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The Four Best USMLE Step 2 Resources to Use on Your Internal Medicine Rotation

When it comes to MS3 rotations, not all are created equal! That is because some rotations are inherently more difficult than others. While much of this can vary from school to school, one thing is certain: internal medicine is a difficult rotation.

More so, virtually every student, no matter what specialty he or she plans to go into, needs to have a solid grasp of medicine and do well on this rotation. The internal medicine NBME subject exam is one of the most difficult exams, but doing well on it can set students up to achieve high scores on USMLE Step 2. This post reviews the top resources to use during the internal medicine rotation.

The Top Four Step 2 Study Resources for Your Internal Medicine Rotation

1. UWorld

While UWorld is an excellent resource for almost every MS3 rotation, it is especially high-yield for the internal medicine subject exam.

Students can rest assured that if they master UWorld, they will do well on the exam. However, doing this requires serious dedication and in part depends on the length of each school’s rotation.

With over 1,300 medicine questions in the UWorld Qbank, a student on an 8-week internal medicine rotation would have to take and review about 25 questions per day, every day, starting on day 1 of the rotation.

Internal medicine tends to be a time-consuming rotation, often demanding long hours and at least occasional night or weekend calls. For this reason, I recommend all students divide out how many questions per day they need to do to finish the medicine questions 1 week prior to the final exam.

This leaves some make-up days at the end of the rotation or allows for students to re-do some of the questions they missed.

Students need to be dedicated to completing this target number of UWorld questions per day and be willing to catch up on weekends or days off if they get behind.

2. Flashcards

Given the sheer volume of material in medicine, flashcards can be a great resource to aid in retention of high-yield facts.

Students have the option of purchasing pre-made decks from companies like Memorang or making their own decks.

I always caution students who make their own flashcards to be mindful of how time consuming this can be; it is not worth making a giant stack of flashcards and then having no time to study them.

In general, flashcards should always be electronic–using a source like Anki–and should not hand-written.

3. Step Up to Medicine

Step Up to Medicine is an excellent high-yield resource that is great for both the medicine subject exam, as well as Step 2.

However, given that it is a very dense read, most students will be unlikely to have time to read it entirely and finish UWorld.

I typically recommend students use this text as a reference and consider reading select topics that find are high yield or feel may help to fill knowledge gaps.

4. NBME Self-Assessment Practice Exams

Four NBME self-assessment practice exams are available on the NBME website. These exams are in the exact format as the medicine subject exam so offer a great resource to practice testing under timed conditions. They can also offer an ability for students to assess strengths and weaknesses and offer an additional pool of questions outside of UWorld. Most students should aim to complete at least one or two of these assessments prior to the subject exam.

Internal medicine is a difficult rotation, but by working hard and studying daily, most students will see immense growth in knowledge and be well prepared for the final exam and Step 2.

How to Rock Your Internal Medicine Rotation

Know The Shelf: Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine Rotation Do’s and Don’ts

Advice for a Third Year Med Student: What NOT to Do on a Clinical Rotation