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The feeling of wrapping a stethoscope around your neck, being referred to as a doctor rather than a medical student is indeed unreal. It is, after all, the manifestation of your dreams which was built around your hard work and perseverance. The happiness that comes along with the title is fulfilling to say the least. But at the same time the uncertainty of what follows this benchmark will itch your mind. Up until now the spectrum of possibilities and goals were narrow and students always had some test or the other to prepare for, except it was systematic and somewhat universal. Now the spectrum has widened. There are a lot of branches one can climb.
So how should one handle a PG internship and NEETPG exam together?
Foremost it is imperative to drill this in your head that it is absolutely possible that do well in your internship while preparing for PG exams. The difference between one who gets the job done well and one who doesn’t is quite simply a can-do attitude and understanding of balance between the internship and entrance exam. On the contrary, the internship protects you from your own mind. Candidates who tend to ignore the internships and devote all their energy into the exam end up investing, quite in vain, behind study guides on top of their existing material. These resources contain questions from decades prior which is simply not required in today’s dynamic question pattern. Thus students get overwhelmed and their preparation is hampered. Instead of focusing on papers dating back maximum 3 years, students go through decades of unnecessary questions.
The 10-15 days gap between your final year exams and internships can be utilized by solving the DQB IV. The knowledge is fresh in your mind and you can actually solve them swiftly given the recency of the end of the final year. This way you can cover a major chunk, say 50%, of your NEETPG syllabus since most of the questions come from the final year domain. The clinical subject questions should be given priority for optimal utilization.
How to approach the internship time?
The most significant trait one must inculcate in their approach in an internship is mindfulness. Observing every little thing the staff, nurses or doctors do is the best way to learn. Being inquisitive about said observations will only enhance your knowledge. Even though it would seem chaotic, depending on the daily bustle of your college, you must find order in the chaos and continue being observant.
The second step is introspection. If you have come this far you must have a plan already chalked out and all your efforts have been focused on it accordingly. But it is still a good idea to ask yourself the purpose of your actions thus far. What you did in the past? What hinderances have you faced in your charted plan? How can you overcome it? Where do you want to see yourself in a few years? All these questions, as fundamental as they are, will help you identify your next course of action. It is a proven and better method rather than blindly following your peers.
Regular course vs TND- Which one to choose?
Preparing for the exam takes place in four stages- concept building, understanding and taking personalized notes, revision and then appearing for mock tests. It is important to be honest with yourself and identify the stage you are currently in. If you are one who has opted for the regular course for internship you are most likely to have ignored the initial stages. While a TND candidate has already gone through the initial stages, so they work on their exam skills. The DAMS HYBRID course is a tool which contains a series of video discussions which can help the regular course students to revisit concepts and make notes on topics they might have missed due to their busy internships. However, these should not be treated as replacement of live classes which preserve the discipline and competitive spirit and is eventually beneficial for the student.
How to yield maximum results from the TND series?
At DAMS there is a multi-tier testing system for the TND course. They are-
Tier1- TND +DQB
Should you make a personalized schedule or follow the given schedule?
ON the DAMS App there are details of all the tests includes dates, subjects, topics and sub topics. The hectic schedule of an internship might cause you to delay your preparation. Following the compact structure of routine will prevent you from procrastination and hence it is wise to follow it rather than building your own timetable. The candidate will be given one week to prepare for a test. During this time one needs to revise their notes while solving topic wise questions from the DQB simultaneously. The next step will be to solve the ‘mixed bag’ questions along with the ‘bounce back’ section. The study pattern for a single day should be divided into a standardized 7 is to 3 ratio of revising theory and solving questions respectively. Now one must have a ‘wrong diary’ where you should note down specific sub topics the questions of which you have found to be incorrect during the analysis of solved questions. The final step will be reserved for the end of the day where you revise 2-3 particular topics picked up from the wrong diary. This will definitely keep you ahead of the curve. The 7th day is when you appear for the test , irrespective of the degree of preparation, and only once it’s done should you attend the TND session. During the discussion take note of the approach, updates and variety of questions. Again, it is time to analyze and jot down the precise topics/ sub topics of the incorrect attempts of the test into the ‘wrong diary’.
Tier2- Subject wise tests or SWT’s
This level is to be approached around the 5th month to check your retentivity. It carries around 200 MCQ’s per subject and is an useful test series for anyone who have the fear of missing out. Solve these like a proper test. The usual analysis procedure should be done.
Tier3- Grand Tests
On the first four months of your TND course you should stick to giving 1 grand test per month and gradually increase the frequency to 1 GT per 10 days around the 6th month. The protocol of analysis is to be followed without fail.
This is the best way to prepare for that one day of the exam where everything can go your way, as can nothing. The simulated environment of the exam prepares your mind of the finer mental hurdles which probably will not manifest unless the pressure of the actual exam arrives. Hence it is better to train your mind beforehand.
For passive revision candidates should definitely attend the integrated MCQ session live at 09:00 p.m. every Tuesday and the clinical grand round live at 09:30 p.m. every Wednesday. For INICET the AIIMS capsule and emergency case scenarios, along with the DVT and must know topics are also available with this course.
How to frame your schedule?
If you have enrolled for the regular classes, you must attend the regular class. Concept building is key. Then, as per strategy, create your own notes and read them the very same day. Revision must follow, this is the most important step. Go through everything that has been taught and consolidate. Once done it is time to solve the questions from DQB. In the following week appear for the mock exams. The crucial step of analyzing the results must be done with due diligence. The mistakes when identified should be revisited ( the notes will help with that).
If you have joined a test and discussion course, the last two stages of revision of notes and appearing for exams will help get prepared to show up for the TND. If you are making a wrong attempt then you must analyze the area of error. If you are making no attempt at all you must revisit your notes regarding that particular question. The goal of the TND is twofold –
i. to develop your MCQ skills and enhance your high -yield information
ii. to provide you with relevant updates
According to your position in this preparation you can choose between these two courses. This decision will be significant in saving time during a period when competition is fierce and time is of the essence.
Another important factor is to stop postponing your Grand tests and CBT’s, instead aggressively approach them. It is better to appear for tests instead of question banks because you need to build your mind’s performance for a 3 hour long intensive exam. Solving question banks may provide instant gratification but will not enhance your exam performance. So systematically plan your GT’s and CBT’s. Keep tracking your progress accordingly.
Time management is essential too. Granted the internship will be exhausting and time consuming for many, the onus of finding time is on you and your motivation to succeed. One thing common between all the greats and commoners is that both groups have the same 24hours in a day. Prioritize your goals and find time accordingly.
To quote Muhammad Ali,
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘ Don’t Quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’ ”