Friday, March 25, 2011

3rd Year clerkship books - the lowdown

Went to a morning of women's health conference (part of my current ambulatory medicine rotation) that was filled with some good review and some new interesting research (depression in pregnant women). However, as I was mainly based in Highland Park/Squirrel Hill I was completely unaware that the 2nd years had just completed their last real medical school class today! (ICS). Woah, it seemed like just last year that I was in their shoes. It was a bittersweet day because  everyone is happy to be down with class but everyone also disperses to go study for Boards (just a tad unpleasant). I wrote about my take on Boards Step 1 studying advice here.

And seeing as a lot of my friends are going to be 3rd years soon I though I'd share what I thought were good books to get for 3rd year clerkships, both for doing well on wards and on the shelves.

By alphabetical order-

  1. Ambulatory/Outpatient medicine (CAMPC at Pittmed)- National shelf. Used Internal Medicine Essentials. Case Files PEDS/Blueprint PEDS. MKSAP 4 for practice questions.
  2. Family medicine- In House exam. Used Essentials of Family Medicine. 
  3. Medicine- National Shelf. Internal Medicine Essentials and Step Up to Medicine were both useful to me. I also got the little green Pocket Medicine book to carry around on wards (but referred to this very infrequently, not the best $60 spent). MKSAP 4 for practice questions.
  4. Neuro- National Shelf. Case Files Neurology. Pretest neurology for practice questions. Haines Neuroanatomy for those residents that love pimping on anatomy.
  5. Ob/Gyn- In House exam. Hacker & Moore: Essentials of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Kaplan has a great review as well. Heard excellent reviews for Case Files Ob/Gyne.
  6. Pediatrics- In House exam. Not yet taken, but I hear Blueprints/Case Files pediatrics is good. Pretest Peds for practice questions.
  7. Psych- National shelf. First Aid for Psychiatry Shelf (absolute must). I supplemented with Case Files Psych and Pretest Psych for Qs.
  8. Surgery- National shelf. NMS Surgery for day to day clerkship stuff. Pestana Review/Kaplan Surgery text were great for the shelf. Pretest Surg was all I had for practice Qs, not a bad resource. I used Surgical Recall rarely for pimping, but its high yield if your resident likes to pimp a lot in the OR.
  9. Specialty care (EM/ENT/Optho)- In house exam. EM: Case Files EM for something to read and keep you busy during your ER shifts.  ENT: read the little book PittMed gives you (best for pimping, but not high yield for the exam). Optho: lectures and handouts by course instructor. Know EKGs for the exam (Dubin's is good review).
This is a comprehensive list of the books and resources for practice Qs I used. I know others who got months of USMLEWORLD prescriptions for practice test questions (not sure how these compare to shelf questions).  I know this book list may seem incredibly intimidating and expensive. 
I would suggest getting together a large group of friends (~7 of mine joined forces) and sharing books with each other. I probably bought less than 5-6 books (all used and in good condition) and just traded them with my friends when the right rotation came around. Definitely a money saver! And never forget your school's friendly lending library :).

To my MS2s- kick boards butt, and enjoy the start of 3rd year, it really is such an amazing year and will be over before you know it.

Here's a good study song ;).


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