(Dr. Ruchi Rai, is an apt clinician and a teacher. She has her clinic in Delhi and is associated with various ophthalmology centers in Delhi and Noida. Her passion for academics and teaching made her associate to leading PG entrance centers. She is a faculty in Delhi Academy of Medical Sciences [DAMS] since six years. She travels extensively to take classes for PG entrance exams all over India. This wide and personal interaction with students and her vast experience in teaching were the guiding force to write this book.
The author is an active member of All India Ophthalmological Society [AIOS], Delhi Ophthalmological Society [DOS] and Noida Ophthalmological Society [NOS] with published papers in international journals.
Her latest book Review of Ophthalmology, 2nd edition (PeePee Publishers, 2009) won rave reviews in our journal. Naturally we couldn't contain our desire to know more about her. We at the "Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews" approached her for an interview and she graciously agreed. The interview was conducted especially for this journal by Anshul Gupta, a graduate student at the Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. The entire interview was recorded on video. Video interview is made available for the first time in this journal on popular demand from several readers. Some excerpts from the interview....)
Qu.1. What are your qualifications/ tell us something about your career?
Ans.I am MBBS, MS, DNB (Ophthalmology) from Institute Of Medical Sciences, BHU in the year 2000. I am specialized in phacoemulsification surgery for cataract. I have a teaching experience of more than six years, teaching MBBS students for the PG entrance examinations. I have also authored the book-“Review of Ophthalmology” which is the only ophthalmology book available for the entrance examinations.
Students have appreciated both these books and this gives me immense satisfaction and encouragement to write more books.
Qu.2. How did you come to the idea of writing a book?
Ans.My students were the source of inspiration behind this book. My personal interaction with the students and my own teaching experience made me understand their common problems related to the subject. The students had to rely on guides and other MBBS textbooks, which was very time consuming. Since no such book was available, I decided to write one.
Qu.3. What is unique about this book?
Ans. The book is written in a tailored manner specifically for entrance examinations. It contains all the questions of ophthalmology asked in previous 10 to 15 years in various important entrance examinations. In addition, there are notes which are very concise and to the point, required for the exams. Hence a lot of time is saved. Also the chance of coming across a wrong answer is almost nil, hence the students do not have to face the confusion of what is right and what is wrong.
Qu. 4. Why should we read your book?
Ans.The guides which are available for the preparation of entrance examinations are mostly written by students. They are not ophthalmologists or a faculty teaching ophthalmology. This creates a lot of difference. The common problem with these guides are different answers for the same question, wrong questions, wrong answers and using internet references as an explanation which may not be that useful. Instead of helping it creates a lot of confusion. Also with this approach, students have to read many text books for even a small subject like ophthalmology. With this book in hand, students do not need to read separate books for theory and questions. This book is a complete package of what is expected from you in ophthalmology.
Qu. 5. What should be the approach of preparing for the PG-entrance examinations?
Ans. Every year a lot number of questions (i.e. more than 75%) are repeated in the various examinations. Hence for clearing the exams the aim should be to first prepare these questions which are repeated. The rest of the paper is always seen as small surprises. For ophthalmology if this book is thoroughly read, it will help you solve majority of the questions asked in the exams. Since students have to prepare 19 to 20 subjects, one should select concise and reliable matter for a subject so as to get time for other subjects also.
Qu. 6. What is so difficult about these exams?
Ans. Preparation for PG entrance exams is totally different from what we all did for premedical test. At that stage the course was comparatively less, with few seriously focused competitors and we had all the time for studies. But things are totally different at this stage with so many subjects, unlimited course, fiercely competitive doctors and the worst so little time to study as most of the time and energy is lost in hospital and ward duties. This book is an effort from my end, to provide you all with a fair bit of help.
Qu. 7. What was the response to the first edition of your book?
Ans.To answer this question I would like to put down some of the reviews of my first edition-
“The author has put all her clinical knowledge and skill into it which helps you to have a grasp of the whole subject in a very short time which is especially important as there is always shortage of time”.
“The author has put a lot of hard work and it seems that incorporated her vast teaching experience into a perfect blend in form of this book”.
“The book is a must for any PG exams and also for ophthalmology university exams”.
“A Gem of a book- Information provided is definitely a gem of it, and would cater to the needs of every student specially taking care of gaps which are not able to fill while reading from out textbooks”.
“The book reflects that Dr Ruchi Rai has definitely prepared this book with her foresight putting in her all the experience she has gained, teaching the students for entrance exams using pneumonic and formula wherever required.”
Qu. 8. How different is this book from the previous edition?
Ans.This edition has been reformatted so that it becomes more convenient for the students to prepare the subject chapter wise. All the chapters in the book are now topic wise and at the end of every chapter are the questions asked in various examinations in last 15 years, along with the answers. The explanation is all included and mentioned in the corresponding chapters. This format will help to study more systematically and still in a very concise manner, so that the students can get the grasp of the subject even better in a very short period of time.
All new questions of the recent exams have been added in the second edition. Hence the number of questions is much more than the first edition.
The second edition has been made handier considering the convenience of the students, though the content and information is more than the first edition.
Qu. 9. What is your message to the students?
Ans.Dear students it is not only important to work hard but it is more important to work efficiently. Every student should know what to read and how much time to spend on a particular subject. A proper time management and a proper selection of what to read are important for any success.
“BE A FIGHTER AND YOU WILL SUCCEED”
All the Best and God Bless You.
Qu. 10. If you were asked to choose between teaching and clinical practice, which one will you choose and why?
Ans. In medicine, clinical practice and teaching go hand in hand. If you look back at your MBBS course or further at your PG courses ,your teacher is not only teaching you but is also managing the OPDs and the OTs. Hence without clinical knowledge ,your teaching has no meaning.
Therefore for me, both clinical practice and teaching are indispensible part of my profession. Teaching is my passion and I enjoy it. So the choice is almost impossible to make.
Qu. 11. Why should an M.B.B.S student consider taking up ophthalmology as subject for specialization or ophthalmology seats are taken up by top rankers in the PG entrance exams. What is the reason for that?
Ans. It's a branch which is very challenging but at the same time not very demanding. Challenging because this is one branch where advancements in the modalities of treatment are updated at a very fast pace. And when I say not very demanding I mean,balance in life ie work and family is more possible as emergencies are minimum and working hours are not very long .
According to me, the only reason why a student should choose a branch is that he or she has interest in the subject. Its very important that you enjoy the work that you are doing . Rest everything is manageable.
Qu. 12. What inspired you to choose Ophthalmology as a carrier?
Ans. I loved the subject since my MBBS days.
Qu. 13. One quality that defines you?
Ans. I am very sensitive.
Qu. 14. Your favourite book (non-academic)?
Ans. Reading is my favourite hobby,and I read varied kinds of books. My favourite books are – Kite Runner, Namesake, MaximumCity, Five point someone, Monk who sold His Ferrari, Paths Of Glory, Only Love is real and so the list goes on.
Qu. 15. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Ans. I have never thought about that. Life can be very unpredictable and I believe in living in present.
Qu. 16. Do you plan to write a textbook on the subject sometime?
Ans. At present there is no such plan. If , I ever plan to, you will get to know.
Qu. 17. Your favourite food ?
Ans. Simple food cooked by my mother.
Qu. 18. One thing you would like to change about you?
Ans. I am a perfectionist and that can sometimes prove hard for others. I wish to learn to take it easy.
Qu. 19. If you had the opportunity to choose your profession again, what will you choose to be?
Ans. I have a keen interest in music and would love to be a singer!
Dr. Ruchi Rai can be approached via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviews - Collective Index (Appearing in Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews)
Interviews - Collective Index (Appearing in Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology)
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