OB-Gyn Shelf Exam

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by vomer, Mar 18, 2003.

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Books Preferred for Ob-Gyn Shelf Exam

Poll closed Mar 30, 2006.
  1. Blueprints

    24 vote(s)
  2. NMS

    2 vote(s)
  3. First Aid

    2 vote(s)
  4. PreTest

    4 vote(s)
  5. Boards and Wards

    0 vote(s)
  6. Appleton and Lange

    2 vote(s)
  1. vomer

    vomer Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2001
    Hi All,

    I am a third year just starting Ob/GYN and wanted to see if you could offer me some help/advice on this rotation. I have a shelf exam and really don't know what to expect or how to prepare. In addition, if you can offer any advice on the rotation, stuff you wished you had brushed up on had known going into the rotation I would appreciate it. I have Blueprints and the NMS for OB/GYN, and also wanted to know if that is enough for a good performance on the shelf exam.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2015
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  3. pimmar

    pimmar Member 10+ Year Member

    May 5, 2001
    Hi Vomer,

    My school required Beckman which was pretty good and even has some questions in the back of the book. But many of my collegues used blueprints as well, so don't go crazy buying a whole bunch of books. As to advice for the rotation, well initially you'll notice a lot of time is spent waiting around for a delivery, your best bet is to follow the intern on the L&D while you are waiting around for your patient to progress. The more they know you the more they will let you do, same thing with attendings, if you go in on a C-section or delivery with an attending the next time they will let you do the delivery. All really depends on the attendings, you might want to find out from the residents which attendings will let you do the most. Try to prepare for each topic discussed and that should also help for the shelf. Well good luck.
  4. drdaizy

    drdaizy Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2002
    Know your patients and read up on the big things that you see, like normal VS abnormal labor, PPROM, and premature labor for OB, and STDs and incontinence for GYN. I just finished my OB/Gyn rotation at the end of February, and used the Beckman text, NMS (highly recommended), PreTest (not so great for me) and Blueprints to study for the shelf. I just got my score back and was VERY happy. I felt that NMS was helpful for general and quick reading during the rotation as well. Just my 2 cents, and good luck.

    drdaizy, MS3
  5. Gibby Haynes

    Gibby Haynes Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2003
    The majority of the shelf consisted of medicine questions last year. There was some ob/gyn and peds thrown in and if I recall very few surgery questions. I would recommend that you read Boards and Wards cover to cover which should cover all the basics w/o going into to much detail. You should also do some test questions to get you ready for it. Our class used Samson's family med review and most of us thought it was helpful. There is also a website that has very good questions for the fam med boards.
    Go to the link for ABFP in-service training exam and it should take you to the questions.
  6. ultane123

    ultane123 Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    hey guys -
    does anyone know what types of questions are most frequently asked on the OBGYN shelf? amenorrhea, ob, prenatal care, etc?

    also, what about staging/grading and treatment modalities of various cancers? any images?

    thanks guys!!!
  7. Vriesea

    Vriesea Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    Just took last week. Seemed to have lots of ambigious genitalia questions, pelvic relaxation/incontinence, PCOS, and "what's the next test for diagnosis" questions. No staging/grading/CA tx questions that I can remember. No embryo. One rhythm strip image. Finally, as with all the other shelves I've taken, lots of medicine somehow intertwined with OB/GYN.
  8. pikachu

    pikachu Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    hot topics of my shelf (last year's)

    postmenopausal bleeding
    rhythm strips
    appropriate contraception counseling
    breast and cervical cancer screening
    AlphonseSyndrome likes this.
  9. doc05

    doc05 2K Member 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2003
    the scope of obgyn is pretty limited; even more so considering you're only responsible for really common things. just read blueprints and you'll be fine.
  10. community

    community Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 16, 2001
    New York/New Jersey
    Also, complete Pretest OBGYN and that should help. If you're unsure of anything in Pretest use Blueprints to reinforce concepts. Goodluck!!!

    P.S. If you have time, I thought Case Files: OBGYN was outstanding as well.
  11. ultane123

    ultane123 Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    thanks everyone. how good was the appleton and lange q/a book for the OB shelf? did anyone use it?
  12. Vriesea

    Vriesea Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    I thought it was worth doing and better than pretest. Skip some of the earlier chapters on anatomy and embryo.
  13. csmith1

    csmith1 Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Case Files: OB/GYN by Toy et al. Best individual resource I used for any shelf thus far through MS3.
    EmergDoc2B likes this.
  14. roady

    roady Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 13, 2002
    1%ile...How the hell is that humanly possible? I mean, I heard about this rotation as being the one with an incredibly rough shelf at the end...But what the #[email protected]*? I especially prepared for this one in light of its reputation as a real nail biter, and so I am left wondering...how on earth did I score that low??

    My other shelfs were in the 30s and 70s respectively. I never have been a great student despite putting in what felt like Herculean efforts just to keep from failing. I wonder if there is some chance that the test was misgraded!!
    It seems to me now like the best way I could imagine to come to peace with the damn thing would be to see the test and the scantron I filled out with the master key in front of me. Then I could believe it if I saw what I had actually done wrong. But as I sit here thinking of it now....It's just really hard to believe that after reading through Blue Prints and making handwritten notes on every stinking chapter, and working so hard to get this stuff down--much harder than any of the 2 prior rotations which I did pass...How did this ever happen!?

    My only other question is, given the chance to retake the test in 2 months, (end of March), or wait until the end of July--what would you advise I do? If I wait too long, I fear I'll forget this stuff. Take the test too soon without adequate time for preparation, and I run the risk of failing the test again (and then having to repeat 8 weeks on the wards with that rotation again!!!)--or messing up the current rotation I'm on while passing the OB-GYN one...

    So my 2 questions recapped are:
    1)anyone hear of someone getting NBME scantrons with tests back so that they could go through it--or getting it regraded and finding they passed from an initially miserable failing score?
    2)When do you think I should retake this thing and why?
    3)If any of you out there have heard of someone (or you yourselve) did fail the OBGYN shelf, what/how did you prepare for the 2nd time around (books, time of test, anything else that is pertinent) and how did it turn out for you/them?

    Thank you for taking the time to write, since any help/thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    roady (winding...)
  15. medstudam

    medstudam Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2004
    OB/Gyn rotation to say the least is not a favorite among med. students. The long hours, and sleepless nights resulting in a failed study habit for many.
    Try and recollect what sorts of questions you came across on the shelf and gear your preparation in that manner. OB/Gyn is a very detailed subject so focus your prep. on knowing what disorders occur in the trimesters i.e. 1st tri: Chromosomal defects./ abortions as a cause of fetal loss; 2nd tri: usually a maternal cause (incompetent cervix), mullerian anomaly, submucus leiomyoma; 3rd tri: abruptio placenta, etc... For Gyn: focus on oncology (they love that!), adnexal masses, abnormal bleeding (post., reproductive age, and premenarchal bleeding), etc...
    Blueprints is a good book from what I hear but you need to do questions! Pretest is a great series.
    Two months is a lot of time to prepare, any longer and you'll lose motivation.
  16. ThinkFast007

    ThinkFast007 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    jolly good show
    can any OB shelf takers that have 'recently' taken the test give a heads up for HY stuff? Yah , i know everyone says it's 'easy' but i really havent been reading as much as I should so I dont see it as being 'easy' from where i'm at. I've been terribly busy doing some other stuff and am really trying to cram for this bad boy that I got coming up in about a week.


  17. cdr50

    cdr50 Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    If your just starting, get a Pocket Dilation Guide(pocketdilationguide.com). A handy little tool to help you with your cervical exams. You can practice with it before you even start, so you know what your supposed to be feeling for before you get to that point.
  18. doc05

    doc05 2K Member 10+ Year Member

    May 24, 2003
    read through blueprints and do pretest questions. the obgyn shelf is incredibly easy.
  19. ILuvScut

    ILuvScut Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    Actually a month after I got jr. AOA, I failed my OB/GYN miniboard. So it was a little embarrassing. I basically don't think I studied enough...OB is tough....lots of new material you don't pick up first 2 years of med school. Here's what I did - I studied very intensly for 2 weeks. It coicided with my STep 2 studying, but I only studied OB/GYN for those 2 weeks. I read Beckman's 3 times(!) and I also read Blueprints 2 times. Know those books inside out becuase if you fail again it could be a disaster. I would also know pretest inside out and study Q-Bank if you have it available by then. Suffice to say I did very well during the retake and I only got my grade switched to a "pass" and it was never mentioned and no program ever knew about it. Good luck, don't worry about it and when it's time just study hard. I doubt you misbubbled since there are only enough bubbles for the amount of questions on the test. You probably just didn't have time to learn the large amount of new material while working the long hours.
  20. bigfrank

    bigfrank SDN Donor 7+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2002
    This is what I keep hearing. I hope you're right! :)
  21. 12R34Y

    12R34Y 10+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2000
    i read through blueprints once early on in the rotation and then did pretest questions (i use pretest always and have had great results). Of course I always read boards and wards and secrets step 2 the week before the exam. OB was very doable.

  22. p20s02u

    p20s02u Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 27, 2004
    Is Case Files by Toy enough to study from and do well on the OB/GYN shelf or does this book need to be supplemented? Thanks.
  23. giznut12

    giznut12 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    i second Case Files. That book is the sh*t.
  24. Doc07

    Doc07 Junior Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Hey all, I've been reading Blueprints for the OB/GYN shelf and it just seems awfully sparse in its coverage. Any opinions on its efficacy vs. First Aid? Also - how important is it to get a text like Beckmann? And is that Toy Case files better than the Blueprints clinical case series book? Most importantly...how important is anatomy on the exam??

    Alright - thanks for your help everyone! :) :)
  25. RonaldColeman

    RonaldColeman Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2004

    Really no need to read anything other than Blueprints. I wouldn't even recommend a question book (there aren't any good ones for OB anyway). Of course, there are a few questions that aren't in blueprints, but they tend to be from other specialties--IM, psych, etc. I don't think I am incorrect in saying that nearly all the pure OB questions can be answered with Blueprints alone.
  26. BIMS 01

    BIMS 01 Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 23, 2004
    I took the test on Friday:

    I read Case Files twice and did Pretest for Q's. I felt pretty prepared, suppose I'll find out in a few weeks.
  27. aescelapius

    aescelapius New Member

    May 26, 2006
    That site is discontinued and is now on aafp site but you must be registered for a review course to get the questions. Sorry.

    I just took the shelf: Case Files is great -- not enough, blueprints question book did not help much, and i stopped reading pretest after sdn....but some classmates felt like they knew some questions only because of pretest. A&L not very helpful. Overall, very high yield info, more straight forward. Focus on patient management.
  28. xme17

    xme17 2+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Did anyone take the Ob/Gyn shelf recently? I hear it can potentially be really tough and was wondering if A & L or pretest if better for questions. In terms of reading, is Beckman a lot longer than Blueprints?
  29. Ypo.

    Ypo. 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    I don't see how it could be. It's not a thick book to start and half of it is questions. You could easily read through it twice in a rotation. I like it.
  30. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel 10+ Year Member

    Oct 11, 2003
    I used Case Files and UW Q's. 80% raw and happy with it.
  31. hucm2009

    hucm2009 Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2006
  32. evajaclynn

    evajaclynn Rock Chalk Jayhawk! 7+ Year Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Kansas City
    I used case files, Kaplan notes, and pre-test. I felt very prepared for the test.
  33. GoBuckeyes913

    GoBuckeyes913 Intoxicating 7+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007

    I totally agree using Uwise..... awesome practice questions. I also used Case Files, and overall did not find the exam difficult (scored well too). I was anti-blueprints, it just couldn't keep my attention......I felt like I was reading the Bible (you know you should pay attention and read it, but when it came down to it you just kinda stare at the page and space out). Everyone is different though, hope you find what works for you :)
  34. domer621

    domer621 MS4 5+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    Used Case Files (outstanding), UWise (excellent), Pretest (great). Felt very well-prepared.
  35. vicinihil

    vicinihil Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2004

    any recent advice?
  36. agrarianmonk

    agrarianmonk 7+ Year Member

    May 5, 2007
    the advice from above still holds. casefiles and uwise are probably the most high yield. if you add pretest, there really isn't anything you won't have seen before on the test.
  37. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod 7+ Year Member

    I really don't like the UWise questions at all. I'd stick with just the UW and Blueprints. OB/Gyn is a narrow enough field that those will be more than enough shelf prep.
  38. username456789

    username456789 7+ Year Member

    May 24, 2009
    I basically used Blueprints and the UWise questions (as well as CaseFiles and Pretest, but I really just breezed through those).

    I didn't use UWorld, although I hear it's good for OB. I focused a lot on Blueprints and read it cover to cover twice, I think. Then I did all the UWise questions in the last two days of my rotation.

    I scored a 90 raw, for what it's worth.
  39. medsend

    medsend 5+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    have about 2 wks left for the shelf and am freaking out since I havent had much time to study. HOw many questions are in each section topic of uwise? I def want to finish these...trying to manage my time wisely. thanks.
  40. tbone0705


    Jan 19, 2010
    I definitely agree that going through Blueprints should be enough to pass. Anything else would just help boost your grade
  41. FutureDoc86

    FutureDoc86 2+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    Got my shelf score back. 79 lowest shelf score to DATE but still good enough at our school to honor.
    Did Blueprints, Most of Casefiles, Uwise, and Pretest, and UWORLD

    This is not a shelf to mess with. Everyone said how easy it was going to be so I didn't put my whole all into this exam! Study hard FolkS. Questions are like any other shelf exam, long and not clearcut (always two good answers).

    What I wish I would have done? Crammed Casefiles the last day. It is SO HIGHYIELD. I am a spread out studier and I did alot of in the first month (including uworld) and didnt remmeber much of it. When I looked at my book after the exam, I wanted to slap myself!

    Don't mess with this exam. Know your OB ****! They love asking questions about preganncy complications like know the hepatic stuff and jaundice in preganncy and they LOVE labor gone wrong questions: like to csection, forceps, or allow delivery to continue.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  42. NYMS86


    Mar 20, 2011
    Hey GHDS, did u think the uWise questions were representative to the Shelf questions?
  43. PokerDoc

    PokerDoc 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Anyone read Beckman this year for the shelf? I got a copy of it but its pretty dense. It seems like blueprints is pretty popular but our school has basically told us outright that you need one of the top 3 shelf scores in your rotation to get anything higher than a pass (I love them), so I'm willing to read the book if I get good feedback on it here.
  44. turkeyjerky

    turkeyjerky 7+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    got a 99 w/ case files, blueprints and uwise, all 2x. First shelf of the year.
  45. username456789

    username456789 7+ Year Member

    May 24, 2009

    It's been a few months, so I don't remember all the specifics, but my impression from back then was that they were pretty representative overall. The shelf questions may have been slightly more difficult, but overall I found the format and such very similar. For me, I think it was helpful to hammer all those questions the day or two before the exam, because there's a finite number of subjects they can test you on, and it really helped me to get better at quickly ascertaining what was going on in the vignette.

    Your mileage may vary. Good luck!

    TurkeyJerky, is there an exam you haven't slaughtered?:laugh:
  46. caliprincess

    caliprincess 7+ Year Member

    I read Beckman's for this rotation and supplemented it with Casefiles, Pretest, and UWorld. The Beckman text is actually an easier read than it looks (a lot of pictures). I think it covers things relatively well and you can definitely get through the text during the course of rotation. I'm not sure how useful it is overall since I have yet to take the shelf, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
  47. PokerDoc

    PokerDoc 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    sweet thanks.. I have the book but I'm debating whether I should read it or Blueprints in addition to casefiles, uwise and UW.. i think beckman + blueprints might be overkill
  48. JabsterL

    JabsterL Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    TurkeyJerky, That's so awesome...I wish I could rock the NBMEs even close to how you do! Any chance someone could please hook me up with access to Uwise as the $500+ is so much but I'd really love to be able to do these questions and my school doesn't have access.

    Thank so much!

    PS If u're wonderin what I can do for you as a trade, wellll I got Pestana audio which is awesome for surgery and maybe some other awesome stuff you may want for your current rotation...
  49. vicinihil

    vicinihil Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2004
    generally free through your school. It's probably not legal to share institutional subscriptions.
  50. PokerDoc

    PokerDoc 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    You mean you guys get it free through your school? i asked about it today at mine and they laughed in my face... sweeeet

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