Posted by IMG from IP 22.214.171.124 on July 03, 2012 at 00:57:11:
I have been visiting this forum and have learned a lot from the experiences of people who have posted messages here.So now that i have received my passing score i feel obligated to share my experiences too.
When i gave my exams i didn't study more than 3 hrs a day.I took a suggestion given by someone and wrote down all the possible symptoms a patient can present with like fatigue, depression, stomach ache etc.Then on the basis of symptoms i wrote the differentials (the most common and probable ones) and for all these presenting symptoms i wrote down the questions i needed to ask related to the differentials.All these questions would be questions related to the chief complaint and besides the chief complaint i asked each patient PMH, FH,SH, and if currently taking any medications.Also menstrual history when women.
In all i had around 50-60 cases and i also wrote their lab tests.
I practiced in front of the mirror for 5-6 times( not all the cases).
During my exam i did not have any trouble finishing the history,physical and closing in 15 min.In fact all the cases i was out less than 13 min(i speak fast- it may be different for different people). But to me the most difficult part was patient notes-i write note in elaborate form and i found that the space provided was less for me even though i write very small and i was barely able to finish the patient notes in time.People who write slow-i would suggest first finish writing differentials and dignost. tests first so that even if they run short of time they don't miss these imp. parts of notes.
My mistakes which i felt i made-1. I forgot to tell all my smoking patients to stop smoking.
I forgot to ask some questions during history taking-not because i did not practice enough but because i forgot to write differentials before entering the room on the scratch paper-it helps you to ask focused questions related to the problem-for me if i have to look at patients face all the time(to make eye contact i would get confused and forget what i had to ask next).
I always took permission from the patient before opening the gown,used drapes to cover appropriately,and always closed the case.
I had 11 cases-did ok in 7, so so in 2 and bad in 2 but i passed-may be i was lucky!!!
But i felt this exam was lot easier than step 1 or 2 but something you should be very prepared for when you go for it. Good luck to you all preparing for it.
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