeev Tiwari and Dr Jai Arora (Surgery) , Dr. Devesh Mishra (Pathology) , Dr. Saurabh and Dr. Bhaskar ( Pharmacology) Dr. Premanshu Bhushan (Dermatology) Dr. Anupama (Physiology) Dr. Ruchi Rai (ophthalmology) Dr. Rajeev (Psychiatry) Dr. Tushar Mehta (Orthopedics) and Dr. Sumer Sethi (Radiology) .
Q. What was your strategy for the exam day? How many questions did you attempt and why?
Ans. The plan was to attempt as many questions as possible by eliminating the options based on collateral knowledge. Other than the repeats, Questions are usually not asked directly from books but can be answered from the background knowledge of the subject. I attempted 196 questions. If you can eliminate two options you should mark the question. It is necessary to attempt enough questions because many answers you are sure about are also gonna end up wrong. This strategy is especially for the AIIMS examination as the pattern is changing from straight cramming based questions to more of applied knowledge and USMLE types questions.
Q. In which field do you want to specialize in? why?
Ans. I want to take up Pediatrics and pediatric neurology subsequently. The conditions affecting a child’s brain , though largely incurable till date intrigues me a lot.
Q. What is your advice to future aspirants?
Ans. If you have the passion to do something , then working hard for it won’t really feel like “work” to you, It would be like a walk in the park. It is necessary to keep your calm while preparation , but just like Frank Starling law, an increase in tension will improve your performance until a certain limit. You need to attain that right amount of high to excel.
Q. Indian PG entrances are highly competitive, so to crack them students end up in appearing for multiple PG exams with some of them having same exam with different slots and papers , please extend your views on this and their pros and cons of appearing in multiple PG entrances.
Ans. That’s why i said, cracking pg exams doesn’t mean everything. First be a good doctor.Add a bit of hard work and a PG seat will follow surely. Multiple exams give you an opportunity that even if you are a good student and have an off day in one exam , the other one can cover it. Though if you are not sure about the specialization you want, multiple exams and multiple ranks can end up confusing you.
We are ending this interview with our hearty congratulations and best wishes for future to this talented person, Dr. Rituraj Upadhyay