InsideTheBoards for the USMLE, COMLEX & Medical School
Inside The USMLE Test Writing Process with Chris Cimino from Kaplan Medical | Part 2

Inside The USMLE Test Writing Process with Chris Cimino from Kaplan Medical | Part 2

November 8, 2019

This is part 2 in our series with Dr. Chris Cimino, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Kaplan Medical, who discusses the USMLE/COMLEX exam writing process and science behind it. 

USMLE and COMLEX board questions are frequently being altered, added, or retired. However, most students do not understand the reasons or the process of such changes. In this episode, Dr. Chris Cimino, Vice President of Medical Academics for Kaplan Test Prep and a former NBME test writer, will help uncover some of the misconceptions students may have about the process of vetting and retiring board-exam questions. He also discusses why some of the medical societies and guidelines conflict each other in clinical practice and how test-writers respond to these differences when creating questions.

Our practice question dissection comes from Kaplan's Step 2 CK Integrated Plan. Click the link below to sign up for a free trial.

Question Dissection for Today

1:49 - A 26 year old woman comes to the physician because of a one year history of amenorrhea

Interview 

4:55 Question Stem Length & Changes in Question Design Over Time

10:00 Pros and Cons of PhDs Teaching in Medical Education & How New Material is Assimilated into the USMLE or COMLEX Exams

Get a discount on any Kaplan Course 

Remember, ITB listeners can take up to 40% off any Kaplan Medical product (when combined with an American Medical Association membership discount) by going to kaptest.com and using the offer code "ITB15" to take advantage of this offer. Even if you're not an AMA member, you can still get 15% off any Kaplan Medical product.  

New Book from ITB's Chase DiMarco- Read This Before Med School  Will medical school make or break you? Whether you’ve just gotten your acceptance or are already in the cadaver lab, you can get through (relatively) unscathed by learning from those who’ve already survived and thrived. Herein, we provide you with the hard-won tips, tools, and insights that helped us to excel during those four grueling years. Beyond providing study tips, we draw on inspiration from fields like psychology, neuroscience, education, business, and even self-help to assemble a complete guide to accelerate your development as a medical student and future physician. Check it out now on Amazon (affiliate link)    

New Podcast: The 1-Minute Preceptor Podcast 

Brought to you by the host of the Medical Mnemonist Podcast, co-host to the InsideTheBoards Podcast, and co-author of Read This Before Medical School: How to Study Smarter and Live Better While Excelling in Class and on your USMLE or COMLEX Board Exams, this show will bring you interviews from medical educators in the clinical sciences. 

Wondering how to ask for Letters of Recommendation or how to best prepare for an upcoming clinical experience? This show will prepare you for your upcoming clinical rotations and make sure your externship experiences are fulfilling. Following the 1-Minute Preceptor Model, we explore how different preceptors in different clinical scenarios approach students and their education.

Stay tuned for the many great physicians we have interviewed and be sure to share this with your friends and Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

Check out all of ITB's Podcasts on our BRAND NEW Website

Legal Stuff and Credits

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards and its partners fully adhere to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies.

Inside The USMLE Test Writing Process with Chris Cimino from Kaplan Medical | Part 1

Inside The USMLE Test Writing Process with Chris Cimino from Kaplan Medical | Part 1

October 26, 2019

Today's episode is part 1 in our series with Dr. Chris Cimino, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Kaplan Medical, who discusses the USMLE/COMLEX exam writing process and science behind it. 

Students often wonder about those behind the curtain when it comes to the NBME and USMLE exams and materials. However, there is little transparency for students (and even instructors) may not be aware of the NBME test writing designs. Dr. Cimino helps to explain why the test-writers philosophy and those of your academic institution may vary greatly in regards to what material to prepare a student for. He also depicts the process of becoming a test-writer for the NBME and the different stages involved. Lastly, Dr. Cimino explains the process of finding board-relevant material and the process of consensus within question decision-making.

Our practice question dissection comes from Kaplan's Step 2 CK Integrated Plan. Click the link below to sign up for a free trial.

Question Dissection for Today

1:05 - A 55 year old male presents with a chief complaint of a sore on this foot. 

From the interview 

3:30 Reasons for the Lack of Transparency within the NBME, USMLE, and Test-Writer Philosophy

08:40 Why do Schools and Test-Writers Differ on their Educational Focus?

10:45 Insights into the Credentials of a Test-Writer and the Sub-Committees Involved

14:30 The Process for Vetting Board-Relevant Questions

20:00:The Students Role in Choosing Board-Relevant Questions & The Importance of Student Teamwork

Get a discount on any Kaplan Course 

Remember, ITB listeners can take up to 40% off any Kaplan Medical product (when combined with an American Medical Association membership discount) by going to kaptest.com and using the offer code "ITB15" to take advantage of this offer. Even if you're not an AMA member, you can still get 15% off any Kaplan Medical product.  

New Book from ITB's Chase DiMarco- Read This Before Med School 
Will medical school make or break you? Whether you’ve just gotten your acceptance or are already in the cadaver lab, you can get through (relatively) unscathed by learning from those who’ve already survived and thrived. Herein, we provide you with the hard-won tips, tools, and insights that helped us to excel during those four grueling years. Beyond providing study tips, we draw on inspiration from fields like psychology, neuroscience, education, business, and even self-help to assemble a complete guide to accelerate your development as a medical student and future physician. Check it out now on Amazon (affiliate link) 
 
New Podcast: The 1-Minute Preceptor Podcast 

Brought to you by the host of the Medical Mnemonist Podcast, co-host to the InsideTheBoards Podcast, and co-author of Read This Before Medical School: How to Study Smarter and Live Better While Excelling in Class and on your USMLE or COMLEX Board Exams, this show will bring you interviews from medical educators in the clinical sciences.

Wondering how to ask for Letters of Recommendation or how to best prepare for an upcoming clinical experience? This show will prepare you for your upcoming clinical rotations and make sure your externship experiences are fulfilling. Following the 1-Minute Preceptor Model, we explore how different preceptors in different clinical scenarios approach students and their education.

Stay tuned for the many great physicians we have interviewed and be sure to share this with your friends and Subscribe anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

Check out all of ITB's Podcasts on our BRAND NEW Website

Legal Stuff and Credits

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards and its partners fully adhere to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies.

USMLE Qs: Answer ‘Em like You Wrote ‘Em plus Med Schools & Med Studs as Moral Agents (Advice from ZDoggMD and Edmund Pellegrino)

USMLE Qs: Answer ‘Em like You Wrote ‘Em plus Med Schools & Med Studs as Moral Agents (Advice from ZDoggMD and Edmund Pellegrino)

September 7, 2019

In today's episode, the main feature is a detailed breakdown of how to "think like a question writer" based on Patrick's blog post for Student Doctor Network, Board Preparation: Training for a Marathon, not a Sprint. In addition, we excerpt a section from ZDoggMD's Incident Report, "How to Suck Less as a Medical Student" and Patrick presents a section from Dr. Edmund Pellegrino's article "Med Schools as Moral Agents". 

01:50 - ZDoggMD's "How to Suck Less as a Medical Student" 

05:55 - "Med Schools as Moral Agents" observations on the state of medical education and obligations of schools to their students. For an introduction to Dr. Pellegrino and his thought, see Patrick's review of "The Philosophy of Medicine Reborn"

16:20 - Answer 'Em like You Wrote 'EM: Approaching board questions from the perspective of a question writer. Detailed commentary based on Patrick's aforementioned SDN article. 

InsideTheBoards Study Smarter Podcast 

Check out the ITB Study Smarter Series Podcast channel. Go to bit.ly/ITBpodcasts or just click here to check it out on iTunes. We're planning a USMLE Step 2 Study Smarter Series in the coming months, covering each of the required clerkships and how to study for the shelf exam and the USMLE Step 2 and COMLEX Level 2. 

ITB Audio Qbank and iOS Beta App

The ITB iOS app includes all of our podcasts (with exclusive and expanded content), early access to podcasts we'll be releasing in the future, some meditations designed specifically for medical students and intended for use during your dedicated USMLE prep time (gotta keep those stress levels down, right?), plus the beta version of our all audio qbank. There's a sample of high yield audio questions for each version, and of course you can purchase a subscription to help us finish the full scale, Android and iOS app, which will have tons more features. It's not perfect. But it is THE PERFECT companion for studying for the boards on the go. And we're adding content and improving it all the time. Search the App Store for "InsideTheBoards" or click here to download it now. 

Android user? Until we release the cross-platform version of the app this summer, you can still subscribe to the podcast version of ITB's All-Audio Qbank by clicking here

The #ListenLearnLive Contest ("We'll Pay For Yours Boards" thanks to Physicianloans.com) Final Contest (deadline September 30, 2019)

We're giving away all kinds of prizes in exchange for your help promoting all of InsideTheBoards' podcasts.  

You earn entries by completing certain actions like sharing or reviewing our podcasts. But you probably know that ITB is all about promoting the wellbeing of medical students. So we also want to push the hashtag #listenlearnlive. The "live" part of this represents our interest in not just your scores, but also your lives outside of medicine. Hence, you can also earn entries just for doing healthy things like exercising, walking your dog, spending time with your fam, or listening to music and then snapping a photo, tagging us, and using the hashtag #listenlearnlive in a social media post.

It's actually three separate, month-long contests running now through July. The Top Three winners at the end of each month's contest will be placed into a drawing for the Grand Prize: your USMLE Step 1/Step 2 or COMLEX Level 1/Level 2 Registration Fee (thanks to the generosity of Physicianloans.com )That's a prize worth over $600. We're also giving away things like subscriptions to our All-Audio Qbank. Just go to http://bit.ly/paymyusmle3 to sign up. 

Legal Stuff and Credits

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards and its guests fully adhere to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies.

Thanks to ZDogg MD and Doc Vader for their kind permission to use this excerpt. To learn more about Health 3.0, listen to the Incident Report podcast anywhere you find podcasts, and go to ZDogg's website to watch the short video "What's Health 3.0"

"Med Schools as Moral Agents" (Pellegrino ED. Medical Schools as moral agents. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 1977;88:54–67.). 

Board Preparation: Training for a Marathon, Not a Sprint. Student Doctor Network, Jan 10, 2017 available at this link. 

Music: Better Days, "Tired Bones, Weak Minds" from the album What You Did to Me. Listen to Better Days on Spotify.

USMLE Question Breakdown: Structural Changes to the Heart plus Sleep Affects Learning in Medical School | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

USMLE Question Breakdown: Structural Changes to the Heart plus Sleep Affects Learning in Medical School | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

November 21, 2018

InsideTheBoards Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors) 

Another feature in our Audio Blog series where we take posts from The MedSchoolTutors Blog (the very best blog for medical school) and record them for on-the-go learning. We're focusing on articles that cover question breakdowns, examination and study advice, and those related to mental wellbeing and wellness during medical school. 

Today's episode features two articles: 

A 62-year-old man presented to the emergency room with a 45-minute history of severe chest pain. EKG shows ST elevations in leads II, III, and aVF...

... 

Which of the following conditions is the most likely the cause of structural changes to the patient’s heart?

A) Atrial septal defect
B) Mitral insufficiency
C) Long-standing hypertension
D) Mitral Stenosis
E) Recent myocardial infarction
F) Ventricular fibrillation
 
Read the full vignette and post here.

InsideTheBoards Study Smarter Podcast

Check out the ITB Study Smarter Series Podcast channel. Go to bit.ly/ITBpodcasts or just click here to listen on iTunes. 

ITB Audio Qbank (beta edition) and Premium Subscription Black Friday Deal until November 26, 2017

Purchase the 1-month ($14.99) subscription to ITB's All-Audio Qbank using this link (or going to http://www.insidetheboards.podbean.com and clicking the "Premium Plans" tab) and we'll throw in an extra 2 months of access. The preclinical version of our All-Audio Qbank is powered by content from Lecturio and Osmosis. The clinical version is powered by OnlineMedEd. It's the perfect supplement to UWorld, Pathoma, First Aid, and Sketchy. 

Legal Stuff and Thanks

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards fully adheres to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies. 

Music: "So Into You" by Niights. Courtesy of Sun Pedal Recordings. Listen to the full track on Spotify

Thanks to MedSchoolTutors for providing the content for this show.

Thanks to Greg Rodden, host of the Med School Phys Podcast for helping us with this episode. Listen to the Med School Phys podcast for high-yield learning and review of physiology topics for your classes and exams. 

Building Resilience plus USMLE Question Breakdown: Pathophysiology of Pharmacologic Side Effects | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

Building Resilience plus USMLE Question Breakdown: Pathophysiology of Pharmacologic Side Effects | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

November 12, 2018

InsideTheBoards Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors) 

Another feature in our Audio Blog series where we take posts from The MedSchoolTutors Blog (the very best blog for medical school) and record them for on-the-go learning. We're focusing on articles that cover question breakdowns, examination and study advice, and those related to mental wellbeing and wellness during medical school. 

Today's episode features three articles: 

Well-Being and Academic Skills in Medical School: Building Resilience Part 1 and Part 2
 
 
Question Excerpt: 

A 47 year old male with a past medical history of hypertension and obesity presents to his primary care physician for routine physical examination and yearly laboratory studies. His labs are remarkable for total cholesterol 190, LDL 75, and HDL 25...His physician starts him on a second medication at this time and his symptoms improve.

... 

This second medication works by what mechanism of action?

A: Dermal activation of Langerhans cells leading to increased prostaglandin release
B: Inhibition of cytochrome P450
C: Decreased breakdown of nitrous oxide
D: Inhibition of COX-2
E: Increased breakdown of dopamine

Read the full vignette and post here.

InsideTheBoards Study Smarter Podcast

Check out the ITB Study Smarter Series Podcast channel. Go to bit.ly/ITBpodcasts or just click here to listen on iTunes. 

ITB Audio Qbank (beta edition) and Premium Subscription

Purchase a 6-month or 12-month subscription to ITB's All-Audio Qbank using this link (or going to http://www.insidetheboards.podbean.com and clicking the "Premium Plans" tab) and we'll double the length of your subscription for free. The preclinical version of our All-Audio Qbank is powered by content from Lecturio and Osmosis. The clinical version is powered by OnlineMedEd. It's the perfect supplement to UWorld, Pathoma, First Aid, and Sketchy. 

Legal Stuff

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards fully adheres to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies. 

Music: "So Into You" by Niights. Courtesy of Sun Pedal Recordings. Listen to the full track on Spotify

Thanks to MedSchoolTutors for providing the content for this show.

Reasoning through USMLE & Shelf Exam Questions plus Breaking Down Cardiac Causes of Syncope | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

Reasoning through USMLE & Shelf Exam Questions plus Breaking Down Cardiac Causes of Syncope | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

November 1, 2018

InsideTheBoards Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors) 

Another feature in our Audio Blog series where we take posts from The MedSchoolTutors Blog (the very best blog for medical school) and record them for on-the-go learning. We're focusing on articles that cover question breakdowns, examination and study advice, and those related to mental wellbeing and wellness during medical school. 

Today's episode features two articles: 

A 28 year old male presents to the ED after a witnessed syncopal event. 

... 

Which of the following medications would be contraindicated in this patient:

A: Amiodarone
B: Adenosine
C: Procainamide
D: Warfarin

Read the full vignette and post here.  

InsideTheBoards Study Smarter Podcast

Check out the ITB Study Smarter Series Podcast channel. Go to bit.ly/ITBpodcasts or just click here to check it out on iTunes. 

ITB Audio Qbank (beta edition) and Premium Subscription

Purchase a 6-month or 12-month subscription to ITB's All-Audio Qbank using this link (or going to http://www.insidetheboards.podbean.com and clicking the "Premium Plans" tab) and we'll double the length of your subscription for free. The preclinical version of our All-Audio Qbank is powered by content from Lecturio and Osmosis. The clinical version is powered by OnlineMedEd. It's the perfect supplement to UWorld, Pathoma, First Aid, and Sketchy. 

Legal Stuff

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards fully adheres to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies. 

Music: The One True Color from The Mindsweep by Enter Shikari. Used with permission. 

Thanks to MedSchoolTutors for providing the content for this show.

USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK Question Breakdown: 2-in-1 Edition | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK Question Breakdown: 2-in-1 Edition | ITB Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors)

October 23, 2018

InsideTheBoards Audio Blog (powered by MedSchoolTutors) 

Another feature in our Audio Blog series where we take posts from The MedSchoolTutors Blog (the very best blog for medical school) and record them for on-the-go learning. We're focusing on articles that cover question breakdowns, examination and study advice, and those related to mental wellbeing and wellness during medical school. 

Today's episode features the article: 

 An 83-year old woman presents to the ED with very acute abdominal pain for 1 hour. 

... 

What test would be most likely to establish her diagnosis?

  1. Chest X-Ray
  2. Abdominal CT Angiography
  3. RUQ US
  4. Amylase, Lipase, and LFTs
  5. MRCP
  6. Abdominal X-Ray

Read the full vignette and post here

InsideTheBoards Study Smarter Podcast

Check out the ITB Study Smarter Series Podcast channel. Go to bit.ly/ITBpodcasts or just click here to check it out on iTunes. 

ITB Audio Qbank (beta edition) and Premium Subscription

Purchase a 6-month or 12-month subscription to ITB's All-Audio Qbank using this link (or going to http://www.insidetheboards.podbean.com and clicking the "Premium Plans" tab) and we'll double the length of your subscription for free. The preclinical version of our All-Audio Qbank is powered by content from Lecturio and Osmosis. The clinical version is powered by OnlineMedEd. It's the perfect supplement to UWorld, Pathoma, First Aid, and Sketchy. 

Legal Stuff

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards fully adheres to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies. 

Music: Anaesthetist from The Mindsweep by Enter Shikari. Used with permission. 

Thanks to MedSchoolTutors for providing the content for this show. And thanks to ZDoggMD and Doc Vader for the lighthearted intro. Check out ZDogg's podcast, the Incident Report, on Apple Podcasts.    

Practical Question Strategy— A 67-Year-Old Man with Cough with Brian Radavansky from MedSchoolTutors | (USMLE Question Dissection)

Practical Question Strategy— A 67-Year-Old Man with Cough with Brian Radavansky from MedSchoolTutors | (USMLE Question Dissection)

July 21, 2018

Intro

In this episode we dissect the following practice question with Dr. Brian Radvansky from MedSchoolTutors. 

Question Stem

A 67-year old man presents to the Emergency Department with a 2-day history of progressively worsening cough. He has a history of poorly-controlled hypertension, 30 pack-year smoking history, well-controlled diabetes, and a STEMI 4 years prior. He complains of mild sharp chest pain while coughing, some shortness of breath while walking around his apartment, and lightheadedness when standing up. Vital signs on arrival are HR 114, BP 100/55, RR 26, T 101.9 ℉, SpO2 86% on 4 L nasal cannula. Physical exam is significant for general ill appearance, decreased breath sounds in the right lower chest, tachypnea, tachycardia, and use of accessory muscles of breathing. His is somewhat alert and oriented only to person and place. ABG shows pH 7.29/pCO2 60/pO2 69. EKG shows Q-waves in the inferior leads.

Which of the following is most likely to improve the patient’s clinical status?

  1. Dobutamine
  2. Furosemide
  3. Doxycycline
  4. Vancomycin and Piperacillin-Tazobactam
  5. Pleurocentesis
  6. Aspirin and Heparin

The full post is not yet published. But you can read more high-yield question breakfowns on the MedSchoolTutors excellent blog. 

InsideTheBoards Study Smarter Series for the USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1

Check out the ITB Study Smarter Series Podcast channel perfect for your dedicated Step 1 prep time, or you first and second year med school coursework. Go to bit.ly/ITBpodcasts or just click here to check it out on iTunes. 

ITB Audio Qbank and Premium Subscription

Before August 15, 2018 purchase a 6-month or 12-month subscription to the beta version of ITB's All-Audio Qbank using this link (or going to http://www.insidetheboards.podbean.com and clicking the "Premium Plans" tab) and we'll double the length of your subscription for free. The preclinical version of our All-Audio Qbank is powered by content from Lecturio and Osmosis. The clinical version is powered by OnlineMedEd. It's the perfect supplement to UWorld, Pathoma, First Aid, and Sketchy. 

 

Creativity and Medicine: Looking for Artists

We're looking for med students with some artistic talent, who want to share their work while contributing to their fellow students' medical education and addressing problems within healthcare and medical education. Whether you like to sketch, draw, paint, have some graphic design experience, etc. and you want to share your work with the world, contact patrick@insidetheboards.com for more info. 

 

Legal Stuff

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards fully adheres to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies. 

Music: "Anaesthetist" off The Mindsweep by Enter Shikari (used with permission).