Saturday, December 06, 2008

Free apps for Iphone - Epocrates

The free Epocrates Rx software for iPhone OS puts continually updated peer-reviewed drug information at your fingertips. Epocrates information has been shown to:

* Improve patient care and safety
* Save time
* Reduce administrative burden
* Enable confident clinical decisions


Our information is developed by healthcare professionals, with this edition specifically formatted for iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Most popular artices on USMLE Step 1

So you have just started preparing for USMLE Step 1. What are the most important things to consider before diving into preparation?

Have you checked Medessentials? Medessentials have core science concepts reviewed for success in medical programs and the USMLE.

Or maybe you were looking for Goljan torrents?As we have found they simply do not exist - so why not check the real site with download of Goljan audio, slides, notes and HY notes?

How about Kaplan Notes for Step 1? There are scanned notes that can be easily printed. You can also find them here

Oh, and by the way do you know how to convert your USMLEWORLD score to USMLE Step 1 Score? There is a magic formula.

Do you know that Kaplan Video Lectures are better than Kaplan Webprep? Why? There are 5 differences between old and new Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Video lectures.

What is considered a “good” score on USMLE Step 1? This and some other questions are answered in our FAQ on USMLE Step 1...

Biochemistry questions posted on 4usmle forum

Biochemistry questions posted on 4usmle forum:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cleveland Clinic Intensive Review of Internal Medicine

Intensive Review of Internal Medicine is a comprehensive review of internal medicine for physicians preparing for board certification (or recertification) and for physicians desiring a review of state-of-the-art developments in internal medicine. The program is conducted by distinguished members of The Cleveland Clinic Staff and eminent visiting lecturers who are renowned in their fields of interest.

Topics cover current concepts and Board related issues using an organ system approach. Emphasis is placed on relevant clinical information.

Topics & Speakers

Franklin A. Michota, Jr., MD, Moderator
Section Head, Hospital Medicine, Department of General Internal Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic

Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Pre-Test
Franklin A. Michota, Jr., MD

Pulmonary Medicine Board Simulation I
James K. Stoller, MD, MS
Vice Chairman, Division of Medicine; Head, Section of Respiratory Therapy, Department of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine; Associate Chief of Staff, The Cleveland Clinic

Board Simulation in Gastroenterology
Jean-Paul Achkar, MD
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Board Simulation in Pre-Operative Evaluation
Amir Jaffer, MD
Medical Director, Internal Medicine Preoperative Assessment Consultation and Treatment Center; Medical Director, The Anticoagulation Clinic, Department of General Internal Medicine

Board Simulation in Hematology: Cellular Morphology
Karl Theil, MD
Department of Clinical Pathology

Board Simulation in Geriatric Medicine
Robert M. Palmer, MD
Head, Section of Geriatric Medicine, Department of General Internal Medicine

Board Simulation in Medical Genetics
Franklin A. Michota, Jr., MD

Medical Aspects of Pregnancy
Janet M. Burlingame, MD
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Board Simulation in Women’s Health
Pelin Batur, MD
Department of General Internal Medicine

Many more topics on 56 CDs - ideal to listen on your IPOD. Great quality in MP3 means that you can use it during your workouts or while driving to work.

Click here to get more information about Cleveland Clinic IM Review

Friday, October 31, 2008

New Review Book for Pathology

This 5-star book (Doody’s Review rating) raises the bar in pathology review! As a testing resource, it provides the most up-to-date, clinically relevant review of pathology available. It guides students through the vast amount of pathology information they need to master to succeed on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Using the format of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the questions address the major topics in general and systemic pathology. Lippincott’s Review of Pathology effectively integrates your study of pathology to give you full confidence for your course examinations, the USMLE, and the American Board of Pathology certification examination. More information can be found on their offical site:

Bruce Fenderson and Raphael Rubin are Professors in the Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology.

How to Prepare for the USMLE: Medical Student’s Law

I’m not going to question my attitude about the whole thing. I still think the way to prepare for the USMLE is to be enthusiastic for the chance to show the world what you’ve learned and to be excited for the opportunity to give two months to simply “reviewing.” Despite the hard work involved and my inability to articulate it in the form of an application essay, I love science. And despite the transient wish for a cat’s simple life of breathing, complaining, and rubbing against things, I know that none of that is what I really want. This, trully, is the greatest thing I could be doing right now.

“This” is 8-5 studying every day at the University of Cincinnati medical school atrium with all of the other medstudents, each of us shivering underneath our long underwear, hats, fleeces, coats, scarfs and mittens; each of us cursing the smokers for opening the door to the outside world every few minutes to the point were we’re thinking, “Fuck it, I might as well have a smoke;” each of us staring at the page with all the fun facts that make all of this worth the shaking.

I take breaks every half hour to run my hands in the warm, warm bathroom faucet just so I can take more notes. Yesterday, I bought two cups of coffee at the same time: one to drink and the other to hold. I say again:

This, truly, is the greatest thing I could be doing right now.

Everything is so interesting, that I’m slowing waaaay down in sections where time will not permit. Microbiology, for instance. I was so caught up in seeing patterns between the bugs and the drugs that I let it eat into virus-time. So now, I have to create two free days that don’t exist and I’m re-living an old problem born of my unchecked enthusiasm.

Falling behind means knowing less.

Excuse my hubris, but I was trying to be the first to avoid this. I am taking 9 weeks were others take 7. I could have sworn it’d be enough. Parkinson, however, couldn’t care less. I give you his Law: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Truer words, truer words. But that’s not an option. I’m not postponing my test to allow time to catch-up. I’m not going to drop other interests like writing about this experience. I’m not going to learn less. Something’s got to give.

It’s probably appropriate, then, to introduce a new law.

Medical Student’s Law: “Sleep contracts as work expands.”

High Yield: S = (1/W)

Source : RumoursWereTru Blog

Friday, October 24, 2008

So this is what a Residency Paycheck Looks like

Well - It isn't really a scan of the paycheck up there, rather the paystub - and like you see, it isn't an amount to boast about ;-) ...but no matter how small, any first payments of labor are always cherished, aren't they ?

What you see is a typical two-week pay and the taxes for a typical resident. Here's summarizing:

Two-week gross:
Federal Income Tax: $234.33
Federal Medicare Tax: $27.91
Federal Social Security Tax: $119.35

Biweekly Take Home Pay:
Around $1543.00

Monthly Take Home Pay:

And here's what my approximate Monthly expenses look like at this point, in a not-too-big-but-decent Midwestern city:

Rent with Gas/Electricity/Car Garage: $600 : 1-bedroom apt
Car Payments: $400
Internet: $20
Cell Phone: $20
Food: $100
Hanging Out, Movies, Car Gas, etc. etc.: $100

Do keep in mind that both - the pay and the expenses, are highly variable depending on state, city and then area within that city...

Residents are not paid hourly, rather a get a fixed biweekly sum. If you divide the stipend earned by the actual total hours worked in a year, with the calls and all, that would be around a measly 5 to 6 dollars an hour.

Many residency programs are indulged in legal battles against the IRS to win back the taxes for their previous residents and exempt current residents, after the University of Minnesota won a case in 1998 when a federal court ruled that that residents are students working towards a degree and not 'workers' and therefore not tax-liable. Eventually, some programs who 'qualify' would have that advantage of lowered taxes - specially the university programs....(another advantage of doing residencies at University programs ? ) Read details on that here.


Dear Friends:
One of the aspect or cause of our failure to get into residency program here in USA is wasting of time in observerships. The programs don’t consider observerships/research/externship as clinical experience for foreign medical graduates because whatever you do they think it’s not a quality clinical experience. So I don’t know how much it really helps. It might help also depending on individual cases but it is my opinion that if a USA degree is mentioned like a master’s degree or strictly clinical experience like surgical assistant or something like that, it would look good on resume/CV. Honestly if you are in USA for more than 1 year just doing observership, its not gonna help. If you in USA for 3-6 months waiting for match or applying for match than it’s a good idea to do some observership/externship. People usually say observership is helpful, well it indeed but not for 2-3 years, program director might have applicants who did master or some post grad degree while in USA, so they would prefer applicants with some educational/academic activities rather than just observership/research etc.. I hope I am clear now. I have seen it myself and hopefully you will also be able to see the change in your CV when you do a USA degree.
The other thing is when you are in USA don’t waste time get some diploma or something so that even if you could not get residency for whatever reason you should always have a back up plan and something you can do. And lastly my friends “USA is not the end of world, wasting years and years in search of residency and driving cabs or working at gas station does not worth it”. If you have resources then please travel somewhere else and get your goals over there. So bottom line is “Don’t waste time while staying in USA waiting for residency.”
I am going to mention some link so that you can try them and find out, what is good for you.
1. Optometry, is a degree which lets you practice as an optometrist and thinking long term you might get residency in ophthalmology. There is a school in Massachusetts, New England School of optometry, which lets foreign medical grads. finish the degree in just 2 years.
The New England College of Optometry
Association of Schools of Optometry
2. Master in Public Health, (MPH) It helps you getting a master degree and residency in occupational health, preventive medicine and even family practice. One example is a link below, there are almost 26-30 schools of public health in USA and it’s easy to get admission. Search the web for school of public health.
The Univ. of Texas-Houston-School of Public Health
American Public Health Association, links for all Public health schools
3. Surgical Assistants, certified surgical assistant get good pay and great clinical experience.
National Surgical Assistant Association
American board of surgical assistants
4. Master/Ph.D. degree in any basic Medical sciences like Pathology, pharmacology etc… this is offered by a lot of university programs and it’s not very hard to get into. It definitely helps in getting residency and a job. One example is a link below, there are 100’s of universities offering masters programs. search the web for your program of choice
The University of Texas-Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
5. Non-accredited fellowships in USA, these are fellowships offered by different intitutions like post doc research fellowships and clinical fellowships. US graduates don’t do these because they are not accredited and don’t make the eligibility criteria for board exams purposes. Some of the examples are below and you can find opportunities like these on web. The clinical fellowships require you to have ECFMG certificate, so that they could issue you a institutional permit, to work with the patients. Post Doc research fellowships could be in any field, pharmacology, pathology, biochem etc.. Clinical fellowships are in CV surgery, ENT and other subspecialties.
MD Anderson Cancer center, Houston, Texas
Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas
There is also another option of “School of perfusion technology”. The perfusionist makes good money and it’s a technical work. Basically it is the person who runs the By-pass machine during cardio-thoracic surgeries. It’s a good field but schools in USA don’t emcourage FMGs to do this course but there is no harm in trying.
Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, look for perfusion technology
“Physician Assistant” is also another option but most schools require that you have BS degree from USA to enter into the school.
American academy of Physician assistants
6. PG medical education in the world: Follow the following links for post graduate medical education in Canada, England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Australian Medical Council
College of Medicine of South Africa
NZ med jobs
New Zealand (NZ) medical council NZMC
Royal College of Physicians London
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh -
Royal College Ireland Royal College of Surgeons-IRE
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - Homepage
The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Some information based website done by docs in New Zealand, are also good.
Oversaes doctors
Oversaes doctors
I hope it helps all of you and please if you find any information about some other better alternate things in USA pls. email me and I will post it on web. My friends we have to help each other by spreading the information don’t keep the info to yourself spread it. It might help somebody like you.

Immigration Law and International Medical Graduates

At the risk of leaving out much pertinent information, this article proposes to serve as a general overview of the erstwhile complex and complicated area of Immigration law as it concerns foreign physicians seeking to enter the U.S. for purposes of graduate medical education, clinical practice, teaching and/or research. This article will be limited to providing some operating definitions and proceed with a general discussion of the B-1, H-1B, O-1 and J-1 nonimmigrant visa categories. The article will then address the two-year foreign residence requirement that J-1 residents and fellows are subject to and mention the various waiver strategies thereof. This article will not discuss the various immigrant visa or “green card” options. Interested parties are invited to contact the author directly with their queries about immigrant visas or any other immigration-related matter

An “alien” is any person not a citizen or national of the U.S. All visa holders, non-visa holders, and permanent residents (that is, green card holders) are classified as aliens. An immigrant is a person who is a lawful, permanent resident of the U.S. This classification does not include persons with temporary visas. A nonimmigrant is a person who has been issued a temporary visa by a U.S. consular officer (if abroad) or other authorized official (if in the U.S.).
An International Medical Graduate (IMG) is a person who has graduated from a medical school in an international state or who is otherwise qualified to practice medicine in an international state. To claim IMG status by virtue of having gone to medical school, an IMG must have graduated from a medical school that 1) is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools published by the World Health Organization (, and 2) is located outside the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. All IMGs desiring to enter the U.S. to practice medicine must have passed parts I and II of the NBME examination or its equivalent (that is, VQE, FMGEMS, or the USMLE). Unless a Canadian medical school graduate is conferred a degree by a medical school that is accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (, he or she is considered an IMG and is subject to all the requirements of an IMG. Examinations are waived for IMGs who 1) are of national or international renown in the field of medicine, 2) were licensed and practicing medicine in the U.S. before 9 January 1978, or 3) come to the U.S. to teach or to conduct research in which no direct patient care is involved.
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) ( administers examinations to IMGs and determines whether they are qualified to enter an accredited residency or fellowship program in the U.S. The ECFMG website offers a tremendous amount of information about the USMLE, J-1 sponsorships and provides valuable links to other web resources.
The United States Medical Licensing Examination ( was introduced in 1992 and replaced the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) examination, the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in the Medical Sciences (FMGEMS), and the Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX). The USMLE is a three-step examination offered at various times during the year in selected locations throughout the U.S. and the world.

Nonimmigrant Visas
B-1 (Temporary Visitor for Business)B-1 visas are available to (1) IMGs or international medical students (IMS) who are coming to the U.S. to take an elective course at an American medical school or hospital that is part of their formal medical education, (2) IMGs who come to the U.S. to observe medical practices, to consult with other physicians on the practice of medicine, or both, and (3) IMGs desirous of coming to the U.S to interview for GME positions. A B-1 nonimmigrant may not work in the U.S. and cannot participate in any patient care. Generally, a person may not remain in the U.S. with a B-1 for more than one year.

H-1B (Temporary Worker)
The H-1B is the most preferred visa by IMGs and, if offered by a GME program, can often be used to attract the most qualified candidates. An H-1B enrolled in a GME program may engage in any medical activity provided the he or she (1) has passed all parts of the USMLE (or its equivalent) or is a graduate of a U.S. medical school, (2) has established competency in oral and written English, (3) is fully licensed to practice medicine in a foreign state, and (4) is otherwise authorized to practice in the state of intended employment.
If an IMG has not passed the necessary examinations, he or she may still enter the U.S. under the “researcher/teacher” classification, which specifies that the employer must certify that any patient care will be incidental to the IMG’s research. After coming to the U.S. and passing the necessary examinations, a “researcher/teacher” IMG may legally change his or her H-1B classification to “medical resident.”
The H-1B visa can be granted for a maximum of 6 years. As of the date of this article, IMGs who will be employed in a research or GME capacity by (i) institutions of higher education, (ii) their related or affiliated non-profit entities, (iii) nonprofit research organizations, or (iv) governmental research organizations are exempt from the number of H-1Bs that may be granted annually (195,000 for fiscal year 2001). Once a petition filed by an employer is approved, the IMG (other than citizens of Canada) must apply for an H-1B visa at a U.S. consulate. If the IMG is in the U.S. under some other visa status (such as B-1/B-2, F-1, and so forth) the IMG’s status may be adjusted to H-1B in the U.S.

J-1 (Exchange Visitor)
Administered by ECFMG, the J-1 visa is the most common visa for IMGs. To qualify for certification and sponsorship by ECFMG, an IMG must have passed Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE, have a contract for a position in a “matched” program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education ( and have demonstrated competency in oral and written English. A J-1 may engage in direct patient care.

J-1 Waivers
Many J-1s are subject to a two-year foreign residence requirement upon the completion of their training. This rule is strictly enforced wherein the J-1 visa holder must return to his or her country for at least 2 years before being allowed to re-enter the United States in another visa category. Many J-1 visa holders, however, try to have the 2-year rule waived. Not surprisingly, this is difficult. The following are the only statutory grounds for an IMG to obtain a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirements:
Pursuant to a recommendation by an interested federal agency or a state department of health to the INS
Upon the issuance of a “No Objection” letter from the J-1’s home country (not applicable to IMGs who were issued J-1s for GME purposes)
Upon a showing that the J-1 will face persecution upon returning to his or her home country
Upon a showing that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse and/or child would face “exceptional hardship” were the J-1 required to fulfill the 2-year foreign residence requirement
J-1s are required to work in federally Designated Health Professional Shortage Areas to be eligible for a waiver. The agencies that most frequently act as interested federal agencies are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission. In addition to USDA and ARC, other federal agencies, most notably the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration, can act as an interested agency. Finally, each state is empowered to recommend up to 20 waivers. Each agency had its own waiver application guidelines and should be consulted on a case-by-case basis.

O-1 (Alien with Extraordinary Ability)
Given the difficulty of J-1 waivers, IMGs and their employers often look to the O-1, which is the only relevant visa that a J-1 who is subject to the foreign residence requirement can apply for. To qualify for O-1 status, one must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise. This is established by receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards, membership in associations field which require outstanding achievements of their members, published material in professional publications or major media about the alien concerning the alien’s work in the field, participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field, scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field, authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media, employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation, high salary or other remuneration commanded by the alien for services and other comparable evidence. There is no explicit statutory limitation on the period of stay for an O-1.

Advice for Foreign Physicians on Job Opportunities

I have listed some temporary Job Opportunities for Foreign Doctors entering into US Medical System. While there are many factors that are important in the success of getting into a residency program, the ability to persist and preserve in life stands out head and shoulders above the rest!

Life to most doctors who did not match seems to be filled with uncertainty, self doubt and financial shackles. I’ve been there and I am very much familiar with that life situation, it is natural to feel let down and disappointed but the wisdom we gain from going through the process of feeling deep disappointment gives us access to the heart of humanity. If it’s any consolation, like everything else in life... this too shall pass. A few years from now you will wonder why you let yourself worry so much. I'm not trying to make light of it here. I just want to put it in perspective.

Not in a particular order but these are few of the alternative job opportunities you can pursue until you get into a residency program:

1. Physician Assistant
2. Medical Assistant
3. Working in Kaplan with Student Visa
4. Research Associate
5. Pre-Residency Fellowships
6. Nursing
7. Sleep Technician
8. Others

1. Physician Assistant - Although most states in US require a PA license to practice, there are County hospitals affiliated with Universities which provide Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG) with Temporary Residency Training License which allows you to work as an Intern/PA/Fellow, they are Non-ACGME accredited programs and will sponsor H1b Visa's if you passed step 3 and J1 if you haven't.

Some of the Non-ACGME programs, which provide these opportunities, are:

(A) Liver and Renal Transplant (Surgery) programs
(B) HIV/ Special Immunology (Medicine) programs

Your Salary will be the same as the first year resident and you are required to be ECFMG Certified.

I've known colleagues who have not completed USMLE and switched to being a Physician Assistant after taking the 2 year PA course and are now earning a very good income with a 9-5 job.

2. Medical Assistant - This also requires you to be certified but there are private clinics who will take you as a medical assistant without certification. I doubt if they will be able to sponsor your visa, but if you are a green card or a citizen and are unable to get an observerships or clinical experience, this is a safe alternative. (Also a good way of acquiring recommendation letters)

3. Working at Kaplan with Student Visa - I don't think this requires much explanation.

4. Research Associate - There are tons of positions available in this arena. All you have to do is go the website of the University near you and look at Job Opportunities section. The draw back with this is that they all require Research Experience. Don't be discouraged, the best way to approach this is to personally go to the department at least 3 times a week and just help them out with anything and everything. You have to use your interpersonal skills here. You will achieve much more by doing this than sending your application online and waiting for reply.

5. Pre-Residency Fellowships - These are fellowships which provide you with US Clinical Experience. You will be working as an Intern and earning similar income as an Intern, These programs are only available at University based hospitals. They sponsor H1b and J1 visas and require you to be ECFMG Certified.

Some of the Non-ACGME programs, which provide these opportunities, are:

(A) Interventional Radiology
(B) Trauma
(C) Neurosurgery
(D) Pediatric Surgery

6. Nursing - While working at the university, I've met number of FMG's who took a temporary appointment as a Nurse at a hospital. When I inquired why they chose this route, almost all of them replied that it was either for financial reasons or to secure their immigration status. All of them got their Green Cards through this opportunity and made considerable amount of money to finish their USMLE steps and apply for positions. Most of them had family and children to support. Last year, I was delighted to find out that out of 7 individuals, 5 of them matched successfully in Family Practice (mostly NJ). Drawback – You have to complete a nursing course at a nearby college for 1 or 2 years and have to pass NCLEX.

7. Sleep Technician - This is getting more popular now days, Sleep clinics all over the country require Sleep Technicians. The job responsibilities are simple, apply EEG electrodes and gather data. This is especially a great opportunity if you are interested in pursuing residency in Neurology. Drawbacks – Most probably no visa sponsorship and you should be willing to work at nights.

8. Miscellaneous Jobs - There are sometimes situations in life which requires one to work at jobs which are not related to the medical field. There is no shame in this, but is sign of great strength and maturity. I have known Cardiologists, Surgeons, Pediatricians etc. who worked at gas stations, waiters at restaurants, janitors and some even as barbers. Interestingly, some of them mentioned this experience in their personal statements very eloquently which added depth and humility to their personality. Honoring whatever experiences we have in our lives is an invaluable way to transcend to the next level, our greatest teacher is off course life itself.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is your learning style?

‘Visual’, ‘audio’, and ‘kinesthetic/tactile’ are titles that describe certain types of learners. Although we can all potentially be a combination of these ‘modalities’, many of us will have personal preferences for the learning modality that best suits us. Based upon whether you are a visual, audio, or kinesthetic/tactile learner (or some combination of these), you will learn differently and will have different ideal learning conditions.

Visual learners:
-Remember written directions well.
-Need to see material to learn it.
-May be artistic.
-May have difficulties focusing on lectures if there are few visuals.

Strategy for Visual Learners:
-Use visual aids when taking notes/studying (eg.diagrams).
-Look at a person to help you focus on what they are saying.
-Work in a relatively quite location.
-Use colour coding.
-Visualize facts/word spellings when trying to memorize.
-Take clear and detailed notes during lectures.
-Review and write out key points from lectures and readings.
-Skim a reading prior to starting so that you have a general understanding before you begin.

Audio Learner:
-Very good at remembering what they hear.
-May have difficulties remembering things that they have read. Also may have difficulties reading and/or writing.
-Can find it hard to read facial and body language.

Strategy for Audio Learners:
-Record lectures or yourself reading your notes (even just the most important points). Listen to the tapes as one method of studying.
-Study with a partner so you can talk about main ideas of lectures, key points from readings, etc.
-Recite aloud what you are trying to learn so that you hear yourself.
-Create flashcards for studying and read them aloud.
-Before reading, skim the information and tell yourself what you think the reading will be about.
-Read aloud.

Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners
-Need hands-on/active learning (touch and movement).
-Don’t require instructions to assemble something.
-Can have difficulties if have to remain seated for a long period of time.
-May be athletic.

Strategy for Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners
-Take notes for lectures using diagrams when possible.
-Try moving while you read.
-Take advantage of assignments that allow you to do hands-on work.
-Use flashcards that you can move on a table or other surface.
-Read aloud.
-Write information out (on paper, board, etc.) when studying.
-Use colour coding.
-Listen to course information on tape while you move (or recite to yourself).
-Take frequent breaks when working and move/stretch.
-Try studying in a position other than a chair in front of a desk.
-Find a way in which fidgeting allows you to focus on learning.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Kaplan Medical USMLE Medical Ethics: The 100 Cases You are Most Likely to See on the exam

Kaplan Medical USMLE Medical Ethics: The 100 Cases You are Most Likely to See on the exam

USMLE Medical Ethics: The 100 Cases You are Most Likely to See on the Exam is designed to help guide readers through this challenging, standardized patient exam. It includes advice and information about the ethical issues relating to topics including:

* End of life issues
* Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide
* Competence
* Medical malpractice
* Abortion related issues
* HIV related issues

Download link

Medicine 2.0 Blog Carnival

Dean Moyer of The Back Pain Blog offers some tips for avoiding back trouble in Prevent Back Pain with an Ergonomic Workstation.

James Chambers presents Hyperhidrosis Causes posted at Hyperhidrosis.

Fiona King presents 50 Fun Things You Can Do With Google Gears posted at Distance

Phil for Humanity presents 6 Free Gym Alternatives posted at Phil for Humanity.

Jennifer Johnson presents Medicine Bag posted at

Dean Moyer presents Sciatica and Epidural Injections posted at The Back Pain Blog.

Fiona King presents 100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers posted at Smart Teaching.

David presents Chronic Pain Mangement in the Elderly - An Underserved Group posted at Physician Entrepreneur.

GrrlScientist presents Behold The Pale Horse: The Genetics of Color and Cancer posted at Living the Scientific Life.

Astrid Lee, Reiki Master presents Healing Box posted at World Healing.

Lane Wright presents Food Shortages and Vegan Eating posted at Vegan Bits.

Stanimir Sotirov presents Vitamins That Prevent Hair Loss and What Causes Hair Loss? posted at Male Hair Loss Information.

bookfundas presents A Practical Guide to Cardiac Pacing - 6th Edition: Download FREE book posted at

Jan Martens presents Dutch health insurance company ONVZ supports medical search engine MediGO posted at

Heather Johnson presents A New Internet on the Anvil? posted at BioHacking.

Sagar Satapathy presents 100 Essential Web Tools for Homeschoolers posted at Smart Teaching.

Dean presents Introducing ‘Twebinars’ - The Latest Social Media Tool & Mashup posted at UBC Academic Search.

Egon Willighagen presents Online, multiplayer metabolomics game! posted at chem-bla-ics.

David Rothman presents How not to pitch David on a post topic and MEDLINE now indexes JoVE posted at

Clinical Cases presents Useful Blog Add-Ons Which Improve Visitor Experience, Case Presentations on Youtube, and 11 Things of Note in Medical Web from Summer 2008 — My Opinion posted at Clinical Cases and Images.

Digital Pathology Blog presents MDPIXX: a successful story posted at Digital Pathology Blog.

Joshua Schwimmer presents The First Medical Calculator for the iPhone: Mediquations posted at Tech Medicine.

Bertalan Mesko presents Unique Medical Simulation in Second Life! posted at ScienceRoll.

How to find PDF ebooks online?

How to search for a book online?

Are you having a hard time searching for a book online?

Try this method:


allinurl: +(rar|chm|zip|pdf|tgz) TheTitle

in Google Search but replace TheTitle with the book's name.


Go to

type the following in the search box:

allinurl: +(rar|chm|zip|pdf|tgz) Iserson's Getting Into A Residency

Then search ...

This suggestion is copied from prep4md blog

Friday, September 05, 2008

Usmlerx Download - Usmle rx

1. 2,200+ top-rated USMLE-style questions
2. EXCLUSIVE! Integrated with 2007 First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 online

Step 1 Qmax has already been battle-tested by thousands of users. Here’s what people are saying:

* "I used USMLERx and thought it was incredible… I scored 99 on the exam, which I largely attribute to the First Aid book and USMLERx. Keep up the good work!!"
* "Wow… USMLERx is badass… USMLERx was challenging and required secondary and tertiary analysis (2-step or 3-step thinking)… this is more representative of what the real test is like."
* "I own Kaplan Qbank as well and completed most of it… but I heard so many good things about USMLERx that I just bought this and I love it! The explanations you provide are awesome compared to Kaplan Qbank."
* "[USMLERx] is very good… good explanations, references to First Aid in almost all answers, and not too expensive."
* "I recently received my score on the Step 1 exam — 225/94 — and I’m very satisfied. I studied hard using Step 1 Qmax, which helped me a great deal in getting this score."

Goljan Step 2 Notes

Goljan Step 2 notes do not exist. Goljan is referring to the Kaplan Step 2 notes -use them to complement the Goljan Step 2 lectures.

medEssentials: High-Yield USMLE Step 1 Review

Product Description

-Core science concepts reviewed for success in medical programs and the USMLE

-structured by organ system

-Chart, pictures, diagrams, and lists to supplement science concepts

-Foundation skills from biology, chemistry, and physics

-Supplementary online material including:

-Eight different online exercises (labeling, reaction speed, separating, synaptic match, shooting game, flash cards, multiple choice questions) to test your knowledge of basic science concepts.

-The scoring method for the online exercises features a personalized learning ""matrix,"" providing a visual snapshot of your strengths and weaknesses. (The matrix organizes exercises according to either discipline or organ system.)

About the Author
Kaplan Medical, the leader in health sciences test preparation, offers a wide range of options for USMLE preparation, including live lectures, video lectures, books, and online products. All courses and products are focused on providing the most exam-relevant information available.

I have found this interesting site when was browsing the other day.

From the description on the site:
...Board Reviewer is bank of of high yield questions for the USMLE Step One. New features are added weekly, so keep checking in...

Worth trying? Maybe...


It is September now - and this means that studies has just started.
Good luck to all USMLE takers.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Awesome COMLEX score

What is a "good" score on the COMLEX?

Anything above a 650 is considered very competitive, above a 700 means that you pretty much aced the thing.

Literally speaking, passing is good (means you understand/can apply the minimum amount of medical information necessary to practice medicine), beating the mean is a great score (meaning you beat over 50% of other test takers). Anything above that is gravy.

However, unfortunate though it may be, many programs unofficially (and somewhat illegally) prefer their applicants to have certain scores before they invite applicants for an interview. This is the harsh truth, helping the program directors sort through the deluge of applications they receive starting in late july/early august. More competitive specialties/programs "require" higher COMLEX scores than others. That being said, an application is more than a board score, so if your comlex score does not meet your imagined cutoff, don't let it stop you from applying everywhere you want to go.

Finally, I don't think anyone can honestly answer your question. If you have a question as to your competitiveness for a particular specialty, I would recommend talking to 4th years at your school who are applying in your chosen specialty - what are programs looking for this year. How high are their board scores, how many applications did they submit, how many interviews offers are they receiving? Are they looking at similar programs to those you are interested in?

How to Predict USMLE Scores From COMLEX-USA Scores

Graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) frequently apply to residency programs approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

These residency programs commonly use United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores among their selection criteria.

Osteopathic medical students take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) at the time USMLE is given, during the second and fourth years of medical school.

Osteopathic medical students who apply to ACGME residency programs must either take USMLE in addition to COMLEX-USA or face a potential selection bias.

A correlation between the two examinations would afford ACGME residency directors the opportunity to place osteopathic standardized tests into a frame of reference.

In addition, it would allow a measure of confidence for COM students to understand how they compare with their allopathic counterparts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

USMLE/COMLEX Scores--What is considered good?

It instead of citing specific scores, it's better to think in terms of "passing", "getting the mean", "beating the mean" "top third", and "acing."

Most AOA or ACGME-approved programs for family medicine would be happy with "passing." Most of the more selective ones probably only take students who at least "get the mean."

I think for internal medicine, "getting the mean" is pretty much required, but there are probably lots of program who take students who just "pass." More of the selective IM programs will want students in the "top third."

Surgery, at least "top third."

Neurosurg, at least "top third" and probably "acing." Ditto for ortho.

Peds, probably "getting the mean" or "
beating the mean."

OB/GYN, at least "top third."

Psych/Neuro, just "passing" is fine with the exception of some very top programs who probably only take students who "beat the mean."

PM&R, "passing", more selective programs at least "beating the mean" and probably "top third."

Monday, June 02, 2008


Interesting sites for Step 1 preparation. is an open-source notes project for medical students and doctors in training. The site hosts free notes, guides, books, or any other materials created by and for medical students and residents.

It currently hosts a complete systems-based pathology charts ("the grids"), bugs charts, pharm charts, and pathophysiology flash cards (in progress). We are currently trying to organize a group of intellegent, progressive, and committed students to help write an open-source guide to USMLE Step 1. If interested, please contact us using the contact form in the footer below.


The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education presents the 13th edition of the Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program (SESAP). SESAP has been a premier educational resource for practicing surgeons and surgical residents for over 35 years. Each program consists of 650 Multiple Choice Items (MCIs) with discussions and references to the current literature in 17 content areas of interest to general surgeons. Program materials are furnished in both print and CD-ROM formats, and may be used to obtain up to 60 hours of Category 1 credit.

The content of SESAP 13 addresses the core competencies of medical knowledge and patient care and also focuses on some of the other core competencies as defined by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The content has been designed to be especially useful to surgeons enrolled in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program of the American Board of Surgery. SESAP fulfills the Part II requirements for MOC that focus on self-assessment and lifelong learning, and will be very useful in preparing for the qualifying or MOC examinations.

The goal of SESAP is to provide general surgeons with a broad-based educational experience using current evidence-based literature and practical experience, and the dual formats give users maximum flexibility. The CD now offers a resizable window with resizable and adjustable text for a customized study experience, with improved image display and zooming. In addition, items, critiques or media elements may now be printed or exported as PDFs or HTMLs. PDFs can be e-mailed, reviewed later, or printed. HTML files can be loaded onto your portable device for reading on the go.

Look for SESAP 13 here


U.S. Seniors
In the spring of your third year of medical school, you will receive a
preprinted student agreement form to review and sign. Make sure that the
name listed on the agreement matches the name you use on your residency
applications. The current registration fee is $40, payable to the NRMP, and
is nonrefundable. Upon registering, you will be assigned an NRMP Applicant
Code that you will use to identify yourself on residency applications
and correspondence. The deadline for registration is in July at the start of
your senior year. Consult the current edition of the NRMP Handbook for Students
for additional registration details.

U.S. Graduates
If you graduated from a U.S. medical school accredited through the Liaison
Committee for Medical Education (LCME), you can register through your
own school or another U.S. medical school. You can also enroll directly with
the NRMP as an Independent Applicant (see below). If you are sponsored
by a U.S. medical school, the school will serve as your NRMP “home base,”
from which to submit your rank-order list and where you will receive NRMP
correspondence, including your Match results. Your Agreement for Students or
Sponsored Graduates must be signed by both you and the dean of student affairs
at your sponsor school. Your nonrefundable registration fee is also $40.
Upon registering, you will receive an NRMP Applicant Code used to identify
yourself on residency applications and in correspondence. The deadline
for registering is in October before Match Day. See the current edition of the
NRMP Handbook for Students for registration details. Also visit the NRMP
website at

Independent Applicants
The category of “independent applicants” includes several different groups:
nonsponsored U.S. graduates, Canadian students/graduates, osteopathic students/
graduates, and international medical graduates (IMGs). For information,
contact the NRMP at (202) 828-0566 during the summer before the
Match to receive the NRMP Handbook for Independent Applicants. Or, you
can visit the NRMP website at To enroll, submit
a completed Independent Applicant Agreement and $90, payable to the NRMP.
The NRMP might also independently verify or request to see your credentials
in order to approve your Match eligibility status. For example, IMGs
need to pass the USMLE Step 1 and 2 as well as the English Test to participate
in the Match.
Following registration, you will be assigned an NRMP Applicant Code,
which you will use to identify yourself on residency applications and in correspondence.
You will also receive a confidential Personal Identification
Number (PIN). Match results will be made available to independent applicants during Match week via the web ( as well as
through the NRMP Voice Response System (VRS) by calling (202) 828-
0566. The registration deadline is in October before Match Day. Consult the
current edition of the NRMP Handbook for Independent Applicants and visit
the NRMP website ( for further details.