PG Blazer: Congratulations on securing a top rank in the PGI entrance exam! What is the secret of your success?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Thank you. There is no secret as such. Consistent hard work and wishes of my parents and friends helped me sail through this phase.
PG Blazer: Could you tell us something about yourself?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I am from Tumkur,Karnataka. Did my schooling from Chethana Vidya Mandira and pre university from Sarvodaya PU College, Tumkur. I was 2nd topper in the state in the PU board exams. Got rank #38 in KCET. I joined Bangalore Medical College for under graduation.
PG Blazer: Who or what influenced you to take up Medicine as a career?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I liked the profession as such. I found it challenging and satisfying.
PG Blazer: What were your aggregate percentage marks for MBBS?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: 70%
PG Blazer: How did you prepare during your internship period?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: No preparation to be honest. Internship to me was just fun and duties. Lots of duties.
PG Blazer: What ranks did you obtain in your previous attempts? What changes did you make to your preparation after your last attempt?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Kcet 2014- 2400, Jipmer 7000. These two with literally Zero preparation. Dnb June 450.
PG Blazer: Which were the various entrance exams you wrote in this session? What were the ranks you obtained?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: AIIMS 69, PGI 26, Jipmer 142.
PG Blazer: When did you start serious preparation for this year’s entrance exam?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: April 1st week
PG Blazer: What was your study strategy?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I would study my class notes followed by MCQ’s from different books. Refer textbooks which I read in UG whenever required. I would do 1 subject per week. I did AIIMS and PGI volumes. Revised all subjects and volumes twice before exams.
PG Blazer: Did you make any notes for helping with your revision? Were they useful?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I just supplemented my class notes with extra points which I found in other books. Class notes were extremely helpful.
PG Blazer: In your opinion, how much time does a student require for preparing for this exam?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Complete 10 months.
PG Blazer: How many hours did you study each day?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: On an average 12 hours.
PG Blazer: Did you have a timetable for preparation? Were you able to stick to it?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I did have a time table. My first round of preparation was done as expected. I felt I needed 1 more month for revision.
PG Blazer: What role did the internet play in your preparation?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: A lot. Be it queries or regular updates from my coaching faculty I was very Dependant on Internet. I took a lot of online mock exams too.
PG Blazer: Did you ever doubt your ability to get selected in this entrance exam? If so, how did you overcome your fears?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Many times. I have a huge support system in my friends. They eased up my stress.
PG Blazer: Did you attend any classroom coaching? Was it useful? Do you think classroom coaching is essential for getting a good rank?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I took regular classroom coaching from DBMCI, Bangalore. It was very helpful. I suggest it for my juniors.
PG Blazer: Did you attend any test series? If so, did you find it useful?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Took Bhatia grand test series and AdrPlexus test series for PGI. They are must for entrance exam preparation.
PG Blazer: What were the subjects you focused upon?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: All subjects.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for theory?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Anatomy – BDC
Physiology – Ganong
Biochemistry – Vasudevan
Pathology – Robbins
Microbiology – Ananthnarayan
Pharmacology – KDT
Forensic Medicine – Narayan reddy
ENT – Dhingra
Ophthalmology – Khurana
SPM – Park
Medicine – Matthews, Harrison
Surgery – SRB
Orthopaedics – Maheshwari
Paediatrics – Ghai
OBG – Dutta and Shaws
Anaesthesia – No particular book
Radiology – No particular book
Dermatology – No particular book
Psychiatry – No particular book
PG Blazer: What was your approach to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Selective reading.
PG Blazer: Which books did you read for MCQ’s? Which ones were the most useful?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Amit Ashish for AIIMS, Mudit Khanna AIPGMEE, Manoj chaudhary for PGI and Arun Kumar for JIPMER.
Subject wise books:
Anatomy – Across
Physiology – Arvind arora
Biochemistry – Arvind arora
Pathology – Sparsh Gupta
Microbiology – Rachana Chaurasia
Pharmacology – Sparsh Gupta
Forensic Medicine – Across
ENT – Arvind Arora
Ophthalmology – Arvind Arora
SPM – Vivek Jain
Medicine – Mudit Khanna
Surgery – Amit Ashish
Orthopaedics – Apurv Mehra
Paediatrics – Arvind Arora
OBG – Sakshi Arora
Anaesthesia – Arvind Arora
Radiology – Arvind Arora
Dermatology – Arvind Arora
Psychiatry – Arvind Arora
PG Blazer: Is there anything specific to keep in mind while preparing for AIIMS?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: AIIMS asks conceptual questions. We need to be strong in theory. Medicine & short subjects are very important. PSM and Ophthal are rank deciding.
PG Blazer: How did you tackle the PGIMER entrance exam?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: PGI is a sure shot exam if your theory is good and you are able to finish the paper in 3 hours. Mock exams are helpful in learning time management. They also make the exam pattern familiar. Medicine and biochemistry are the core subjects. Molecular biology in particular.
PG Blazer: How did you prepare for the image based questions?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I went through the images in Robbins and Harrison.
PG Blazer: What was your strategy for taking the exam?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I would start from the beginning. Strategy in AIIMS was to attempt 190 questions. You will have to take some risk in AIIMS.
PGI, its totally different. I marked only sure ones. Can’t afford to guess in PGI pattern.
PG Blazer: How many questions did you attempt?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: AIIMS – 197
PGI – around 570 options
PG Blazer: How many do you think you got correct?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: AIIMS – around 140
PGI – around 470 options
PG Blazer: Which speciality are you interested in choosing and why?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: I am interested in surgical branches. I find it challenging and demanding.
PG Blazer: What is your advice to future aspirants?
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Read theory well. Follow it up with MCQ’s and volumes. Take tests regularly and seriously. Be confident and consistent in your efforts. Stay away from negative thoughts and people. I wish you all THE BEST.
PG Blazer: That brings us to the conclusion of the interview. Best of luck for your future endeavours!
Dr. Ramya Nagraj: Thank you.