20 must-dos to pass DNB pathology practicals. Confidence, ability to stay cool under all circumstances, clarity of concepts, good basic preparation with proper planning go a long way to pass pathology practicals.
Parts of pathology practicals.....
1.Case discussion.......short cases like jaundice, diabetic foot ulcer, hemolytic anamia, anamia etc.
Simple, crisp, standard, fluent, clear answers without ambiguity are expected. Questions are not Hi-fi, questions are very simple.
2.Investigations for the above case.....
3.examiners will ask u to do certain investigations for the above case.....Hb/TC/DC/ESR/Blood sugar/urine routine/Sr.bilirubin/S.creat/s.chol/S. Ca/S.uric acid/B.urea/(should know all manual methods, principles.....
Depending on institution automated machines might be made available. Clinical intepretation is more important.
Other hematological tests asked could be.....osmotic fragility test, G6PD, PT, PTT, Mixing studies for factor deficiencies(principle), AEC/Platelet count/retic count/PCV/RBC count /Sickling test/D-dimer/Ham's test/sucrose lysis test/LE cell preparation/leishman's stain/pearl's stain/MPO/PAS/Alk phospatase/
4.Blood banking procedures...Grouping, cross-matching, direct and indirect Coombs,
5.staining.....Routine stains(H&E), Pap, Geimsa (also know about Gram's stain)
Special stains(PAS,PASD, PAS-Alacin blue/ Reticulin stain, Masson's trichrome,Van-geison's, verhoeff, ZN stain, Groccots/
6.Histo techniques...routine processing,Cutting of blocks, problems and their rectification/
Also know Frozen sections, IF staining principles, IHC(immunohistochem) principles,
7. gross techniques.....Fixation/grossing/bits/
8. Special tests......Spotters....Should know INTEPRETATION of...IHC slides, IF slides(renal, skin) /photographs, EM photographs, platelet aggregometry graphs,southern blot hybridization,Karyotype, Serum protein electrophoresis, Hemoglobin electrophoresis, routine hematolgy automated 3/5 part differential printouts, flow cytometry intepretation, AgNOR counts, ANCA, HLA typing and cross-matching (all these do not carry too many marks)
9.Gross specimens: site/organ description and diagnosis and differential diagnosis
10. Autopsy techniques......U may be asked to perform dissection of organs or just intepretation of already grossed specimens or mounted specimens. Depending on institution importance given to this exercise varies.
11. other tests like semen anylysis, etc could be asked
12. Cytology slides....5-7 cases, time for each slide varies from 5-7 minutes.
13. Hematology cases...number varies from 10-15, time varies from 5-6 minutes per slide, each case may have more than one slide.
14. Histopathlogy slides...number varies from 25-30. time varies from 4-6 minutes. you are expected to write description, diagnosis/ differential diagnosis. Also know what further IHC is required to confirm, should be able to answer 1-2 questions on that diagnosis.
15. Be prepared to see all qualities of slides....good, bad and the ugly (poor stain, funny colours, thick sections, faded stains, air bubbles,folds, parasite in some corner of the slide, two different sections on one slide, two diagnosis in one slide, some rare disease, very common and undergratuate level slide.....Just think of all that should not be there in an ideal slide I'm sure atleast one examiner will have one such slide).
16.Last but the most important...CARRY YOUR OWN MICROSCOPE ( THERE IS NO GAURENTEE THAT THEIR MICROSCOPES WILL BE BINOCULAR, SELF ILLUMINATING, GOOD OIL IMMERSION LENSES....ETC). STAY COOL ALWAYS....IT COULD MAKE OR BREAK YOU. DOESN'T MATTER IF ONE EXERCISE GOES WRONG...QUICKLY SWITCH TO ANOTHER ONE.
17.CARRY HALL TICKET, CLEAN APRON, LOG BOOKS, THESIS, OTHER NECESSARY STATIONARY,REACH ONE DAY EARLY, MEET HOD AND INFORM THAT U HAVE COME FOR THE EXAM(they might show u the venue of exam to allay fear of new place).If u already know the place what better blessing can anyone expect.
18. No need to carry food and water, usually this is given in plentiful anytime. U just need great stamina to keep answering questions calmy from morning 8.00am to maybe night 9.00pm.
19.BIG NO's: dirty clothes, casuals, messy hair, strong perfumes, overdone, frowing, arguing, talking during exam, discussing with other candidates, trying to get clues from experts in the hall, reaching late for the exam.
20. Believe in your self and good-luck! any queries feel free to e-mail/post replies.