First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK, Ninth Edition (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/11/9
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From the authors who helped you pass Step 1, this is your high-yield review for the USMLE Step 2 CK. Completely revised to cover all core areas on the boards, including information on newly tested patient safety and quality improvement topics, First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK: Ninth Edition features:
- High-yield, bulleted presentation of diseases and disorders you need to remember
- Integrated flash-facts in margins test your knowledge at the point of learning
- Embedded case vignettes test your application of knowledge
- Key facts and mnemonics reinforce essential information
- Rapid-review section for last-minute cramming
- Includes hundreds of color clinical images and illustrations
Vikas Bhushan, MD practices diagnostic radiology from his home-base in Los Angeles, California.
But there are better resources out there.
Lets get one thing out of the way first: Step 2 CK success comes from the resources and studying you did in your clinical rotations, how well you did in Step 1, and from Uworld questions and their explanations. The review book is much less relevant here than in Step 1. Importantly, however, a review book organizes your thinking and provides a single location for all the high yield facts.
First Aid for Step 2 is a good source. Not a great source. But compared to the classical Mastering the Boards combo it is leagues better. It actually covers topics in reasonable detail, especially IM topics, that MTB seems to shallowly skim over. While it is not as easy of a read, it is also not utterly worthless. MTB is made for people who just don't remember the disease. FA is made for people who dont remember specifics in pathophys and basic treatments of disease. In short FA is more detailed which makes it harder to finish but more useful if you actually plan on using a review book.
It is not perfect at all however. The pediatric section, while just as good as other review books, is horribly inadequate such that I annotated (from Uworld) to the point of wiping out all the margins in several pages in that book. The cardiology section does not have treatments for various arrhythmias nor talks about clinical decision making in such primary care topics as hyperlipidemia (the section is in the book, but the indicates for moderate vs high dose statins is not). The Gyn/OB chapters are passable but things like vaccinations to be given in pregnancy are not discussed, while other topics like screening for cervical cancer are presented as a wall of text rather than a flow chart.
Other topics are covered with more or less decent consistency. But oddly some topics will mention a disease but never mention the treatment or next best step which is unbelievably frustrating for a test which asks 90% of the time what the next best step (not the pathophys) is. Again this problem is glaring in the peds section.
The psych section was no better than the Step 1 version and even didn't include the ego defenses. It did have a bereavement vs depression table which is a high yield point for sure.
No surgery chapter. Sure some of the topics is under the header of "assorted topics in EM" but that is just silly considering it is a fundamental rotation.
In conclusion the book is good. Not great. If some sections were beefed up and the topics were covered more concisely and ALWAYS including treatment, then we are golden. If you plan on using a review book for Step 2 use this one. If you still prefer MTB 2/3 because it is an easier read then you are better off just doing questions.
However, still lacking in spelling out what the "next best step" would be in most cases. Would still need to buy MTB 2 to complement this book.
For the step II CS, I purchased two books and USMLE world (which I recommend for everything else but this), the other books whose name I won't mention is really fit for CS in the seventies, except such an exam wasn't given then but the author needs to be abreast modern medicine.. You can't for instance expect someone to treat hysteria with a hysterectomy, or Syphilis by introducing malaria or more realistically administer 20 shots for rabies anymore.. there is a good reason we have continuing education and seminars so we are not stuck practicing some archaic form of medicine
Now to get to the beef. All you need is this book, and a friend a sibling, a well trained pet, and the 'actor' doesn't need to be trained in medicine, since they'll have the book to score you, what you have missed and what you've done correctly.. little things like draping the patient and washing your hands may seem trivial but honestly it all adds up and equally so. Maybe you didn't write in your differential for hearing loss: alport syndrome, but wrote Osteosclerosis and Meniere's disease, well each one will count for something, draping the patient might makeup for the third differential you've missed.. I am obviously pulling things out of the hat here but giving you a realistic picture. You'll be scored on a number of things, and the more you amass and do correctly the better your chances of passing... out of all the other USMLE exams, I can't imagine anyone failing this one.. These exams are alot about stamina it is true, but this is one where you don't have to wrack your brain for the correct answer.. since there is more than one correct answer.
All the cases on the actual test are quite similar to this book, you know you'll get chest pain, and hearing loss, and abdominal pain, the usual teenager, the depressed etc... if you follow this recipe to a T you can't lose!
a good advise for test date.. forget that they are actors and honestly treat every patient no matter how taxing as if they were a family member.. this is cousin Ed the annoying but I love him anyway.. this is aunt mona the histrionic but I love her anyway, that is uncle Zacharia the schizoid but I love him anyway and in general it is a good practice for life.. even if you go into pathology!
good luck on your test!