Should Doctors Take Medical Sciences as Optional or Opt for Some Other Subject?

Many doctors make into the final list of UPSC Civil Services Exam every year. In fact, many of them have become toppers. When it comes to choosing the optional subject for the optional papers, many doctors go for medical science whereas some of them also go for subjects other than their core field. This article talks about whether doctors should take medical sciences as an optional subject or opt for some other subject in the IAS mains exam.

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Statistics tell us that the success rate for doctors is the highest among all academic backgrounds in the UPSC exam. This might be because of 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 an 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 UPSC 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.
  • There is no need for any coaching for this optional.
  • The syllabus is more or less static with hardly any dynamic component.
  • Mostly conceptual questions are asked in the examination.
  • Just by following the right strategy for medical science optional for UPSC Mains, you should be able to score decently in the exam.

If you don’t want to go for medical science as an optional subject, you can choose a close subject 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.

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The above details would help candidates preparing for UPSC 2021

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  1. Hi, My self Shaik Sultan Basha, Pharm D. Iam curious to know like what will be the optional subject for pharmacy student. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi
      The choice of the optional subject lies with you. You can opt for any. Since there is no Pharmacy subject in the list of 48 optional subjects, you can try subjects that overlap with GS syllabus. Check thee success rate of optionals in the linked article.

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