PreTest Pediatrics is the resource to pick up for USMLE style Pediatrics Qbank questions. Pediatrics as a field unfortunately doesn’t have its share of amazing high yield resources for med students. We are usually left choosing between First Aid for the Pediatrics Clerkship (upcoming review), Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics (reviewed here), or just hitting up the internet. The problem is that the information tested on the NBME shelf exam focuses on content you will not see on your pediatrics rotation, whether it is outpatient or inpatient.
Nevertheless, on the NBME Pediatrics shelf exam, NBME ambulatory (outpatient) shelf exam, and USMLE Step 2 CK exam, you will need to know the differential diagnosis for things like “child presents with limp.” Do you remember ever going over that in your preclinical classes? Yeah, that’s because most med schools don’t hit such topics. This is precisely where PreTest comes in to boost your scores.
Chapters cover General Pediatrics, the Newborn Infant, Cardiovascular System, Respiratory System (this one is vital for the shelf!), Gastrointestinal System, Urinary Tract, Neuromuscular System, Infectious Disease and Immunology, Hematologic and Neoplastic Diseases, Endocrine, Metabolis, Genetic Disorders, and the Adolescent.
The book has a good number of black and white images to offer. It would have been nicer in color, but the pathology they are trying to illustrate is actually pretty clear. The ends of each chapter also have matching style questions, but the majority are your usual USMLE style multiple choice qbank questions. Answer explanations are satisfying for both correct and incorrect answer choices, and build upon themselves as you continue reading the book and hit on similar topics.
The differential for child presenting with limp is one of those things that can be solved on USMLE board and NBME shelf exams just by looking at the patient’s age (much like the leukemias). To really solidify all the additional and weird diseases you most likely won’t see on your Pediatrics clerkship but will most assuredly be tested on, pick up a copy of PreTest Pediatrics.