How To Prepare For MCh Surgical Oncology: Get your Dream branch in INISS

With the onset of a new session, a lot of aspirants are gearing themselves up for MCh Surgical Oncology preparation.
Getting a seat in MCh surgical oncology is a dream of a huge number of aspirants. Deemed as one of the most esteemed super specialities, it is a highly coveted branch & a discipline that is intrinsically tough.
These are not mere speculations. The ambit of Surgical Oncology is inherently massive.
With surgical oncology, you can explore the entire gamut of surgical discipline with utmost passion
“Surgical oncology holds in itself the fundamental essence of science. It is the only branch that is continuously evolving & adapting.”
No wonder it is one of the most exciting & desired branches.

How to prepare for MCh Surgical Oncology?

Though being an insanely competitive branch, top ranks are tough to secure in the absence of an effective preparation strategy & sheer commitment.
This coupled with a limited number of seats (Least number of seats when compared to other high demand branches like urology, gastrology) every year, requires utmost commitment from aspirants to beat the odds stacked against them.
Though being fairly tough, it’s not something entirely insurmountable. Our students at Surgtest have shown multiple times that with the right strategy & commitment, you sure can pave a way to achieve your goal
In this article, we interview our toppers of AIIMS SS Surgical Oncology to present you with tips on how to effectively prepare to bag a Surgical Oncology seat.

Best Books for MCh Surgical Oncology

To get into an MCh for surgical oncology, there are primarily a few exams like AIIMS SS, INI SS & NEET SS.
To succeed in any of these exams, you need a correct stratagem for tackling the scope of questions asked in each of these examinations.

Now if we look at NEET SS

The exam contains questions focused primarily on general surgery concepts by the latest pattern change.

Moving on to INI SS & AIIMS SS

In addition to the above-mentioned books, you need to be thorough with additional textbooks that include:
The fact central to succeeding in surgical oncology is to always be updated on the latest advancements & guidelines concerned with the discipline which are continually changing.
Surgtest is a platform that aims to simplify your preparation by offering a one-stop destination for your learning needs by providing immersive lectures, recorded video lectures & by providing guidance.
Additionally, you may know all your notes by heart but won’t be able to apply them in MCQs if you don’t practice them enough. Therefore, practising is a crucial & unskippable part of your preparation.
The MCQ banks for surgical oncology with 1000+ questions are designed in a way to build upon your concepts & stimulate your brain cells to imbibe the maximum information through this concept building.
Additionally, our question banks also cover tables & figures in their entirety. If you analyze the previous years’ papers, you’ll notice that examiners tend to pick MCQ type questions from tables, figures and charts in standard textbooks.
Because of our firm belief in a smart strategy, references are included in the app so that you don’t have to waste your time rummaging through the pages of ginormous textbooks every time you are unable to answer the given questions.

The video lectures contain 80 hours of well-curated lectures that cover core concepts in Onco Surgery.

The course is conducted by Surgtest expert cancer surgeons who have carefully analysed the NEET SS & INI SS exam patterns and crafted the lectures to give you the best results.

When to Start Studying

Owing to a limited number of seats, sometimes it takes 2-3 years for certain aspirants to get the result that they desire.
As talented as someone is, it takes an essential culmination of one’s talent, dedication & luck to clear the examination in their first attempt.
The absence of even any one of the things would make it hard for you to get a good enough rank to get a seat.
So if you have decided to take this path, be sure to prepare yourself for the long haul.
You might ask: when’s the right time to start preparing?
Essentially an ideal time would be in your 2nd Or 3rd year of PG. No, it isn’t early!
By starting well in advance, you’ll have an edge over your competitors & by the time you finish your PG, you’ll certainly feel somewhat if not entirely prepared for the exam.
Following the months leading to the exam, you can devote all of your time to solely revising & practising which will give you much better results.
Starting well in advance also has additional benefits like you’ll be much more relaxed in your approach & not stressed out of your brains while preparing at the last possible minute. Hence giving you much better results!

The 80:20 Rule

As a general rule of thumb, out of everything you know only 20% of your knowledge will help you succeed in your attempt of getting a good rank.
With the level of the exam, sometimes aspirants miss by mere points due to minor flaws in their approach.

According to Mark Twain, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Following this strategy, set goals where you line up fairly complex topics first & then finish with easier ones.
While starting your preparation, work in a systematic way where you deal with complex topics first so you have ample time to revise these difficult topics.
The majority of the questions designed for the exam are of the easy or moderate type which examiners expect the majority of aspirants with moderate preparation to get right.
The deciding factor is always 20% of what you study.
Therefore, it is important to identify the hotspots to tackle the vast syllabus with ease.
This focused approach surely fine-tunes your preparation to improve your chances of success.
Our MCQ banks pinpoint the areas of high importance with well-formulated questions.
Aspirants often focus all their energy on going down the rabbit hole of a never-ending syllabus.
To succeed, it is essential to analyze past papers & solve as many questions as you can to master the concepts.

Overcome challenges with a tailored strategy

The potential snags in the way for MCh aspirants are hectic duties, emergencies, wards which makes finding time for preparation difficult.
All these arrays of obstacles render aspirants unable to concentrate effectively on their preparation.
Therefore, It is crucial to devise the strategy that works best for you.
For example:
Dr Gurpreet Singh shares in his journey that he devoted 4-5 hours daily to his preparation. Considering the long & tiring working schedule it was considerably hard for him to manage. Therefore he devised a strategy to make time for his preparation first thing in the morning. After work hours, he devoted himself to solving MCQs with his peers & made notes for topics involved in MCQs.
As effective as the strategy has been for him, there’s not just a single road to success.
Dr Gautami shares that while working she would put in 4 -5 hours daily. She would pick out comparatively easy topics & on weekends she would dissect complex topics.
Though when she found it hard to cope with her work as well as preparation she left her practice to focus solely on studies devoting over 12- 13 hours daily.
Interestingly, as talented as both the surgeons are, their approach is quite varying. Similarly, aspiring surgeons need to devise an effective strategy. The one that works best for them.
The key to getting a good rank is to be crystal clear with your concepts rather than cramming facts.
Once you have decided to go down the path, be prepared to put in an ample amount of ruthless hard work.
But also remember that it’s not always hard work but also smart work that helps with your goal accomplishment.
With these insights, your journey to Surgical oncology will hopefully be a bit easier. You can access & subscribe to the  Surgical oncology resources from here.
Prepare Judiciously!!
To start your preparation journey today, download the Surgtest app via: Google Play Store and Apple app store

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.