UPSC Medical Science Syllabus

by Vajiram & Ravi

Choosing Medical Science as an Optional Subject not only showcases your passion for healthcare but also allows you to delve deep into the intricate world of medicine and its applications in public administration.

In this article, we will discuss the UPSC Medical Science syllabus, and its preparation tips. Whether you are a medical professional seeking to combine your expertise with civil service or an aspirant with a keen interest in healthcare, understanding the scope and depth of this optional subject is essential to your UPSC preparation.

UPSC Medical Science Syllabus

The UPSC Medical Science Optional Subject has two papers - Paper I and Paper II in the CSE Main Examination. Each paper is worth 250 marks, for a total of 500 marks.

Here is the Syllabus of UPSC Medical Science Optional Subject:

Medical Science Syllabus for UPSC: Paper 1

PAPER 1: Medical Science Syllabus for UPSC

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.

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 the pancreas and pituitary gland.
  • Physiology of Reproductive System: Pregnancy, 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 ischaemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus.
  • Difference between benign and malignant tumours, primary and metastatic malignancies.
  • Pathogenesis and histopathology of bronchogenic carcinoma, carcinoma breast, oral cancer, cancer cervix, leukaemia.
    • Etiology, pathogenesis and histopathology of— cirrhosis liver, glomerulonephritis, tuberculosis, acute osteomyelitis.


1. Humoral and cell-mediated immunity.

2. Diseases caused by and laboratory diagnosis of —

  • Meningococcus, Saimonella
  • Shigella, Herpes, Dengue, Polio, HIV/AIDS
  • HIV/AIDS, Malaria, E. Histolytica, Giardia
  • Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus.


  • Mechanism of action and side effects of the following drugs:
  • Antipyretics and analgesics
  • Antibiotics
  • Antimalaria, Anti Kala-azar
  • Antidiabetics
  • Antihypertensive, Antidiuretics
  • General and cardiac vasodilators
  • Antiviral, Antiparasitic, Antifungal
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Anticancer

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.

PAPER 2: Medical Science Optional Syllabus

PAPER 2: Medical Science Optional Syllabus

General Medicine

  • Etiology, clinical features, diagnosis and principles of management (including prevention) of—Typhoid, 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 the liver.
  • Glomerulonephritis and pyelonephritis, renal failure, nephrotic syndrome, renovascular hypertension, complications of diabetes mellitus, coagulation disorders, leukaemia, Hypo and hyperthyroidism, meningitis and encephalitis.
  • Imaging medical problems, ultrasound, echocardiogram, CT scan, MRI.
  • Anxiety and Depressive Psychosis and schizophrenia and ECT.


  • Immunisation
  • Baby friendly hospital
  • Congenital cyanotic heart disease
  • Respiratory distress syndrome, broncho— pneumonias
  • Kernicterus
  • IMNCI classification and management
  • PEM grading and management.
  • ARI and Diarrhoea of under five and their management


  • Psoriasis, Allergic dermatitis, scabies, eczema, vitiligo, Stevan Johnson’s syndrome, Lichen Planus.

General Surgery

  • Clinical features, causes, diagnosis and principles of management of:
  • Laryngeal tumour, oral and esophageal tumours
  • Cleft palate, harelip.
  • Peripheral arterial diseases, varicose veins, coarctation of aorta.
  • Tumours of Thyroid, Adrenal Glands.
  • Breast: 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, Gallbladder and Bile ducts.
  • Splenomegaly, cholecystitis, portal hypertension, liver abscess, peritonitis, carcinoma head of pancreas.
  • Fractures of spine, Colles’ fracture and bone tumours.
  • Endoscopy.
  • Laparoscopic Surgery

Obstetrics and Gynaecology including Family Planning

  • Diagnosis of pregnancy.
  • Labour management, complications of 3rd stage,
  • Antepartum and postpartum haemorrhage, resuscitation of the newborn, Management of abnormal life and difficult labour. Management of small for date or premature newborn.
  • Diagnosis and management of anaemia. Preeclampsia and Toxemia of pregnancy
  • Management of Postmenopausal 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 the uterus.

Community Medicine (Preventive and Social Medicine)

  • Principles, methods, approach and measurements of Epidemiology.
  • Nutrition, nutritional diseases/disorders and 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.
  • Objectives, Components, Goals and Status of Reproductive and Child Health, National Rural Health Mission and Millennium Development Goals.
  • Management of hospital and industrial waste.

How to Prepare Medical Science Optional for UPSC?

Here are some tips to prepare for the UPSC Medical Science syllabus for the Mains exam:

  • Understand the syllabus. The first step is to thoroughly understand the syllabus of Medical Science for both Paper I and Paper II. This will help you to identify the topics that you need to focus on and to create a study plan.
  • Choose the right books and resources. There are many different books and resources available for medical science students. It is important to choose the ones that are most relevant to the UPSC medical science syllabus and that are written in a clear and concise style.
  • Make a study plan. Once you have chosen your books and resources, create a study plan that will help you to cover all of the material in the syllabus. Be sure to schedule in time for revision and practice.
  • Take notes. As you are studying, take notes on the important points and concepts. This will help you to remember the material and to revise it more easily.
  • Practice answering questions. The best way to prepare for the exam is to practise answering questions. You can do this by solving previous year's question papers and by taking mock tests.
  • Discuss the topics with others. Joining Medical Science Optional Subject classes can help you prepare the subject in an organised manner

Here are some additional tips to prepare Medical Science as an Optional Subject:

  • Focus on understanding the concepts rather than just memorising facts.
  • Use diagrams and charts to help you to visualise the concepts.
  • Take breaks while you are studying to avoid burnout.
  • Get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.
  • Preparing for the UPSC Mains exam is a challenging task, but it is definitely possible with hard work and dedication. By following the tips above, you can increase your chances of success.

FAQs on UPSC Medical Science Syllabus

Is Medical Science a good Optional for UPSC?

Medical Science can be a good Optional for UPSC if you have a strong background in medicine and a genuine interest in healthcare-related issues. It allows you to leverage your expertise and contribute to public health policy. However, it demands a thorough understanding of a vast syllabus, making it suitable primarily for candidates with a medical background.

What is the UPSC Medical Science Syllabus?

UPSC Medical Science Optional Syllabus is:

Paper I

  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Pathology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Paper II

  • General Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Dermatology
  • General Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology, including Family Planning
  • Community Medicine (Preventive and Social Medicine)

The Medical Science syllabus covers a wide range of topics in medical science, so it is important to start preparing early. You can find more detailed information about the syllabus on the UPSC website.

Which Optional Subject is best for MBBS?

For MBBS graduates, Medical Science is often considered the best optional for UPSC as it aligns with their academic background and expertise. It provides a distinct advantage in understanding healthcare policies, which is vital for civil services roles. However, candidates should choose their optional based on their interest and familiarity with the subject, as dedication and in-depth knowledge are crucial for success in the UPSC exam.