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How to study for Shelf exams?

MedScat

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About to start rotations (July 6) and I saw that some of my classmates already started studying for shelf exams (surgery, cause they said they heard its hard). This made me realize, I have absolutely no idea how to study for shelf exams. Are there books? is there a First Aid? How do you approach each rotation to study for the exam?
 

MedScat

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I used UWorld and made Anki cards for things I missed. If you don't want to make your own cards you could use Zanki.

If you're trying to master the details of a specific system - how do you know which textbooks to get or whatever? What resource is there to use to learn the information other then UWorld or do most people just use UWorld?
 
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ciestar

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I mostly only used UWorld as did many of my classmates.

Also Online MedEd

If you’re a textbook kind of person, Case Files is popular as is Blue Prints. FA was good for psych, BRS for Peds, the De Virgilio book for surgery. (BRS and De Virgilio are long and dense, it came down to time and I never would have had time to read all of that).

Step Up to Medicine was good for IM, also very long as it is a legit textbook. You could always use FA CK or Master the Boards CK as a companion, but I found Step Up most comprehensive as a reference, as it isn’t a review book.
 
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7331poas

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uworld is the best. I also go through amboss. Don't pay for amboss. Just make a free account at the start of all your rotations and finish all the questions for your shelf during the trial period. Afterwards start going through Uworld. Then you are gucci.
 
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Nucleophile1

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If you're trying to master the details of a specific system - how do you know which textbooks to get or whatever? What resource is there to use to learn the information other then UWorld or do most people just use UWorld?

UWorld is pretty comprehensive but I'll refer to First Aid for Step 1 or UptoDate/Youtube vids if I want specific details.
 

libertyyne

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1. Grind Dorian Deck for the first 3 weeks.
2. Finish Amboss questions then next 2 weeks
3. Finish Uworld the last 2 weeks.
4. The day before the exam finish the practice shelves.

Lots of work, but pays off.
 
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MedScat

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Grind Dorian Deck for the first 3 weeks.

I recently downloaded the Anking step 2 deck, is this one good as well? I used Anking for Step 1 and it worked out for me pretty well. I think it includes the cheesy dorian deck and Zanki deck


. Finish Amboss questions then next 2 weeks
3. Finish Uworld the last 2 weeks.

If you do both Amboss and UWorld during shelf study, how did you do dedicated for Step 2? I tend to remember questions pretty well...
 
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libertyyne

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I recently downloaded the Anking step 2 deck, is this one good as well? I used Anking for Step 1 and it worked out for me pretty well. I think it includes the cheesy dorian deck and Zanki deck




If you do both Amboss and UWorld during shelf study, how did you do dedicated for Step 2? I tend to remember questions pretty well...
Will cross that bridge when I get there .
 

slowthai

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In my gaff
1. Grind Dorian Deck for the first 3 weeks.
2. Finish Amboss questions then next 2 weeks
3. Finish Uworld the last 2 weeks.
4. The day before the exam finish the practice shelves.

Lots of work, but pays off.

How difficult has it been to manage when you were on rotations? Were you able to continue doing research on the side?
 

fldoctorgirl

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I recently downloaded the Anking step 2 deck, is this one good as well? I used Anking for Step 1 and it worked out for me pretty well. I think it includes the cheesy dorian deck and Zanki deck
Yeah, it's cheesy Dorian + Zanki step 2 + relevant Zanki step 1 cards. It's honestly probably just longer than original Dorian and not sure how much benefit it will bring, but definitely still a good deck considering it includes Dorian. I will likely be sticking with original Dorian because I don't see the point of more cards if it's not necessary, and people have been pretty successful with Dorian.
 
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stickgirl390

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1. Grind Dorian Deck for the first 3 weeks.
2. Finish Amboss questions then next 2 weeks
3. Finish Uworld the last 2 weeks.
4. The day before the exam finish the practice shelves.

Lots of work, but pays off.
I'm confused... You did Dorian THEN Amboss? Or Dorian and Amboss at the same time?

The schedule you posted here looks like it's for a 7 week clerkship. Mine are 6 weeks, how would you update your schedule for that? Thanks!
 
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libertyyne

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I'm confused... You did Dorian THEN Amboss? Or Dorian and Amboss at the same time?

The schedule you posted here looks like it's for a 7 week clerkship. Mine are 6 weeks, how would you update your schedule for that? Thanks!
2 weeks anki, 2 weeks amboss, 2 weeks uworld and squeeze the nbmes in between. Some of my rotations were only 4 weeks like family. Just truncate everything, if you have a strong base already you wont need to anki as much, if you dont you probably need to anki more and move through the questions at a quicker pace.
How difficult has it been to manage when you were on rotations? Were you able to continue doing research on the side?
research has been the thorn in my side, The reality is that research is more about having connections with the department and people that like you and are willing to throw you something. My research intensity has basically been lit review in a day off , write the manuscript in a day and then wait for input.
Edit:
Just for disclosure this system worked for honoring every rotation that i used it in except psych. I just kinda lost interest in psych and called it in, still clinically honored it though.
 
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slowthai

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In my gaff
1. Grind Dorian Deck for the first 3 weeks.
2. Finish Amboss questions then next 2 weeks
3. Finish Uworld the last 2 weeks.
4. The day before the exam finish the practice shelves.

Lots of work, but pays off.

I assume you hammered Dorian for just those first three weeks and didn't touch it again until the next rotation? Or did you keep up with reviews?
 

libertyyne

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I assume you hammered Dorian for just those first three weeks and didn't touch it again until the next rotation? Or did you keep up with reviews?
Aint nobody got time for that.
churn and burn, I will pay the piper when step 2 rolls around in a few months. I just wanted H's for interview seleciton and then take step 2 late so it doesnt show up, but this covid is messing with my plans in terms of late step 2.
 
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slowthai

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Aint nobody got time for that.
churn and burn, I will pay the piper when step 2 rolls around in a few months. I just wanted H's for interview seleciton and then take step 2 late so it doesnt show up, but this covid is messing with my plans in terms of late step 2.

Yeah, I was just about to ask you about how you feel about step 2 with this method, lol
 
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libertyyne

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Yeah, I was just about to ask you about how you feel about step 2 with this method, lol
I used the same method for step 1, i think if you mature a card you have already gone through it 3-5+ times and the difficult stuff you have gone over 2x that. Coupled with questions in amboss and uworld. A little review and grinding through uworld before step 2 should be sufficient to get your neurons back up to snuff.
 
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Doggeronie

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About to start rotations (July 6) and I saw that some of my classmates already started studying for shelf exams (surgery, cause they said they heard its hard). This made me realize, I have absolutely no idea how to study for shelf exams. Are there books? is there a First Aid? How do you approach each rotation to study for the exam?
Uworld, OME if necessary. If you do all of Uworld thoroughly you're good for the exam
 
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libertyyne

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How much time per day did you really have to do these things?
IDK, you have any down time grind. On my 30 hour calls on surgery i managed to do roughly 500-1000 anki cards, since they are straight forward recall they were manageable. Every night i would try to do atleast an hour of anki , usually at the begining i would really grind because it helped me look good on the wards when stuff came up. Later be sure to do a block or two at night or 3-5 blocks on days you have off.
I wanted honors in everything and figured out a way that worked for me.

Just to give you an idea, i have children and a wife. So essentially I did nothing but study and spend time with my family. I did not engage in any hobbies, go to many social gatherings etc. But this is what i needed to do to meet my goal.
 
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Doggeronie

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IDK, you have any down time grind. On my 30 hour calls on surgery i managed to do roughly 500-1000 anki cards, since they are straight forward recall they were manageable. Every night i would try to do atleast an hour of anki , usually at the begining i would really grind because it helped me look good on the wards when stuff came up. Later be sure to do a block or two at night or 3-5 blocks on days you have off.
I wanted honors in everything and figured out a way that worked for me.

Just to give you an idea, i have children and a wife. So essentially I did nothing but study and spend time with my family. I did not engage in any hobbies, go to many social gatherings etc. But this is what i needed to do to meet my goal.
Jesus christ bro lol
this reminds me of thanos
What Did It Cost? Everything | Know Your Meme
 

NicMouse64

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IDK, you have any down time grind. On my 30 hour calls on surgery i managed to do roughly 500-1000 anki cards, since they are straight forward recall they were manageable. Every night i would try to do atleast an hour of anki , usually at the begining i would really grind because it helped me look good on the wards when stuff came up. Later be sure to do a block or two at night or 3-5 blocks on days you have off.
I wanted honors in everything and figured out a way that worked for me.

Just to give you an idea, i have children and a wife. So essentially I did nothing but study and spend time with my family. I did not engage in any hobbies, go to many social gatherings etc. But this is what i needed to do to meet my goal.
damn bro, starting on surgery, not looking forward to figuring it out on the fly.
 

derp3000

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1. online meded for content review - especially good if you can breeze through it the weekend prior to starting the rotation for some background info
2. Do all of Uworld AND Amboss for rotations with fewer q's (neuro, psych, ob/gyn, surgery), but just complete uworld for things like medicine (waaaay too many questions to try to get through both qbanks)
3. All NBME forms couple days out
4. rinse repeat (honored all shelves this way, often got highest score in my cohort, and scored a 255 on my first practice NBME for CK prior to dedicated study)


side note: my surgery attendings LOVED Surgical Recall - wish I knew about it prior to 4 weeks into constantly being pimped on things I had no idea how to find/study for
 
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Doc Doc Doc Goose

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I recently downloaded the Anking step 2 deck, is this one good as well? I used Anking for Step 1 and it worked out for me pretty well. I think it includes the cheesy dorian deck and Zanki deck




If you do both Amboss and UWorld during shelf study, how did you do dedicated for Step 2? I tend to remember questions pretty well...
If you can remember 5000+ questions and the explanations also.... then I don't think you have anything to worry about.
 

MedScat

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If you can remember 5000+ questions and the explanations also.... then I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Unfortunately, you are wrong. I wish you weren't though lol.

I don't remember explanations I just have a tendency to recognize a question and remember the answer and since questions aren't exactly the same on Step 2 or shelf exams, they end up not being helpful the second time around

Also, since I posted this, I've still been using Anki and UWorld to study and its been working wonderfully so, what they say is true, UWorld is enough for shelves and likely step 2
 
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