GUIDELINES FOR FCPS-I IN MEDICINE & ALLIED
While I was preparing fr my part one,I pledged to myself that I’m going to write down my experience with probably(or rather definitely) the most challenging exam I’ve taken till date
USMLE First Aid(Latest Edition)
Physiology: BRS Physiology (+Jaypee Physiology,if and wherever u feel the concept is lacking). It is a truly awesome book. The key is not to over-exert yourself for this subject yet be very clear about basic concepts n facts of physiology.
Pathology: BRS Pathology+ Golgan’s pathology (For Hematology n Hepatobiliary system ).Pathology is very important esp for paper 2 of Medicine in which you get scenarios. As Medicine is Patho+Pharma,soits better to invest a good deal of time in studying Pathology;with special emphasis on Renal n Endocrine systems.
Gross Anatomy: Snell’s Anatomy review
Big Snell for Abdomen + Pelvis Section(V. important for Medicine ppl) As regards limbs, Joint types are very important. Also are nerves(courses, branches etc), Arteries, veins, Lymphatics.
Histology: Selected topics from Laeeq’s Histology…For reference of what to do, see Murad’s questions of Histology Section and do those topics Also do the epithelium n glands’ chapter in Laeeq’s.
Embryology: Cover to cover 2-3 readings; last reading should be 1-2 days before exam…V.v Important
Neuroanatomy: I did from Hi-yield neuroanatomy. Some ppl do it from Kaplan’s Neuroanatomy. But I found Hi-yield sufficient. Especially important chapters are spinal cord n Brain stem (+injuries), Blood supply, Spinal tracts, n Receptors (V important). Don’t leave any chapter. U might get MCQs from basal ganglia, limbic system, cerebellum, hypothalamus/thalamus too. Get hold of Snell’s Neuroanatomy n do the chapter on brain stem cross sections from there, so that u get an idea that which structures lie at which level.
Pharmacology: General Pharma from Kaplan’s; Special Pharma from First Aid is sufficient.
Microbiology: First Aid more than enough. Multiple reads required as the subject is really volatile. Do memorize all facts given in First Aid.
Immunology: First Aid
Biostat: First Aid + Murad MCQs of Biostats
MCQ books: THE MOST important component of prep is the MCQ books. Get the latest editions of these. I did Murad n Chandkian’s and out of these two,I found the former better and comparatively more accurate. My Advice: Don’t miss out on Asim n Shoaib (I heard from my friends after the ppr that several questions in the paper actually were given in this book n not the others) Needless to say, all MCQ Books have lot many mistakes. Ideally, near the exam u should be able to identify by urself which questions are wrongly answered in the MCQ books.
TIME REQUIRED Varies from person to person!! On an average time for prep varies from 2 to 6 months. There is no hard n fast rule. The target should be that you are able to to all other books -70% of MCQ books questions correctly , in the first go.
PAST PAPERS Do practice last 3 past papers from Net. That for the coming exam means the past papers of Nov 2012, March 2013 and June 2013. Link to the past papers: http://docs.com/Docs/126923170736450 FACEBOOK PAGES
FCPS Q bank is the most popular one. U may join other groups. It does help.
3-MONTH STUDY PLAN (MY CASE INFACT!)
Month 1: Pharmacology, Pathology n physiology (from the books mentioned above)…I used to do each chapter n then give a read to the same topic from First Aid. Then, I added stuff from individual books to my first Aid..It helps a lot during the last month, when u r doing just the first Aid and have no time to revise the individual books.
Month 2: Anatomy including Embryo n Histo, Biochem, Biostats, Microbiology n Immunology
Month 3: First Aid revision plus MCQ books…Mark the questions which u find difficult in the first Go…During the 2nd read, u can put more emphasis on memorizing these. Last 1 week: Just MCQ books
The Key to Success is REVISION. It’s really important as much of that knowledge is really volatile and to make it sink in ur brain, you’ve got to go through everything at least thrice!! It is said that
FCPS-1 is a non-standardized exam, designed to fail rather than pass candidates. It is also said that they test your luck rather than your knowledge. Sadly, this is true!!(to some extent, if not completely). It is normal to feel frustrated and at a loss, more so during the last few weeks…But I think, with planning, hard-work n perseverance you can increase the chances of clearing this exam by manifolds. Just stay away from Panic…N Keep your spirits high!!
Good Luck!! Dr.Noor ul Ain Azam