PG Blazer: Congratulations on securing a top rank in the PGI entrance exam! What is the secret of your success?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Thank you.Hard work, determination, strong will power, perseverance, consistency and mindset on the day of exam.
PG Blazer: Could you tell us something about yourself?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: I am from Delhi. I am doing my MBBS from MAMC Delhi.
PG Blazer: Who or what influenced you to take up Medicine as a career?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: My parents had a great influence although I was never pressurised.
PG Blazer: What were your aggregate percentage marks for MBBS?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: 65%
PG Blazer: How did you prepare during your internship period?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: I formed my strategy within first week itself,I read long subjects during light postings, short during heavy.
Rerevision is the key to success, laid more stress on first and second year subjects.
PG Blazer: What ranks did you obtain in your previous attempts? What changes did you make to your preparation after your last attempt?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: This was my first attempt.
PG Blazer: Which were the various entrance exams you wrote in this session? What were the ranks you obtained?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Aiims rank 47, PGI 19.
PG Blazer: When did you start serious preparation for this year’s entrance exam?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: From day one of internship. For me with such heavy internship, everyday was precious.
PG Blazer: What was your study strategy?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: I think preparation starts from your graduation days, read standard textbooks as much as u can, as they form the base.
Then during internship you can build upon that base by reading MCQ books.
Cover all subjects from guides, revise them again and again.
Do last 7 yrs AIIMS questions.
Last 5 yrs all India.
PG Blazer: Did you make any notes for helping with your revision? Were they useful?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: I made notes of bullet points which I thought were very volatile, they certainly helped in the end.
PG Blazer: In your opinion, how much time does a student require for preparing for this exam?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: With internship 9 months.
Without internship 5-6 months.
PG Blazer: How many hours did you study each day?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: It varied according to my postings. Around 4-5 hrs on average.
PG Blazer: Did you have a timetable for preparation? Were you able to stick to it?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Yes I had made it time to time,most of the times I was able to stick to it.
PG Blazer: What role did the internet play in your preparation?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Not much. Except for giving online tests.
PG Blazer: Did you ever doubt your ability to get selected in this entrance exam? If so, how did you overcome your fears?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: I always had doubts, I am an average student who had to toil hard in graduation to climb up the tree.
I always remembered what one of my seniors told me..”Your rank doesn’t depend on how brilliant you are.. it depends on how many correct you mark on that day.”
PG Blazer: Did you attend any classroom coaching? Was it useful? Do you think classroom coaching is essential for getting a good rank?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: At the end of the day, it’s your self study that helps you.
Coaching certainly helped me by guiding me towards my goal
PG Blazer: Did you attend any test series? If so, did you find it useful?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: I joined Bhatia SWT and Grand test series.
They helped me in two ways.
1. They helped me built aptitude to write exams for 3 hrs by giving equal stress and concentration to all questions.
2. They told me where I stand in the competition.
PG Blazer: What were the subjects you focused upon?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Anatomy
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for theory?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Anatomy – BDC
Physiology – Ganong
Biochemistry – Harpers
Pathology – Robbins
Microbiology – Ananthanarayan
Forensic Medicine – Reddy
ENT – Dhingra
Ophthalmology – Khurana
SPM – Park
Medicine – Harrison and Mathews
Surgery – Bailey
Orthopaedics – Maheshwari
Paediatrics – Ghai
OBG – Dutta and Shaws
Anaesthesia – Ajay Yadav
Radiology – Sumer Sethi
Psychiatry – Neer
PG Blazer: What was your approach to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Selected reading.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for MCQ’s? Which ones were the most useful?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Across Vol 2 and Garg of path and pharma were indispensable.
Subject wise books:
Anatomy – Across
Physiology – Across
Biochemistry – Across
Microbiology – Chaurasia
Pharmacology – Garg
Forensic Medicine – Sumit Seth
ENT – Smart study
Ophthalmology – Ruchi Rai
SPM – Vivek Jain
Medicine – Notes, Bhatia essence
Surgery – Notes
Orthopaedics – Apurv Mehra
Paediatrics – Arvind Arora
OBG – Smart study
Anaesthesia – Across
Radiology – Sumer Seth
Dermatology – DAMS
Psychiatry – IAMS
PG Blazer: Is there anything specific to keep in mind while preparing for AIIMS?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Do last 5 yrs questions, direct repeats may be less but topics repeat.
PG Blazer: How did you tackle the PGIMER entrance exam?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Exam day strategy should be read option well at once and answer quickly, as u need to read 1250 options in 180 mins.
You can answer quickly if u have good hold on subjects.
PG Blazer: How did you prepare for the image based questions?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: In my opinion image based question were the easiest ones, if u have read good books during your MBBS days, you don’t need special preparation for them.
PG Blazer: What was your strategy for taking the exam?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: My strategy is to answer easy questions first.
For AIIMS, to reach answer by ruling out options.
And take risks even if I’m 50-50 sure, as in an exam with 40 seats if I play safe I can get good rank but not a seat, so do take risks.
PG Blazer: How many questions did you attempt?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: AIIMS – 192.
PGI – 550-600 options.
PG Blazer: How many do you think you got correct?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: AIIMS – 150.
PGI – 500 options.
PG Blazer: Which speciality are you interested in choosing and why?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: General surgery, I developed interest in it during my posting and I find it fascinating.
PG Blazer: What is your advice to future aspirants?
Dr. Gopal Sharma: Work smartly, systematically & efficiently.
Revise as much as you can.
PG Blazer: That brings us to the conclusion of the interview. Best of luck for your future endeavours!