Hi everyone! Wow, it’s been a long time since my last blog post. During that time, I finished my obgyn rotation, went to St. Lucia with the boyfriend, ran around like crazy back home to try and see all my friends and family, celebrated the end of 2016, and moved to central PA to begin my surgery clerkship.
It’s been so hectic with everything going on but now that I’m a little more adjusted to this new schedule, the goal is to post more regularly. Keep reading to find out more about my obgyn rotation, and tips/resources for the shelf exam!
My rotation was 6 weeks long, starting with 3 weeks of gynecology. I loved the gynecology part of the rotation! I really enjoyed the women’s health part of my family medicine rotation so going straight into gyn was awesome. Plus, it was my favorite block during my second year. Gyn was a good mix of everything – inpatient, outpatient, and surgery. A usual day consisted of signing up for cases (hysterectomies, pelvic slings, dilation & curettages) and then going to clinic. There, I saw colposcopies, performed Pap smears, and assisted in physical exams.
For my 3 weeks of Ob, we started at 6AM and rounded on patients on the floor who had previously delivered. Before morning report began at 7AM with the residents and attendings, we would write a brief H&P (history and physical) about the patients. Morning report consisted of discussing patients on the floor and cases to be done that day. Afterwards, we would head into any scheduled c-sections and kept an eye on laboring patients on the floor. If a patient was close to delivering, we would enter the room with the residents and help with the delivery. I was able to deliver the placenta a few times, but unfortunately no babies. I did get the chance to see triplets on ultrasound, who were conceived without IVF!
At the end of every day, usually around 4pm, we had lecture by one of the attendings. The goal was to hit high-yield information so that we would be prepared for the shelf exam. The shelf was not difficult but the lectures were very ob-oriented, and my classmates and I were surprised by how many STD/gyn questions were on the exam (10+). Keep reading below for recommendations on resources for the exam!
We had 24-hour call 3 times during the rotation. Our day would begin as usual, but after lecture when everyone else headed home we were responsible for attending sign-out at 6pm. The overnight residents took notes about patients from the day team and would check on them during the night. They also responded to consults and scrubbed in on cases with the attendings. How call went depended on how busy the night was. My first night on call, we only had a few consults and the resident said she would text/call me if there was a case. My last night on call, it was extremely busy with 3+ consults and 2 c-sections, and we didn’t get a break until 3AM! I preferred when it was busier though, because we’re able to learn more. Call ended after morning report the next day and we were post-call, so we had the day off.
I really wanted to like obgyn and was hoping I would end the rotation as a prospective obgyn, so that the rest of this year could be focused on away rotations and my application. However, I enjoyed gynecology much more than obstetrics, which makes it a difficult situation. It’s not completely off the board though because I am very much interested in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and getting more experience in that would definitely help. So I settled on telling myself that if I didn’t fall in love with another rotation, I would do a sub-internship in obgyn at another hospital and see how I liked it.
Resources used for Obgyn NBME Shelf Exam:
Master the Boards USMLE Step 2 CK
Reading the Ob and Gyn sections of this review book was gold. Ob is weird in that students aren’t really introduced to the material during preclinical years, whereas gyn is a little bit more familiar because of the pathology. I highly recommend reading the 50-something pages in the first week of the rotation – it’s easy to get through and definitely helped me understand what was being discussed in morning report.
Case Files Obstetrics and Gynecology
This book was an easy read and good for cases commonly seen during the rotation. I read it twice for the shelf exam.
Obstetrics and Gynecology by Beckmann
This book was recommended by the residents and the attendings to read during the rotation, but I ended up only using it as a reference. I had a hard time focusing when I read it because it was so length-y and textbook like, but I wish I had completed it.
UW Obgyn questions
It goes without saying that third years should have a UW subscription to do practice questions. There are 260+ for obgyn and I did them all twice. Compared to the shelf exam, UW questions were more straightforward and easy to read. The shelf exam vignettes were much longer and often had bits of irrelevant information, which was frustrating. A tip I found useful during step 1 studying: if a vignette is extremely long, read the last 2 sentences because often times the paragraph above it is unnecessary! It can save 30+ seconds of valuable time. For these shelf exams, the tip doesn’t apply as much because you still need parts of that paragraph, unfortunately.
APGO uWise questions
The uWise site is made by the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and offers questions in sets of 10 that cover material on the shelf exam. The site was remade during my rotation, and from what I could tell you need your school to register in order to have access to the questions (the students from the Caribbean were unable to access the questions without paying a fee, and my classmates and I could only login with a specific link sent from our school). The question stems are only 1-2 sentences long and test concepts, not vignettes. They’re awesome for nailing information down but at times seemed way too specific for the shelf.
That’s it for this entry, thanks for reading! Please subscribe on the right so we can stay in touch, and as always, feel free to email me with any questions 🙂 email@example.com