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boards, shelfs, USMLE oh my!

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mariamonte

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Hi guys! I just have a question concerning all the exams medical students are supossed to take. I've heard the terms shelf and boards and USMLE but what are the differences?
From what I understand shelfs are exams that you take after a class in med school...?
 

rueby25

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Hi guys! I just have a question concerning all the exams medical students are supossed to take. I've heard the terms shelf and boards and USMLE but what are the differences?
From what I understand shelfs are exams that you take after a class in med school...?

I'd focus on getting in first (maybe you have. It appears your MDapps is not totally up to date). Your school will tell you what they are.

But because I know that won't satisfy someone who likely has too much time on his/her hands post finals....

USMLE= boards. Three steps. Take step 1 after 2nd year. Step 2 sometime after third year and before graduation. Step 3 in residency (usually after intern year).

Shelf= Subject tests by NBME. 100 questions. Depends on school. Some give it after basic science courses. Most give it after clinical rotations. Can be a large or small part of grade. Again, depends on your school.

Which brings me back to my original point. Get in first. If you have, they will tell you. Relax in the meantime. :)
 

kwel

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Hi guys! I just have a question concerning all the exams medical students are supossed to take. I've heard the terms shelf and boards and USMLE but what are the differences?
From what I understand shelfs are exams that you take after a class in med school...?

I remember I was pretty confused about this even as an M1 (seems like common sense to all the M2/M3s on here, but it really isn't)

USMLE Step 1 is what people refer to when they say "boards." it's the major test that is looked at in residency admissions (like the MCAT for med school and SAT for undergrad). There's Step 2 and 3 as well, but those are far less important.

Shelfs are standardized national exams that you take after each clinical rotation in 3rd year. There exist shelf exams for the courses in 1st and 2nd year, but only some schools use them. Most schools I've heard about use their own in-house exams for M1/M2.
 

Kaustikos

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I remember I was pretty confused about this even as an M1 (seems like common sense to all the M2/M3s on here, but it really isn't)

USMLE Step 1 is what people refer to when they say "boards." it's the major test that is looked at in residency admissions (like the MCAT for med school and SAT for undergrad). There's Step 2 and 3 as well, but those are far less important.

Shelfs are standardized national exams that you take after each clinical rotation in 3rd year. There exist shelf exams for the courses in 1st and 2nd year, but only some schools use them. Most schools I've heard about use their own in-house exams for M1/M2.

You can actually take them yourself if you want... you just have to pay for it. My school does it and it's kind of a relief because it does kind of prepare you for boards.

Anyways, yeah, this guy is pretty spot on. Shelf exams are nbme based examinations you take based on certain topics/etc.

Here's a nice link
 

mariamonte

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thanks for the info, guys!
i'm still in the wait-list for my first choice, actually but if not the school i'll be attenting gives us the shelfs starting on M1.

Is there some sort of advantage of taking these exams on your own even if they're not required by the school?
 

Donald Juan

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thanks for the info, guys!
i'm still in the wait-list for my first choice, actually but if not the school i'll be attenting gives us the shelfs starting on M1.

Is there some sort of advantage of taking these exams on your own even if they're not required by the school?

They are a good way to remind yourself how much you've forgotten after 1st year.
 

rueby25

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Moving to PreAllo

I never quite understood these types of moves. I know the OP is premed still, but s/he is matriculating and is asking a question that presumably allopathic students would know much better than othe Pre-meds. Is this predicated on the assumption that enough med students go on the Pre-allo board? I feel like a move like this invites a lot of speculation from other premeds...
 
4

487806

I never quite understood these types of moves. I know the OP is premed still, but s/he is matriculating and is asking a question that presumably allopathic students would know much better than othe Pre-meds. Is this predicated on the assumption that enough med students go on the Pre-allo board? I feel like a move like this invites a lot of speculation from other premeds...

1. Allo is for current medical students discussing about medical school.

2. Medical students (lots of them) do visit and answer questions in preallo.
 

mariamonte

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i guess i should change my profile to "medical student" then in order to be taken seriously in the Allo board. lol :rolleyes:
 
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487806

i guess i should change my profile to "medical student" then in order to be taken seriously in the Allo board. lol :rolleyes:

Uh... medical students/residents/attendings will still answer your questions regardless of the move.
 

rueby25

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1. Allo is for current medical students discussing about medical school.

2. Medical students (lots of them) do visit and answer questions in preallo.

1. OP is essentially a current med student and the topic was specifically about a med school topic.

2. I figured, but it seems that these types of threads in Pre-allo often get a lot of speculation from Pre-allo students who have no clue (no specific example, but I've seen it repeatedly). I go to Pre-allo much less than allo or the surgical sub-specialty I'm in because they are more pertinent (and Pre-allo often makes my head hurt). It's not that big of a deal. I just thought it was silly.
 

sector9

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1. OP is essentially a current med student and the topic was specifically about a med school topic.

2. I figured, but it seems that these types of threads in Pre-allo often get a lot of speculation from Pre-allo students who have no clue (no specific example, but I've seen it repeatedly). I go to Pre-allo much less than allo or the surgical sub-specialty I'm in because they are more pertinent (and Pre-allo often makes my head hurt). It's not that big of a deal. I just thought it was silly.

It's just the way the forums are organized. OP isn't a current med student.
 
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