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Thread: AICM

  1. #1
    Havelock is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    AICM

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    I would really like to hear about 5th semester and what it entails. Does it prepare you for the Step I? Is it a big waste of time? Anybody take off the semester after 4th and study for Step I exclusively and then take the test and then do 5th? Whats the deal with it now being 12 weeks? How has it changed for the better by extending it 3 weeks? Please past 5th semester students and current ones sound off because this seems like one of the biggest mysteries at Ross.

  2. #2
    link626 is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    asdf

    I'd like to know the same.


    It has always sounded to me like a potty training period. Like we're not good enough to pull up our own pants yet.

  3. #3
    RossMD2006 is offline Member
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    AICM

    Hello-

    I thought that AICM was not entirely a waste of time. There are lectures which will help prepare you for clinicals and somewhat for Step 1. But, I would say it's far from Kaplan quality preparation for Step 1.

    I would say the rotations were a waste of time. I spent most of my time in the rotations doing what I could have done in high school (shadow physicians). Sometimes, you just stand there and watch the physician-patient interaction in an outpatient setting. Some rotations, you were able to interview patients, others you didn't do much except for standing and listening. Some students were given the opportunity to suture. Some were given the opportunity to do all sorts of great things. Others were trained in case presentation. It all depends on the physician you have for that particular rotation. Overall, those that were in the outpatient rotations pretty much just stood around and listened. You are always free to ask the physician questions if you wanted to. Overall, you get as much from the rotations as you put in. I wished the physicians that I was assigned to in the rotations taught more in regards to case presentation.

    The physical exam was an extension of what you did in Dominica, but in a way Dr. F wanted it to be done. In addition, there are other techniques you will add to your arsenal from Dominica. You try to run through 200+ techniques in a matter of 45 minutes. It's doable, but it takes some practice.

    The writeups were helpful. Be prepared to take good notes from Dr. F's lecture on how to writeup a patient's case. You will be required to write up a patient from one of your rotations. If you follow what Dr. F expects you should do fine.

    Dr. Shultz will teach epidemiology during AICM also. He is awesome and he will prepare you for the epi portion of Step 1. Do well on the multiple choice exam at the end of the semester and you will have one less thing to worry about come study time. He is a great teacher.

    You will be tested at the end of the semester on topics from lectures given throughout the semester. It consists of essays and multiple choice. Study from the objectives list that is given to you at the beginning of the semester. Know the diseases in the objectives list and be able to discuss them in essay format (clinical presentation, lab findings, etc.). You will be taught how to approach a patient's presentation (abdominal pain, chest pain, diarrhea) during the course.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Havelock is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Typical Day

    Thanks RossMD2006 for the info.

    Can you tell me what a typical day is like as far as what time you arrive and what time you leave? Did you study for Step I when you got home from doing your rotations or were you generally too tired to get much done? What kind of schedule do most of the students go on for studying for step I and when do people normally take it? Is there a general pattern of studying that you noticed for people who were successful on Step I. Thanks again for all your help.

  5. #5
    RossMD2006 is offline Member
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    AICM

    The typical day varies depending on the hospital site you are assigned to in a particular week. There are a number of rotation sites that students are assigned to in AICM. For instance, the outpatient sites I went to required you to be there from 9 am - 5 pm at most. Some rotations are shorter. For those short days, you have the chance to study for Step 1. Since AICM requires you to practice your physical examination skills for the PE exam at the end of the semester, to work on your case writeup and several other things that require time, you will not have a chance to study on a continuous basis. Your studying, if done, will be interrupted during the semester by other priorities. I suggest that you focus on doing well in AICM and study for Step 1 after the semester is over.

    There is no specific time period which will guarantee you a successful score. It all depends on you. Some took the exam right after 4th semester. I'm sure these individuals did well at Ross and were confident enough to take the exam as soon as they did. Others took the exam soon after AICM. Some are taking months after AICM to study. If you think you require more time to review then take the time. If you are confident enough to take it before AICM then do so. I just wouldn't take it in the middle of AICM as a few students did. I think that is insane and only deters you from your focus in doing well in both areas.

    Personally, I don't know of anyone who has taken it yet (and their scores). I can't say when students normally take the exam. I know of some that have taken it before AICM, during AICM and after AICM. I'm sure most have scheduled their exam AFTER AICM.

  6. #6
    jim
    jim is offline Elite Member
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    a comparison

    I would not say that the clinical portion of 5th is atotal waste. they are teaching you something you dont even realise at first. how to act in a hospital. how to fidn info. how to gett hings doen. I now have US students, who upon arrival for their IM rotation, have no clue what to do thefirst few weeks. something that i felt I knew, thanks to my 5th experience years back.

  7. #7
    FMG
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    take step I before 5th sem

    Havelock,
    I would not say that 5th sem is total waste of time. But its waste of time for USMLE I. I wish that I took stepI before 5th sem or u would most likely have to refresh materials from 4th sem which are the most imporatant materials for step I. Some says epi class from 5th help them for stepI but not for me. I felt that I probably could cover epidemiology in 2days of self studying. So its different for each individual. Regarding 5th sem, the only thing I got out was the physical exam which would become the most important part of being a physician. During my clinical rotations, Ross students were much more prepared in History taking & physical exam and able to pick up the diagnosis from PE when u compare with other med schools including US med students, ofcourse its from my experience. So I believe that 5th sem is essential for clinical years, I owe it to Dr ********* (even though I hate to admit it , but it is total waste of time for USMLE stepI. But again, this is from my experince so please do not generalize it. Some students find it helpful for their step I but I don't believe so.

  8. #8
    Havelock is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    What do you all think?

    I have heard people discussing the option of taking off the semester after 4th and studying for Step I during this time and taking it. Then taking AICM after this. Has anyone out there done this? Any difficulties or disadvantages to doing this? It seems logical to me to study and take the test while everything is relatively fresh in your head rather than having to relearn all the material at the end of AICM.

    I dont doubt that AICM is great for learning how to do a proper physical exam and history taking but in reality Step I scores are much more important because you only have one shot at it to pass and do well because if you pass with a low score you are limited in your residency options. I realize if you fail you can retake it but who wants to do that?

  9. #9
    link626 is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    asdf

    how easy is it to cut class during 5th? are there 'nonsense' classes that you can get by without attending class .... kinda like DPS during 1st semester?

    surely you don't have to work straight 9-5 right? a lot of down time in between? precious down time that can be used to review for step 1?

  10. #10
    FMG
    FMG is offline Newbie
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    Step I is way more important than H&P

    I know some students take off from 5th sems and take stepI first, again u should check with school. If u could, u should take yr stepI first. I wish I did it. It just take longer time to prepare for StepI after 5th sem since u have to refresh all the materials from 4th sem. I did decent on my stepI but I believe that if i would have taken it before 5th, I would have done better. If u can take time off after 5th (about 2 or 3months) to study StepI, it should be OK too. For me, I had to take it in hurry or I could miss my match if I start my clinical rotations late since I started in Jan intake. U r exactly right about the StepI score which is one of the most important thing for residency compare to H&P which u have plenty of time to learn during yr clinical years. So do what ever it takes to do well on yr stepI. During 5th sem for us, it was almost impossible to skip classes since they take random attendance and if u r absent, Dr F would email u personally and ask for the reason, it was like elementary school.Step I is the exam where u have to devote yr complete attention, not like minis. Unless, u r very well discipled, u wont be able to study for stepI during 5th sem. Don't get me wrong, there are students who study during sem and take the step. I don't know how they did, so it depends on individual, i guess.

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