Interview with Dr. Pranav Ambardekar: Rank 72 in AIPGMEE 2016
Dr. Pranav Milind Ambardekar has secured Rank 72 in AIPGMEE 2016. He has done his MBBS from B.J.Medical College , Pune.
Q. In what year did you pass out your MBBS (Completion of Internship)?
Q. What were your MBBS percentage marks (aggregate or final year)?
Ans. Aggregate – 70.2 %
Q. What ranks had you secured in any previous PG medical entrance exams you gave?
Ans. Rank 168 in DNB NOVEMBER 2015, Rank 2 in DNB JULY 2015 and Rank 3666 in AIPGMEE 2015.
Q. Could you please tell us something about yourself?
Ans. I completed my 12th standard from Kamalnayan Bajaj Junior College in Chinchwad. After I got admission to B.J.Medical College, Pune, I shifted to Pune city along with my family. My father has completed M.Tech, Ph.D. from IIT Mumbai and is currently working in TATA MOTORS LIMITED. My mother has completed Msc in microbiology. Most of the uncles in my family are well renowned doctors in Maharashtra. So coming from such an educated family always inspired me to study hard.
My extracurricular activities have been – Doing social service , swimming , playing TT , attending gymnasium , engaging in devotional activities.
I have received JRD TATA scholarship during my four and a half years of under-graduation for my success in 12 th standard examination.
I also secured first prize for my oral presentation on “Sickle cell anemia” in “HEMFEST 2011 ” organised by SICKLE CELL ASSOCIATION , NAGPUR & HAEMOGLOBINOPATHY DETECTION AND MANAGEMENT CENTRE , INDIRA GANDHI GOVT. MEDICAL COLLEGE , NAGPUR.
Other than this I have participated in various inter college quizes & secured first, second prizes
Q. What is the secret of your success?
Ans. The secret of my success is HARD WORK , HARD WORK and HARD WORK. There are no shortcuts to hard work in medical field. Its not just hard work for a day , you have to work hard day in and day out till you reach your goal. And most importantly never lose hope.
Q. How was your internship?
Ans. As I was doing internship in Sasson General Hospital , my internship was pretty heavy. I had decided to do my internship sincerely, so my studies lagged behind. Still whenever it was possible I studied. I got an ok rank of 3666 in AIPG 2015. I thought why did I even study so much ? But today in Hind-sight I have realised that whatever study I did during my internship year helped me a lot this year.
Q. When did you seriously start preparing for the entrance exam?
Ans. I had started doing some preparation for PG entrance from 3rd minor itself. But with such a huge amount of study of 3rd major , so many lectures & practicals , I could not really focus on my PG entrance preparation. Then Internship & I got lost in that work. Still I was finding time to study but those were not foccused efforts. So I got an OK rank. I could get some clinical seat, but after consultation with my parents , teachers , uncles , seniors (who themselves had cracked PG entrance) , I decided to spend 1 full year in preparation for PG entrance & that’s when my serious efforts started that is at the completion of my internship.
Q. How many hours did you study each day? How long do you think students need to prepare for cracking PG medical entrance exams?
Ans. My study mantra was to study hard but not to over-burden myself.
I studied 8-9 hrs a day, But the key here is I studied 8-9 hrs EACH & EVERYDAY. I never let go any day waste. Some seniors used to tell me that they studied 15-16 hrs a day. I thought- “I know my capacity. I cannot study for so many hours with full concentration for a year. So lets study according to my capacity EVERYDAY , WITH FULL CONCENTRATION during every minute of that many hours.” This was my strategy. I made this strategy so that I could give my full efforts without suffering from boredom or frustration. I think every student should devote those many hours for studying which he feels he has to devote to cover the syllabus. But things to be considered are
1. What is my capacity to study?
2. Will I be able to read with full concentration for all the hours which I have decided ?
3.How should I avoid early burn-out , boredom & frustration ?
4. What should I do besides studying so that I may remain fresh for the entire year ?
I shall also say that there are no fixed amount of hrs for studying. My approach was 8-9 hrs a day. My seniors approach was 15-16 hrs a day. Both approaches yielded amazing ranks. So each student has to decide for himself keeping the above 4 questions in mind
Q. Which books did you read for the theory part?
Ans. I concentrated mainly on DAMS notes & those really helped me. Because those notes combine the knowledge of so many reference books. But you have to read DAMS notes with full understanding & concentration AGAIN & AGAIN. Just one shallow reading ain’t sufficient.
For the students who are at UG level I advise them to read their textbooks thoroughly & sincerely. Because Questions come directly from the standard textbooks which may not be covered in class notes , guide books. So if you have read textbooks thoroughly & sincerely , it will strike you in exam & you will be immensely benefited. So seriously speaking the preparation for PG entrance starts from 1 st year itself.
Q. Which books did you read for MCQs revision? Which revision books were the most productive and which were least?
Ans. I read Arvind Arora, Amit Ashish, Sakshi Arora. These books were very productive. I did not touch any of the volumes.
Q. Which subjects did you focus on?
Ans. Sincerely speaking there is no subject which is less or more important in PG entrance. You have to read all the subjects. Because there are questions from every subject & each and every question has its weightage.
So focus on each & every subject. Obviously spend time on the subjects according to the number of questions asked on that subject & the amount of theory of that subject. Don’t study 1 subject in too detail & leave out the other subject. YOU SHOULD KNOW SOMETHING OF EVERYTHING rather than knowing everything of something.
Q. What were your study methods? How many revisions did you do for each subject? Did you make any changes in your study methods in your recent attempts?
Ans. My study method was simple- Focus on the TOPIC rather than the MCQs.
Topics are repeated in PG entrance. If you have a fair amount of knowledge of almost all the topics asked , you can get a very good rank.
The changes I made were- in the initial years I was just doing mcqs. But this year DAMS taught me to focus on the TOPICS. So I find their notes very useful. They teach you exactly which topics are asked & what will be asked about that topics, the controversies surrounding those topics & even what different answers are expected according to the exam for the same question !! Also I read each topic, each sentence with full understanding. I feel that rather than the number of revisions , understanding of the topics is extremely important. Even if you read once but with full concentration & understanding & if that thing gets fitted in your brain , then you can remember that anytime , anywhere. I revised 3 times DAMS notes. I also advise students to make ” LISTS ” of – ” Most common ” , numericals & one liners and revise them again & again…that helped me a lot.
I also changed one thing from last year….Last year I spent a lot of time on big subjects & neglected the short subjects…that cost me. This year I read each & every subject carefully. If I was finding that I was compromising on the short subjects while doing the big subjects , I first finished the short subjects then did the big subjects, so that I focus on each subject.
Q. Did you do any special preparation for image-based questions?
Ans. I attended DAMS VISUAL TREAT session for 3 days. That helped me a lot as far as visuals are concerned.
Q. What was your strategy for the exam day? How many questions did you attempt and why? How many do you think you got correct?
Ans. My strategy on exam day was to remain cool , calm & foccussed. I attempted all the 300 questions as there is no negative marking in AIPG & DNB.
My strategy was to finish 100 questions every 1 hr 15 minutes because I have to concentrate on the last question as equally as the first. There is no point in rushing through the last 50 questions. EACH & EVERY QUESTION IS IMPORTANT in deciding your rank.
I think I may have got 260-270 questions right.
Q. Do think there should be a different strategy for preparation of different entrance exams like AIIMS-PG or PGI?
Ans. Yes there is quite a different strategy for AIIMS or PGI. For those exams you have to refer to the reference books. You have to see the images from Robins , Harrison , Sabiston. As a lot of image based questions are asked in AIIMS especially.
Q. Did you join any classes or test series? Was it useful?
Ans. DAMS classes & test series. It has a huge role in my success.
Q. Who or what influenced you to take up Medicine?
Ans. My passion for helping patients influenced me to take up medicine.
Also, the respect which a doctor has in society is second to none.
This influenced me in taking medicine.
Q. In which field do you want to specialize in? why?
Ans. I want to specialize in MEDICINE. As I love interpreting the signs, symptoms, Lab reports, Radiological reports then arriving at the diagnosis, treating the patient & then finally experiencing joy at his discharge. Then I will feel that I have truly fulfilled my role as a doctor.
Also Medicine opens up a number of opportunities for your future career
Q. What seat have you been allotted in counselling? Did you join?
Ans. The counselling process is yet to begin.
Q. What is your advice to future aspirants?
Ans. Don’t look at these exams as a burden. Enjoy this whole process. This knowledge is going to be useful for your entire life.
Also before giving more than 2 attempts always think…
1. Am I not getting a good seat anywhere ?
2. Am I being too rigid regarding my career option ?
3. How many years am I going to spend in just preparing for PG entrance?
4. Is a particular branch in a particular college so important & rest of the branches less important ?
Finally there is also luck factor…always it may not favour you. So always be ready with a Plan B if Plan A does not succeed. Some compromise is always necessary.
Study Hard….HARD WORK NEVER GOES UNPAID
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 the 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. I think one should give as many exams as possible. You may crack any one of them. But focus your attempts one any one exam. For example I had my focus on AIPG , but I also gave AIIMS exam.
So you can give as many exams but focus on any one keeping your goal in mind.
We are ending this interview with our hearty congratulations and best wishes for future to this talented person, Dr. Pranav Milind Ambardekar. Also special thanks to him for this detailed interview which will help many future PG medical aspirants.