My experience of FCPS-1 medicine- February 2014
My experience of part one :
I started studying after my house job finished in mid august. I was supposed to appear in November 2013 however I was late in getting my pmdc certificate (didn't know an application would do the job). However I was mentally satisfied that I wouldn't have to prepare like crazy for 2 months and had time till February 2014 to prepare.
I had asked Alot of seniors during my house job to guide me but I strongly suggest to follow those people who've given their part one recently (new mcq books come out which our seniors may not know of) and ask as many people as possible. This should all be done during your house job and preferably purchase all the books too. Some people are able to study during their private jobs after house job however I couldn't even study properly during my really light 2 months plastic surgery rotation. But I was able to build some momentum. My actual studies started at the end of august. My colleague was appearing in the November exam and he was doing mcqs from chandkins and asim and shoaib. He used to ask me all the difficult questions and I used to research them on the net and as I had plenty of time I used to read the material extensively. I used to write the statement and search in Google books (http://books.google.com.pk/) as Internet forums can be unreliable. This confirmed the answer and I knew that this was written in proper medical books. Searching this way saved time opening books and searching from them.
I used to wake up at 10am start anatomy from mini snells, physiology from BRS, pathology from BRS. I did modular study. That is, if I studied thorax from mini snells and high yield embryo, then I used to do cvs and respiratory from brs at the same time.I didn't open first aid till I had done the aforementioned books thrice.
I also used to spend two hours doing questions from asim and shoiab. And I used to research difficult questions for at least an hour that my colleague had problems in.
Then in mid september I started Dr rabbia alis secrets of Fcps mcqs... They're all topic wise with more complete statements and a majority of the answers are correct. I also started doing first aid, that too was modular... Thorax from mini snells, respiratory and cvs from brs pathology and physiology . I did endo,cvs and renal physiology from usmle kaplan series in addition to brs. I did neuroanatomy from kaplan anatomy book and made my own notes (lesions and pathways). I also started writing the difficult mcq statements in first aid and highlighting them with a marker different from the routine highlighters. This was the most useful thing I did!
After completing all the mcqs (even gynae /obs and ophthalmology) I covered the topics like pharma and microbiology from first aid...
By the end of December I had finished Dr rabbia ali (around 6000 mcqs) and written all the difficult mcqs in first aid. I also highlighted the statements of first aid that came in mcqs.
Then I closed brs. I revised a few conceptual topics like cvs renal and endo from kaplan physio. I then started ruttofying first aid, every topic even bio stats (even though I didn't understand jack of that :p). I did everything except the metabolism pathways and pharma part of every system which I didn't highlight, I did read it but didn't ruttofy it.
My colleague then advised me to do chandkins. As I had already done Dr rabbia ali, that took just 10 days (along with ruttofying first aid). But it was very useful. Some questions that Dr rabbia ali had skipped were mentioned in this book and I was able to revise all the mcqs again. I did all the past papers (surgery, gynae, eye, radiology). By the end of January I had done all the past paper mcqs twice, and revised first aid innumerable times. As I had written the difficult mcqs in first aid they were all on my fingertips. I never missed revising anatomy a single day. I used the same MCQ highlighting tecnique there, I used to write all the mcqs in mini snells and highlight the statements of mini snells too that were in the past questions. I made note of nerves, their paths and the nerve supply of all the muscles of upper lower limb. I combined my anatomy with high yield embryo. That was really helpful, especially in head and neck. I wrote all the past paper histo mcq statements in Muhammad amirs histology and the general anatomy mcqs statements in laiq Hussain.
In the last two weeks, I absolutely had nothing to do so I started writing all the highlighted mcq statements in first aid and mini snell ( after doing kaplan neuroanatomy twice , I only did neuroanatomy from first aid).
I also did the cpsp online exams. Always do one subject twice. For example if you do a medicine exam as soon as you see your result start it again. Some questions are new and this way you're able to do around 150 questions, a few of which even have wrong answers. Do all the subjects, even eye. There's no need to memorise the statements that can't possibly come in medicine. But I did read the statement once.
A week before the exam I literally used to study 6-8 hours a day and sleep the rest of the time. I knew almost everything but kept writing important points and revising. I didn't become over confident because I knew this exam was unpredictable and a lot of my class fellows a few of whom were gold medalists in UHS prof exams had flunked the November exam (mainly because they were working along with preparing). 4 days before the exam I did mini snells again, it took me two days and the whole of first aid in a day. I mainly concentrated on mcq statements but also looked at the text I had not highlighted.
On the night before the exam I took a 6.25 mg zolpidem tablet and went to sleep at 9pm.i woke up the following morning at 6am,had a heavy breakfast just had a peek at only nerve fibers types and went to pearl continental at 7:15am without my books. I was completely fresh and relaxed.
In paper one, I managed to do all the questions in an hour. I didn't know 5 questions. I rechecked my paper and managed to recall 3 of the questions I had missed. Then I re checked again and was able to recall one more. I rechecked again and again (at least 4-5 more times) but couldn't recall that single questions answer so I just guessed, very wisely. I gave my paper in 10 min before time because I was confident that no question had been ignored and I knew each statement by heart and was certain that these were correct.
I then had a good lunch. I didn't open any books. After half an hour I went to my car and I reclined the seat and slept for a good 30 min. Then I went to the bathroom to freshen up, bought a can of coke, took 5 huge gulps and threw the rest away. I was absolutely fresh in the second part too. I completed the questions in an hour and a half. I didn't know 10 questions. But with successive rechecking I was able to get 4-5. I couldn't answer 5 questions in the end so I made educated guesses and after multiple rechecking I handed my paper in 10 min before the time and walked out with a huge smile.
I'm a supply holder,I failed anatomy written in first year, anatomy viva second year, forensic viva in third year and surgery viva in final year.
I had a DC in final year, I was involved in all extra curricular activities during my college life and never cared about studying.
But to be very honest, the last exam in which I Walked out with a smiling face was in my o levels. And this is considered to be the hardest and toughest exam.
Moral: don't undermine yourself but dont be too overconfident either.
Here's a summary of the books for medicine :
Embryo : high yield
Anatomy :mini snells (I did thorax and GiT from klm too, didn't find that very useful). Mcqs of mini snells and big snells. Fcps copies the exact same questions.
Neuroanatomy : kaplan usmle, but make your notes.. Revise kaplan twice or thrice but then only do what's in first aid during the last two months.
Physio :brs plus kaplan (for renal, endo, cvs)
cell repair from goljaan
I closed brs physio or pathology when I had 6 weeks left in the exam. the neuroanatomy section of BRS is the only portion i needed to memorise again and again
Histo: Muhammad amir
General anatomy :laiq hussain
Mcq books : secrets of Fcps by Dr rabbia ali (the mcqs r topic wise). Finish this at least 6 weeks before your exam.
Chandkins mcqs... Do these when you've completed Dr rabbia ali and memorised first aid. i also did azeem sheikhs past papers section,medicine, physio and patho 2 weeks before the exam
Keep an ipad or your laptop next to you at all time when attempting mcqs, don't follow Internet forums. Search in Google books instead. Keep searching till you get the exact statement.
With this preparation you can't possibly fail. You need 5 months, out of which 3 months are very crucial.
I never compromised on my sleep, once a week outing with family or friends or my Saturday night movie (even 3 days before the exam)
Sleep well, and enjoy your preparation. Working with a job is impossible for me, however people are different. See if you can manage at least 6 months before your exam. Being unemployed and sitting at home as it's advantages but everyone of his / her compulsions. It's best to give at least 3 months undisturbed to this exam. Its preparation requires focused attention. Jobs and marriage are the most common reasons people don't pass it. This is a tough exam,but it's possible provided you've the will power to lock yourself in your room and study at least 6 days a week.
Direction is very important...There's no need to do pretest or usmle world questions . Do the aforementioned past paper books and you won't have any issue.
Fcps no doubt has terrible questions like the half life of cobalt or the half life of desmethyl diazepam but there's a method to this madness...memorise every statement,don't follow the mcq books answers blindly and immediately confirm from the Internet if you've any doubt.
best of luck
Posted by: omar_575 Posts: 2 :: 01-03-2014 :: | Reply to this Message