Post-Pediatrics Rotation Update: On Studying and the Shelf

I felt a bit more prepared for the peds shelf than I’d felt for the surgery shelf.  Part of this is due to the better hours during this rotation.  In addition, the teaching that the house staff did with me on occasion actually helped me study.  I remained fairly focused during this test, and although I still found it quite difficult, I walked away confident that I’d done at least a little bit better this time around.

Admittedly, I was once again a bit ambitious where my study schedule was concerned.  I often became frustrated with myself when I got behind on work.  I felt like I was still struggling under the pressure of my obligations (and my surgery evaluations), despite supposedly having “more time” on this rotation.  I realized that I’m basically working full-time (without pay) and going to school (i.e. studying for exams when I’m not “at work”).  I wondered–still wonder–how my classmates seem to have more time than me, how they’re able to be social and still get all of their work done.  I’m trying not to think too much about all of this, but it’s sometimes hard to overcome the temptation to dwell on it.  I digress.  I’m learning my lesson about study plans and the like; for the rotations to come, I’m going to try to be a little more relaxed about all of this.

Anyway, here are the books I used for this rotation and my opinions of them:

  • Blueprints for Peds: decent for an overview of topics in peds, although since it’s in prose format it’s hard to get through.  Took me forever to finish it.
  • Casefiles for Peds: 60 cases with information about aspects of workup for different diagnoses, as well as comprehension questions at the end of each chapter.  A welcome change from Blueprints.
  • First Aid for Peds: this book was easier to get through than Blueprints since it’s in outline form, but it was still fairly dense.
  • UWorld QBank: as usual, a must-have.  I went through all of the peds questions at least twice.
  • Pretest for Peds: the Pretest books consist of hundreds of questions in a format similar to the shelf/step 2 exams.  I wanted to get through this one before the exam, but I only went through like 50 out of 500 questions the morning of the exam.

Like I said before, hopefully my evaluations will look a bit better for this rotation; I have high hopes.  Anyway, it’s almost midnight here, and I have orientation for the 4-week Psychiatry rotation tomorrow.  I should get to bed, but as usual, feel free to hit me up with any questions or comments.

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