The day after I took Step 1, I was relieved. The majority of my studying was over, or so I thought. One week later, I realized that I would need to study during Years 3 and 4, the clinical years. But how–given that you spend all day with patients–do you have the time?
Unlike for Step 1, there really is no set study materials or resources for Clinical Rotations. Most of the time, I learned from my patients. What drug to treat SBP? When do you cardiovert? What is appropriate behavior for a 4-month-old? These are all learned from my patients. But unfortunately for Step 2 and for Shelf exams–national exams after each clinical rotation–you can’t learn exclusively from patients.
I was fortunate to have a subscription to Online Med Ed. The videos were helpful for Step 1 studying, but at the time were not my primary resource for studying. However, Online Med Ed is very helpful for the clinical years (I believe they are expanding their pre-clinical videos too). First, there are the videos. Many of them are formatted in a way that resembles clinical reasoning. Say a patient comes in with abdominal pain. Not only are you given a differential diagnosis, but you are walked through an algorithm for approaching a patient. This is also how Step 2 questions are formatted: what is the next best step?
The site is also great because it offers outlines of the videos (for the readers), flashcards (for the rote memorizers), and a Q Bank (for the question learners). There are so many resources.
I would say that Online Med Ed is best used based on the need of the learner. Unlike resources for Step 1 studying, you don’t need to utilize every flash card or Q Bank question. Utilize the learning style that works for you. Mostly because you are limited in time, but also because by know you understand how you learn best.
Good luck to everyone out there studying along their clinicals or pre-clinicals!