For a UPSC CSE aspirant, the optional subject is also an important subject. In the UPSC mains exam, optional marks have two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper is of 250 marks which makes a total of 500 marks. The UPSC optional subject list contains 48 subjects in total, one of which is Medical Science.





  1. Human Anatomy:
  • Applied anatomy including blood and nerve supply of upper and lower limbs and joints of the hip, knee, and shoulder
  • Gross anatomy, blood supply, and lymphatic drainage of thyroid, tongue, mammary gland, liver, stomach, prostate, gonads, and uterus
  • Clinical anatomy of kidney, urinary bladder, uterine tubes, vas deferens.
  • Applied anatomy of diaphragm, perineum, and inguinal region
  • Development of heart, gut, kidney, uterus, ovary, testis, and their common congenital abnormalities
  • Embryology: Placenta and placental barrier
  • 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
  • Components of the autonomic nervous system
  • Cranial nerves, distribution and clinical significance
  1. 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
  • Endocrine system: Mechanism of action of hormones, formation, secretion, transport, metabolism, function, and regulation of secretion of pancreas and pituitary gland
  • Physiology of sleep and consciousness.
  • Physiology of reproductive system: menstrual cycle, lactation, pregnancy.
  • Cardio-vascular, cardiac output, blood pressure, regulation of cardiovascular functions
  • Blood: Development, regulation, and the fate of blood cells
  1. Biochemistry:
  • Organ function tests-liver, kidney, thyroid
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Protein synthesis
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)
  • Radioimmunoassays (RIA)
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  1. Pathology:
  • Pathogenesis and histopathology of rheumatic and ischemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus
  • Inflammation and repair, disturbances of growth and cancer
  • Differentiation between benign, malignant, primary, and metastatic malignancies, histopathology, and Pathogenesis of bronchogenic carcinoma, carcinoma breast, cancer cervix, oral cancer, leukemia, Etiology, pathogenesis, and histopathology of – cirrhosis liver, tuberculosis, glomerulonephritis, acute osteomyelitis.
  1. Microbiology:
  • Humoral and cell-mediated immunity
  • Diseases caused by and laboratory diagnosis of:L
    • Shigella, Herpes, Dengue, Polio
    • Meningococcus, Salmonella
    • Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus
    • HIV/AIDS, Malaria, E. Histolytica, Giardia
  1. Pharmacology:
  • Mechanism of action and side effects of the following drugs
    • Antipyretics and analgesics, Antibiotics, Antimalaria
    • Antikala-Azar, Antidiabetics
    • Antihypertensive, General and cardiac vasodilators, Antiviral, Antiparasitic, Antidiuretics, Antifungal, Immunosuppressants
    • Anticancer
  1. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology: 
  • The forensic examination of injuries and wounds
  • Examination of blood and seminal stains
  • DNA and fingerprint study
  • Poisoning, sedative overdose, hanging, drowning, burns


  1. General Medicine:
  • Etiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and principles of management (including prevention) of – Tetanus, AIDS, Rabies, Dengue, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis
  • Etiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and principles of management of:
    • Bronchial asthma
    • Ischaemic heart disease, pulmonary embolism.
  • Pleural effusion, Malabsorption syndromes, tuberculosis, acid peptic diseases, Viral hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Glomerulonephritis and pyelonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, renal failure, renovascular hypertension, complications of diabetes mellitus, coagulation disorders, Hypo, and hyperthyroid, leukemia, meningitis, and encephalitis
  • Imaging in medical problems, ultrasound, echocardiogram, MRI, CT scan
  • Anxiety and Depressive Psychosis and schizophrenia and ECT
  1. Pediatrics:
  • Immunization, congenital cyanotic heart disease, Baby-friendly hospital, respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopneumonia, kernicterus
  • ARI and Diarrhea of under five and their management
  • IMNCI classification and management, PEM grading and management
  1. Dermatology:
  • Psoriasis, scabies, Allergic dermatitis, eczema, Stevan Johnson’s syndrome, vitiligo, Lichen Planus
  1. General Surgery:
  • Clinical features, diagnosis, causes, and principles of management of cleft palate, harelip
  • Peripheral arterial diseases, varicose veins, coarctation of the aorta
  • Laryngeal tumor, oral and esophageal tumors
  • Tumors of Thyroid, Adrenal Glands
  • Abscess, fibroadenoma, cancer, and adenosis of the breast
  • Bleeding peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, tuberculosis of bowel, cancer stomach
  • Renal mass, cancer Prostate
  • Management of surgical conditions of Rectum, Anus and Anal canal, Bile ducts, and Gall bladder
  • Haemothorax, stones of Gall bladder, Ureter, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder
  • Splenomegaly, portal hypertension, cholecystitis, liver abscess, peritonitis, carcinoma head of the pancreas.
  • Fractures of spine, bone tumors, and Colles’ fracture
  • Laparoscopic Surgery
  • Endoscopy
  1. Obstetrics and Gynaecology including Family Planning:
  • Diagnosis of pregnancy
  • Labour management, Antepartum, and postpartum hemorrhage, resuscitation of the newborn, complications of 3rd stage, Management of abnormal lie and difficult labor, Management of small for a date or premature newborn
  • Preeclampsia and Toxaemias of pregnancy, management of Postmenopausal Syndrome
  • Diagnosis and management of anemia
  • Intra-uterine devices, pills, vasectomy, and tubectomy
  • Cancer cervix
  • Medical termination of pregnancy including legal aspects
  • Leucorrhoea, infertility, pelvic pain, dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), amenorrhoea, Fibroid, and prolapse of the uterus
  1. Community Medicine (Preventive and Social Medicine):
  • Principles, approach, methods, 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:
    • HIV/AIDS, STDs and Dengue
    • Malaria, Kala-azar, Filaria and Tuberculosis,
  • Critical appraisal of Health care delivery system
  • Health management and administration: Techniques, Programme Implementation, Tools, and Evaluation
  • Management of hospital and industrial waste
  • Objective, Goals, Component, and Status of Reproductive and Child Health, National Rural Health Mission and Millennium Development Goals

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