Dr. Varma speaks about how he secured a Rank 9 in NEET SS Medicine (Endocrinology) 2018
We are proud of Marrow Pro student Dr B Padmanabha Varma who got his dream branch Endocrinology after securing a Rank 9 in NEET SS Medicine (Endocrinology), 2018. Here is an excerpt from a Marrow exclusive interview with Dr Varma.
Big Congratulations, Dr Varma! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I did my MBBS from Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam and DNB General Medicine from The Bangalore Hospital, Bangalore. I gave the NEET SS exam soon after my DNB in 2017 and got 86 percentile. With this score, I did not get the super speciality seat of my choice which was Endocrinology. But I was eligible for Cardiology and some other specialities. I decided to give it another try and appeared for the 2018 NEET SS exam, and I got a rank 6 in Endocrinology, my dream branch.
What were the primary resources that you used for preparation?
- Marrow for NEET SS lectures by Dr Rakesh Nair – all Medicine topics
- Harrisons Medicine Textbook – Endocrinology section
- Marrow QBank & Tests – all Medicine topics
- Mudit Khanna’s self-assessment and review – with focus on Endocrinology
- Ajay Mathew MCQs – only Endocrinology
When did you start seriously preparing for the NEET SS exam?
I started preparing in March by watching Medicine lectures by Dr Rakesh Nair in Marrow for NEET PG. I had 5 months for the exam then, and I subscribed to Plan C for 6 months. I also read the Endocrinology section in Harrisons during this period. Reading Harrison after listening to Rakesh sir’s lectures made the concepts very clear and stay strong in my memory.
By June, Marrow for NEET SS was launched and their support team was kind enough to change my plan to NEET SS.
What was your strategy for completing reading and revision in 5 months?
In March and April, I watched only the Marrow video lectures. I used to work in a Government hospital then. Every day I would watch 30-45 mins of video before leaving for work at 9 am. After work from 6 pm to 10 pm, I would watch more videos and make notes. I could watch 3-4 videos in a day. I used to note down everything from the videos because each and every point mentioned were important.
In the next one month, I completed reading the Endocrinology part in Harrison. I highlighted the important points in the textbook itself, and I added the extra-important points to my notes.
In the next 15 days, I went through the Endocrinology part in Mudit Khanna’s guidebook and Ajay Mathew MCQs. I also did Marrow QBank.
After that, I took a break from work for 2 months and revised the notes I made from Marrow videos as well as Harrison. I also dedicated 2-3 days for Pediatrics, since up to 5 questions can be asked from core Pediatrics in Endocrinology.
How important is Harrison for NEET SS (DM)?
For NEET SS DM, you can expect several direct questions from Harrison. It is important to cover the speciality of your choice in Harrison and revise it once.
What was the pattern of questions for the last exam?
Most of the questions were one-liners and factual, with an exception of around 5 questions, which were clinical-scenario based. You can also expect image questions with endoscopy & biopsy images. For endocrinology, some basic surgical aspects (eg. Surgery) should also be covered.
What would you advice your juniors who are preparing for the upcoming NEET SS exam?
Since 60% of questions would be from the speciality of your choice, you need to really focus on that speciality.
Second thing is, you should read only what you can revise. 2-3 cycles of revision is recommended.
You need not devote an entire year for preparation. It is completely possible to study when you work if you manage your time wisely.
Reading the speciality of your choice from Harrison is a must. I also strongly recommend Marrow for NEET SS videos.