3rd Year Study Guide 2011 - Read at your own risk!

Welcome to 3rd Year !

Still having bouts of anxiety about leaving the cozy, well cocooned world of anatomy and physiology (and probably biochem too :P), having jitters about what it will be like in third year, and yet doubting that are you really gonna enter the ward years, feel like real daac saab for once, ABSOLUTELY NORMAL, don’t worry seniors are here to lend a hand to you (though seniors will appreciate if juniors show their gratitude by some fiscal means ;) ) So let us have a ride, you and me together through the waters of third year, how to trudge safe and clear off the dangerous spots and what to take seriously and what to ignore... Hope to cover all the bases, let us go!
Third year lectures and lecture theater:
You are luckiest in this regard! Believe me one thing I am literally bawling over is that I no more will get to sit in forensic lecture theater. Without doubt the most sleep-conducive and student-friendly lecture theater of all times is forensic lecture theatre! Gone are the stifling physio and anatomy lecture theatres, welcome to the airy-rary forensic lecture hall*cheers*. And the lectures are bearable too, because you may stop listening as per your attention span and freshen up with a novel or music player. Best seats are the middle benches mind it, DON’T attempt to sit at the very back because lecturers love to call the back rows to the front empty seats. THINK GREAT, TAKE MIDDLE BENCHES, ENJOY THE TIME.
About the lectures, let us take it subject wise.
1. Pathology: Dr. Munir (HOD) takes the lectures initially, and you should pay heed to his lectures. They are good and interesting, plus a single word out of his lectures that you quote in viva will mask all the behemoth of bongis that you make. HIS LECTURES SHOULD BE LISTENED TO ATTENTIVELY. Rest of the pathology lectures, even if you want to be attentive, you can’t. So better quit trying at an early stage.

2. Pharmacology: Again lectures of HOD are important. And most important is to recognize the HOD :P! Yes he is the one who appears to be just some other assistant professor but infact he is the man of the show DR. ZAHID. What he teaches in lectures, he will throw at you very meanly in prof, so don’t be lulled into false sense of security by his very polite mannerism in lectures, he can be a real villain if he feels like it. Don’t tick him off in lectures especially. Rest of the pharma teachers may be benign or malignant, RED ALERTS are Sir fawad, Sir rafiq (don’t make eye contact with him and don’t sit in first row when it is his lecture, you will be questioned and that too about the lecture he is about to deliver). Rest are benign.
3. Forensic medicine: You may or may not listen to these lectures. Choice is totally yours.
But there is something you shouldnot forget about thirdyear, you only have two choices: either cultivate good friendship with the lecture theatre attendants and munir of pharma, or attend the lectures. No third way out. Be careful about your attendance.
The lectures of medicine and surgery, ortho, eye, ent, can be missed, as frequently as one wants. It will be better however to attend medicine and surgery lectures. About the tests of these subjects: sit with a theta and copy it all away. Don’t sweat to prepare these tests.
Third year SUBJECTS:
Congratulations dearies! You are rid of anatomy and physiology and biochemistry. Third year subjects are more interesting(my personal opinion). You have:
1. General Pathology and microbiology (microbiology further has bacteriology, virology, mycology and parasitology)
2. Pharmacology
3. Forensic medicine and toxicology
Books that you should study are very important. There are many misconceptions that have been passed down from one to the next third year. I am going to challenge them all, and that was the reason why I warned in the beginning that read at your own risk. If you trust my opinion, go along with it. If not then quit reading and ask your seniors whom you trust and then don’t blame me when prof proves them wrong ;)
For pathology:
1. Robbins pathology: I will say read medium robbins. Medium is sufficient for your tests, sendup, prof, viva. Jo ziada aukhay n shokhay hain wo Big Robbins padh k khush ho sktay hain, and I am sorry to burst your bubble of reading-big-book ego, but medium and big have almost comparable knowledge :P be smart and choose medium.
2. Levinson’s microbiology: this is a must, you will do bacteriology, mycology, virology and immunology from it. (chap of immunity is a part of gen patho, but it is done not from robbins but from levinson.)
3. Parasitology by Shahid Anwar: Parasitology needs to be done from here, but add to the lab diagnosis from levinson too, because Dr munir (if he has parasitology in viva wishes to hear things from levinson.)
4. Shamim microbiology: Get this book, do culture media details from it, and lab diagnosis of important bacteria. Important bacteria list will follow later.
5. MRS-made ridiculously simple: some people prefer to do virology and mycology from here. It is simple and ridiculous too for sure. If you want a short cut about virology choose this, but if you want to have a concept stick to levinson. My opinion, levinson is better.
This finishes (mercifully) the list of pathology books.
For Pharmacology:
Now this is the most clich├ęd subject. You will hear seniors rumoring “yawr, anatomy to yaad ho jati hai, pharma nai hoti!”
Don’t let this all panic you. Pharmacology is a very good subject, however sadly the approach to it is grossly twisted by most. Lippincott is handed down from seniors to juniors as a legacy. Lippincott is no good. Who so ever tells you to read it, give me their contact…
1. Big Katzung: teachers want you to read it. But this will require lots of perseverance and dedication. If you can stomach it, you have aced pharmacology! If you can’t, *sigh* join the club. For you is mini-katzung.
2. Mini-katzung: for those who can’t read big. Mini is easy to memorize, makes your concept and you remember it well in exams. Lippincott is good to read, even easier than mini, but it is very difficult to reproduce in prof.
3. Multi-author/Cheema: buy it; you need this to do General pharmacology. Beyond that don’t use it for any chapter. Use only occasionally in ANS and GIT for comparison tables.
4. Synopsis classification of drugs: don’t buy at all! If you already have, have a bonfire with it, call over your friends and tra-la-la!
Some points to remember about pharma:
· In prof, written and viva, katzung is pivotal. Don’t leave katzung, it is my humble request ( I am ready to go down on my knees and beg you to use it, big or mini). I used mini, and there wasnot an mcq or a question that I could say I never heard of. Katzung gives you a clear advantage.
· Pharma needs to be revised. Before a test be sure to revise the chapters after a thorough first reading. Without revision you won’t remember much.
· CLASSIFICATION of drugs is very important. Do the classifications given in mini as a tree at the start of chapters or within the chapters in the form of headings. Don’t think that giving the classification of Lippincott or synopsis will get you marks. CLASSIFICATIONS OTHER THAN THOSE OF MINI-KAT ARE USUALLY NOT ACCEPTED!
· Buy the mini-kat which is the foreign edition, it is bigger in size, colourful and attractive and has chapter summary tables at the end. The mono-colour mini-kat which is smaller in size (I guess this one is irani edition) doesnot have the chapter summary tables at end!
For Forensic medicine and toxicology:
1. Nasib R Awan
2. Parikh
3. Terse
Buy either parikh or terse, PARIKH being better option. Forensic medicine is usually done from notes available with the photocopier. Nasib is usually used to do law, but it is also a good choice for combining with notes. Toxicology general is done again from notes, special toxicology from terse or parikh. I prefer parikh, but some use terse too.
Forensic medicine is not to be worried about, this being an easy subject.
For MCQs:
You all know by now that mcqs come from some book, and thankfully not out of our teachers’ minds (that would be a disaster for sure!).
Pathology=> Kumar and Klatt’s Review of Robbins and cotran pathology. Good news is that all the general pathology mcqs in sendup and prof come from here. And if you are lucky about 15 mcqs are from gen patho, do buy this one!
Pharmacology=> Do the mcqs given in mini-kat. There are no mcqs in big kat! Mini-kat has the mcqs at the end of each chap plus at the end of the book. Most mcqs turn up from here. Even if you choose to study Lippincott (damn you :P) please have a look at mcqs of mini-kat.
Forensic medicine=> Now these are the ones that can turn up from several places and from nowhere too! Jaypee forensic mcqs however have the most of those which came in prof…
Mcqs are important this year sonny! Because in pathology and pharmacology 30 mcqs are worth 45 marks! 1.5 marks per mcq! You loose a lot if you wrong them. Forensic mcqs are 1 mark each.
And this brings us to the end of the books of the subjects in thirdyear. But you need to buy something else too:
1. Norman Browse for surgery ward
2. Macleod’s clinical examination for medicine ward
3. Bedside techniques for medicine ward
No other book of surgery, medicine, eye, ent is as yet required. Oxford handbook of medicine and surgery however may come in handy, buy those if you want.
Good news: you have practical each day of the week :P
Pharmacology practicals: Buy two practical notebooks, one a bit thicker than the other. Bring the thicker one in the start, this one is for Pharmacy practicals. Thinner one is for Experimental practicals, you will need this later in the year. All the practicals will be dictated to you. Be sure to wear your overall to pharma lab, or do bring it with you on the day of practical, otherwise no attending the practical and no attendance at all!
Pathology practicals: Buy one practical copy for this. Befriend a vigilant person who completes copies in time and attack his/her copy to complete yours.
Forensic medicine and toxicology practicals: For these your normal A, B and C batches are divided further into 5 batches A1, A2, A3, A4, A5… So on. There are five practicals happening at one time namely autopsy, medicolegal, radiological, biological, analytical. Check out the notice board for the schedule and batches allotment. Get practical manual of forensic from the department.
Tests: You are grown up now really, so throw away your markers and coloured pens for a while. In forensic medicine and pharma tests, using any colour other than blue and black is absurd. However, you can use colours for diagrams in Pathology. In third year you will be bombarded with tests, but they will help you a lot preparing for finals. Take the tests nice and easy and seriously too. They are one very good thing about thirdyear!
Internal assessment: Hallmark of third year! Your savior in Prof! Keep it good. All your tests record is present with each and every examiner, and if you have a clear internal assessment everyone will pass you in viva even if you just tango infront of them. Don’t be absent in a test, an absent test is worse than a failed test! Internal assessment is very very important, tie this to your duppatta, stole, belt or sock or whatever but do remember it.
So this is about what you need to know before entering the world of Third Year. I will soon get back to you with a blow by blow account of how to tackle each of the subjects, how to prepare a test etcetera. Oh no don’t thank, I am in a benevolent mood :P till next time, adios amigos!

Also read 
3rd Year Study Guide by Muzna Sarfraz
A detailed chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the 3rd yr course, tips and tricks and so much more ! Great read for 3rd years
3rd Year Experiences of Class of 2012 - A Study-guide
Here the whole class of 2012 shares their invaluable experiences of the whole year. To pass on the pearls of wisdom to the newbies. The post is unique as it has the experiences of the whole class, From toppers and nerds; to slackers and back-benchers..


  1. EXCELLENT ! :)and so funny

  2. Thank you. I will be delighted if it was of any help.

  3. Wowww this was a great guide...sure lookin fwd to more from you...! =)

  4. next episode coming up in a day or two inshAllah! :)

  5. thousandsssss ovv thousaandss super likesss

  6. Great information in this post. It really opens up your mind to new things and that’s what I like about it.online anatomy and physiology courses

  7. Thanks a lot Sidra Baji. I was lost before reading this.


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