How the Heck Does the Match Work?

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By Mark Ard

Ah winter, the time during which fourth-year students are racking up air miles interviewing for their next three-to-seven (or more) years of indentured servitude the opportunity to learn, change lives and finally become a “doctor.”

For those who wonder exactly what goes on in the magic hat (that’s my metaphor…I don’t think the NRMP uses a real hat) of the process we call the Match, I will attempt to explain. Every year, I hear seniors say, “Ooooooh, that’s how it works. So how can I game the system?” Hopefully by the end of this post, you will learn that one, you shouldn’t try to play games with the match, and two, there’s no need to; it is designed to work in the applicant’s favor. Your ethical views on the overall match aside, it’s a pretty genius way of getting people where they want to be. (more…)

USMLE-Rx Step 3 Qmax Challenge #31045

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Check out this Step 3 Qmax Question Challenge.

Know the answer? Post it in the comments below! Don’t forget to check back for an update with the correct answer and explanation (we’ll post it in the comments section below).

USMLE-Rx Step 3 Qmax Challenge #31045A 54-year-old man presents to the office because of 3 days of diarrhea. The patient reports that 3 days ago he started to experience bloody diarrhea 5-6 times a day, associated with significant abdominal pain. He also noticed chills but did not check his temperature. He denies recent travel except to a restaurant in a nearby town about 1 week ago. He has no sick contacts and no recent antibiotic exposure. His temperature is 38.4°C (101.2°F), blood pressure is 135/65 mm Hg, pulse is 91/min, and respiratory rate is 18/min. On examination the mucous membranes are slightly dry, and the patient has abdominal pain primarily around the umbilicus, with no rebound or guarding. Laboratory tests show a leukocytosis with left shift. Stool is guaiac positive. Gram stain of the stool sample reveals curved gram-negative rods as shown in the image. A preliminary stool ova and parasite culture 2 days later shows few protozoa, but the results of bacterial culture are still pending.

What is the most likely cause of this patient’s diarrhea?

A. Blastocystis hominis
B. Campylobacter jejuni
C. Clostridium difficile
D. Cryptosporidium parvum
E. Shigella dysenteriae

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Want to know the ‘bottom line?’ Purchase a USMLE-Rx Subscription and get many more features, more questions, and passages from First Aid, including images, references, and other facts relevant to this question.

This practice question is an actual question from the USMLE-Rx Step 3 test bank. Get more Step 3 study help at USMLE-Rx.com.

Fast-Forward to First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2015

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By Patrick Sylvester

fa 2015Over the past year or so, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the First Aid Team on both the blog and in the development of the notorious Step 1 book that we all know and love. Since taking on the role of student editor this year for the next revision, I felt that now is a good time to share a little bit of a preview of the 2015 edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1.

Er. Mah. Gerd. First Aid 2015? It’s still 2014. And…. maybe I just started Med 1, why do I care?

Well, perhaps you don’t. And certainly I would never intend to cause any undue stress/angst. Rather, for those of you out there planning to take the USMLE Step 1 in 2015, I bring this message to you in attempt to help answer the age old question… “Do I need to buy the new edition of First Aid?”

Well, without reeking of too much bias, let’s take a moment to review what the past couple editions have looked like, and what you might be able to expect from this upcoming edition. (more…)

USMLE-Rx Step 1 Qmax Challenge #3455

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Check out today’s Step 1 Qmax Question Challenge.

Know the answer? Post it below! Don’t forget to check back for an update with the correct answer and explanation (we’ll post it in the comments section below).

USMLE-Rx Step 1 Qmax Challenge #3455A patient suffering from an upper respiratory infection presents to his physician with complaints of body aches, urinary frequency, and “strange-colored urine.” His previous medical history is significant only for recently beginning treatment with a statin drug for high cholesterol. His serum creatinine level is 2.0 mg/dL. A histologic section of the patient’s kidney is shown in the image.

Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

A. Acute tubular necrosis
B. Amyloidosis
C. Analgesic nephropathy
D. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
E. Pyelonephritis

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Want to know the ‘bottom line?’ Purchase a USMLE-Rx Subscription and get many more features, more questions, and passages from First Aid, including images, references, and other facts relevant to this question.

This practice question is an actual question from the USMLE-Rx Step 1 test bank. For more USMLE Step 1 prep, subscribe to our Flash Facts and Step 1 Express video series. Score the best deal on all three products with a Step 1 Triple Play Bundle.

Join us for a FREE Webinar: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 by Dr. Tao Le

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Join us for a FREE Webinar on December 9th

Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: http://bit.ly/1pgRDzS

This high-yield talk from Dr. Tao Le, the series editor for First Aid, will cover the basics of the USMLE Step 1 including an overview of the boards, goal setting, high-yield topics in each subject area, study strategies, review
resources, and study schedules.

Stay with us after the webinar for a live, interactive Q & A session.

Title: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 by Dr. Tao Le

Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Time: 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about how to access the Webinar.

System Requirements

PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

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Mnemonic Monday: “Sometimes ‘Cuz of A Hypoperfusion”

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By Haley Masterson

Using this mnemonic, you can simplify the order of the four types of respiratory failure as Shunting, increased CO2 (hypoventilation), Atelectasis, and Hypoperfusion. Shunting is commonly caused by pulmonary edema, hypoventilation is either neurological or neuromuscular in etiology, atelectasis is commonly seen in perioperative patients, and cases of hypoperfusion can be found in shock.

(more…)

USMLE-Rx Step 2 Qmax Challenge #21454

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Check out today’s Step 1 Qmax Question Challenge.

Know the answer? Post it below! Don’t forget to check back for an update with the correct answer and explanation (we’ll post it in the comments section below).

USMLE-Rx Step 2 Qmax Challenge #21454A 24-year-old man presents to his physician because of back pain that has become more severe over the past several months. He describes the pain as dull and localizes it to his lower back and gluteus muscles bilaterally. He notes feeling very stiff in the morning, but the stiffness improves with activity. He also notes the pain often awakens him during the night and does not go away until he gets out of bed and walks around for a while. On physical examination his lungs are clear to auscultation bilaterally, but he seems to have diminished air entry due to impaired chest wall expansion. Palpation of the sacral spine and hip joints causes pain. He cannot fully flex or extend at the hips. He also has limited hip abduction. X-ray of the spine is shown in the image.

Which of the following is the patient at risk for developing?

A. Anterior uveitis
B. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
C. Malar rash
D. Mitral stenosis
E. Pleuritis

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Want to know the ‘bottom line?’ Purchase a USMLE-Rx Subscription and get many more features, more questions, and passages from First Aid, including images, references, and other facts relevant to this question.

This practice question is an actual question from the USMLE-Rx Step 1 test bank. For more USMLE Step 1 prep, subscribe to our Flash Facts and Step 1 Express video series. Score the best deal on all three products with a Step 1 Triple Play Bundle.

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