Sunday, July 12, 2009

Early Board Review

More than halfway through summer vacation and I can't seem to stop thinking about preparing for board exams and the second year of medical school. Despite being a year away, they loom incessantly in the back of my mind. It's time to start warming up the memory centers I turned off a while back.

Board Review Books

Since pathology is taught predominantly during the second year of medical school, it is wise to know the normal characteristics and actions of the physiological processes. Many students before me have suggested a self paced refresher course focused on physiology. For a relatively inexpensive price, I was able to procure the Board Review Series text. I figure with a couple hours every day I can at least review the important concepts so they are less foreign when we get into the material this coming year.

Many students have also recommended comprehensive books, such as First Aid for the COMLEX, First Aid for the USMLE, or question banks that will guide the study sessions towards board material. These are often used in conjunction with course materials throughout the year. In any case, there is more material available to prepare for boards than anyone has time to consume. As for enjoying summer to some extent, I think I have plenty of materials to work with and expect to see an improvement in information retention.

Clinical Corner

Home Medicine

Who isn't a fan of self-diagnosing? Admit it, you always try to guess what you have before asking the professional. I had an experience this past week where I was headed to the clinic and stopped at a book stand before arriving. To my surprise they had available a home edition of the Merck Manual. After a little thumbing, and I have to admit a selfish desire to have it on my shelf, I found a detailed description of the ailment, symptoms, treatment and more all in understandable English. For a quick reference, an abbreviated online Merck Manual is also available.


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