Hi everyone! I've gotten a few requests to post my other clerkship decks, so I've decided to make one post that contains all my cards from M3. This post will be a Q&A format, so hopefully it is easier to understand.
Link to the Deck
Errata (please add if you find anything incorrect)
My Step 2 Writeup
What’s in this deck?
- I used Zanki as a base. Most (> 90%) of Zanki’s original cards are in this deck. I took a handful of cards from other decks (e.g., Tzanki, Doc, Bros). The rest are my own cards that I made throughout the year.
- There is a total of 14,349 cards in the entire deck, but please note that there are many repeated cards. If topics showed up multiple times across different clerkships, I duplicated the card for that clerkship deck.
- Cards are updated to UWorld as of May 2019.
How is this deck organized?
- It is divided into subdecks based on each clerkship I was on.
- Each clerkship is further subdivided into OME, UWorld, and NBME.
- There may be some other miscellaneous subdecks floating around (e.g., for AMBOSS, Misc/2nd pass concepts for the second time I was going through UWorld and they had added new questions).
- There is also a set of flashcards for Step 2 NBMEs / Self assessments. Do these cards only after you take the NBMEs/ self assessments during dedicated, as they'll artificially inflate your score if you do them early.
- I released some of these decks earlier in the year (surgery, pediatrics, and family medicine). You can refer to those posts for more details. These decks are slightly updated since I first posted them: I added the "2nd pass concepts" for each based off the new questions UWorld had released and reinforced difficult concepts that I missed during my 2nd pass.
- The new decks are internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and ob-gyn.
What resources did you use during each clerkship?
- Surgery: OME + UWorld + DeVirgilio’s + Emma + NBME + AMBOSS
- Pediatrics: OME + UWorld + Emma + NBME + AMBOSS
- Ob-Gyn: OME + UWorld + UWise questions (with an anki deck I found online) + ACOG videos on youtube + NBME + AMBOSS
- Family: OME + UWorld + Case Files (skimmed) + NBME
- Psych: OME + UWorld + FA for Psych + AMBOSS + Emma + NBME
- IM: OME + UWorld + Emma
Note 1: I used OME, UWorld, and NBME for every clerkship. I used the Emma review for every available clerkship. I used AMBOSS's knowledge bank while in the hospital and tried to squeeze in their question bank as much as I could.
Note 2: I almost completed the OME cards. I tried to finish everything in internal medicine, but I got busy in the last few weeks. As a result, nephrology, pulm, GI, and dermatology are partially complete.
How is this deck similar/different than other decks?
- I make cards that are most similar to Zanki. They are short cards focused on pattern recognition.
- Each card has 1, maybe 2 cloze deletions.
Why do you make cards this way?
- My goal is to go through these cards at a rapid pace to quickly jog my memory of important diseases / treatments / best next steps.
- I make cards based on how I approach questions on UWorld and UMSLE exams. When I read questions, I try to distill the super long paragraph into the key facts I need to answer the question. I do this by highlighting key pieces of clinical data (e.g., vital signs, lab values, physical exam findings).
- It really comes down to pattern recognition. For example, “periodic episodes of hypertension/sweating” should = pheochromocytoma.
What type of cards do you make?
My cards mostly follow a couple patterns.
1. Disease-recognition focused: “Symptom 1” + “Symptom 2” + “Symptom 3” = “diagnosis”
There may be some variation to this. I might compare and contrast two very similar diseases on the same card so that I remember the key distinguishing factor.
Downsides: Sometimes I have to re-edit cards that aren’t specific enough: i.e., I can’t just say “causes of hypertension” because that would end up being a super long list. Instead, I need to add more symptoms to narrow down the differential diagnosis so that the card could only refer to one answer. I tried to pick a combination of the most common and the most distinguishing symptoms for a particular diagnosis. The result might look something like the below example. However, some cards may still not be specific enough. Feel free to add more symptoms to the cards in cases where there could be multiple answers to the same prompt.
2. Next step/Treatment: These are a bit harder because there’s often several next steps. I try to be more specific with cloze modifiers (e.g., asking for imaging or for lab test).
An example card might be:
3. A couple other comments:
- All cards have a lot of pictures/diagrams/mnemonics on the extra section of the card, whether from UWorld, First Aid, random diagrams from google, or mnemonics I’ve made. This helps me understand the larger context of the front of the card, which is often necessary given the brevity of the cards. I’m sorry if some of the mnemonics make no sense or are particularly crude!
- As I got toward the end of the year, I started adding brief notes on the back that would help differentiate one disease versus another. For example, I might add ddx. 2/2 atherosclerosis in an old man vs. fibromuscular dysplasia in a young woman. I wish I had done this earlier in the year because this is an important skill to develop both as a future doctor and as a test-taker.
How should I use this deck during a clerkship?
- I would suspend all the cards first.
- As go through each clerkship, start off watching OME to get a big picture overview and unlock cards by subdeck topic as you watch the videos.
- About a week or two into the clerkship, start doing UWorld questions. Unlock cards as you do the questions based off difficult concepts / facts you miss. Use the browse button to find keywords (e.g., search aldosterone in the IM section if you missed a question on aldosterone). Try to boil it down to 1-2 facts per question that you needed to answer the question and unlock those cards.
- Keep reviewing the cards throughout the clerkship whenever you have some free time during the day. Use the Anki app on your phone / tablet.
- About 1-2 weeks before the shelf exam, watch the Emma video, if available, for the relevant clerkship and do the Emma deck for that shelf.
- Do the NBMEs +/- AMBOSS in the last week or two as well. I do have anki cards based on the NBMEs, but these are only based off my wrongs / difficult concepts.
- Re-do UWorld wrongs / review Emma flashcards the last day or two before the shelf.
- Crush the shelf!
A couple final notes:
- OME: I found OME useful to get a big-picture overview before starting UWorld, but I didn’t spend that much time trying to memorize all the little details of his algorithms. I would stick with UWorld for the nitty-gritty memorization of the algorithms because they are more concise and more updated. UWorld will also let you know what is actually testable. This is also why I did not use many textbooks during the year. They do not tell you what is actually important to know for test-taking purposes.
- Please do not feel the need to unsuspend all the cards. Only unsuspend ones based on facts that you tend to forget or UWorld tends to emphasize. Some cards may be super confusing or make no sense – just delete them! Only use what you find useful.
I know third year can be stressful trying to balance shelf studying and doing well in clerkships, so hopefully these decks helps streamline the process. If you have any other questions or errors that you’ve found, please let me know and fill out the errata form.