Dr.Megha MBBS, MS (Gold medallist), DNB ( Gold medallist), FICO completed her post-graduation from Mysore Medical College & Research Institute in 2017. She did her fellowship in Glaucoma from Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry and continuing to work there as a glaucoma consultant. She has received Gold medal from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka for securing highest marks in MS examination in May 2017. She has also received gold medal from the Mysore Ophthalmic Association. She has also received Dr. G. Venkataswamy Gold Medal for securing the highest mark in the DNB examination in Dec 2017 session. She was the winner of the Erudio quiz in 2017 and was given the grant to attend the APAO 2017 conference in Singapore. She has also won various quiz competitions in-state conference, AIOS ARC CME and CME, Ophthalmology, MMC&RI. She has presented posters and papers in conferences. She is a lifetime member of All India Ophthalmological Society and Karnataka Ophthalmic Society. Dr. Mgha was kind enough to talk toeOphthaand share her experience during his post-graduation.
eOphtha:Congratulations Dr. Megha !! Tell us how did you prepare for your examination?
Dr.Megha.G: I am really grateful that I did my post-graduation from Mysore Medical College & Research Institute and glaucoma fellowship from Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry two of the most prestigious institutes.
What works for me might not work for you. Everyone has their own method of studying. But I feel the Patient is your first teacher. Try to do a complete workup of interesting cases with diagrams and discuss it with your colleagues and seniors. There may be clinical findings or differentials you might have missed. The same evening, go through theory part of the same and teach it to your juniors the next day. The more you teach the more you learn. At MMC& RI we had seminars/ journals/ case presentations 4 to 5 times a week and also, we were constantly brainstormed in the OPD / OT / ward rounds so we had to come prepared for the same so that we don’t cut a sorry figure.
Start collecting materials like articles, PPTs, word documents, and notes right from the beginning. Start collecting cases, articles for your thesis, filling the master chart as soon as your protocol is submitted. If you have an optometrist doing the refraction, which is the case usually practice refraction on patients. Don’t miss opportunities to attend quiz/conferences. Take FAT exams seriously.
For the final exams, I feel 4-5 months are needed for the 1st read along with the hospital duties and 1 whole month for revision. Going through previous question papers of at least 10 years is really important. For which eophtha.com is really useful especially for DNB candidates. Whenever you get time in OPDs or night duties when you don’t feel like studying, segregate the questions topic-wise and also mark how frequently the question is asked. This will be really helpful to know which part to stress on while studying and revising. In the same book also you can jot down from where you read each topic.
My first reading is usually slow since I tend to refer 2-3 books for a single topic if it’s important and then I revise once. However, few fast readers can have 2-3 revisions. Keep 1 book as “Base book” and whatever extra points u read from other sources write it down / stick notes onto the base book. For a few topics, you may feel the other book is better. Then make that the base book for that topic and make sure to write down from where you read that. Making notes has never been my forte, however for a few topics where you need to organize from multiple books ‘Notes’ are the way to go. You can even take help from your batchmates/juniors and divide the topics to make notes. I found combined study/discussions every once in a while, for volatile topics and venting out those exam frustrations helpful. Few topics which are difficult to remember, which don’t have concepts or are basically just facts or names I used to create stories/mnemonics, write them down on paper and stick it on my wall so that I can go through them frequently. Practice important anatomy and surgical diagrams like eyelid, retina, orbit, etc one of which will surely be asked.
Everything said and done, I feel however brilliantly you write the theory; marks of everyone hover around the average marks. It’s the practicals where you can actually score.
eOphtha:What all textbooks you have studied during post-graduation.
Dr.Megha.G: Unlike other subjects, in Ophthalmology, there is no single book in which you can read everything. I had Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology as my base book mainly for Retina, Uvea, Neurophthalmology, Orbit, and Oculoplasty
DOS articles are a must. But you really have to sort out the important ones. Seniors may be of help. Take print outs
Anatomy - A K Khurana
Squint- A K Khurana, Pradeep Sharma
Optics – A K Khurana, Elkington, PPTs
Glaucoma – Shield’s
Orbit surgeries – Collin’s
Neurophthalmology – Aravind’s book of neurophthalmology
Zia Chaudhry – Keratoplasty
Recent advances – Nema, AIOS ready reckoner
Yanoff – Cataract, IOLs
AAO BCSC – I believe they are good however I only went through the MCQs at the end for quiz competition
AK Khurana book for undergraduates – don’t underestimate this book. Had read almost the whole book especially conjunctiva, cornea, trauma, pharmacology, community ophthalmology, practical points
Handbook of Clinical Trials – Especially for DNB candidates since they are more frequently asked about trials
Practical ophthalmology by Namrata Sharma
eOphtha:How should one proceed to prepare for the DNB ophthalmology examination? Tips for postgraduate students
Dr.Megha.G:I went through my class notes of 3 years at least twice. The professors are going to ask you the same questions that were asked/ taught in class. If you were asked to find answers for questions do find them
DURING THEORY EXAMS
Calm yourself down. Carry all necessary stationery. You can keep a standard format for diseases example – Incidence, etiopathogenesis, classification, clinical features, management – investigations, medical & surgical, differential diagnosis. Time management is of utmost essence. Make sure you attempt all questions. For DNB, 10 questions in 180 minutes. So, keep a watch on time & don’t exceed 16-18 min even if you want to write more on a topic. You can come back for it at the end if you leave a page or 2 empty. Write in points, don’t miss important points, to underline them, and to draw as many diagrams as possible.
For DNB students, since you have a few months to forget what you had read for the theory it would be wise to brush through the important topics again before practicals.
Practice refraction. Present as many cases especially frequently asked ones. Since you will get very little time to take the case it’s better to be thorough of negative history and salient points that you cannot afford to miss in a particular case.
Glaucoma: POAG, PXFG, Post Trabeculectomy, NVG
Cornea: Keratoconus, Ulcer, Post keratoplasty, dystrophy
Retina: DR (For sure), RVO, RD, macular hole
Neurophthalmology: 3rd, 6th nerve palsy
Uvea: Anterior/ posterior uveitis
Orbit: Proptosis, ptosis, malignancies, lid diseases
Carry all stationaries. Be confident while answering. At the same time don’t be rude towards the examiner. Don’t lose heart even if you are giving a second attempt.
eOphtha:How did your parents, family, and friends contribute to your success?
Dr.Megha.G:I would really like to thank God almighty, my patients, teachers, parents, husband, and friends who have helped and supported me all along. Also, thanks to eophtha.com for giving me this opportunity to share my experience.