The UPSC offers more than 48 optional subjects which include Medical Science as well. This syllabus forces the candidate to understand the basic concepts and the application of basic problems faced by the patients. It is recommended that candidates only choose this subject if they have extremely high knowledge and interests in these subjects so that they can prepare for the exam.

Aspirants who have a degree in medical science or work as doctors, nurses or biomedical engineers take this as optional. Continue reading this article to know more about medical science optional, UPSC medical exam, the salary of UPSC medical officer, and the UPSC medical services.

Also Read: UPSC Seats & Vacancies 2021: All You Need to Know about it – Category Wise 

What Number of Candidates Take Medical Science as Optional?

Medical science is one of the subjects offered as an optional by the UPSC in the civil service mains exams. This optional subject is highly technical and students who are MBBS graduates or postgraduates take this as a subject. Each year around 300 candidates take this subject as optional and most of them top the UPSC mains exam. The success rate is around 20%.

Medical Science Optional Syllabus

Optional Subject consists of 2 papers. Each paper is 250 marks, making a total of 500 marks.

Medical Science Optional Paper I Syllabus

Human Anatomy

Applied anatomy including blood and nerve supply of upper and lower limbs and joints of the shoulder, hip, and knee.

Gross anatomy, blood supply, and lymphatic drainage of the 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 the brain, circulation of cerebrospinal fluid; Neural pathways and lesions of cutaneous sensations, hearing, and vision; Cranial nerves, distribution and clinical significance.

Components of the 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 the 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 the fate of blood cells.

Cardio-vascular, cardiac output, blood pressure, regulation of cardiovascular functions.

Also Read: What are the Links to the Notes of the UPSC Toppers? What is the Suggested UPSC Booklist by Toppers?


Organ function tests-liver, kidney, thyroid Protein synthesis. Vitamins and minerals.

Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Radioimmunoassays (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, leukaemia, 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.


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.

Medical Science Optional Paper II Syllabus

General Medicine

Aetiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and principles of management (including prevention) of – Tetanus, Rabies, AIDS, Dengue, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis.

Aetiology, 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 hyperthyroid, meningitis, and encephalitis.

Imaging in medical problems, ultrasound, echocardiogram, CT scan, MRI. Anxiety and Depressive Psychosis and schizophrenia and ECT.

Also Read: What is the Civil Service Aptitude Test? How to Prepare for the CSAT to Clear in the First Attempt?


Immunization, Baby-friendly hospital, congenital cyanotic heart disease, respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopneumonia, 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.

General Surgery

Clinical features, causes, diagnosis, and principles of management of cleft palate, harelip. Laryngeal tumour, oral and esophageal tumours.

Peripheral arterial diseases, varicose veins, coarctation of the aorta. Tumours of Thyroid, Adrenal Glands.

Abscess, cancer, fibroadenoma, and adenosis of breast.

Bleeding peptic ulcer, tuberculosis of bowel, ulcerative colitis, cancer 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’s bladder, and Bile ducts.

Splenomegaly, cholecystitis, portal hypertension, liver abscess, peritonitis, carcinoma head of the 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 lie and difficult labour, Management of small for a date or premature newborn.

Diagnosis and management of anaemia, Preeclampsia, and Toxaemias 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 uterus.

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 programs 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.

Also Read: UPSC Mains Answer Writing: Tips to Write the Perfect UPSC Answer to Score Well

Is Choosing Medical Science the Right Choice?

Medical science is an excellent option for doctors who are open to studying their MBBS syllabus one more time. It would be a subject with which you would be familiar and would have studied for five years. The syllabus is also considered problematic and vast since the syllabus doesn’t overlap.

Diagrams are extremely important for this paper. You can score more marks with fewer words by drawing diagrams which are important to your paper. It is also recommended that you use colour pencils to make the presentation good and appealing if you have the time.


Hopefully, now you know how to proceed after taking medical science as an optional subject and things about UPSC combined medical services are also clear to you. Preparing for the UPSC is not easy since it takes a lot of dedication and motivation to clear the exam, and if you have decided to take Medical Sciences as an optional, then you will have to prepare much harder. To read more tips about clearing the UPSC exams continue reading UPSC Pathshala.

Content Protection by
UPSC Medical Science Optional Syllabus 2021: Here’s the Syllabus for UPSC Optional Subjects
Article Name
UPSC Medical Science Optional Syllabus 2021: Here’s the Syllabus for UPSC Optional Subjects
Want to know about the UPSC syllabus for medical science optionals but don’t know about a source? Read this article to know about the career in UPSC for a medical science graduate.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo

About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

View All Articles