Harrison's is a great standard text, though more in depth than most can muster the strength to read. I used Med Study to focus more on topics for the board and did all the questions for MKSAP. The board was not as hard as I thought it would be. Using the above would be more than ample preparation.
1. Both Medstudy and MKSAP are good sources of reading for IM. They are more clinically focused than Harrisons (which has large amounts of text focused on pathophys, which is not really tested on the ABIM boards).
2. The questions in MKSAP are much better. In MKSAP 14, esp when using the CD-ROM, the questions tell you what proportion of people get each question right and wrong, so you get some sense of how you are doing. There is no way to convert a MKSAP question score to an ABIM score.
3. The text of MedStudy is more outline format, and to the point. In general, for my residents who I feel are in danger of doing badly on the ABIM boards, I strongly encourage the use of MedStudy. It clearly deliniates the "key points" to focus on. The MKSAP text has come a long way (it was quite bad when I used it to study), but I feel it is directed more towards an "advanced" user.
So, short answer: TEXT from MedStudy, QUESTIONS from MKSAP.
There are other good sources out there -- Mayo review, etc.
I can't stress enough the importance of reading regularly, about the patients for whom you are caring.
What about reading in general, not just for passing the ABIM exam? I am I new intern and I'm wondering what to start using during residency. I haven't really enjoyed reading Harrison's v. much in the past. I have the Mayo Clinic review book. Would you recommend something like this along with medstudy etc. for our general reading, or would you recommend getting a different internal medicine text and plowing through that the first year?
sorry, that was a v. long question. Any thoughts are appreciated though.
I would say that is far too indepth and medicine-centric that you would be overlooking other areas which you need to study. For step 2 and 3, just stick with the usual books, First aid, boards & wards, etc, and you'll be fine.
i just finished residency and took the boards. i studied by reading medstudy and mksap questions and the boards were in general easier than the inservice.
after i finished studying, i wished i had been reading medstudy while as an intern. they are very easy to read and really tie concepts together well. of course i wouldn't use medstudy alone for a resource when taking care of patients, but just as a good overview of internal medicine.