Vanni Jhawar GMC Kolhapur topper

1.Congratulations on achieving such an amazing feat.   Tell  us  a  bit  about  yourself. Please  also  tell  us  your individual  marks  in  each subject.

I am Vanni Jhawar from Pune, currently studying MBBS from RCSM GMC Kolhapur.

My marks out of 200 were 152, 157 and 159 in Anatomy, Physiology & Biochemistry respectively.


2.So, when all of  this  is  new  and the  rest  of  us  are  still  busy  figuring the  head and tail  of  the  subject,  how  did you tackle  and master  the  syllabus?

There’s no such magical word as mastering the syllabus, because no matter how much u study it’s never enough to complete the syllabus it’s just about giving your best effort in understanding the subject.  All the 3 subjects carve your basics, without which none of the clinical subjects will make sense.  It’s very logical and all you need to do is relate things everywhere.  For eg. You can link metabolic disorders with physiological manifestations and anatomical appearance and there…. hey you get a pathology… everything is related…. and learning it is actually a fun experience.


3.Did you have  a  set  schedule, a time  table  that  you stuck to?  What  were  the  daily  hours  that  you put in self study  ?

I had no time table, actually I did, but it was hypothetical.  You never can study by deciding what to do it all depends on the mood.  Either I would study the whole day or not study at all.  Just before exams, I used to try studying for minimum 6-7 hrs a day, rest of the times the figures varied.


4.Did you have  a  different  methodology  of  tackling  the  subjects?  Any  special  notes  that  you prepared?

In the beginning I used to read anything I felt like… but when I was done reading most of the imp topics… I used to correlate and read, like I used to read pancreas from anatomy… then from physio… about the functioning and then the molecular basis in biochemistry.  This made studying real fun because you get to relate everything and understanding becomes easier, since most of the points get repeated it becomes very helpful… I had no special notes as such, but to write answers, I used to write down the subtitles and then elaborate by myself.


5.Do you have any  special  pointers  for  specific  subjects?  The  do’s  and don’ts  of  it?

DO everything u can… don’t just do the imp topics and all because anything and everything is important.  In a future clinical case a patient will just not come for a liver disease because HEY that was an imp topic!!! They can come for something as trivial as constipation! So I m not saying study each and every word because that’s not possible in a timespan of 1 yr to complete especially anatomy, because it’s sooo sooo huge!!

Also go through diagrams… make as many diags nd flowcharts as possible because in the end knowledge and presentation go hand in hand.. and also  because hardly people have time to read the big answers u right..  diagrams simplify your answers and makes it more effective… write precise answers… dont elaborate on 1 sentence repeatedly


6.Was there  any  help  that  you acquired while  exam  preparation?  Like  any  visual  aids  any  professional guidance?  Or  those  little  tit  bits  that  the  professors  tell  us  but  none  other than the  toppers  pay  attention to? Please  share  with us.

Well, some of my friends used visual aids like Najeeb and Kaplan, they are very helpful even for your PG exams.  Najeeb is a bit time consuming so better start watching it from day 1.  I started watching Kaplan from 2nd yr. It’s short and sweet, helps clear your concepts. For anatomy make a habit of drawing diagrams, that is the most effective way to score in anatomy.


7.How vital  is  the  Question bank during  exams?  Does  it  come  highly  recommended  or  you advice  thorough reading  of  the  text  and having confound knowledge  of  the  subject?

You have to be thorough with the subject, that’s for sure. Being more precise in your concepts helps you answer the viva better which is purely based on knowledge but during theory exams you don’t have time to do each and every page of the textbook, so you have to refer a question bank either provided by your college or by books like Bhalani.  We used to solve question papers (orally) no need to write and waste your time, but it helps in quick revision during theory.  Mark my words, for viva you need to be thorough with the textbook. Try to visualize what you read and you will never forget your basics.


8.How do you propose  the  students study and what kind  of  discipline  should be  followed during  exam  time?

I can’t suggest how students should study because everyone has a different pattern, but make sure when you are studying you should be focused on the topic at hand and not get distracted.  This way even a 2-3 hr study daily helps more than a distracted studying of 6-7 hrs.  During exams I suggest that you have at least 4-5 hrs of sleep.  Newbies might wonder why so less, but you will realize soon that exam pressures are the worst… and we ended up sleeping 1 hr before our exams.  Don’t do this please study from the beginning (that doesn’t happen trust me….. well, at least with me) but it reduces exam stress if you are already prepared.  Anatomy has this beauty that you can’t remember everything, so basically you feel like revising as much as u can at the last moment, this is necessary unless you have a photographic memory.


9.Could you give  some  important  pointers  on  Exam  writing skills?  And also  how  should  one  prepare  for  a practical  exam?

As I said earlier, presentation matters along with knowledge. Both go hand in hand. So make your papers beautiful with diagrams and flowcharts. Draw simple metabolic cycles in biochemistry and explain via flowcharts in physiology.

For viva you can be asked anything, so basically you need to know everything. First thing you need to know on entering this course is that u can’t leave anything in option because u cant just say to a patient right??…. Sorry bro … I didn’t study this part …. so make sure you read everything at least once this year so that you can answer at least the basic questions. No one expects you to tell all the clinical aspects… you just need to know the basics properly… regarding clinical practicals in physiology what the examiner judges is the correct method and your attitude towards the patient, whether you can answer all theoretical aspects properly is a bonus factor but most important is your knowledge about the topic and behavior towards the patients..

Biochemistry is one of my favourites, well, all 3 are, but still… you understand the molecular basis of each disorder and things begin to click in place like it does for House MD for biochem viva, especially table vivas know the clinical aspect of tests you perform and the values that you get… because getting the right value is important but more important is knowing what is wrong with the patient if the value is high or low.


10.Any special  tricks  and tacts  for  the  students  of  your  college  who  would be  reading this?

Umm all I said earlier will really help you score good and more importantly during vivas.. please answer questions confidently.. because your confidence is a very important aspect of your personality.. that will make you a nice doctor… also do not answer if you don’t know… faking answers may give a wrong impression… and lead you to score less….. honestly telling that you don’t know… will just lead the teacher to ask you to study more rather than taunting you…


11.So, do you have  any  parting thoughts?  Like  disclosing that  secret  mantra  that  you  chanted  or  that  special brand of  energy  drink  you savoured?  Just kidding. Seriously  though..anything at  all?

No secret mantras or energy drinks do not take memory enhancing pills like chatur in 3 idiots.. because that will lead to unbearable consequences for your roommate.. just kidding… just one mantra that I always repeated in my mind whenever I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore… ” study not for the sake of scoring… but study because you want to gain more knowledge… study for yourself!! ” .. everyone will pass … That’s for sure.. but passing as a good doctor makes all the difference between a person who studied because he HAD TO and a person who studied because he WANTED TO.

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