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Wednesday, February 8th 2006

Shelf Exams

I run through the Biochemistry and Anatomy shelf exams in three weeks. These are comprehensive subject tests put out by the NBME, that mimic the questions on the basic science national board exam: USMLE Step 1. In any case, they exist for just about every basic science course and every rotation and many, if not most, schools use them for credit as final exams.

Its a tough round of tests. To top those final exams off I have my regular set of monthly basic science exams along with my first OSCE, which is not the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Basically they stick a bunch of standardized patients (read: actors) in exam rooms. On the door of every exam room is the history taking or physical exam skills I need to perform with the SP in fifteen minutes. After I’m done the patient has a little form on which s/he grades my interaction with them, how big I smiled, and whether I remembered to auscultate their back or not.