February 20, 2008

Life updates.

I've been pretty busy, so I thought I'd take some time to compose my thoughts and share them before they all drain away.

I took my midunit exam today on OB/GYN and pediatrics. It was a good exam, but there were a few multiple choice questions that bothered me. The prompt went something like this:*

So you decided to skip pharm lecture and sleep in, but your conscientious friend pimps you on relevant facts for the USMLE.
1) Which of the following is NOT used for lymphoma?
2) Which of the following is the primary indication for esophageal

Here's my beef.... what the heck does this have to do with OB/GYN/peds? What does it have to do with Step 1 for that matter?!? the drugs listed were very specific. We didn't even learn about them during our Heme/Onc cases. I thought it was patently unfair to quiz us on useless information and on top of that, insult us in a passive-aggressive way.

*actual questions modified to avoid Honor code violations, but the essence remains.


In other news, prepping for Step 1 has begun. I bought Kaplan Qbank and I immediately decided that I didn't like it. The format is slightly different than USMLEworld and the highlight/cross out function doesn't really work. There's no easy way to rapidly review just the wrong answers for an exam you took previously. Still, it's more questions and I'm going to use it (since I bought it) to supplement my learning from First Aid and World.

My approach for studying is slightly different than most of my classmates... everytime we hit something in PBL, I hunt down every possible board-relevant fact about it and try to commit it to memory. Some study groups are hitting up subjects like biochemistry and microbiology already. IMO, that's too early. It's gonna go in one ear and out the other.

The coolest news by far, was the discovery of a FREE Qbank for Step1. One of my classmates told us about it via the class listserv... here's what she had to say:

Ahoy board studiers! I'd like to pass on a resource - it's a free step 1
test bank written by 3rd & 4th year med students. Some facts:

* Free and always accessible
* Questions reflective of Step 1 because they are written by students who took the test
* Good explanations with right and wrong answers emphasized
* Links to wikipedia for more info (provided in answer) - and everyone loves wikipedia!
* Lots of features like qbank where you can look at your results and how you compare to others, flag questions, create personalized tests, etc
* NMBE practice questions too

I think it's pretty cool that a bunch of med students are working together to provide a completely free test bank, and one of my friends (4th yr @ Mt. Sinai) writes questions for it.

Hopefully you find it useful (more questions = better)

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