While preparing to begin my clinical rotations I thought it might be wise to start reviewing some material to prevent me from forgetting everything I learned before the summer began. I was recommended a popular clinical medicine text which was actually originally authored by 3rd year medical students. These students could not find a decent text to review for clinicals themselves, so they took it into their own hands and created their own. After researching it further, it not only prepares one for clinicals, but also contains USMLE style questions to help prepare for Step 2 and shelf exams. It also includes audio clips of breath and heart sounds which I definitely need more practice listening to.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with shelf exams, they’re typically 100 question multiple choice exams where scores are calculated based on the performance of all medical students in the U.S. The clinical vignettes are usually long, so extracting pertinent details will be key for these exams. They are typically administered following each core rotation, and sometimes count as a percentage of your grade depending on your school. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, the testing never ends.
Next, I have to discuss the importance of a Quick Medical reference pocket guide. Pocket guides contain pertinent lab values, Progress notes, discharge summaries, History & Physical templates, common conversions, mental status exam criteria (why are those so difficult to remember?), and many other very useful details all contained in a very tiny yet portable companion. Pocket guides are widely used in the medical field, and are recommended by almost every medical student I know.
Hopefully these resources will be enough for now. I’ll review when I can, but I’m still going to try to enjoy my last real summer before the work begins again. So excited for the road ahead.