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Step II CK before Surgery Rotation? Need advice!

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grunermann

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Hey everyone,

I have a cush elective coming up in April (rural medicine where I know the preceptor) where I can use most of my time studying for Step II. The only rotation that I will not have had is surgery. Either those who have had surgery or those who have taken Step II, can I learn this material on my own for the purposes of the exam? I just recently had medicine and did well on the exam. I will have three uninterrupted weeks to study before I would have to sit for it.

My reasoning for wanting to do this, is basically to get it over with. I think I'll be more motivated to study now than right after surgery. Plus, I could concentrate more on away electives, letters, and my application. So what does everyone think? That much surgery on the exam that I need to see on my rotation vs. learning what I need to for the test??

Thanks
 

SLUsagar

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grunermann said:
Hey everyone,

I have a cush elective coming up in April (rural medicine where I know the preceptor) where I can use most of my time studying for Step II. The only rotation that I will not have had is surgery. Either those who have had surgery or those who have taken Step II, can I learn this material on my own for the purposes of the exam? I just recently had medicine and did well on the exam. I will have three uninterrupted weeks to study before I would have to sit for it.

My reasoning for wanting to do this, is basically to get it over with. I think I'll be more motivated to study now than right after surgery. Plus, I could concentrate more on away electives, letters, and my application. So what does everyone think? That much surgery on the exam that I need to see on my rotation vs. learning what I need to for the test??

Thanks


Next time you get a chance, go to your med library and take a peek at First Aid for Step 2 listing of chapters...
you'll see it nicely divided...cardiology, derm, peds, ob, gyn (separated even from ob), also even epi and ethics.
What you WON'T FIND is a separate section for surgery.

my point?
Sure having a surgery rotation before step 2 CK helps...seems like a lot of questions are just things you learned from being on the floor or, more often, things that you got pimped on. BUT, in NO WAY do you need the rotation to pass let alone do well on any surgery-related questions -- the same thing goes for the actual SURGERY SHELF exam -->>> it's all medicine, hardly any "real" surgery [i.e. what type of incision do you for XXXX....what the 3rd artery that comes of the 2nd part of XXXX]. I think if you read any review books' surgery section, or just study first aid , you'll be MORE than fine.

hope that helps.
 

klubguts

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While i understand wanting to get step 2 CK over with, i would encourage you to think about how your score may impact your residency application. If you did well on step 1, you need not be in a rush to take step 2....it can hurt you if you happen to score significantly lower than you did on step 1(not that i think you will, but this may impact you if applying to competitive residency programs). If you are looking to improve on your step 1 score, then by all means take the exam early. Several of my MS4 classmates haven't taken step 2 CK yet, as step 1 is the "screening tool" used by many residency programs prior to granting interviews. I studied much less for step 2 and felt it was by far easier than step 1. I don't think you need to have surgery prior to taking step 2, although as i recall there were several trauma and emergency type of questions on my exam, as well as some common surgical diseases..diverticulitis, cholecystitis, surg onc, etc. You can learn what you need to from review texts, although i think it helped me to have done the rotation (just my opinion). Either way i think you will be fine...Good luck.
 

doc05

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It would be incredibly foolish to take step 2 without having done your surgery rotation. After IM, it is the most important rotation of 3rd year and there is a ton you will learn during the rotation. That said, step 2 is much more IM than surgery, but the breakdown of your exam may be very different.

As for the clown who says there's no surgery on the surgery exam...you're wrong. Surgery is about much more than the technical "where to cut" or anatomy questions. It is about understanding disease processes, pre- and post-operative management, critical care, trauma, etc. These management questions are FAR more relevant to the average ms3 not going into surgery than any technical things you may have tried to learn.
 

supertigger

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if you think it's going to be an issue, then why not add first aid for surgery or another surgery clerkship review book to your study regimen for step 2? couldn't hurt and may actually help emphasize some important points.
 
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