PG Blazer: Congratulations on securing a top rank in the JIPMER entrance exam! What is the secret of your success?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Thank you!! I studied with two other friends and that really helped me . With group studies I would never get bored even after 10-12 hrs of grueling studies. And the other secret would be sheer hard work.
PG Blazer: Could you tell us something about yourself?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I’m from Bangalore but I did my schooling from so many schools all over the country as my dad would get posted every 3-4 yrs since he’s in the Air Force. It was a great experience as I got to travel so much at such an early age. I did my MBBS from Karnataka institute of medical sciences , Hubli. I always did well throughout MBBS but never thought I would get this far.
PG Blazer: Who or what influenced you to take up Medicine as a career?
Dr. Divya Joshi: My parents -they both are doctors and inspired me.
PG Blazer: What were your aggregate percentage marks for MBBS?
Dr. Divya Joshi: 73%
PG Blazer: How did you prepare during your internship period?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Internship was quite hectic especially the major postings . I tried to cover the short subjects as we don’t really read much about it for our univ exams. So I wanted to be better prepared when those subjects were taught in the coaching classes.
PG Blazer: What ranks did you obtain in your previous attempts? What changes did you make to your preparation after your last attempt?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I gave aipgmee during internship in which I got 5180. Then I gave may AIIMS 2014 in which I didn’t even qualify. I started studying in a more organized way once my coaching classes started post internship.
PG Blazer: Which were the various entrance exams you wrote in this session? What were the ranks you obtained?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I got AIIMS nov 2014 rank 149, PGI nov rank 40 , JIPMER rank 16.
PG Blazer: When did you start serious preparation for this year’s entrance exam?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I started in March end when my coaching classes started.
PG Blazer: What was your study strategy?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I would try and complete each subject in the same week in which it was done in class so I would be prepared for the test at the end of the week. After classes got over I went over all the subjects twice for revision and kept few hours at the end of the day for volumes so I could keep in touch with all the subjects.
PG Blazer: Did you make any notes for helping with your revision? Were they useful?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Yes I made this book in which I wrote all the important points especially the ones I would tend to forget . A day before the exam I read only that.
PG Blazer: How many hours did you study each day? In your opinion, how much time does a student require for preparing for this exam?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I think 6-7 months of hardcore studies 10-12 hrs a day. But it’s important to keep in touch with MCQ’s throughout MBBS .
PG Blazer: Did you have a timetable for preparation? Were you able to stick to it?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Yes I did. And I did pretty much stick to it .
PG Blazer: What role did the internet play in your preparation?
Dr. Divya Joshi: It was just so much easier and quicker to find out or confirm anything in case of any doubt. Our DAMS facebook page was a huge help as well!
PG Blazer: Did you ever doubt your ability to get selected in this entrance exam? If so, how did you overcome your fears?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I never doubted that , I always thought I’ll get something in aipgmee but never did I think I would make it here. Yes there were tough times when I wasn’t performing up to the mark in the mock exams but I was lucky to have my husband who I could turn to whenever I was upset.
PG Blazer: Did you attend any classroom coaching? Was it useful? Do you think classroom coaching is essential for getting a good rank?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I think attending coaching is highly necessary , there is so much which just MCQ books can’t give us . So many concepts which have to be taught. I attended DAMS regular course from March end to September . And I gave their weekly subject wise tests and online tests. It helps us get to know our weaknesses and our strengths. It gives us a reality check.
PG Blazer: Did you attend any test series? If so, did you find it useful?
Dr. Divya Joshi: DAMS test series. As I said helps us to assess where we stand.
PG Blazer: What were the subjects you focused upon?
Dr. Divya Joshi: All of them equally. Especially short subjects since they are pretty scorings.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for theory?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Anatomy – BDC
Physiology – Guyton
Biochemistry – Satyanarayan
Pathology – Robbins
Microbiology – Ananthanarayan
Pharmacology – KDT
Forensic Medicine – Reddy
ENT – Dhingra
Ophthalmology – Khurana
SPM – Park
Medicine – Davidson and notes
Surgery – SRB and Bailey
Orthopaedics – Maheshwari
Paediatrics – Ghai
OBG – Dutta and Shaws
Anaesthesia – class notes
Radiology – class notes
Dermatology – class notes
Psychiatry – class notes
PG Blazer: What was your approach to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I read it during MBBS but very selectively . Did not touch it after March 2014 .
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for MCQ’s? Which ones were the most useful?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Across for short subjects, Amit Ashish etc. I liked SPARSH Gupta for pharmacology.
Subject wise books:
Anatomy – Across
Physiology – Across
Biochemistry – Across
Pathology – Arvind Arora
Microbiology – Apurba Shastry
Pharmacology – Sparsh Gupta
Forensic Medicine – Across
ENT – Sakshi Arora
Ophthalmology – Across
SPM – Arvind Arora
Medicine – Amit Ashish
Surgery – Amit Ashish
Orthopaedics – Across
Paediatrics – Arvind Arora
OBG – Sakshi Arora
Anaesthesia – Across
Radiology – Across
Dermatology – Across
Psychiatry – Across
PG Blazer: Is there anything specific to keep in mind while preparing for AIIMS? How did you tackle the PGIMER entrance exam?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I think it’s important to be thorough with the subject wise notes and then go for the volumes later on. It’s not too different for individual exams. But ya, it’s important to see the previous year questions to get to know the trend.
PG Blazer: How did you prepare for the image based questions?
Dr. Divya Joshi: My coaching centre helped me with that . They had special classes for the image based questions.
PG Blazer: What was your strategy for taking the exam?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I started from the beginning marked some which I wanted to review at the end and tried to manage my time so I could comfortably complete my paper.
PG Blazer: How many questions did you attempt?
Dr. Divya Joshi: AIIMS – 195
PGI – I don’t remember! Didn’t get time to count
PG Blazer: How many do you think you got correct?
Dr. Divya Joshi: AIIMS –around 135 maybe
PGI – no idea
PG Blazer: Which speciality are you interested in choosing and why?
Dr. Divya Joshi: I want to do either dermatology or ophthalmology at JIPMER as I love both the subjects and I always wanted a non emergency branch.
PG Blazer: What is your advice to future aspirants?
Dr. Divya Joshi: Keep your cool and give your 100% so that you’ll never have to say I wish I had done more. God will give you what you deserve.
PG Blazer: That brings us to the conclusion of the interview. Best of luck for your future endeavours.