Practical Tips for DNB Practical

Dr. Krishnaprasad R
Published Online: August 4th, 2021 | Read Time: 4 minutes, 33 seconds

It’s time to brace yourself for DNB practicals, in its new Avatar! One look at its design tells that it has been well designed for accurate and speedy assessment of Examinees with little room for chance or bias. So let’s deconstruct it for better understanding and decode it for exploiting to our advantage!

Firstly 50% of marks i.e 150 marks comes from Objectively Structured Clinical Evaluation or OSCE, which is a good News. Historically most students from the DNB stream, find OSCE easy to answer. OSCE covers a wide range of concepts in ophthalmology creating a level playing ground, compared to taxing Case Presentations.

Few tips for your OSCE.

This time, OSCE mimics a theory exam! you are all seated in a hall and the different stations (slides) are streamed on the screen by the NBEMS command center. The answers have to be written on separate sheets for each station. Make sure that you give away the answer sheet after each station. Write with a dark blue or black pen which makes your writing thick, as your answer sheets are scanned and sent to NBEMS. The split marks for various questions of a station allow you to score at least some marks in a seemingly difficult question (Bouncer!)

Two Clinical cases fulfill the criteria of the quintessential Case Presentation ordeal of any practical exam! However, they carry a total of 70 marks, with each case having 35 marks. One of them will be a virtual case, which obviously rules out you doing any examination and the discussion of the case becomes vital. One can be an actual case with a patent provided to you. I think, with the extensive rehearsals done so by the students, this simplified case presentation should appear less arduous!

Something novel concept is the Ward Rounds covering various subspecialties. This provides an opportunity for the examiners to test the student’s knowledge more extensively. Each carries 10 marks and four such ward rounds cover the entire Ophthalmology. However be wary of the last ward round where offbeat topics like community ophthalmology, appliances, optics & research methodology are being covered. Some homework about this round can prove handy!

Lastly, viva voice happens in four stations each carrying 10 marks. The catch here is the duration of each station, which is only 5 minutes. Examiner cannot cover too many things in 5 minutes, so be crisp and to the point while answering. Format your answers well and help the examiners to cover more items on this table. Be ready with common instruments, gadgets, charts, and consumables like IOLS.

One last word. Presently the entire scheme of things appears to be Students friendly! You have ample chances to impress the examiners, scoring marks session by session. This is any day better than two major cases carrying hefty marks and you had to present them with all the fear and anxiety with high stakes! So ride the wave well and come out with flying colors. Be yourself. Be composed. Never lose common sense! It is okay to make mistakes( if you can correct it quickly with a sorry). The Golden rule remains that ‘Examiner is always right’. Let your confidence show up on your face. Keep a smile on your face always and the whole thing falls in place.

All the Best!

Dr. Krishnaprasad R
Director Academics & Training, Head . Dept of Glaucoma, M.M.Joshi Eye Institute group of Hospitals
Dr. R. Krishnaprasad is the head of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Glaucoma services in M. M. Joshi Eye Institute, a premier superspeciality Institute of North Karnataka. He has been in the forefront of Ophthalmic Education and has been spear heading the efforts of Post-Graduation Education and skill enhancement. Being the Best outgoing student of Karnataka University with 8 Gold Medals in MBBS, he completed his M. D. (Ophthalmology) from prestigious R. P. Centre, AIIMS with honours. He is the Director of Post Graduate Training and Fellowship programmes at M. M. Joshi Eye Institute, a niche area very close to his heart. He is the Deputy Director of Community services and has been working tirelessly on pediatric community ophthalmology projects. Dr. Krishnaprasad R. has held many positions of responsibility in local and state Ophthalmic associations. He has been the Chairman, Scientific committee of Karnataka Ophthalmic Society for two years and the Editor of state ophthalmic journal Chakshu for two years. He is the past president of Hubli Dharwad ophthalmic Association and the present secretary of Deccan Ophthalmic Association. Dr. Krishnaprasad has undergonea fellowship training in pediatric ophthalmology at Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina USA. He has three International publications and five National publications in peer renewed journals. Post-graduation Education has been the passion of Dr. Krishnaprasad. He has been a Post Graduate Teacher for last 20 years. He regularly conducts an unique 4 dayprogramme for training the exam going post graduates namely Eye to Eye with Examinations which has been running successfully for the last 11 years. He has been a member of AIOS Post Graduate Education Committee in the past and has been a regular Guest Faculty in all the National Level and State level postgraduate orientation programmes. He has more than 100 scientific presentations as lectures and panel discussions in various National & State conferences.
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