Apr 13, 2013
Medical Student
Half through third year, I feel like I have gained a lot of clinical knowledge and have no problems learning new things. The problem is to keep the information fresh without forgetting everything. I feel like as we move on to a new field, for instance gastroenterology, I forget much of what I knew about previous fields such as cardiology.

What is the best way of rehearsing medical knowledge continuosly? Is to read medical journals? Listen to podcasts? Reading the textbooks every now and then (sounds boring)? Use question banks (and if so, which one)?

Thankful for your inputs!

Top Gun

10+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2007
Attending Physician
Reading journals, listening to podcasts, attending CME conferences. Also, keep in mind, medical knowledge changes constantly. What may have been accepted as true a few years ago may no longer be true today. And what may be true today may no longer be true 5 years later. So rereading textbooks is only useful up to a certain point. Medicine, like most other sciences, is dynamic, never static.


7+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2012
Listen, I know exactly how you feel. I went through this just a few years ago.

Don't feel bad at all, because no matter how good your board scores are, how many honors you get, how much Evidence Based Medicine journal articles you read, YOU WILL FEEL VERY STUPID UP UNTIL sometime in your intern year (and hopefully not beyond that).

This is because doing anything in life, especially in medicine, requires experience in the sense of having a frame of reference to practice the knowledge you accumulated. This means seeing patients and being directly responsible in their care. This allows you to integrate what you have learned and this reinforces the learning in your mind. Doing Qbank questions nonstop wont help with this.

AS a student, just keep getting exposure and keep working on those Qbanks. That's all you can really do.

Once you become an intern and you get exposed to patients over and over and you get over that intern hump of knowing how precisely to do certain things (the logistics and heuristics of things), then you will be over that hump and you will finally be able to utilize your medical knowledge.

I found the key is to gain the clinical skill and comfort level to the point that you can "create a board question" from the patient's presentation.
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Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
Always Bespin
I keep reading Step-Up to Medicine... I don't know if it's just me, but I find that this book essentially saves me a lot of time/review for things I need to brush up on. That and Surgical Recall with a dash of wiki.
Apr 13, 2013
Medical Student
I started this thread a time ago, and now I have recently discovered that UpToDate frequently publish articles on "What's new in [insert random field]". Do any of you read these articles and is it a valuable source for getting new information or is it to heavy reading? I do not have an account, and probably wont need one except for these articles.
May 8, 2014
good,I find that this book essentially saves me a lot of time/review for things I need to brush up on. That and Surgical Recall with a dash of wiki.
Feb 6, 2014
UpToDate seems to go into far too much detail many times. There are around 7 articles on how to diagnose and treat choledocholithiasis.

Step Up seems like a good level for medical students. Pocket medicine is very thorough but seems more appropriate for intern year and throughout residency.

I have a similar problem in learning and re-learning everything. Would be nice to have some consistency, which isn't what M3 is about.