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In medical school, I found MKSAP (for students) to be filled with questions that were nothing like the USMLE or Internal Medicine Shelf exam, both written by the NBME, not the ACP. However, if our inservice exams are written by the ACP, would MKSAP (for residents) be a better representation of questions on the inservice exam? Are the "real" IM boards similar to the inservice exam, longer, more complex, or what?

Are there any IM board prep audiovisual or electronic materials that have helped residents learn what they need to know for the boards? I've heard "medstudy" thrown around here. The books look decent, but the DVD's look even more slick: any experience with these?
 

jdh71

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(The links in the stickied thread no longer point to real threads)

In medical school, I found MKSAP (for students) to be filled with questions that were nothing like the USMLE or Internal Medicine Shelf exam, both written by the NBME, not the ACP. However, if our inservice exams are written by the ACP, would MKSAP (for residents) be a better representation of questions on the inservice exam? Are the "real" IM boards similar to the inservice exam, longer, more complex, or what?

Are there any IM board prep audiovisual or electronic materials that have helped residents learn what they need to know for the boards? I've heard "medstudy" thrown around here. The books look decent, but the DVD's look even more slick: any experience with these?
Anecdotal, but many people think ITE was harder than real boards. It's the same kind of questions you get for both tests.

MKSAP and Med Study are the industry standard tool to study for the exam. The test is not used for or against you, in that it's not formally reported on fellowship applications, etc. Your program may use it to for other purposes, like residents that may need more didactic/study time, formally.

I did VERY well merely using the Med Study questions. It's not a big deal. Too many people stress out about it.
 
Feb 2, 2010
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Anecdotal, but many people think ITE was harder than real boards. It's the same kind of questions you get for both tests.

MKSAP and Med Study are the industry standard tool to study for the exam. The test is not used for or against you, in that it's not formally reported on fellowship applications, etc. Your program may use it to for other purposes, like residents that may need more didactic/study time, formally.

I did VERY well merely using the Med Study questions. It's not a big deal. Too many people stress out about it.
Thanks, I really appreciate it. Other than the questions, did you go through the actual textbook part (or DVDs) of medstudy? I'm sure I'll pick up a lot from managing real patients and doing questions, but I'm not sure I'll see a case of, say, babesiosis or Still's disease, though I am sure they're fair game -- I would love to have a text that fills in this knowledge that I can realistically read (Harrison's is so great, but too big!)
 

ResidentMD

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Thanks, I really appreciate it. Other than the questions, did you go through the actual textbook part (or DVDs) of medstudy? I'm sure I'll pick up a lot from managing real patients and doing questions, but I'm not sure I'll see a case of, say, babesiosis or Still's disease, though I am sure they're fair game -- I would love to have a text that fills in this knowledge that I can realistically read (Harrison's is so great, but too big!)
While Medstudy and MKSAP are review books, if you want a quick and precise 5-10 minute spiel on things like babesiosis or Still's (which I guess you cannot get from Harrisons and UptoDate - its more like a 30 min-1 hour spiel) then CMDT is a good way to go.
 

jdh71

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Thanks, I really appreciate it. Other than the questions, did you go through the actual textbook part (or DVDs) of medstudy? I'm sure I'll pick up a lot from managing real patients and doing questions, but I'm not sure I'll see a case of, say, babesiosis or Still's disease, though I am sure they're fair game -- I would love to have a text that fills in this knowledge that I can realistically read (Harrison's is so great, but too big!)
I've always found questions to be very high yield for me personally, so no I didn't go through the formal review part for ITE.

Cecil's essentials isn't too bad for a shorter version text that not so huge, but more than a review book. For some reason I find it a little more cliniclaly relevant - if I'm looking for specific patho-phys and theory I go to Harrison's but I kind of like Cecil's better as a text.

I think you'll have to try and read a few diferent texts and see which one doesn't make you want to stab yourself in the head.
 

adam6

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The ITE can help you identify "growth areas" and can be useful in that respect. However, as mentioned, the ITE is definitely harder than the ABIM exam. I agree that MedStudy can be a good resource - I felt it was most helpful while I was doing subspecialty rotations (ie: linking the medstudy sections to actual cases).
The cliche holds true that reading up on your patients is the best preparation for the boards. For my dedicated board prep, I did a block of MKSAP questions (?10-20) each night for a few months prior to the test -- and it was no problem. Unlike the ITE (where I felt a bit rushed for time), I felt there was tons o' time for the ABIM.