PG Blazer: Congratulations on securing the top rank in the AIIMS PG entrance exam! What is the secret of your success?
Dr. Tom Jose: Thank you. I think God’s grace and TMCAA coaching worked for me.
PG Blazer: Could you tell us something about yourself?
Dr. Tom Jose: I am from Pala in Kottayam, Kerala. I did my MBBS at Govt. Medical College Thrissur.
PG Blazer: Who or what influenced you to take up Medicine as a career?
Dr. Tom Jose: I felt that my character would be suiting a medical profession.
PG Blazer: What were your aggregate percentage marks for MBBS?
Dr. Tom Jose: 76%
PG Blazer: How did you prepare during your internship period?
Dr. Tom Jose: I attended TMCAA classes whenever I could, but that was only a few classes. I didn’t get much time during my internship.
PG Blazer: Which were the various entrance exams you wrote in this session? What were the ranks you obtained?
Dr. Tom Jose: AIIMS – Rank 4,
PGI Nov – 28.
PG Blazer: What ranks did you obtain in your previous attempts?
Dr. Tom Jose: I was not in the rank list of last AIIMS.
AIPGME 14 – 9961,
PGI May 14 – 54.
PG Blazer: When did you start serious preparation for this year’s entrance exam?
Dr. Tom Jose: April 2014
PG Blazer: What was your study strategy?
Dr. Tom Jose: I followed the teaching schedule at TMCAA, read the corresponding text book and did some MCQ’s from the subject wise book. Also I was reading the NEET pattern book and Manoj Chaudhary book for PGI.
PG Blazer: Did you make any notes for helping with your revision? Were they useful?
Dr. Tom Jose: No I didn’t make. But I wrote facts which I felt that I would surely forget in a separate book.
PG Blazer: In your opinion, how much time does a student require for preparing for this exam?
Dr. Tom Jose: At least 8-9 months of preparation.
PG Blazer: How many hours did you study each day?
Dr. Tom Jose: 8- 10 hours.
PG Blazer: Did you have a timetable for preparation? Were you able to stick to it?
Dr. Tom Jose: Yes, I was able to follow.
PG Blazer: What role did the internet play in your preparation?
Dr. Tom Jose: I used to follow the interviews by toppers to know the study pattern.
PG Blazer: Did you ever doubt your ability to get selected in this entrance exam? If so, how did you overcome your fears?
Dr. Tom Jose: Yes, I did. My prayers, friends and family helped. I was staying in a hostel in Trichur with 20 other pg aspirants. We had our food together. Those times helped to release the tension.
PG Blazer: Did you attend any classroom coaching? Was it useful? Do you think classroom coaching is essential for getting a good rank?
Dr. Tom Jose: Yes .TMCAA coaching was very helpful.
PG Blazer: Did you attend any test series? If so, did you find it useful?
Dr. Tom Jose: Yes, I attended the Bhatia series but I didn’t get time to see the answers.
PG Blazer: What were the subjects you focused upon?
Dr. Tom Jose: Pharmac, Ophthal, SPM.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for theory?
Dr. Tom Jose: Anatomy – Arivu Selvan sir’s notes and pictures.
Physiology – Ganong
Biochemistry – Harper
Pathology – Robbins basic
Microbiology – Ananthanarayan
Pharmacology – Tripati
Forensic Medicine – V.V. Pillay
ENT – Dhingra
Ophthalmology – Khurana
SPM – Park
Medicine – Harrison
Surgery – Bailey
Orthopaedics – Maheswari
Paediatrics – Ghai
OBG – Sheila Balakrishnan and Shaw
Dermatology – Neena Khanna
PG Blazer: What was your approach to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine?
Dr. Tom Jose: Selected topics and tables.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for MCQ’s? Which ones were the most useful?
Dr. Tom Jose: Exam specific books: AIIMS – Ashish Gupta, Edulanche, AIIMS Cracked.
Subject wise books:
Anatomy – Aravind Arora
Physiology – Aravind Arora
Biochemistry – Aravind Arora
Pathology – Sparsh Gupta
Microbiology –Rachna Chaurasya
Pharmacology – Sparsh Gupta
Forensic Medicine – Across
ENT – Shibu George
Ophthalmology – Aravind Arora
SPM – Jain
Medicine – Mudit Khanna
Surgery – Ashish Gupta
Orthopaedics – Aravind Arora
Paediatrics – Aravind Arora
OBG – Sakshi Arora
Anaesthesia – Aravind Arora
Radiology – Aravind Arora
Dermatology – Aravind Arora
Psychiatry – Aravind Arora
PG Blazer: Is there anything specific to keep in mind while preparing for AIIMS?
Dr. Tom Jose: For the last AIIMS, I felt the pattern was different. Get your concepts strong, don’t miss last 5 years question papers.
PG Blazer: How did you tackle the PGIMER entrance exam?
Dr. Tom Jose: Read Manoj Chaudhary’s book.
PG Blazer: How did you prepare for the image based questions?
Dr. Tom Jose: Collected them from the TMCAA classes.
PG Blazer: What was your strategy for taking the exam?
Dr. Tom Jose: Start from the beginning and answer all questions.
PG Blazer: How many questions did you attempt?
Dr. Tom Jose: AIIMS – 190,
PGI – 240.
PG Blazer: How many do you think you got correct?
Dr. Tom Jose: AIIMS – 130 – 140,
PGI – I don’t know.
PG Blazer: Which speciality are you interested in choosing and why?
Dr. Tom Jose: I took General Medicine at AIIMS, in which I was interested from my UG period.
PG Blazer: What is your advice to future aspirants?
Dr. Tom Jose: Give your best in the available time and leave the rest to God’s hand. Accept the result and move on.
PG Blazer: That brings us to the conclusion of the interview. Best of luck for your future endeavours!