The USMLE Step 2 CK Study Tool That Will Save Your (Test) Day
- May 24, 2017
Preparing for Step 2 CK can be challenging. Many medical students are busy with clinical rotations and don’t have the luxury of weeks of dedicated study time that they had with Step 1. Also, unlike Step 1, there is no clear consensus on which resources to use in preparing for the exam.
Some questions we hear often at Med School Tutors are: Is First Aid a “must”? Step-Up to Medicine or Step Up to USMLE? Is there a role for MKSAP? Is UWorld essential? Which OnlineMedEd videos are high-yield? What about _____ (fill in the blank with Master the Boards/Crush Step 2/Step 2 Secrets/today’s trending Step 2 resource on Amazon)? What’s more, our students often feel frustrated by the tendency of resources to list all potential signs and symptoms, differential diagnoses, laboratory workup, and treatment options, leading them to wonder: what is most important? Or as the USMLE question writers phrase things, what is the “most likely diagnosis,” “most likely abnormal laboratory/imaging finding,” and the ever-elusive “next best step in management”?
Enter the collaboration of Med School Tutors with Memorang, a spaced-repetition flashcard app designed for on-the-go Step 2 CK studying.
MST tutors have exhaustively reviewed available Step 2 CK NBMEs, UWorld questions, written resources, and recent practice management guidelines. They’ve extracted the highest-yield facts, images, and associations, and integrated them seamlessly into Memorang’s platform to create a series of USMLE Step 2 CK flashcard sets.
Memorang’s platform allows students to review the information in several modes, including multiple choice, matching, and “rapid response” game modules. Concepts that are not mastered the first time around are asked more often down the line. In addition, most of the Step 2 content is presented in a “rapid clinical vignette” format that sounds exactly like the typical USMLE question stem.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. Here’s the front of a flashcard from the “Anemias” set in the Hematology/Oncology playlist:
Associated cards contain the same clinical vignette with additional prompts for highest-yield aspects for the diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis, including:
- Most likely mode of inheritance? (Autosomal dominant)
- Most likely abnormal laboratory finding? (â†‘ Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration)
- Most common associated physical exam finding? (Scleral icterus, jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly)
- Best initial treatment? Folate supplementation, blood transfusions
- Most appropriate non-pharmacologic treatment? Splenectomy
- Most likely treatment-related complication? Sepsis from encapsulated organisms (H. influenzae, S. Pneumoniae, N. Meningitidis)
- Most likely intervention impacting mortality? Pre-splenectomy vaccination against encapsulated organisms, post-splenectomy daily penicillin for 3-5 years
- Most common disease complication? Cholelithiasis (pigment stones)
When viewed in Multiple Choice mode, questions are automatically generated with relevant distractors:
(If you chose option (1), you are correct!).
Here’s another example from the “Esophageal Diseases” set, viewed in Multiple Choice mode:
If you thought this woman had a diffuse esophageal spasm and indicated option (2), you were correct! Reviewing this card in the context of the whole set would ensure that you’d also be able to identify this condition’s most common pathophysiology, manometry findings (uncoordinated esophageal contractions), and best initial pharmalogic treatment (nitrates, calcium channel blockers).
(By the way, option (1) refers to Zenker’s diverticulum, option (3) to oropharyngeal dysphagia, and option (4) to esophageal perforation. Clicking on each of the choices would pull up the corresponding high-yield facts associated with the respective diagnoses.)
That’s all for nowâ€¦ and we haven’t even told you about the “visual diagnosis” sets that are chock-full of high-yield images like those on practice NBMEs, Shelf exams, and UWorld questions, not to mention the rapid-review biostatistics, ethics, and pharmacology sets. So check out the full project at https://www.medschooltutors.com/memorang and let us know what you think!
Good luck and happy studying!
MST has authored over 8,000 expert Step 2 CK flashcards to help you level up your score in less time.