Med School Exams vs. Boards

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Mikado, Apr 28, 2001.

  1. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2001
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    How does the level of detail compare between med school exams and the usmle boards?

    Do med school exams tend to be multi-choice or essay type? (I realize it varies from school to school)

    I had a peek at some books in a med bookshop today and was a bit freaked out. I heard someone on the sdn mention that Lippencotts Biochemistry illustrated review was probably the most concise text availabe. It didn't look to conscise to me. How much of that stuff do you actually have to learn? All of it??

    Whatever you can tell me would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
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    Attending Physician
    Well, Lippincott is certainly concise when its placed next to Stryer or any regular Biochemistry book.

    Most US medical school exams I've seen (via friends) are MCQs, but as you mentioned this undoubtedly varies from school to school and course to course.

    Generally, however, the level of detail you are required to know for your coursework is greater than that needed for the boards. Most students will tell you that they memorize a great deal of information in a short period of time, only to forget it fairly rapidly.

    But it should relax you a bit to know that they cannot ask you EVERYTHING (although some professors may try), there is usually a lecture note service and certainly more than enough classmates to commiserate with.

    Medical school is not rigorous because of the difficulty of the material but for the sheer volume. IMHO, the tragedy is that sheer volume often is lost shortly after it has been tested upon. Do not fear - you will learn enough to pass (the failure rate in medical school is pretty low) and to do well on the USMLEs if you are diligent and motivated.

    Best of luck...

    Penn State University
    Department of Surgery

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