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Guide for the MD/DMRD/DNB radiology exam!
Congratulations on surviving through three years of radiology! The next task on hands is clearing the final radiology exam. The Indian examination system and the entire education system is far from perfect. You are expected to slog during the first year without time for reading and then during the final year, you read up without time to apply what you read. Anyways there is not much we can do about that and there is no point arguing. Here is my guide for final year radiology residents.
During the first year you work and have no time to read. In the final year, you read and have no time to put to work what you read!
- Start working on your thesis as early as possible.
- Finish your thesis well in advance before your exams so that you do not have that stress at the back of your mind.
- There can be edits in your thesis so be prepared for that and allocate time accordingly.
- Here is a detailed guide for preparing Radiology thesis: Radiology thesis topics
Radiology exam: Theory
- Go through the question banks available here: Question Papers, here, and this Compiled Question Bank. (Compiled from DNB Rad, NBE and from various radiology groups). For the latest question papers its best to refer to the official DNB website. You can also search for a particular year question paper using the custom google link I created here: DNB Radiology Question papers. This can be used for other subjects as well. Just enter the subject and the year of the exam. For example ” Radiodiagnosis 2016″, ” Surgery 2017″
- Question bank for Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Karnataka can be downloaded from here: RGUHS radiology question bank 2004-2018
- System-wise division of Theory exam:
- Here is the indicative division of theory topics for each paper on the official DNB page.
- Decide what books suit you and start reading for the theory radiology exam accordingly. Your seniors will tell you the pros and cons of different books but you should stick to one book that suits you. Diagnostic Radiology Berry series is a good book that covers most of the topics for the radiology exam. Here is the complete list of recommended books: Recommended Books for Radiology Residents.
- One day prior to the exam you should have a single book to revise so keep one book for each system and whatever you feel is missing add on to that book. The simplest way to do that is to note down additional information on a piece of paper and stick it in that one book using glue. A crude method but works well :).
- Make heading for each answer and note it down in the book you are reading so that one day before the exam you can revise quickly.
- Try to read books in physical form and not from an electronic device like an iPad or tablet. Instead, collect all standard books in the digital form and add in material from that in the common book whenever you feel that there is some deficiency.
- For recent advances go through recent articles of IJRI. I have observed that most of the questions are picked up from there. You do not have to read all the articles. You have to read only those articles which can be posted as a long question. For eg. In the Oct-Dec 2017 issue, there is an article titled: Spinal dysraphism illustrated; Embryology revisited. This can come as a question in the exams. So go through it and make notes in one book as discussed earlier.
- Keep one book for answers which are not given well in any of the books and you have to refer to online content for that. For eg., MRCP is a commonly asked question but isn’t given in the standard books which we all read (at least at that time when I passed out). So you can refer to this article MR Imaging and CT of the Biliary Tract and make notes for this question. On the last day of the exam, you do not have to go searching for the article.
- Start practicing line diagrams and paste in the books you are going to refer one day before the exam. This book: Primer of Diagnostic Imaging gives a lot of good line diagrams which can be reproduced in the exams.
- Read and revise physics as it is volatile.
- Read and revise physics AGAIN as it is volatile!
Download radiology exam related resources here:
This includes :
- List of DNB / MD / DMRD practical exam cases.
- Subjectwise Spotter presentations and Quizes.
- DNB radiodiagnosis log book
- Viva material
- Systemwise Oral Recalls
- Intervention Radiology instruments
- Lots more!
Radiology Exam: Practical
- Read and revise physics as it is volatile!
- Go through all the physics instruments in your department. If not available google about basic radiology types of equipment like the grid, cassettes and how they look.
- Go through a list of commonly asked spotters, cases and practical questions in DNB exams here :
Planning of a radiology department is often asked. Here is a presentation covering that by Dr.N.Manupratap
- Go through the spotters’ collection in your department.
- Read the latest ACR Contrast Manual: ACR contrast Manual. You can quote this for contrast related questions that the examiners ask you.
- Do read about the proper use of TLD.
- Good books for practical exams
- Another good book for commonly asked practical questions is Known Unknowns Of Everyday Radiology Practice.
- For spotters you can go through the following :
- Cases at RadioGyan.com
- Spotters at RadioGyan.com
- Facebook: Radiology Imaging Cloud.
- Facebook: Radiology Golden Points.
- RadioGyan radiology Telegram Channel, Telegram Group and WhatsApp groups
- Telegram: Dr. Sanjay P sir’s radiology residents group (More than 4000 residents have joined). You can contact him on Telegram. His id is @Sanjaypyadav
- Dr.Raj Ganeshan’s WhatsApp group.
- Radiologist Eye
- Indian Radiologist
- MSKRadioloy4u MSK cases
- Case of the week Barnard Institute of Radiology
- Spotters: Department of Radiodiagnosis JSS Medical College and Hospital, Mysore
- Cases: Department of Radiodiagnosis JSS Medical College and Hospital, Mysore
- Case of the week: Learning Radiology
- Cases: Aunt Minnie.com
- Spotters: RadioLoksabha
- Cases: Headneckbrainspine.com
- ACR Case of the week
- Radiologymasterclass Quiz
- Radiopedia Playlists
- RadCases: Great book for radiology cases.
- Aunt Minnie's Atlas and Imaging-Specific Diagnosis
- Attend conferences which emulate the practical exam pattern like RARE.
- Here are a few suggestions from someone who has recently cleared DNB practicals in the first attempt:
- Long Case
- General Tips
- See as many spotters as possible.
- Hardly less than 1 min will be available for spotters.
- For DNB you will be provided with a full set of CT & MRI images instead of f single image. So residents should be able to diagnose the condition in a limited time. Most of the spotter ppts contain only single images. There lies the importance of seeing a full set of images while practicing.
- Be confident & go to the exam with a fresh mind. All the best.
- Stanley viva book
- Try memorizing Chapman & Nakielny's Aids to Radiological Differential Diagnosis as much as possible especially the differentials for chest and bone cases.
- Use mnemonics but do not blurt them in front of examiners as that can be very embarrassing. For eg. the mnemonic for vertebra plana is FETISH, you DON’T want to say that in front of your examiner. That is a sure-shot way to flunk in the exams!
- Try presenting as many cases to the department faculty and amongst yourself. Present cases as you would do in the exam.
- For instruments, viva and interventional radiology go through the following YouTube playlist:
Here is a great video covering common practical questions:
- Revise theory related to radiation protection well. It is commonly asked in exams.
- On the day of the practical radiology exam :
- Get proper sleep the previous night.
- Reach at least half an hour early to the examination center.
- Carry all essentials to the center including hall ticket and a copy of your thesis.
- Read and revise your thesis well. You will be asked questions on that.
- During spotters write COMPLETE answers. For eg. “Sessile osteochondroma involving the distal end of the radius.” rather than just sessile osteochondroma.
- Follow instructions given at the examination center. Do not get in the bad books of the examiners.
- Respect the examiner’s opinion and try not to argue with them.
- Handle films carefully. Examiners have collected cases over their entire career and hence they value them a lot which is obvious. They would not like you handling films in a shabby manner. You can use this pointer to point findings in the films: Extendable Fescue Ball Pen with LED Flashlight and Laser Pointer.
- Most important: Do not cheat!
Your colleague is as clueless as you about that case as you are!
Best of luck and hopefully all of you do well in the exam!
Also, check out this guide for the radiology exam by Dr. Yashwanth:
More Radiology resources
- Radiology resources – RadioGyan.com
- Normal Imaging Anatomy modules.: Learn and revise imaging anatomy. Links are divided by anatomy and modality.
- Cases: Radiology cases with important diagnostic points.
- Videos: Radiology videos from other websites with important teaching points highlighted.
- Spotters: Sets of 10 radiology spotters, one minute for each spotter.
- Articles: Descriptive articles on common imaging topics, including Journal club.
- Guide for first-year radiology residents.
- Guide for final year radiology residents.
- Guide to the FRCR exam
- Software: Links to common radiology software.
- Recommended Books for Radiology Residents.
- Radiology Conferences: Updates about upcoming radiology conferences and CMEs.
Best of luck with your exams!
Let us know your exam related tips and tricks in the comments section! Feedback and suggestions can be posted here.