Sunday, March 20, 2011

Preparing for Board Exams... Again

Round two of board exams is now in full swing. It seems like just last month I was preparing for the first of many and here I am again, squeezing every opportunity to study out of every waking moment.

Step 2 Resources

On the way to the hospital or clinic, the lecture tour of medical topics begins in mp3 format. The few minutes between patients give me just enough time to consume a page or two from Boards and Wards. If I can avoid sleep driving, I catch up on the audio files during the ride home. After a quick break for dinner it's back to the books. My time is divided among Step-Up to USMLE Step 2, Premier Review and First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK. Of course there is a lot of overlap between texts that has been beneficial for review purposes which can easily be skimmed. Depending on the day, I may do a set of questions from various Qbanks or get together with classmates to prepare for the clinical skills exam. For the latter we have been using First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS as it provides clinical cases to prompt our interaction.

Looking at all the resources can be overwhelming. Thankfully, I was recently introduced to an iPhone app that helps calm my mind by taking the guesswork out of organizing everything. Cram Fighter is the perfect tool for students who plan to follow their own schedule when reviewing for board exams. By simply entering the books, Qbanks, subject order, dates and times, the application builds a calendar checklist to meet your deadlines. It breaks down the number of pages to cover on any given day, provides "catch-up" days if you fall behind and will adjust your calendar if needed. For the nominal cost of the application, I have saved myself undue stress and anxiety. Perhaps it really appeals to me because filling in check boxes has always been a rewarding experience in and of itself. Whatever the case may be, I think this is a valuable tool in preparing for boards.

Question of the Week
An 18 year old college freshman presents to the emergency department after experiencing a seizure at a party. Her friend says that she was consuming alcohol and complained of severe abdominal pain before vomiting and later convulsing. She has no signs of convulsive activity after admission to the hospital for observation. The next morning, an observant medical student notices red-brown urine in her Foley catheter bag and that the patient's urine toxicology screen is positive. Which drug most likely contributed to the patient's symptoms?

A. Cocaine
B. Heroine
C. Marijuana
D. Methamphetamine
E. Phenobarbital

Answer & Explanation

1 comment:

  1. Hi JBatt,

    This is great information. I particularly like the question of the week. It's really helping me with my own preparation for the USMLE. Although I did also sign up for a prep course. Hope it works out.

    Thanks so much,


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