My PMDC part II experience

Inam Zia

New Member
I cleared all PMDC steps in 1 go Alhumdullilah. And I have been meaning to write a personal experience that would benefit a lot of happy care free type personality students who have been doing well in their undergraduate years. NOT!! Well I am exactly the opposite kind if you haven’t guessed already and this experience of mine should benefit almost everyone.

I will start with a few confessions. I had been better than an average medical student at University until the first 4 years but just quiet. I was never a book worm and had my fair share of days when books would take second priority. In the last year which is usually filled with lots of distractions I did not study as much as I would have liked in the retrospective. I had gone through Kaplans for step 1 for each subject except behavioral sciences atleast once in my 3rd year. I didn’t touch them after that. I did not do STEP 2 kaplans even once before my preparation.

So let’s start. This is my Part 2 experience and it was made easy because I was already on a bit of a roll after clearing my Part 1 NEB in OCT 2012. So I intended to be serious about the Part 2 exam held on March 18th.

However I got busy with family matters and only seriously started studying when 25 days were left for the exam. The only hope that I had and kept telling myself was that I needee only 50% to pass. And Allah helped me achieve that.

Total preparation: 25days
Material covered: All major subjects except ENT, OPTHA, Behavioral sciences
You can imagine i had no time for parrot memorization of fancy stuff ( names of procedure, irrelevant statistics etc) so straight away I made a schedule giving 3 days to each subject to revise the most common and frequently tested diseases and conditions in the following order
Disease name
Incidence if important ex downs syndrome
Pathophysiolgy
Signs and symptoms
Treatment both medical and surgical

In the first week i read only First AID for step 2ck to familiarize myself with the subjects. This is an absolute gem going into the exam. Guys if you know this book top to bottom believe me you can score atleast 75% in this exam.

MEDICINE: I had used Goljan rapid review during my study for part 1 so I revised that. Looked up a few topics from Kaplan cardio. I did not use Davidsons at all as some people had recommended.
Inam Danish... never read. Never heard anyone recommending it for anything except stroke topics. but i think other books can cover for it. so i will really not recommend it during exam prep.
During exam I found the MCQs very easy and had no problems with them . They were very straight forward. Medicine SEQ’s is what you should watch out for. Out of the 3 SEQ’s I diagnosed 2 of them properly and could write well only about 2. I had no idea how to treat dermatomyositis, the first question. I found this section very hard and demoralizing. However I wrote what I could and moved forward to come back and fill in if I remembered something during the exam.

SURGERY: I looked up a few topics in surgery from Essentials of surgery by shamim. I was very satisfied with this book. After the exam i think my experience vindicated it that this is a good book and I think every student must read it. I found it to be better than Dogar or Bailey&love and other books because it is concise and doesn’t give unnecessary details.
During exam I found the MCQ’s too be moderately easy. Nevertheless I scored very well in them after I checked my answer key. SEQ’s were a joy and as soon as I saw trauma case I was very relieved and filled the entire 2 pages of my sheet. Dysphagia and breast CA were also very common cases and I had prepared well for these commonalities. So I found it very easy to get going in this section.

PAEDIATRICS ...I would just say 2 words KAPLAN and PERVEZ Akbar
Kaplan is very easy, short, to the point, and easy to revise. So use it definitely.
Pervez Akbar at first is an extremely confusing book, totally cramming type, and I thought it was good for nothing. However i realized that IMCI guidelines are very good in pervez akbar. Also vaccinations schedule and some small topics related to medicine and public health of pediatric population is only given in Pervez Akbar. Vitamin deficiencies is another topic to study from this book. Over all a good book if you have time but don’t touch it close to the exam or you will have nothing short of nausea. Selective reading would be the best way forward.
Overall i would advise everyone to concentrate more on IMCI and neonatology for pediatrics because everything else will be covered in medicine.
During exam, The MCQs were again very good, but I found a few that were recall type and I didn’t know them. One or two of them asked the ideal weight of a 6 year old child and I didn’t remember the formula to calculate it. SEQs had one question straight out of IMCI and I found it very easy. The second question was from neonatology. I had studied both topics in detail so I wrote a lot and provided extra information where I could.

OB/Gyne:
I read Williams obstetrics and Novaks gynecology during last year of medical school, only the important topics. I didn’t touch these books during the exam prepration.
For this exam kaplan all the way.
Dont even think about books like Arshad Chouhan unless you have time for months of preparation The problem is its a long book, more details than required, and good for girls who want to go for gynae/obs in future. This is like a typical pakistani book with pointers and easy cramming stuff. Hard to revise in 1 day esp gynae. So once again Kaplan all the way. Its concise, well written and to the point. Good for both MCQs and SEQs.
During exam I had skipped beats at every MCQ that I read. It was really hard and I didn’t know a lot of information even though I consider myself to have adequate knowledge of OB/GYN. My answer key confirmed my fears later. I scored only 58% MCQs correctly. My lowest of all the subjects, darn!. I was disappointed. But I think if I couldn’t score, a lot of people could not as well. So it was a consolation.
Among SEQs the first question was very confusing. It asked about Secondary dysmenorrhea, but I thought it was secondary amenorrhea and so I got the whole question wrong. The second question was on graves thyrotoxicosis in pregnancy and I think they took it overboard since it is not a common disease and I didn’t study for it. So over all I did pretty bad at OB/GYN.

ENT: I purchased Dhingra about a week before the exam and read only 2 topics from it due to lack of prepration time. Acute tonsilittis and Sinusitis. I went it to the exam not knowing much about it.
During exam, I found the MCQs very easy to deal with and very common that could be attempted with basic knowledge. SEQ question was also very easy on LARYNGEAL CA and I wrote about it having read it in surgery from SHAMIM. I didn’t write anything wholly pertinent to ENT other than basics of treatment. I also did not know the names of any laryngectomy procedure.

OPTHA: I didn’t purchase any book on in. I didn’t read anything on it as well. ( setting up a bad example )
During exam MCQs were again very easy about conjunctivitis and common questions on glaucoma. Out of 5 I scored 4 correctly so that was not something that I expected. I left the SEQ question because I could not diagnose it. Some said it was uveitis and some said other things I had never heard of. Yeah I suck at this subject. Anyway I left it blank.

PSYCH : I also did not devout more than half a day on the day before the exam when I reached Islamabad. I used Kaplan and revised a few important topics like psychosis, schizophrenia, depression and mania.
The MCQs were very easy on this subject and anyone who passed this subject during med school could have got them right. SEQ was on schizophrenia and I attempted it well since it was one of the common and must know diseases.

DERMATOLOGY: I read this topic form GOLJAN and gave it 1 full day. I think the diagnosis was Henoch Shonloen purpura which I had read in hematology so it was easy to write about. I don’t remember much about the MCQs from this topic.

After the first 3 hrs of SEQ I was not satisfied because I had got a couple of things wrong after discussing with my friend and my sister (yes we graduated in the same batch and no we are not twins). I was determined to do well in MCQs so that I can cross the 50% mark set by PMDC.
After MCQs I was a little more satisfied and relaxed. I was anxiously waiting for the key to come out and I score 91/150 MCQs correctly. So I felt a little confident thereafter.
Remember everyone has a different way of preparing for the exam. Even if you ask me today based on my experience I will tell you that you can do without ENT, OPTHA, PSYCH and DERMA. I won’t ask you to follow it. But there are some students who don’t have time and give up even though they have 1 month. Please follow my advice if you are one of them. InshALLAh you will nail this exam to the core.

A few tips from the exam:
1) No amount of preparation time is less. If I could do it in 25 days you can too.
2) Don’t panic even if you don’t know. Write what you can and move on. There will always be a question that you know fully well.
3) If you can’t score well in SEQ then try your best in MCQ. Remember all you need is a 50% aggregate to pass. And vice versa works too.
4) You must know the most common conditions for every subject during the exam
5) Ok most important one. Don’t listen to the people sitting around you. In my experience most of them are wrong. I was tempted in one of my Medicine SEQ to change my answer by listening to people around me. Thank God I didn’t. Because all of them were wrong and I was correct. And guess what most of them failed the exam. So please trust yourself and your knowledge.
6) I did not join the academy. There are other posts in this group tackling this issue.
There are some students who really don’t have the money to join the academy. They charge exorbitant amount of fees. Please don’t let yourself down by thinking that. They don’t teach you anything new in academies. I would not recommend it. If you can’t study at home seriously then you won’t study in the academy also.
7) You need to give yourself hope. Make lines for yourself that should swipe away the negative emotions during prep or exam time. Mine was,’’ Hey I need only 50% to pass’’
8) Lastly pray to ALLAh to ease your burden. Be Sincere and Allah will help you.
-Suno subki karo apni- Love that line
Dr. Inam Zia
 
Last edited by a moderator:

drwatson

CEO
Administrator
Global Moderator
Thanks for posting your experience here.
I have moved your thread to the right place (personal experiences)
 

Dr.AlishA

New Member
I cleared all PMDC steps in 1 go Alhumdullilah. And I have been meaning to write a personal experience that would benefit a lot of happy care free type personality students who have been doing well in their undergraduate years. NOT!! Well I am exactly the opposite kind if you haven’t guessed already and this experience of mine should benefit almost everyone.

I will start with a few confessions. I had been better than an average medical student at University until the first 4 years but just quiet. I was never a book worm and had my fair share of days when books would take second priority. In the last year which is usually filled with lots of distractions I did not study as much as I would have liked in the retrospective. I had gone through Kaplans for step 1 for each subject except behavioral sciences atleast once in my 3rd year. I didn’t touch them after that. I did not do STEP 2 kaplans even once before my preparation.

So let’s start. This is my Part 2 experience and it was made easy because I was already on a bit of a roll after clearing my Part 1 NEB in OCT 2012. So I intended to be serious about the Part 2 exam held on March 18th.

However I got busy with family matters and only seriously started studying when 25 days were left for the exam. The only hope that I had and kept telling myself was that I needee only 50% to pass. And Allah helped me achieve that.

Total preparation: 25days
Material covered: All major subjects except ENT, OPTHA, Behavioral sciences
You can imagine i had no time for parrot memorization of fancy stuff ( names of procedure, irrelevant statistics etc) so straight away I made a schedule giving 3 days to each subject to revise the most common and frequently tested diseases and conditions in the following order
Disease name
Incidence if important ex downs syndrome
Pathophysiolgy
Signs and symptoms
Treatment both medical and surgical

In the first week i read only First AID for step 2ck to familiarize myself with the subjects. This is an absolute gem going into the exam. Guys if you know this book top to bottom believe me you can score atleast 75% in this exam.

MEDICINE: I had used Goljan rapid review during my study for part 1 so I revised that. Looked up a few topics from Kaplan cardio. I did not use Davidsons at all as some people had recommended.
Inam Danish... never read. Never heard anyone recommending it for anything except stroke topics. but i think other books can cover for it. so i will really not recommend it during exam prep.
During exam I found the MCQs very easy and had no problems with them . They were very straight forward. Medicine SEQ’s is what you should watch out for. Out of the 3 SEQ’s I diagnosed 2 of them properly and could write well only about 2. I had no idea how to treat dermatomyositis, the first question. I found this section very hard and demoralizing. However I wrote what I could and moved forward to come back and fill in if I remembered something during the exam.

SURGERY: I looked up a few topics in surgery from Essentials of surgery by shamim. I was very satisfied with this book. After the exam i think my experience vindicated it that this is a good book and I think every student must read it. I found it to be better than Dogar or Bailey&love and other books because it is concise and doesn’t give unnecessary details.
During exam I found the MCQ’s too be moderately easy. Nevertheless I scored very well in them after I checked my answer key. SEQ’s were a joy and as soon as I saw trauma case I was very relieved and filled the entire 2 pages of my sheet. Dysphagia and breast CA were also very common cases and I had prepared well for these commonalities. So I found it very easy to get going in this section.

PAEDIATRICS ...I would just say 2 words KAPLAN and PERVEZ Akbar
Kaplan is very easy, short, to the point, and easy to revise. So use it definitely.
Pervez Akbar at first is an extremely confusing book, totally cramming type, and I thought it was good for nothing. However i realized that IMCI guidelines are very good in pervez akbar. Also vaccinations schedule and some small topics related to medicine and public health of pediatric population is only given in Pervez Akbar. Vitamin deficiencies is another topic to study from this book. Over all a good book if you have time but don’t touch it close to the exam or you will have nothing short of nausea. Selective reading would be the best way forward.
Overall i would advise everyone to concentrate more on IMCI and neonatology for pediatrics because everything else will be covered in medicine.
During exam, The MCQs were again very good, but I found a few that were recall type and I didn’t know them. One or two of them asked the ideal weight of a 6 year old child and I didn’t remember the formula to calculate it. SEQs had one question straight out of IMCI and I found it very easy. The second question was from neonatology. I had studied both topics in detail so I wrote a lot and provided extra information where I could.

OB/Gyne:
I read Williams obstetrics and Novaks gynecology during last year of medical school, only the important topics. I didn’t touch these books during the exam prepration.
For this exam kaplan all the way.
Dont even think about books like Arshad Chouhan unless you have time for months of preparation The problem is its a long book, more details than required, and good for girls who want to go for gynae/obs in future. This is like a typical pakistani book with pointers and easy cramming stuff. Hard to revise in 1 day esp gynae. So once again Kaplan all the way. Its concise, well written and to the point. Good for both MCQs and SEQs.
During exam I had skipped beats at every MCQ that I read. It was really hard and I didn’t know a lot of information even though I consider myself to have adequate knowledge of OB/GYN. My answer key confirmed my fears later. I scored only 58% MCQs correctly. My lowest of all the subjects, darn!. I was disappointed. But I think if I couldn’t score, a lot of people could not as well. So it was a consolation.
Among SEQs the first question was very confusing. It asked about Secondary dysmenorrhea, but I thought it was secondary amenorrhea and so I got the whole question wrong. The second question was on graves thyrotoxicosis in pregnancy and I think they took it overboard since it is not a common disease and I didn’t study for it. So over all I did pretty bad at OB/GYN.

ENT: I purchased Dhingra about a week before the exam and read only 2 topics from it due to lack of prepration time. Acute tonsilittis and Sinusitis. I went it to the exam not knowing much about it.
During exam, I found the MCQs very easy to deal with and very common that could be attempted with basic knowledge. SEQ question was also very easy on LARYNGEAL CA and I wrote about it having read it in surgery from SHAMIM. I didn’t write anything wholly pertinent to ENT other than basics of treatment. I also did not know the names of any laryngectomy procedure.

OPTHA: I didn’t purchase any book on in. I didn’t read anything on it as well. ( setting up a bad example )
During exam MCQs were again very easy about conjunctivitis and common questions on glaucoma. Out of 5 I scored 4 correctly so that was not something that I expected. I left the SEQ question because I could not diagnose it. Some said it was uveitis and some said other things I had never heard of. Yeah I suck at this subject. Anyway I left it blank.

PSYCH : I also did not devout more than half a day on the day before the exam when I reached Islamabad. I used Kaplan and revised a few important topics like psychosis, schizophrenia, depression and mania.
The MCQs were very easy on this subject and anyone who passed this subject during med school could have got them right. SEQ was on schizophrenia and I attempted it well since it was one of the common and must know diseases.

DERMATOLOGY: I read this topic form GOLJAN and gave it 1 full day. I think the diagnosis was Henoch Shonloen purpura which I had read in hematology so it was easy to write about. I don’t remember much about the MCQs from this topic.

After the first 3 hrs of SEQ I was not satisfied because I had got a couple of things wrong after discussing with my friend and my sister (yes we graduated in the same batch and no we are not twins). I was determined to do well in MCQs so that I can cross the 50% mark set by PMDC.
After MCQs I was a little more satisfied and relaxed. I was anxiously waiting for the key to come out and I score 91/150 MCQs correctly. So I felt a little confident thereafter.
Remember everyone has a different way of preparing for the exam. Even if you ask me today based on my experience I will tell you that you can do without ENT, OPTHA, PSYCH and DERMA. I won’t ask you to follow it. But there are some students who don’t have time and give up even though they have 1 month. Please follow my advice if you are one of them. InshALLAh you will nail this exam to the core.

A few tips from the exam:
1) No amount of preparation time is less. If I could do it in 25 days you can too.
2) Don’t panic even if you don’t know. Write what you can and move on. There will always be a question that you know fully well.
3) If you can’t score well in SEQ then try your best in MCQ. Remember all you need is a 50% aggregate to pass. And vice versa works too.
4) You must know the most common conditions for every subject during the exam
5) Ok most important one. Don’t listen to the people sitting around you. In my experience most of them are wrong. I was tempted in one of my Medicine SEQ to change my answer by listening to people around me. Thank God I didn’t. Because all of them were wrong and I was correct. And guess what most of them failed the exam. So please trust yourself and your knowledge.
6) I did not join the academy. There are other posts in this group tackling this issue.
There are some students who really don’t have the money to join the academy. They charge exorbitant amount of fees. Please don’t let yourself down by thinking that. They don’t teach you anything new in academies. I would not recommend it. If you can’t study at home seriously then you won’t study in the academy also.
7) You need to give yourself hope. Make lines for yourself that should swipe away the negative emotions during prep or exam time. Mine was,’’ Hey I need only 50% to pass’’
8) Lastly pray to ALLAh to ease your burden. Be Sincere and Allah will help you.
-Suno subki karo apni- Love that line
Dr. Inam Zia
 
Thanks for posting your pmdc step 2 experience.how did you prepare for pmdc step 1?how to prepare for pmdc step 1 especially MCQS paper?
 
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