my study partner and i will begin going through the ucv series. what is the best/most efficient way to go through these books? how did you tackle the series? we'd prefer active learning, as opposed to just reciting the text out loud to each other
We do something like this: present the 'case' without giving away the Dx. Plot a differential. Reason through what labs you would want and what you would expect. After you run through this scenario, look at any lab values and the diagnosis. After you get the Dx, list any 'pearls' you can think of (dark red urine in McArdle's disease) and then correlate them with the UCV pearls.
The idea is just to be able to work your way through a case given the stem ("It burns when I pee"), some lab work, pertinent history, and a nugget or two. You may not learn a whole lot new, but it can really help your clinical reasoning.
Why are the UCV's not highly regarded? I know that they are not similar in style to the Step 1 questions, but it seems to me that you still learn the important material along with learning how to work through a real clinical situation.....the real reason we are learning all of this stuff.
How long does it take to get through each case? Would it be worth it to buy some used books for cheap and work them into the schedule I have already made.....maybe a handful of cases per day pertinent to the material I read for that day???
here is my response in a PM to the OP: "If you read this thread, you will see that I'm not particularly fond of the UCV series. I had it, but I didn't use it at all just because I found the series too cumbersome to read for studying purposes. If you do have a study partner who really wants to go over it with you, and you do what is reccomended in the forum (read cases out loud to each other, while the other one goes over diffeerential and treatment), I htink that it is good as a study break. The cost and size of the series makes Step Up: intro to bedside for step 1 a better clinical vignettes book IMO, and even then, I didn't use that book all that much either to tell the truth. A lot of step 1 is clinical vignettes, but within those vignettes are facts that you just have to memorize, so it just comes down to where you want to spend your time. Good luck!" http://forums.studentdoctor.net/sho...threadid=108020
The problem I see with the UCV series is that there is close to ZERO explanatory information for each case. At the bottom of each case, there is usually a discussion but it's minimal.
The optimal format for case material like this, in my opinion, is patient presentation, questions about it, and then informative explanations delving into pathophys relating to the case. Otherwise, it isn't terribly productive. A few "whys" is worth more to me than a dozen "whats."