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  1. #1
    Ward21 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Getting Through Clinicals

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    I heard that things will get pretty hectic during clinicals, so what are the best ways to prepare and study for the exams? and more importantly how do you prepare for step2? what are some of the most proven methods or study aids?

  2. #2
    tequila_mockingbird is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    da scoop

    make your PB while on the medicine rotation yous all.

    Wait, what's a PB you say? It's called a peripheral brain. Seriously, ya can't memorize everything; I don't care how photographic ur brain "supposedly" is. So, you make a peripheral brain.

    How to make the peripheral brain.

    1. get a binder. the thicker, the bigger the better.
    2. use the resources of the hospital; most hospitals (well good ones) will have access to online journals.
    3. take the common topics and find journal articles for them ie
    ie stroke management, diabetes, chf, COPD, PE, abscess, cellulitis, and so one and print them out.
    4. THIS WAY you can quote journal articles while on rounds and if you have to do admission the binder you keep in ur locker or bag will u let you sneak a peak before u go do the admission.
    5. have an all purpose book like boards and wards handy, too.

    what else?

    WHEN you GET home, read up on your patient's. you see it, you read it. you hear about it, you read it. I don't frocking care if you read for 20mins only, just read it.

    DOING a little bit everyday will def help for the shelf. the best kept secret for the shelf btw, EXAM MASTER. do it, make it your friend, it's free.


    for step 2. I don't know man since I just started my rotations so i defer to the senior medics.

    laters

  3. #3
    Ward21 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    t mockingbird, thanks for the heads-up. It's really appreciated!

  4. #4
    tequila_mockingbird is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    :)

    like no problem

    i am telling u. have a peripheral brain is sooo good. it's not just about being able to quote journal articles on rounds its about caring enough to know the latest information.

    and some journals have great articles on patient management. i had great article on managing and treating cellulitis that my attending had everyone read it!

    i'll give ya list of good journals when i find my list.

  5. #5
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    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 516 points
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    I suppose we all have different styles, but I still stick with high yield books, because you only have so much time to learn the big pictures, and how to find them with a good hx and exam. My "peripheral brain" (which is a good idea) is a pda with free Merck manual (extremely detailed), 130$ full version Epocrates (unbelievabley practical and useful tool, forever), Taber's medical dictionary (50$), Maxwells pocket book, the Mass General "red book" which you see on all wards, .... essentially whatever resources work for you. These give you resources always in your pocket that you can use to read up on your cases during the day, when rounding is slow, or whatever.

    Regading Step 2 CK, plan on a time period of about 2-3 months, where you'll do all the Uworld questions (these alone will allow you a good grade), and maybe add some review book if you want, which I personally think is a waste of time. At that point, just reading doesn't do much for me. Questions are a much better use of time, assuming you read all the explanations of right and wrong answers. Try to plan maybe psych plus another rotation where you have down time during the day, and maybe plan to take a month off of rotations to study, more or less, as you need.

    Also, really focusing on, and read just 5-10 minutes each day about yoru patients, I wouldn't research it, I'd stick to the main pathophysiology of the issue... you'll be amazed how many of them will pop into your mind while doing a step 2 or a shelf question.

    The shelf exams are an odd mixture of questions which are harder than usmle questions, and many many more abstract questions. You can study your **** off, and it's probably good to do so, but they are hard. So, it's great that they generally dont' make or break your grade.

    Dont' worry, you'll find whichever media and items work for you. Then you just have to put in the time. There's not too many other ways to do it well. I will say, it's admirable to read journal articles, but I can't fathom making that a significant part of my day. I've noticed attendings are FAR more impressed by a thorough history and physical, an organized presentation, and a basic understanding of pathophysiology.

  6. #6
    Ward21 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Thanks Spodat, as always, for a great response.

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    SPODAT's Avatar
    SPODAT is offline Senior Member 516 points
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    YW anytime

  8. #8
    pedoo is offline Newbie 510 points
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    thanks for the info!

  9. #9
    tequila_mockingbird is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    yah

    that is great info spodat but some of us are living loan to loan and don't even know if loans will come through for the rest of education


    since i can't spend 130 on epocrates software; I do what i can. and that's using the resources that are free. my hospital has access to chest journals, new england, ect. so I get the latest information and great patient management for free.


    if you can afford the bells and whistles software then do it. i envy you people that can spend money.

    i can't tell you how many attendings have told me i'm stellar for even attempting to look at journal articles. and when i show them what i have i get a huge thumbs up.

    so do a little of both. if ya get the money.

    as for books, i got boards and wards and the mass general red book. that's all i could afford and those have been a big help like spodat said.

  10. #10
    pedoo is offline Newbie 510 points
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    very interesting guys. I may have to do the same.

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