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By Dr. Dushyant, M.B.B.S

More than six lakh young people appeared for the All India Pre medical Examinations held this year. That’s a lot of brains competing for the miniscule (relatively speaking of course) number of M.B.B.S seats available in the country. Needless to say, one would have to achieve the perfect balance to ‘crack the PMTs’. I accept equilibrium is a toughie, but when you have your head and heart in the right place it comes pretty easy. Here’s my five points something…

  1. The drive: 
    Whether you wanted to be a doctor ever since you were five years old, or you are giving in to the pressure arising from various corners, you need to analyse the reasons before you’re too far out in the sea. Things have changed drastically from the days of yore, when doctors had their livelihood sorted out and were meted out a unique modicum of respect. While it’s still a distinguished field of work, make sure you’re attracted to it for the right reasons. And that you’re prepared to live the life of a doctor.  All this translates to being absolutely okay being woken up at 3AM to alleviate a party animal’s acid reflux, coming to terms with the death of an infant because he/she had a severe, unpredictable allergic reaction to an injection you had prescribed… The list is endless. One minute you’re indulging in trivialities of life, the next minute it’s a warzone! While it’s not meant to discourage young aspirants, it’s vital to do a little bit of soul searching before you take the metaphorical plunge. Being a doctor myself, it’s not surprising to see colleagues, who feel trapped and regretful, some even opting to take alternative routes midway. To sum it up, there’s no place for doubt.
  2. Start early:
    While there is a preposterously increasing trend of children barely into their teens being enrolled in coaching institutes, one does have to start early to get ahead in the mad race. To be specific, once you commence your high school, start preparing.
  3. Coaching Institutes:
    You’re never going to get anywhere in life if you don’t go out of your comfort zone and work hard to succeed. Not anywhere good, anyway. Of course, there are shortcuts that unabated supply of money can create, but for the middle class aspirants who form the majority…a proper direction is needed. Coaching Institutes are dime a dozen. Not really—a classroom course can set your hopeful parents back by a lakh approximately. When you look past the commercialised aspect of it, it’s evolved into a mandatory card up a Med-Nerd’s sleeve. With instant competition and tools for assessment, it provides you with that guidance your inexperienced and adolescent mind will benefit from. So, unless you’re unable to afford it or have commendable willpower and unwavering confidence to go the distance all by yourself…Join a premier institute and stick with the programme.
  4. Material The Coaching Institutes that I  subtly advertised for in the previous paragraph will chuck biblical amounts of study material at you .The Internet and print media will provide avenues as well. It’s your job to wade through the ocean of books to identify the material you have to stick by through your preparatory period. Many a time will a student innocently mug up volumes of books that in the long run will only serve as wastage of precious time!

    Just like a badly written article that lists 99 ways to crack PMTs, avoid them like the plague. The Plague is caused by the bacteria, Yersinia Pestis. There you go, you notice how this is an article unlike any other. If you don’t realise that by now, keep up.

  5. Effort: As if the previous four points didn’t require enough brain rattling effort, we saved the most herculean thing expected out of you for the last. 8-10 hours of concentrated study time will be expected day after day. Remember, you have to leave behind 99 other aspirants to secure that seat. If all this seems too much for your sub-20 year old self to handle, you don’t have what it takes. What? Did you say you’ll prove me wrong? Did you say you’ll not follow these points and carve your own path? Or did you just smirk and get right down to memorising the “classification of Plant kingdom”? If yes, you are already half-way there.

    Good luck, you’re going to need it. (Cynicism is a doctor’s trademark and you’re going to have to earn it)

P.S: Ahem, and because you may be motivated to pick up that book in earnest now here’s a list of reads that will help you along the way:

  • MTG NCERT at your Fingertips
  • Dinesh Objective books
  • Ncert course Books
  • Physics for you,Biology today and chemistry today monthly magazines 
  • Universal Self scorer
  • Previous Years Question papers