Jul 24, 2009
I really need some advice....For those that did well on the family practice shelf >80 raw score, what books did you use? I haven't had internal medicine yet. This is my first rotation.I am cramped for time so I don't have time to read a 600 page book.

I am using CF family medicine and step up to medicine ambulatory section, is that good enough?

What is a good question book?

Any thoughts on pretest family medicine?

Can anyone give a breakdown of what subjects were on their test, for example HTN, DM, preventive medicine, etc....

Also on a side note ...the nbme website has the "sample questions for the subject exams" on their website. Are they pretty representative of the level of difficulty, lenght of questions, or type of questions you will get on the real test. In other words how do they compare to the real test questions?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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5+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2009
MD/PhD Student
Hi med stud, The best questions are from the AAFP website, I did half of them, and got an 87. I usually suck at shelf tests. Also I liked blue prints. Know the top 10 FM diagnoses. HTN, HLD, DM I and II, Benign breast diseases, CHF, COPD, Asthma, CKD, Back pain, depression and fungal infections. That's most of it, this test is 90 common stuff, and 10 odd balls. Read and know ATP III and JNC 7 guidelines, screening test front and back. Hope that helps some


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2004
Attending Physician
FM was my first shelf exam and I only got a 75 on that exam, but I used NMS and thought it was pretty good...Or at least for a shelf exam virgin!


Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2004
Attending Physician
85 raw. Used this book. Great review and high-yield for FM shelf - might be tougher to use as a primary source, though, since there is not much exposition. Case files is OK, but a little verbose and time-consuming for the amount of real info you're getting.

It helps to take this shelf later in the year, esp after OB and Peds. This test basically just hits the high points of IM, Peds and OB/Gyn with a little preventive med (screening) thrown in. Larger breadth of information but less details and tricky questions than other shelfs IMO.


10+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2007
Medical Student