IQMU 2017: The Eponymous Quiz

It is an interesting thing to note that the exact etymology of the word ‘Quiz’ is rather ambiguous. In any case, it probably originated from the same roots that flowered in form of ‘Question’ or ‘Inquisitive.’ The purpose of a quiz, in keeping with these principles, is perhaps to add an element of curiousity and lateral thinking alongside a grueling test of wits. And that is what Manipal witnessed in form of the International Quiz for Medical Undergraduates.

Twenty-three teams came together to compete for the grand prize. They comprised of teams from the sister colleges of KMC Manipal and Mangalore, from the colleges across India such as from RMMC and JSS Medical College, and even from across the wide seas, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The air was thickened enough by the teams’ apprehensive eagerness to warrant a slice of the metaphorical knife as they awaited the beginning of the first Round on the evening of 2nd March 2017 in TMA Pai Hall 1. It was to be a test of reflexes twitching as fast as lightning, tempered only by the speed of thought.

The stimulating questions had to be answered by means of a clicker that noted down the time of entering the answers, adding another dimension of competition between the teams.

Moderated by the estimable Dr Haneil L D’Souza of the Department of Forensic Medicine, KMC Manipal, the round went off without a hitch, the gasping audience spellbound by the furrowed brows and gleaming eyes of the competitors.

An internal jury sat to arbitrate any disputes that may have arisen, composed of members of the admirable faculty of KMC Manipal.

The morning session on the next day saw more of the same in form of Round 2, still under the supervision of Dr D’Souza. Armed with the knowledge of their scores in the previous rounds, the teams began taking strategic risks in a bid to outperform the others into qualification. With eyes locked onto the screens and faces locked in thoughtful expressions, time passed in a blur for the contestants as the two preliminary rounds drew to a close.

Twelve teams made it forward from this stage of the quiz, based on their cumulative score and times from the first two rounds. Post-lunch, the teams gathered again to compete, between themselves more than against the Quizmaster this time around, in form of Round 3.

The twelve teams were broken down into two groups of six, with the quiz occurring simultaneously among the two groups in TMA Pai Halls 1 and 3. The quizmaster in Hall 1 was Dr Haneil D’Souza, while the duties of the same were taken up by the admirable Dr Antony S D’Souza, the Associate Dean of KMC Manipal.

This Round was a quiz unto itself, bearing five rounds within itself. There was a laudable air of ferocity amongst both the groups as the nail-bitingly close competition proceeded. The Round had straight questions, alongside a couple of out-of-the-box rounds that tested how far the wits of the teams could be stretched, in inferring and drawing answers from intuitive threads of reasoning.

Six teams, the three winners among the two pools each, proceeded directly to the finals, and were rewarded with a day of rest before the finals were to begin. However, it was not for the teams that missed the opportunity by the skin of their teeth to feel disheartened, because the next day provided a chance for redemption in form of the Wild Card Entry.

All of the teams that had competed so far came together once again in order to try and re-join the six finalists for the finals. There were two stages to the Wild Card rounds, both designed to test the individual strengths of the team members as well as the strength of their camaraderie.

The first Wild Card round was composed of Spotters, and the teams had the choice of sending forth their most appropriate member for this challenge. It was a test like no other, pens scratching furiously in an attempt to regain what had been lost.

The top four teams according to the scores achieved in the Spotters headed for the curious case of Mental Relay. This rather complicated, fun and outre round was hosted by Dr Anil Bhat, Head of Department of Orthopedics at KMC Manipal, and saw the team members dependent on how closely their thoughts followed one anothers when free communication was restricted.

The round consisted of a case, which had to be unraveled by successive members of the team by utilising investigations until a diagnosis could be achieved. The added restriction of not being able to discuss or plan placed the burden solely upon the bonds that joined one team-mate to another.

The two teams that prevailed in the Mental Relay went on to join the other six teams for the semi-finals on the ultimate day of IQMU, the 5th of March.

The sun streaked up at dawn deceptively quick, and soon it was time for the eight commendable teams to take their seats for the semi-finals. The duties of the Quizmaster for these final hours of IQMU were taken up by Dr Meenakshi Sundaram of PSGIMSR Coimbatore, an avid quizzer himself.

A series of fun but tense rounds followed, such as straight questions in the Straight Drive, diagnostic questions in You be The Doc, intuitive thought given form in Connect the Dots. A form of the 21 Questions game made its way into the quiz in form of Watch Your Back, and the knowledge of personalities in the health sciences field was tested in Lords of Medicine.

At the end of the grueling semi-final, six teams made their way to the finals which was to begin post-lunch.
The tense finals were more of the same rounds, and the competition was closer than ever. To turn the tide however, a couple of interesting rounds emerged, such as the straight buzzer round, which amped up the competitive spirit to a new high, and the Visiting Vegas round, which urged the teams to strategically boost their points in fell swoops.

In spite of ups and downs, the teams were admirably close to each other as the quiz drew to a close. One final opportunity presented itself to the teams, one final chance to crest the trough in form of the Rapid Fire round. With bated breath the teams waited their turn, and spurred on by the constraints of time tried to make their way to the top.

At the end of these four days of enduring grueling barrages of questions, the three teams with the mental fortitude to pass all others in a blaze of glory to clinch the prize were,


Team from KMC Mangalore: Sahana K, Kalyani P, Sanjana Rai, Anvitha Shastry and Amulya Reddy.

1st Runners Up:

Team from KMC Manipal: V Siddharth, Abhey Shamsundar, Shivam Mirg, Avinash Rao and Sudeep GC.

2nd Runners Up:

Team from KMC Mangalore: Shishir Upadya, Ishwarya R, Suraj Kumar, Priyamedha Bose Thakur and Sadhana G.

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