Every year we see a lot of doctors making it to the final merit list of the UPSC civil services exam. Many of them have even been toppers. While some of them stick to medical sciences as their optional subject, others opt for a subject outside their core area. This article talks about whether doctors should take medical sciences as optional subject or opt for some other subject in the IAS mains exam.
Statistics tells us that the success rate for doctors is the highest among all academic backgrounds in the UPSC exam. (See Interesting Statistics about Optionals in UPSC Mains Exam). This is perhaps due to the rigorous nature of the MBBS course itself. Doctors study hard for almost 5.5 years during their graduation. This kind of a demanding course can help them in the equally demanding UPSC preparation.
If doctor candidates feel that they have a good grip over what they had previously learnt, they should opt for the medical sciences optional. But remember the following:
- You should take up medical sciences only if you don’t mind studying almost the entire course once again.
- The UPSC syllabus for medical sciences is vast.
- You should definitely have interest in the subject.
- There is no overlap with general studies papers.
- You must have a firm grasp over what you had studied.
- You should go through the USPC syllabus before selecting the optional. Also, go through previous years’ IAS questions papers to understand the level of difficulty involved in the medical science optional.
Advantages of taking medical science optional:
- You would have studied the subject for more than 5 years. This is a definite advantage.
- You already know the material. There is nothing left to study from scratch. You only need to format and structure what you have learnt into the UPSC format.
- The syllabus is more or less static with hardly any dynamic component.
- There is no need for any coaching for this optional.
- Most of the questions would be conceptual ones.
- Just by following the right strategy for medical science optional, you should be able to score decently in the mains exam.
If you feel you are not comfortable with the medical science optional, you can choose other closer subjects like zoology, botany, chemistry and anthropology. There is nothing stopping you from selecting other humanities subjects like sociology, literature, history, etc. It all depends on how well you apply yourselves.
Also Read | Should Doctors Aspire to Become IAS Officers?
Visit BYJU’S Website for strategy and articles on free IAS prep and all the latest on UPSC IAS exam.