Dr. Ashraf Kesarani, from Govt Medical College, Baroda has emerged as First Topper in NEET PG 2019 securing 1006 marks. He was one of the Toppers of RankJunction Scholarship Test held in December 2017 and winner of RankJunction Subscription plan. He says, ‘Nothing is impossible if you are determined’. Below is an excerpt from his interview
RankJunction:Tell us something about yourself, your family? Dr. Ashraf: Myself Ashraf Mohammad Husen Kesarani (Memon).I have been born and brought up in Baroda.I have done whole of my schooling till HSC from VBV school, Baroda. I am from a middle class family. My father works under my uncle in his private business of weighing scales in Baroda, Gujarat. I am the eldest of all my siblings. I have done my MBBS from Govt Medical College, Baroda, Gujarat. I would be completing my internship by end of February 2019.
RankJunction:In which year did you pass your MBBS exam? What was your MBBS percentage marks (aggregate or final year)? Dr. Ashraf: I passed my Final Year MBBS in February 2018.I got 73.67% marks in Final MBBS examination.
RankJunction:When did you seriously start preparing for the PG Entrance exam? Dr. Ashraf: As such speaking it’s the effect of my whole 5.5 years of preparation which has given me this result. For any Medical Entrance Examination it’s important that we are strong in our basics and very clear with concepts. Keeping this in mind I started my preparation for NEET in 2nd year in the form of reading Review Books. I used review books just to get complete overview of subject in relatively short period of time. So I focused more on the theory part given in the review books of each subject and less extent the MCQs given there. And final phase of preparation obviously started from my internship in March 2018.
RankJunction:How many hours did you study each day? How was your typical schedule for the day? Dr. Ashraf: Specifically mentioning of Internship preparation, I had to manage reading along with doing duties of Internship (Though Internship at our hospital is relatively less hectic). Initially I used to read for about 4-6 hours per day. As the exams came near and near it increased to 10-12 hrs/day. Due to my internship my studies usually started in afternoon. I focused mainly on COACHING CLASS NOTES, Question bank and Test series.
RankJunction:Which books did you read for the theory part? Dr. Ashraf: For theory during my UG period I read following standard textbooks- 1) Anatomy – BDC 2) Physiology – Ganong and Guyton 3) Biochemistry – Satyanarayan (Vasudeven is equally good) 4) Pathology – Robbins 5) Pharmacology – Sharma and Sharma /Katzung 6) Microbiology – Apurba Shastry (Also for Parasitology) 7) FM – Reddy 8) PSM – Park 9) ENT – Dhingra 10) Opthalmology – Khurana 11) Medicine – Harrison and many more (because I had passion for reading Medicine) 12) Surgery – Love and Bailey 13) Pediatrics – O P Ghai 14) ObGy – Williams(for Obs) and Shaw(Gynaec) (I haven’t gone through whole of subject, was selective in reading) 15) Radiology – Internet, Rajat Jain Review book, William Herring 16) Skin – Neena Khanna 17) Orthopedic – Maheshwari 18) Psychiatry – Read Class Notes, I read Across also but it would be better to go for Praveen Tripathi. 19) Anesthesia – Ajay Yadav
RankJunction:Which books did you read for MCQs revision? Dr. Ashraf: To Make my base further strong I read the following review books (read the theory which is given in it and solved only some MCQs during my UG period). But during my internship, I solved and practiced MCQs from Online Question bank available I read the following review books. 1) Anatomy – AA/Raviraj 2) Physiology – Saumen Manna or Krishna Kumar 3) Biochemistry – Rebecca James 4) FM – Sumit Seth (Actually I haven’t gone through this 4 books during my UG period).Have read a little from this even in future. 5) Pharmacology – Garg and Gupta 6) Pathology – Garg and Gupta 7) Microbiology – Apurba Shastry 8) ENT – Sakshi Arora 9) Opthalmology – SOCH by Dr Utsav Bansal (Came to know about this in my internship, so have read a little but book is great) 10) PSM – Vivek Jain 11) Surgery – Pritesh Singh. 12) Paediatrics – Taruna Mehra. 13) ObGy – Sakshi Arora. 14) Radiology – Rajat Jain 15) Skin – Saurabh Jindal. 16) Anesthesia – Ajay Yadav (It’s not an MCQ book as such). 17) Psychiatry – Praveen Tripathi (Haven’t gone through it fully but it’s a good book). 18) Orthopedic – Apurva Mehra 19) Medicine – As I had a passion for Medicine I had read too much Medicine during my UG period from many sources…From review book – Dr. Bhatia Sirs Medicine book is what I read!
RankJunction:What were the subjects you focused upon? Dr. Ashraf: No subject should be neglected as such. Give time to subject as per the length of the subject and it’s approximate weightage in exams. But even though I would advise to focus little bit more on ObGy, Pharmacology, Pathology and Microbiology.
RankJunction:What is your style of preparation and notes making? Dr. Ashraf: As I mentioned above I had to manage along with my internship duties, so focused on coaching class notes, online Question bank and Test series. I had joined the regular coaching class during my internship (I dint join any class during my UG Period). It’s always better to have your own notes but still as I was poor in actively making notes in class, what I used to do was to attend the class and get the notes of friend and get it xeroxed.
RankJunction:What was your strategy for the exam day? How many questions did you attempt? Dr. Ashraf: As I had given too many grand tests and CBT the fear of real NEET PG exams was a bit less. I took good 7-8 hours of sleep. Tried to remain as much cool and calm as possible and not becoming nervous. I attempted 299 questions out of 300.
RankJunction:Candidates are complaining that NEET PG 2019 was a tough exam. What are your views? Dr. Ashraf:NEET PG 2019 exam was a little bit different exam then earlier. I consider it as Moderate. Basically they are now also focusing on more clinical and conceptual things rather than just Factual and Memory based things. There were about 59 Image based Questions. But they were not out of box images. Images were from the topics that we usually read.
RankJunction:In which field do you want to specialize in? Why? Dr. Ashraf: I want to do MD Medicine, because as I said earlier only that I have much interest and Passion in this field.
RankJunction:What is your advice to future aspirants? Dr. Ashraf: Always be self-motivated, self-confident, don’t take too much stress and set your goals as high as possible. Never ever think u can’t do. Nothing is impossible if you are determined and give your best. And please start the preparation as early as possible basically in the form of clearing the concepts and basics from your UG period. During your final preparation, give as much grand tests and subject wise test as possible. Start giving tests from the 1st month. Try to give your best and leave the rest on The Almighty!
Team RankJunction congratulates Dr. Ashraf for his achievements and wishes him all the best for his future endeavors