PG Blazer: Congratulations on securing a top rank in the AIIMS PG entrance exam! What is the secret of your success?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I think as such there is no secret, its only hard work and optimism that pays off in the long run!
PG Blazer: Could you tell us something about yourself?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I am a student of MBBS 2k9 batch from JNMC, AMU, Aligarh and completed my internship by 31 december 2014. My college really helped in deciding my inclination towards branch of my choice.
PG Blazer: Who or what influenced you to take up Medicine as a career?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I think my parents who are also in the field, especially my father as he is a paediatrician!
PG Blazer: What were your aggregate percentage marks for MBBS?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Around 68%.
PG Blazer: How did you prepare during your internship period?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: It was a bit hectic but I tried to strike a balance between coaching, work and self study!
PG Blazer: Which were the various entrance exams you wrote in this session? What were the ranks you obtained?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: AIIMS Nov 2014 – 222,
PGI Nov 2014 – 75,
AIPGMEE – 1067,
AMUPG – 3,
AIIMS May 2015 – 15.
PG Blazer: What was your study strategy?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I started from January itself, I did subject wise study, relying on notes which I got from DBMCI and adding to them from the books I read.
I tried to complete first revision by June – July and revised twice between July – November. DBMCI app helped me alot as I was able to do questions on my cell during hospital postings! Discussion was an integral part of my preparation, I was fortunate to have good people around me who freely interacted with me regarding important topics! For May AIIMS, I took only to those notes and studied PSM and ophthal from guide books. Patho group by Dr. Devesh Misra for pathology was especially useful.
PG Blazer: Did you make any notes for helping with your revision? Were they useful?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Yes, I took my coaching notes as a base they helped in revising quickly, I added whatever I felt were important topics and questions.
PG Blazer: In your opinion, how much time does a student require for preparing for this exam?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I think full time 6-8months study is sufficient!
PG Blazer: How many hours did you study each day?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I studied 6-7 hrs during internship. Of course only four days a week, as one and a half days were spent in coaching and one duty day for six months. Another six months was around 8-10 hours a day weekdays and 12hrs on sundays. After internship 8-12 hours a day.
PG Blazer: Did you have a timetable for preparation? Were you able to stick to it?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I tried to set short term goals so that I revise by the stipulated time!
PG Blazer: What role did the internet play in your preparation?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: DBMCI premiere group and Devesh Sir’s Patho group helped me alot in preparation! Their updates were a must reads, RXPG helped me to assess number of questions to be done in individual exams!
PG Blazer: Did you ever doubt your ability to get selected in this entrance exam? If so, how did you overcome your fears?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Yes, I was in doubt each and every time I was studying. But Bhatia tests really helped in keeping track of where I stand. Then my seniors always inspired me to study more and more. I guess teachers at my coaching really helped me in having a positive attitude!
PG Blazer: Did you attend any classroom coaching? Was it useful? Do you think classroom coaching is essential for getting a good rank?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I took DBMCI satellite classes and their online test series during internship. I attended DAMS Delhi classes in midprof. I think in these competitive times you need some help definitely. However, its not mandatory. Many of my friends got good ranks without any coaching!
PG Blazer: What were the subjects you focused upon?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: For different exams, you need to focus upon different subjects:
For AIPG, a good knowledge of all subjects.
For AIIMS, ophthal, PSM, forensic, psyche, ortho, pharma & patho.
For PGI, surgery, biochem, anesthesia, micro, patho & pharma.
PG Blazer: What was your approach to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I did Harrison’s second part important topics only. I revised those topics at least twice during MBBS years.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for MCQ’s? Which ones were the most useful?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: No exam books except AIIMS last three years questions.
For different subjects, I used books as follows:
Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Forensic – Across
Patho & Micro – Arvind Arora
Pharmac – Garg
PSM – Vivek Jain
ENT, OBG – Sakshi Arora
Ophthal and short subjects of final year – Across
Medicine, Surgery – Amit Ashish
Radiology – Sumer Sir’s book
Amongst them, Vivek Jain (PSM), Amit Ashish (Surgery & Medicine) and Garg (pharma) were especially helpful.
PG Blazer: Is there anything specific to keep in mind while preparing for AIIMS?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Yes, AIIMS needs especially topics and subjects to be studied in a bit detail, but focus more on easy and repeat questions. They are main rank catchers in such exams!
PG Blazer: How did you tackle the PGIMER entrance exam?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: November exam – I took it carefully and marked only confident options to the tune of 460 options. I blundered in May as I accidentally marked 560 options. I guess I lost track of time and tried to be fast. 🙁 And my rank went down, from 75 to 400, so sticking to number of options is very important in PGI. Plus you need to study surgery really well for PGI!
PG Blazer: How did you prepare for the image based questions?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Nothing special. Only DBMCI image questions.
PG Blazer: What was your strategy for revision on the day before the examination?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I tried to give a week to all important topics for individual exams, like I mentioned before.
PG Blazer: What was your strategy for taking the exam?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Took a good sleep , didn’t panic on seeing new and strange questions and marked the options smartly. Revised doubtful questions at least thrice!
PG Blazer: How many questions did you attempt?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: AIIMS – 174 (Nov 2014), 190 (May 2015).
PGI – 460 (Nov 2014), 560 (May 2015).
PG Blazer: How many do you think you got correct?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: AIIMS – around 140 sure, 17 ambiguous.
PG Blazer: Which speciality are you interested in choosing and why?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: I have already taken MD paeds from AMU and I will only take MD paeds from AIIMS. I like the branch very well, and since children are the most vulnerable section of the society, my service to them will definitely help in giving back to my society!
PG Blazer: What is your advice to future aspirants?
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Study well, follow special patterns of individual exams which you may get from last two or three years of the question papers and always be optimistic!
PG Blazer: Please give your comments / suggestions regarding PG Blazer.
Dr. Ayush Gupta: Its a good effort. I did give a read to your interviews before and found them inspiring.
PG Blazer: That brings us to the conclusion of the interview. Best of luck for your future endeavours!