What was the family medicine core like?
With 3 out of the 6 rotations done, we are more than half way through third year of medical school! The Family Medicine core was a 6-week rotation with 2 weeks in an urgent care facility and 4 weeks at a family medicine out-patient clinic. Urgent care hours were 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Out-patient clinic hours varied, but typically were 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Some mornings we rounded with the attending at the hospital before going to the clinic. We also had once weekly lectures every Tuesday morning.
The two weeks of urgent care was my favorite part of any rotation we have done so far! I loved having a variety of presentations with some non-urgent matters and some emergencies. I also felt like I had more autonomy in this rotation, I was able to do procedures which I really enjoyed. My attendings also allowed me to do full visits from start to end- history, physical, assessment, plan and treatment.
Out-patient clinic was similar, but more physicals than sick visits. The attending I was with saw a good mixture of children and adults. It was a good learning experience, especially realizing the pros and cons of healthcare in our society. I felt like I learned more about counseling patients and the long-term follow up on patients with chronic disease.
How we studied for the family medicine shelf.
This was our first 6-week long rotation, so we had less time to study for our shelf that was the same length as the 12-week rotation shelf. It was also much busier with less time in the day to study, we only had few hours a day to study and we were often exhausted when we got home.
The resources we used for family medicine shelf were ExamGuru question bank and Case Files for Family Medicine. I read and wrote notes on almost all 60 cases which, to be honest, took up the majority of my time. Denzel used Online MedEd videos on relevant topics and ExamGuru questions for the majority of his studying. We also used USPSTF guidelines for recommended screenings and vaccines.
The test was the hardest shelf I have taken thus far, but I do not know how else I would have prepared for the questions that I found challenging. Looking back, I wish I would have focused more on MCQs from ExamGuru instead of reading the Case Files, though I found those easy to read and informative. I had such a wide variety of questions, some that I think would just take more experience to answer. The test is heavy in musculoskeletal questions as well, which I found challenging. I felt that there was also many questions that reminded me of Step 1. I would have probably reviewed the MSK portion of the First Aid for Step 1 book.
Comment below or reach out to me if you have gone through the family core rotation and have anything to add to this post.