Improving medical students

Book Suggestions for the Wards

Posted by medliorator on March 4, 2008

To succeed in 3rd year you will need to study both for your rotation itself and, in most cases, for a shelf exam. In most cases I found that using a question book was the best way to prepare for the shelf exam. For the rotations themselves, I often used a combination of review books, UpToDate, and sources provided in the clerkship syllabus.

Question Books – PreTest or Appleton & Lange …the best bet is to talk to people at your school to see which one was more useful [or] go to the bookstore and browse them. For some clerkships neither is great… The one question book you must get is MKSAP for your Internal Medicine rotation. Another option which worked for some classmates was to get a question bank like Kaplan Q-Bank and go through the questions for the clerkship you are on.

Other Books – What you use to study while you are on the clerkship for general knowledge and for the shelf exam knowledge is also going to be a matter of preference. Once again, I recommend asking around to see what worked for others, or browsing at the bookstore/library. Generally, I liked the Blueprints series for a general overview (not usually specific enough for the shelf without question book use), and the Case Files series for integrating the clinical presentations of the conditions and how to manage them. Other than that, I will list a few additional books that I used and how I liked them.

Surgical Recall – This is a must have. You will use this to cram for the common pimp questions you will be asked in Surgery.
Surgery In a Page – A number of my classmates really liked this one. I took a look at it and thought it was okay. It lays out all of the major conditions and the main points of each in one page. In the end it was just too busy for me.

Family Medicine
no shelf exam at my school. Blueprints was not helpful –really general and covered way to much.

this was the best Blueprints book in my opinion.

Internal Medicine
I used and loved Step-Up for Internal Medicine for this one along with MKSAP. Others liked First Aid for Medicine.

First Aid was decent when supplemented with questions.

That Time of Year 4 [Medical Student Musings]


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