Medical Science is a specialised subject and ideal for those who have the background knowledge and expert study in the field. For starters in the subject, the vastness of the syllabus would become too much to handle. There are two papers in the optional subject – paper 1 and paper 2. Each paper carries 250 marks and conducted for a duration of three hours.
UPSC Mains Medical Science Syllabus Paper – I
1. Human Anatomy
Applied anatomy including blood and nerve supply of upper and lower limbs and joints of shoulder, hip and knee.
Gross anatomy, blood supply and lymphatic drainage of tongue, thyroid, mammary gland, stomach, liver, prostate, gonads and uterus
Applied anatomy of diaphragm, perineum and inguinal region.
Clinical anatomy of kidney, urinary bladder, uterine tubes, vas deferens.
Embryology: Placenta and placental barrier. Development of heart, gut, kidney, uterus, ovary, testis and their common congenital abnormalities.
Central and peripheral autonomic nervous system: Gross and clinical anatomy of ventricles of brain, circulation of cerebrospinal fluid; Neural pathways and lesions of cutaneous sensations, hearing and vision; Cranial nerves, distribution and clinical significance; Components of autonomic nervous system.
2. Human Physiology
Conduction and transmission of impulse, mechanism of contraction, neuromuscular transmission, reflexes, control of equilibrium, posture and muscle tone, descending pathways, functions of cerebellum, basal ganglia, Physiology of sleep and consciousness.
Endocrine system: Mechanism of action of hormones, formation, secretion, transport, metabolism, function and regulation of secretion of pancreas and pituitary gland. Physiology of reproductive system: menstrual cycle, lactation, pregnancy.
Blood: Development, regulation and fate of blood cells.
Cardio-vascular, cardiac output, blood pressure, regulation of cardiovascular functions;
Organ function tests-liver, kidney, thyroid
Vitamins and minerals.
Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Radio – immunoassays (RIA).
Inflammation and repair, disturbances of growth and cancer, Pathogenesis and histopathology of rheumatic and ischemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus. Differentiation between benign, malignant, primary and metastatic malignancies, Pathogenesis and histopathology of bronchogenic carcinoma, carcinoma breast, oral cancer, cancer cervix, leukemia, Etiology, pathogenesis and histopathology of – cirrhosis liver, glomerulonephritis, tuberculosis, acute osteomyelitis.
Humoral and cell mediated immunity
Diseases caused by and laboratory diagnosis of-
Shigella, Herpes, Dengue, Polio
HIV/AIDS, Malaria, E. Histolytica, Giardia
Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus
Mechanism of action and side effects of the following drugs.
Antipyretics and analgesics, Antibiotics, Antimalaria; Antikala-azar,Antidiabetics
Antihypertensive, Antidiuretics, General and cardiac vasodilators, Antiviral, Antiparasitic, Antifungal, Immunosuppressants
7. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology: Forensic examination of injuries and wounds; Examination of blood and seminal stains; poisoning, sedative overdose, hanging, drowning, burns, DNA and finger print study
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UPSC Mains Medical Science Syllabus Paper – II
1. General Medicine
Etiology, clinical features, diagnosis and principles of management (including prevention) of: – Tetanus, Rabies, AIDS, Dengue, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis.
Etiology, clinical features, diagnosis and principles of management of:
Ischaemic heart disease, pulmonary embolism.
Pleural effusion, tuberculosis, Malabsorption syndromes, acid peptic diseases, Viral hepatitis and cirrhosis of liver.
Glomerulonerphritis and pyelonephritis, renal failure, nephrotic syndrome, renovascular hypertension, complications of diabetes mellitus, coagulation disorders, leukemia, Hypo and hyper thyrodism, meningitis and encephalitis.
Imaging in medical problems, ultrasound, echocardiogram, CT scan, MRI.
Anxiety and Depressive Psychosis and schizophrenia and ECT.
Immunization, Baby friendly hospital, congenital cyanotic heart disease, respiratory distress syndrome, broncho – pneumonias, kernicterus. IMNCI classification and management, PEM grading and management. ARI and Diarrhea of under five and their management.
Psoriasis, Allergic dermatitis, scabies, eczema, vitiligo, Stevan Johnson’s syndrome, Lichen Planus.
4. General Surgery
Clinical features, causes, diagnosis and principles of management of cleft palate, harelip.
Laryngeal tumor, oral and esophageal tumors.
Peripheral arterial diseases, varicose veins, coarctation of aorta
Tumors of Thyroid, Adrenal Glands
Abscess, cancer, fibroadenoma and adenosis of breast.
Bleeding peptic ulcer, tuberculosis of bowel, ulcerative colitis, cancer stomach.
Renal mass,cancer Prostate..
Haemothorax, stones of Gall bladder, Kidney, Ureter and Urinary Bladder.
Management of surgical conditions of Rectum, Anus and Anal canal, Gall bladder and Bile ducts
Splenomegaly, cholecystitis, portal hypertension, liver abscess, peritonitis, carcinoma head of pancreas.
Fractures of spine, Colles’ fracture and bone tumors.
5. Obstetrics and Gynaecology including Family Planning
Diagnosis of pregnancy, Labour management, complications of 3rd stage, Antepartum and postpartum hemorrhage, resuscitation of the newborn, Management of abnormal lie and difficult labour, Management of small for date or premature newborn.
Diagnosis and management of anemia. Preeclampsia and Toxaemias of pregnancy, Management of Post menopausal Syndrome.
Intra-uterine devices, pills, tubectomy and vasectomy. Medical termination of pregnancy including legal aspects.
Leucorrhoea, pelvic pain, infertility, dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), amenorrhoea, Fibroid and prolapse of uterus.
6. Community Medicine (Preventive and Social Medicine)
Principles, methods, approach and measurements of Epidemiology
Nutrition, nutritional diseases / disorders & Nutrition Programmes.
Health information Collection, Analysis and Presentation.
Objectives, components and critical analysis of National programmes for control/eradication of:
Malaria, Kala-azar, Filaria and Tuberculosis,
HIV/AIDS, STDs and Dengue
Critical appraisal of Health care delivery system.
Health management and administration: Techniques, Tools, Programme Implementation and Evaluation.
Objective, Component, Goals and Status of Reproductive and Child Health, National Rural Health Mission and Millennium Development Goals
Management of hospital and industrial waste.
Also, Check Other Optional Subject’s Syllabus
Preparation tips for medical science optional in UPSC mains exam
- On the outset, the syllabus is vast and overwhelming. Candidates should understand the range and depth of the syllabus to perform well.
- Stick to the prescribed syllabus only. No additional information whatsoever is required for medical science.
- Each topic in the subject is voluminous by nature. Go per chapter and list the most important and must-study topics one by one.
- Briefly check the occurrence of the important topics in previous papers and allot them a priority number.
- After familiarising yourself with what to study at the first level, be intelligent and smart with your choices. Focus on other topics based on the level of expert knowledge you own in the subject.
- Get snapshots of important data that is very typical of medical science subjects. You can add tables and flowcharts to this list too.
- Pool in all required study resources like textbooks, reference books, graduation notes, revision notes, etc.
- The difficulty level in the mains exam appears relatively less compared to specialised graduation studies. Hence, focussing on the right approach will take you to good scores.
- Completely study each topic in the syllabus.
- Consolidate your time and give equal importance to studying and revision.
- It is a highly scoring subject, provided the background knowledge is perfect.
- Studying every topic in great and endless detail for medical science becomes a never-ending saga. Be choosy, wise, and judicious in your approach and study those parts that are essential from the exam point of view.
- Keywords in answers, main parts of diagrams, and subparts in writing are extremely useful while writing answers in the exam.
List of recommended books for medical science optional in IAS mains exam
- Book on Human anatomy ( Totally 3 volumes) By author Chaurasia
- Book on Histology by Inderbir Singh
- Book on Physiology by Ganong
- Reference series on Biochemistry by Harper
- Exhaustive introductory series on Microbiology by Anantha Narayan
- Book on Parasitology by Jayaram Panikkar
- Reference series on Pathology by Big Robbins
- Complete reference study material on Medicine by George Mathew or Harrison
- Complete reference book on Surgery by Bailey or Das
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