Boardsmanship: Your Guide to the USMLE Step 1

by Pravin Shukle, MD

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    00:00 Hi, come on in. I'm Dr. Pravin Shukle. We're going to be talking about boardsmanship, which is the skill in writing exams. You know, as a doctor, you're going to be writing exams for the rest of your life. I wrote my very first board exam about 15 to 20 years ago now and I re-wrote my last one about 3 years ago for my Echo boards. We will be writing exams as doctors all the time because we write our board exams, we write our specialty exams, we write sub-specialty exams, we write certification exams like echocardiography for example and we re-certify 10 years later. So 10 years later I re-wrote my Internal Medicine exams or my Echo boards. So learning how to write exams in an integral part of being a doctor. Let's talk about you and your exam. The United States Medical Licensing Exam is probably the first exam that you're going to be writing as a medical student. What are your advantages and how are you different from graduates 25 years ago like me? Well, first of all you're able to process information a lot faster than we were. You require more frequent evaluations and that's why we changed the medical school curriculum to reflect the way that you learn. You're more independent in the way that you learn. When I was a student, we used to sit in a classroom for 8 hours a day and listen to lectures all day and attendance was mandatory. Today, most of you are actually looking at the videos of the lectures and watching them at double speed. You rely on multimedia and video to learn as well. Now there's a downside to this. You do have a shorter attention span, it's about 8 minutes based on the recent research and you're less reliant on reading as a learning strategy because you've grown up with multi-modality learning. So where does this leave you? Well, the good news is is that you have the ability, as I said before, to absorb the complex information much faster than we did where it took me 4 hours to understand the Embryology and Development in the first 12 weeks, it will take you 5 minutes. You have less ability than our generation to sit in an exam and communicate that knowledge because let's face it, those exams are still stuck in the 19th century. So my job is to help you write that exam. I am going to give you some of those skills that we acquired over time and I'm going to help you avoid any of the pitfalls that tend to trap students. Let's talk about a strategy on how to study for your exams.

    02:46 I think the first step is to take a look at your curriculum in your medical school. Now start early with your review. Starting in about 9 months before your board exam is the best and if possible that would be the way to go. Remember questions, questions, questions. So study by doing questions over and over again. Don't worry if you get all of them wrong the first time you start. Go back and do more questions later. Keep going back to the Lecturio question bank as we add more and more questions each month that will help you study. Now after you've done all of the questions, do them again. Read the question stem again. Now remember that questions may vary but learning points don't. So you may see a different question asking the same thing but in a different format. The learning points don't change. Now, if you get a question wrong that's an excellent point for learning because I want you to do that same question again next week because learning a wrong answer is something that happens if you only do the question once and if you write that same exam say 3 months later and you're under pressure you may not remember which is the right answer and which is the wrong but if you get a wrong answer during practice and you do the same question next week and you read the answer and you read why all of the other choices are wrong it will be burned into your brain and you'll do much better on the exam.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Boardsmanship: Your Guide to the USMLE Step 1 by Pravin Shukle, MD is from the course How to Prepare for USMLE Step 1.

    Author of lecture Boardsmanship: Your Guide to the USMLE Step 1

     Pravin Shukle, MD

    Pravin Shukle, MD

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