toehammer

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i was hoping some of you who have taken this shelf exam could give a little feedback, and say what you used to study for it.
 

dynx

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toehammer said:
i was hoping some of you who have taken this shelf exam could give a little feedback, and say what you used to study for it. i have heard that almost half of my class fails this shelf on their first rotation of third year.

thanks
Lawrence Essentials of general surgery and Surg Recall
Thats if you want to kill it.

If you just want to pass you can probably get by with First Aid for surgery and recall using references to fill in the blanks.
 

heyyou

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NMS casebook -- this one is a must
first aid
pre-test
case files if you have time (i didn't and did fine)

i barely used recall to study-- it's best for being pimped in the OR
 

njbmd

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Hi there,
Be sure to look at the stuck threads (at the top of the forum) for this forum. There is a whole section devoted to shelf exams. This may save you some time.

Look here first, it may save you some time

njbmd :)
 

Medical123

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At my school, I heard that about 8 people (out of about 30) failed the surgery shelf exam during the first rotation. I only know of 1 who failed it during my rotation, which was the second one of the year. I highly recommend Lawrence and Case Files for studying for this test. As others have said, Surgical Recall is good for pimping in the OR and rounds, but not good for the actual exam.

More importantly, I would advise you to try and read a little every night. I know that the hours are long, but you have to force yourself to do it. From what I heard, the ones who failed the exam were the people who didn't study due to lack of time. Try to focus on things such as trauma, GI diseases, and common pediatric surgical problems---as well as the conditions that your patients have. Good luck on your test!
 

jojo14

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I thought the surgery shelf was the hardest one. You have to study surgical topics, but you need to know a little medicine too, so I think that throws people off. I felt like a lot of questions on my exam boiled down to: Is this a surgical problem? If not, what is it? And also: If so, does this problem require emergent surgical intervention? Or can you manage it conservatively?

I used NMS and CaseFiles, and used textbook chapters for wound healing, post op infections, post op complications, hernias, sbos, FEN. Don't remember what text I used, but I think any big surgical text would do, like Lawrence. PreTest I thought was too picky so I stopped using it. Recall= good for pimping only in my opinion, I don't learn well from their format. Got an 87, which I was both surprised and very happy with.
 

pillowhead

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Pretest Surgery is probably one of the worst in the entire series. Surgical Recall is good for on the wards studying for pimp questions. Lawrence is good for me detailed, in-depth reading. Case Files is good to go through in the last two weeks before the shelf. Good luck. I had it as my first rotation and I made a 71. After that, all my shelf grades were 87 or above. It's a hard one.
 

pinkfrosting

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I used Surgery NMS and a review (by someone named Pestana) that people in my class all emailed to one another. That review was really helpful for questions. I found that PreTest was too focused on which surgical procedures when the test is mostly all medicine. They rarely ask which procedure you would do but rather whether or not you would go to surgery. PreTest focuses on which procedure. If you'd like the Pestana review, let me know. Also Surg Recall for pimping in the OR. It's not very good for the shelf.

And I agree that you must read a little each day. It's realy hard, but you must do it if you want to pass and/or do well. Good luck!
 
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toehammer

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im not sure i understand. which book should i use to figure out if patients need surgical intervention or not...and if not what do they need?

right now im using nms, case files, and first aid. this is what one of the ortho residents told me to use. essentials is like 400+ pages....
 

shreebee

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which nms book are people using?

toehammer said:
im not sure i understand. which book should i use to figure out if patients need surgical intervention or not...and if not what do they need?

right now im using nms, case files, and first aid. this is what one of the ortho residents told me to use. essentials is like 400+ pages....
 

mdphd2b

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So, has anyone used Kaplan Step2 Surgery notes (also by Pestana) for the Surgery shelf? If so, what did you supplement them with? Were they enough?

Thanx!
 

TheFlash

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I used only FA Surgery and the Kaplan Surgery Notes (essentially Pestana's review). I read them both twice through. I supplemented with my annotated Step-Up Medicine for an emphasis on the medical management of surgical disease. I used Pre-test and Kaplan Qbook for questions. They both sucked IMO, but there's not much out there in terms of practice Q's, so you just gotta go with it. I used Recall and NMS Casebook the day before cases in the OR because they contain practical and pimpable factoids that come in handy when an attending decides to wax philosophical. I did not use them to study for the shelf. I never even cracked Lawrence.

Result: 98th percentile nationally on the shelf. You REALLY can get away with using review books to study for this exam. Anyone that tells you that Lawrence is necessary to master the surgery shelf is BS'ing you.
 

mrm1682

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because of the way my school does scheduling for shelf exams (not after every rotation) and my rotation schedule i won't be able to take the shelf exam until 4 months after my surgical block.

do you guys think i'll be screwed by doing this?? would it be better to try to work something out to take it sooner? my other rotations in between are pretty easy and i won't have any other shelfs to study for then so i can devote a lot of time to studying for surgery if need be.