Question source for surgery shelf

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Jun 26, 2008
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Hey everyone,

Just wondering if there is a consensus on SDN about which question source is the best prep for the surgery shelf? I am thinking about doing U World step 2 questions but just wondering if anyone has other suggestions.


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I was thinking the same with UW but someone said they were heavy on ortho & not much else.
I read here that the NMS big book had good questions, but I don't have the book. Others said that pretest wasn't reflective of the shelf & frustrating to get through as ?s are way hard for what's needed. I plan on doing GI, cardio, & renal questions from MKSAP which are heavily tested. Some have mentioned Pestanza review as being very good.
I wish I could help more... I haven't taken it yet, sorry.
I took it a few months ago, I don't know if we have the same shelf tests (I am a DO student) but it's from the NBME and we use "national board" scores as comparisons markers for statistics. anyways, there were almost no "surgery" on the surgery exam. a lot on "what to do next?" type questions. boards and wards, kaplan q book, first aid was more than enough. I did just fine, no worries
I just took the shelf about 2 weeks ago and found out that I received a semi decent score so I feel I can comment.

What you heard about pretest was completely true, many difficult questions, very few reflective of the actual test. Great explanations though and it by no means hurt to go through it. Do pay attention to the explanations and the keyed answers though as their are obvious errors (ie. it will say B is right while explaining how D is correct) I can't say its a bad source...If I had to do it again, I didn't spend much time if any of a lot of the specialties in that book. They are quick chapters that hit important points so I would have done those.

NMS casebook was my main resource even though it didn't have questions. Their are a lot of subtle situations that change treatment I found in surgery and NMS does a great job at pointing out those variations.

UW heard the same things, so i didn't get it.

In all honesty I would say it wouldn't hurt to do a couple medicine questions either but it shouldn't be your focus, just some to brush you up. Endocrine seemed to come up multiple times on my test. Oh and OB did too!! How annoying (and surprising) was that!

My 2 cents Wish I had some better suggestions.