#54 What are the Preferred Books and Syllabus for Medical Science Optional in UPSC?

Medical science is one of the many optionals provided by upsc board.

In recent times there has been a growing trend in the choice of this optional.

Students from medical backgrounds mainly choose this subject as it becomes easy for them to understand and decode it.

Many of the aspirants think that taking a subject which does not have any connection with GS papers is a tough choice but this is one of the myths surrounding the subject. The syllabus itself is easy enough for anybody related to the medical field to understand it. To understand the syllabus you must have a hard and soft copy of the same and devote at least 30-45 mins in reading and decoding it. The syllabus makes it easy to gather necessary information.

So,what is the syllabus of medical science?What does it all cover?


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

Protein synthesis.

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

Meningococcus, Salmonella

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 fingerprint study


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.

Bronchial asthma.

Pleural effusion, tuberculosis, Malabsorption syndromes, acid peptic diseases, Viral hepatitis and cirrhosis of liver.

Glomerulonephritis and pyelonephritis, renal failure, nephrotic syndrome, renovascular hypertension, complications of diabetes mellitus, coagulation disorders, leukemia, Hypo and hyperthyroidism, meningitis and encephalitis.

Imaging 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 of the stomach.

Renal mass,cancer Prostate..

Haemothorax, stones of Gallbladder, 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.


Laparoscopic Surgery.

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 Toxemia of pregnancy, Management of Post menopausal Syndrome.

Intrauterine devices, pills, tubectomy and vasectomy. Medical termination of pregnancy including legal aspects.

Cancer cervix.

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.

Now that we are done with the syllabus ,comes the booklist. Many aspirant’s have doubts about which subject book to choose and from where so to make it easy for them we have a complete booklist for both paper 1 and paper 2. But deciding which one to read depends upon you. You have to selectively read from the chosen books.



  1. Human Anatomy—B D Chaurasia
  2. Embryology from I B Singh;
  3. Human Physiology– Ganong; Guyton and A.K. Jain book
  4. Biochemistry– by U. Satyanarayana book.
  5. Pathology– Robbins, and Cotran
  6. Textbook of PATHOLOGY- Harsh Mohan
  7. Essentials of Medical Pharmacology-KD Tripathi
  8. Illustrated Reviews Pharmacology -Lippincott
  9. Microbiology– D R Arora
  10. Medical Parasitology- D R Arora
  11. Ananthanarayan and Paniker’s Textbook of Microbiology
  12. Essentials of Forensic medicine and Toxicology- Dr. K S Narayan Reddy
  13. Park Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine- K Park


  1. General Medicine textbook of medicine- S N Chugh
  2. Medicine: Prep Manual for Undergraduates- George Mathews
  3. Emergency medicine- S N Chugh.
  4. Manipal Manual of Surgery- K. Rajgopal Shenoy
  5. Clinical surgery- S Das.
  6. Pediatrics– Essential pediatrics by O P Ghai, Paul and Bagga.
  7. Practical Aspects Of Pediatrics- Dr. Mayoor K Chheda
  8. Illustrated Synopsis of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases- Dr. Neena Khanna.
  9. Textbook Of Obstetrics-D.C. Dutt

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