(Since I was you 4 weeks ago, I COMPLETELY understand. My oral exam wasn't too bad, but our department head likes to ask things based on the last thing you said -- hence my last "patient" was a man with breast cancer!)
And the shelf wasn't too horrible, but as has been stated many times, it's too bad there's not mroe surgery on the surgery shelf!
"woo woo", bobby! I'm so happy we don't have to take an oral exam for surgery. I'll be taking the shelf tomorrow, too. I hope it isn't too bad, because with the 85 hour weeks of scut that I just went through the last 3 months, I didn't have too much time to read...
i'm posting on this forum right now since i'm procrastinating studying for surgery too. unfortunately my exam is not the shelf! my course director thinks the surgery shelf is too easy so he wrote his own. Bastard.
So I just finished the shelf exam and got rather schnookered last night.
But I will do as well as I can to offer up some advice to my colleagues out there prepping for the shelf.
First, the shelf is not just general surgery information. Most of it is general, but remember to study its various specialties. I had reviewed vascular and onc pretty well, but I didn't really look up thoracic that much or transplant.
So, that being said, also be aware that they will test you on ortho, urology, neurosurg, too. I didn't really know about this coming in, and I think I could have prepared better for it knowing that it was not just going to be general surgery.
Otherwise, there is some medicine on the shelf. There was a ridiculous rheum question, so before taking it, make sure you just peruse some of the basic info out there maybe in pocket med or something like that.
Otherwise, my other advice is just pay attention on rounds to what the team does, and what kind of antibiotics they use, etc. Be an active listener and try to glean as much as possible. Always be asking about preop evaluation and then possible post-op complications.
yeah, and it really seems to help if you take Medicine before surgery and review lots of case-based questions and Pre-Test questions. The shelf was my downfall in terms of the surgery grade b/c I did not time myself well and didn't review enough ortho since we were not really exposed to it. I did well on the oral exam and the presentation, and decently on my clinical evaluations (though they were vague and it is obvious to me that all my residents had NOT turned in their evals, the dept. secretary told me that they had not 6 wks after I left), but the shelf knocked me down a grade. oh well, I'm not going into Surgery so cest la vie.