How to ace AIIMS SS: Strategy by 2021 GI Surgery Rank #2 holder with Surgtest

With the AIIMS SS and INI SS 2021 results being announced, we couldn’t have been more proud of our students winning laurels.
In an interview with Dr Dron Sharma, our most enthusiastic and sincere student, who bagged 2nd rank in AIIMS SS GI Surgery, we talked about his preparation strategy and his journey to GI surgery SS.
Let’s read this abridged article for major pointers on how he cracked the GI Surgery AIIMS SS exam.


Dr Dron Sharma completed his MBBS from RNT medical college, Udaipur in 2011 followed by MS in general surgery from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belgavi, Karnataka. He was a gold medalist too.
Initially, Dr Dron Sharma was interested in urology. But there was a development in his metier upon exposure to the wonders of Surgical Gastroenterology, that kindled his interest in GI Surgery.
He owes his inspiration to his mentor Dr Rahul Kenawadekar and is eternally grateful to him.

Overcoming setbacks:

Dr Dron Sharma shares that his journey hasn’t been an easy one but it was his sheer hard work and persistence that kept him motivated and ultimately led him to attain his goal.
During his initial days, he withstood two unsuccessful attempts during his journey. On his first attempt, he couldn’t qualify for the interview, whereas in his second attempt, he qualified for the interview but due to less number of seats couldn’t get through.
But we all know that hard work seldom goes to waste and in 2021, his efforts finally paid off when he ranked 2 in GI Surgery AIIMS SS consequently proving his mettle.
His zeal to overcome his failures is the fuel for his success.

Right resources and strategy:

Other than hard work, what helps is having a smart strategy.
Dr Dron Sharma subscribed to Surgtest for NEET SS in 2020, shortly after the launch of the platform.
He found the pre-recorded lectures to be very convenient, considering his busy schedule as a senior resident.
While strategizing for your preparations, it is important to focus on a few key tips.

Tip #1: Finding what works for you

Along with focusing on the right resources, aspirants must assess what works best for them. There’s no set route to success. So it’s important to find your way around things.
For eg: Dr Dron Sharma narrowed down his strategy to watch the recorded lecture videos on Surgtest first, followed by reading books retrospectively. He read important chapters and tables from Shackelford and Blumgart in detail. The Surgtest GI surgery video lectures gave him an insight into what was important in Shackelford and Blumgart. What this did for him was, narrow down important topics to study.

Tip #2: Practice, practice, practice:

There’s absolutely no alternative for this step. For practice, he suggests the use of Surgtest MCQ banks.
The MCQ banks on Surgtest entails 1800+ questions for GI surgery and around 2400+ questions for general surgery to help him master Sabiston, Shackelford and Blumgart. The multiple customized filters that can be applied on the MCQ Banks also immensely helped him in his revision.

Tip #3: Analyze past trends:

According to him, instead of diving into a vast syllabus, aspirants must analyze the past year papers and put maximum effort into high yield topics.
For example, while studying Blumgart Dr Dron Sharma focused on 15-20 chapters that were high yield according to his analysis.

Tip #4: Consistency:

There’s no other shortcut to success. Being an SR, despite his busy schedule, he maintained a consistent study plan of 6-8 hours daily, even stretching to 12-13 hours on weekends.

Tip #5: Avoid the detractors:

Preparing for NEET SS owing to its vast syllabus and exam level is an arduous task and some days a lack of motivation is inevitable. The important thing is to never let the lack of motivation withhold your efforts.
Dr Dron Sharma’s dedication to his field can be speculated by the fact that he has Thomas Starzl as his phone wallpaper and turned to his autobiography whenever he felt low and unmotivated.

Advice for future SS aspirants:

To all the aspirants going to attempt the AIIMS INI SS and NEET SS exam 2022, Dr Dron Sharma has the following advice:
One cannot stress this enough.
Dedicate a few days before exams solely for revision. Be thorough with your notes along with all the diagrams and CT Scan images of Bailey & Love. Tables from Sabiston are also super important for INI SS and NEET SS
Sabiston, Bailey & Love are the linchpins to cracking the NEET SS exam. But for the INI SS exam for surgical gastroenterology, Blumgart and Shackelford are a must.
Last but not the least, good rest!!
While we know you’re giving it your best, it is crucial to take care of your health. A day before the exam, take a break to lighten things up. Good sleep is crucial to do your best on the day of the exam.

Into the future:

Dr Dron has a strong intent to go back to his home to “serve his land and his soil” and it is evident with the passion with which he works for his goals. We at Surgtest for NEET SS couldn’t have been any more proud of him and wish him good luck on his journey.
You can watch the interview with Dr Dron Sharma sharing his valuable insights here.
Surgtest author bio

About the author | Sheetal

Sheetal is a content writer for Surgtest. Her expertise revolves around writing about the trends in NEET SS, INI SS and MRCS exams.