Tag Archives: MS-IV

Jafek’s ENT Secrets, third edition

Jafek's ENT Secrets

Jafek's ENT Secrets

ENT Secrets, now in its third edition, is the next step up in otolaryngology texbooks for medical students.  Previously, this site discussed Primary Care Otolaryngology (reviewed here) as a light read to get through a mandatory ENT rotation or look knowledgeable about otolaryngology in a primary care setting. However, this is not an appropriate strategy for a med student on a sub-internship.  To hit the next level of looking awesome, we recommend ENT Secrets.

The benefit of this text book is that it is comprehensive enough for fourth year medical students to learn the fundamentals of every otolaryngology topic, without becoming a monster hardcover. Residents are more likely to reference Pasha or Lee (>1000 pages!), but these are a bit too large and extensive for most medical students on a one month rotation.  They are better suited for Ear-Nose-Throat boards, whereas ENT Secrets is better used for things like getting pimped, and not looking like a newbie.

As with many other books in the “Secrets” series, the book is broken down into subspecialties and reads in question and answer format, with numbered titles followed by detailed definitions of terms and scenarios.  You’ll get all the usual imaging and diagrams you would expect. This also comes with the online Student Consult.  Some of the features, such as online note taking, seem outright useless (please, someone comment if they disagree).  However the ability to access the text electronically means you can embrace the med student geek inside you and read while waiting for the bus.  It also means you can gank key figures and use them in powerpoint presentations.

If you’re about to hit your ENT sub-internship, this is the recommended book for you.  Otherwise, for mandatory clerkships, stick to the recommended reading, or Otolaryngology for Primary Care.


Posted in Elective Clerkships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
Used this resource? Leave your impressions.

Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics – A Solid Med Student Reference Book

Nelson's Essentials of Pediatrics, Solid Med School Reference Book for the Pediatrics Clerkship

Nelson's Essentials of Pediatrics, A Solid Med School Reference Book for the Pediatrics Clerkship

There really aren’t a ton of great pediatrics books out there for the core clerkship, but Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics is just a solid reference book to provide the basis of med student studying.  It represents the condensed version of the 2680-page full version, Nelson’s Textbook of Pediatrics, often times referred to as the Pediatric Bible.  Nelson’s Essentials hits all the key common pediatrics issues, but at 864 pages, it’s a balance between manageable and comprehensive. Still, you’ll have to pick and choose which chapters are read straight through, because you won’t be able to shotgun this entire book in a reasonable amount of time.

The best study technique for pediatrics is to actually use a reference book such as this or Rudolph’s Fundamentals of Pediatrics (to be reviewed later) along with a number of question books such as Pre-Test Pediatrics, as well as online resources like UpToDate. Referencing Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics on each of your assigned patients is a great way to prepare for imminent pimping.  Again, as a larger book, it’s tough to read cover to cover, or even carry around to the wards, but it is reliable. With that being said, it also comes with Student Consult, which means you can scratch-off the key code inside the front cover to get access to the book electronically. As usual, this is perfect while roaming around the pediatric floors, and for snagging images for formal presentations.

Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics has some easy to understand, straight forward (but not overly amazing) diagrams and graphs. Again, it gets the job done.  The 204 Chapters are grouped into the following units: The Profession of Pediatrics, Growth and Development, Behavioral Disorders, Psychiatric Disorders, Psychosocial Issues (which comes up a lot on the pediatrics rotation), Pediatric Nutrition, Fluids and Electrolytes, The Acutely Ill or Injured Child (perfect for Pediatric Emergency as well), Human Genetics and Dysmorphology, Metabolic Disorders, Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, Adolescent Medicine, Immunology, Allergy, Rheumatic Disorders of Childhood, Infectious Diseases, Digestive System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Hematology, Oncology, Nephrology and Urology, Endocrinology, Neurology (useful for the Neurology shelf exam), Dermatology, and Orthopedics.

Again, this is a solid reference book, and a good companion during the Pediatric Clerkship.


Posted in Core Clerkships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
1 Impression on this resource so far. What's yours?

Must Buy: 3m Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope

Stethoscope Review

3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope

The 3M Littmann  Cardiology III Stethoscope is the best bang for the med student loan-money buck when it comes to superior medical equipment to buy.  Some basic stethoscope knowledge: “bell” and “diaphragm” refer to the two side of older traditional stethoscopes that allow the listener to tune into lower and higher frequencies, respectively. The 3M Littmann  Cardiology III however uses some magical patented technology to produce this affect simply by pushing lightly or firmly. The second smaller side can be used in a similar fashion as a pediatric stethoscope, or converted to a traditional bell (see insert in picture).   Bottom line: this is the only stethoscope that is needed for any medical student throughout medical school and beyond.

The instrument itself usually comes with a 5 year manufacturer warranty, which is perfect because it lasts through intern year.  The ear pieces are comfortable, and a new set will come with an extra pair that are easily changed, but most likely won’t need to be. The entire instrument is very easy to clean, comes in handy on the wards when coming in contact with infectious patients.

There will be a lot of options when trying to purchase a stethoscope, so here are a few pointers.  First, try to stick to the Cardiology III.  Most people believe the Cardiology II simply aren’t as good. You may be tempted to get the limited edition black plated version or spend the extra money on engraving your name into the bell, but keep in mind that there is a small but not negligible population of stethoscope thieves in hospitals.

3m doesn’t sell these directly, so you should do a good amount of searching for the lowest price.  Unlike other medical instruments, this one should be purchased new. The best strategy is to search around, and specifically target individuals who are selling them new. The links below should be a good start.


Posted in Medical Instruments, Must Have | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |
Used this resource? Leave your impressions.

Must Buy: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2011

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 - 2011, by Tao Le

Must Buy: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 - 2011

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2011 by Tao Le is the best way to study for the step 1, and an absolute essential for every single medical student.  It provides the basis for your studies and covers about 85% of what will be on the boards, to be complemented by other books and question programs such as USMLE World. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 starts by overviewing boards logistics and planning, right down to approximate timelines and test taking strategies.  The bulk of the book however is dedicated to individual topic overviews, broken down by medical system.  The first half of the book have General Principle chapters that are specifically dedicated to Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry, Embryology, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, and Pharmacology. The second half is organ system based, and covers: Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Gastrointestinal, Hematology and Oncology, Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue, Neurology and Psychiatry, Renal, Reproductive, and Respiratory systems.  The end of the book also has sections on Rapid Review of helpful terminology and buzz words on the boards, High-Yield pathology images that are likely to pop up, and a review of other good boards resources.

The best way to utilize First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 is to annotate the margins or notes sections with high yield points or topics that should be further explained.  Many students actually prefer to take the book to a printer to have the binding cut off and have holes punched into the pages so that everything can be added to a binder.  With that setup, additional pages can be easily added, and specific sections can be removed as needed, making the book more portable.

A cheap copy of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 can usually be found on Amazon.  This is unfortunately one of those books you should get New or Like New, as you will want all the margin spaces clean for your own annotation.


Posted in Boards, Must Have | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |
1 Impression on this resource so far. What's yours?