njbmd

Guest
Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 30, 2001
9,050
146
Gone Walkabout!
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
Hi folks,
ABSITE scores are back and Woo Hoo! This one went well. I hope everyone gets good news. Another one "in the can".
njbmd :D
 

fourthyear

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 29, 2002
449
4
Visit site
Status
Congrats. I'm not quite so excited with my score.

For those who are happy with how they did:
How much time did you estimate you read/studied in an average month?
What resources did you find most useful?
Am I wasting time on the big textbooks or should I be focusing more time on just review books?
Do you feel your program specifically does things to prepare you (routine practice tests, lectures specific to absite, ect)?
Did those who took a review course think it helped and which ones are the best?

I would appreciate anyone sharing their advice. Thanks.
 

Celiac Plexus

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2002
1,128
8
USA
Visit site
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
fourthyear said:
Congrats. I'm not quite so excited with my score.

For those who are happy with how they did:
How much time did you estimate you read/studied in an average month?
What resources did you find most useful?
Am I wasting time on the big textbooks or should I be focusing more time on just review books?
Do you feel your program specifically does things to prepare you (routine practice tests, lectures specific to absite, ect)?
Did those who took a review course think it helped and which ones are the best?

I would appreciate anyone sharing their advice. Thanks.
I've taken the exam twice now... i've done pretty well both times, and here is my advice:

pick a single textbook and stick with it. i used greenfield, and read it thoroughly. others used schwartz, or sabiston... i own sabiston and find it pretty equivalent to greenfield although it's somewhat on the dry side.

for interns: first read the first 11 chapters of greenfield. read a chapter a week starting at the beginning of your intern year. the first 11 chapters cover all the basic science that you could possibly need for the absite. read a chapter a week. after that, read chapters that are germane to the rotation that you are on. finally, since you will be tested on fields that you have not rotated through, i recommend using the rush review question book for these subjects... e.g. - urology, ortho, etc... don't actually take the questions as exams, just read the answer explanations.

after the first absite, i continued reading 1-2 chapters of greenfield a week. that's pretty much it. xerox the chapter that you are reading so that you can carry it around in your white coat with you. make a lot of notes and highlighting on the copies so that you can quickly skim the chapter later.

you will learn a lot on your rotations if you read as you go. you will understand more, and consequently build your fund of knowledge fairly quickly and easily.

avoid relying on old exam notes, and quickie review books at the last minute. if you start early in your intern year preparing for the exam, you will be much more relaxed as the exam approaches. studying for the absite the second time around was a lot easier since i had already covered almost all of the testable material once or twice (greenfield).

finally, study as hard as you can during your intern year. some people may play the exam down by saying stuff like, "you are only an intern"..etc... but if you do well on the exam as an intern it will be easier to do well on it in subsequent years. conversely, if you do poorly on the exam as an intern, it will be harder to improve. to illustrate this last point, i answered 8% more test items correctly this year, but my percentile score actually dropped a point.

best of luck.
 
B

Blade28

Wow, you went through all of Greenfield? That's impressive.

Anyone here use the "Absite Killer"?
 
OP
njbmd

njbmd

Guest
Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 30, 2001
9,050
146
Gone Walkabout!
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
fourthyear said:
Congrats. I'm not quite so excited with my score.

For those who are happy with how they did:
How much time did you estimate you read/studied in an average month?
What resources did you find most useful?
Am I wasting time on the big textbooks or should I be focusing more time on just review books?
Do you feel your program specifically does things to prepare you (routine practice tests, lectures specific to absite, ect)?
Did those who took a review course think it helped and which ones are the best?

I would appreciate anyone sharing their advice. Thanks.
Hi there,
Celiac is totally correct. Pick one of the major texts and stay with it. Sabiston and Schwartz have new editions; Greenfield is probably going to update later this year. I am a Sabiston's person and I read 30 minutes every night without fail. I read at least 2 hours each Saturday and Sunday. I simply marked where I left off and picked up the next night. I also carried printouts of chapters in my labcoat pocket so I could read between cases or during meals.

I read the chapters most related to the service that I am covering. I would also read about my patients too. The basic science stuff in Sabiston's is really in the first 19 chapters under Surgery Basic Principles and Perioperative Management. The new edition of Sabiston is very nicely organized and is pretty nice to read and keep around.

I did not use any review books and review courses are a total waste of time and money. You just can't wait until the last month to start reading or studying. Once I got a good study schedule together, things just started to fall into place. Reading is pretty much habit now.

You will be very surprised that you can get through and entire text over the course of a year if you read daily and keep up. :eek:

njbmd :D
 

tripod

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2002
67
2
Visit site
Status
Well i'll give a contrasting opinion as to the review books vs text debate

I'm a 2nd year and my program makes us read a sabsiton chapter a week and go over it (pimped on it) every friday. However, the most studying i really did was started about 2-3 months before the absite and I just started reading a whole bunch of review texts. I read part of Rush Review (could only get through half of it before throwing it down in frustration), Absite Review 2x, Pass the Absite, and Absite Killer. I think i've read about 3/4 of Sabiston so far this year.

As an intern, I read Rush review, pass the absite, and Absite killer.

I did well both years (top 5%), so I wouldn't discount the value of review books if you can learn well from them.

keep in mind that reading texts throughout the year just to expand your knowledge of surgery in general is a must tho.
 

supercut

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2003
372
9
Visit site
Status
Two chapters of Greenfield a week??? When??? HOw???? Do you do anything in your off time other than read?

Anybody else think the exam seemd harder this year than last year?

Anybode else think this exam is more of a measure of one's ability to do well on standardized exams than of one's acutal knowlege?

I liked The Surgical Review. I didn't use all of it, but used it primarily to focus on my weakest 2 areas from last year. Those went up, but other areas went down, or stayed the same. Net result...I answered the same percentage of questions correctly this year vs last year, with a 7 point percentile drop. Still respectable score, but the lesson learned (from Celiac and my experiences, anyway) is you have to improve more than you think in the number of questions you get right to improve your percentile score. I do like The Surgical Review well enough to use it more this year. It's only 500 pages, so it's not a huge burden to add to your reading schedule for your major text. And it's broken down exactly the same way your score report is, so you can use it selectively, too.

I HATE Rush review. Bought it cuz that's what most of the residents at my med school program used. The questions are nothing like the ABSITE format. Granted, the answers explanations are probably fine, but I find that book to be incredibly annoying. Didn't touch it this year. The ABSITE reivew is OK, but I find a bullet point book only useful for quick last minute review. Don't have access to ABSITE Killer.

I bought Cameron as my primary text, cuz it seems more practical for reading about clinical management. I haven't set up any x pages a day goal, I read either what's related to my service (or when on a very light service read what I know I'm weak in as well). Sometimes I don't read as much as I should, I admit. Those rotations where you get home late, exhausted and have to be in early I usually just go to bed without dinner and can barely get up the next morning...during those my reading falls off dramatically.

I've also used the new online Sabistion sometimes too (the version that's available on MD consult) and I like that for more in depth stuff (and cuz I can get at it from any computer in the hospital) I don't use it a lot, probably will more this year. Genreally I don't like trying to study from a computer screen, but you can print it and take it with you. (for those of you that xerox Greenfield, do you lug it back and forth in order to xerox it, go to Kinko's or what?)

My program does little to help us. We have some lectures, but they are generally not very good, or not germain to ABSITE. Topics often aren't announced in advance, or are often changed at the last minute, and lectures are often cancelled. We rarely if ever get pimped on what we are reading. You have to be totally self motivated as attendings rarely ask anything to assess our knowlege. We also have no book allowance and no real library.

My addition to the previous advice - take advantage of your lighter rotations to study harder. And study actively! Make notes, outlines, flowcharts, etc (even if it's on a xerox copy that you later throw away). Passive reading won't cut it.... unless you have a photographic memory, you will remember little if any from passive reading. Better to read less, total pages and read actively than read more and not retain it.
 

CattleprodSurg

CattleProdSurg
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 31, 2004
17
0
Status
Our program only informs the residents of our ABSITE scores next month. As a PGY 1 I think I got approximately raw 60 % correct. How does this match up to a scaled percentile score for PGY 1?
 

tripod

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2002
67
2
Visit site
Status
CattleprodSurg said:
Our program only informs the residents of our ABSITE scores next month. As a PGY 1 I think I got approximately raw 60 % correct. How does this match up to a scaled percentile score for PGY 1?

I think that's around 80th percentile
 

Denial

3K Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2004
5,714
1
indy
Visit site
Status
Pre-Podiatry
:D I did better than i thought
Here is what i used:
ABsite killer.
absite review book( red and blak Book0
Basi physio notes from guyton.
wash manual of surgery