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How to answer Clinical questions in PG entrance exams?

Clinical questions test you on how well you can apply your knowledge gained from studying books in a clinical scenario.

They are very different from a one liners question in many ways.

With the application of NEET PG you can expect to see a lot more clinical questions in exam than previous years.


So how to beat these clinical questions?

To tackle these questions, you must first understand what the test creator is thinking while making them.

PrepLadder faculty makes new clinical questions everyday. These are the steps PrepLadder faculty and all test setters follow while writing a clinical question:

  1. Outlining the clinical objective: Examiners first think about the topic they want to ask a question out of. For eg: Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma or treatment of CHF exacerbation. But they don’t ask a question directly.

  2. Picking the correct answer: While creating the options the first option they write is always the correct answer.

  3. Writing the other 3 options: The other 3 options also called distractors are written next. Most distractors could be the correct answer even if a little detail in the question is changed. A distractor can sound like the correct answer to someone who has not prepared the topic well.

  4. From there they write the story: The story or the clinical case contains the diagnosis within it. Then they ask you a question related to what you have diagnosed. The case is usually written in such a way that the diagnosis could change if a little detail in question is changed.

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Here's how to answer these questions

1. Make a diagnosis: The first thing to do when you come across a clinical question is making a diagnosis. Form there you answer the question loosely according to what you’ve diagnosed.

For eg. A 25 year old female patient with slightly enlarged liver with no hepatic dysfunction, Raised serum alkaline phosphatase and mild elevation in serum aminotransferase. Which of the following drugs could have not caused this condition?

A. Paracetamol
B. Sulfonamide
C. Isoniazid
D. Allopurinol

The symptoms described in question point towards the diagnosis of Granulomatous hepatitus.

If you got to this diagnosis only then you can answer this question.


2. Read every word carefully: Due to space restrictions, PG exam questions have to be concise. So if a piece of information is given in the question it is usually important to make the diagnosis.

But here’s the exciting part. If they tell you something is absent, it is most certainly crucial to make the diagnosis. So pay attention to that.

After all, they do not have a lot of space so if they take time to tell you something is present or absent you can bet that it’s relevant.


3. Train Train Train: To put these points to use you must train for the test. While answering the questions in mock test try to think about what the faculty might be looking for while writing the question. How the question could have changed to make each of the other options correct. This way you engage with the content a lot more and learn a lot more.

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Clinical questions will continue to scare you till you start training for them and put all the above mentioned points to practice.

Training for the exam will help you perform much better in NEET PG and other PGMEE.

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You will be much more confident walking into the exam.

And much more satisfied while walking out of it.


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Best Wishes!

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