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For most students, the obstetrics and gynecology rotation is a unique experience because the first two years of medical school often provide very little exposure to women’s health and pregnancy issues. Therefore, this rotation can sometimes seem a little daunting. The following information provides some tips to do well on the Ob/Gyn rotation and the NBME subject exam.

Take extra care to consider the privacy of your patients. When it comes to the NBME exam, there are a lot of choices for resources. Some top resources include:

  • UWorld Qbank – an excellent, high-yield resource with questions written in a similar style to the NBME exam.

  • NBME Clinical Science Mastery Series Ob/Gyn forms – These practice exams have the exact same interface and question format as the final NBME exam that most students take at the end of their rotation. They have the advantage of providing score predictions and helping you guide your studying to ensure accurate preparation for the final exam.

  • High-Yield Obstetrics and Gynecology – this short but compact book represents an excellent overview of ob/gyn and can easily be completed in the first week or two of the rotation.

  • Online MedEd Obstetrics and Gynecology Videos – provide a solid overview of the ob/gyn field and are easy to get through at the start of the rotation but probably aren’t detailed enough for those looking for a high NBME score.

  • Case Files Obstetrics and Gynecology – This book contains short cases along with 500 practice questions. Some of the questions seem to be a bit outdated, but it does serve as a good content review for the NBME exam.

  • Blueprints Obstetrics and Gynecology – a great, well-written text with accompanying practice questions but may be more in-depth than is needed to achieve a high score on the subject exam. Students may find it more helpful to just skim various chapters in areas they feel they may be weaker in.

  • ACOG/APGO Questions – this Qbank is free to medical students who make an account with ACOG. Over 500 questions are available in various different topics accompanied by short explanations of the correct and incorrect answers. Despite the volume of questions, it is possible to get through them in a reasonable amount of time. Some of the questions are a bit advanced and may be more appropriate at the resident level, but this still is a good resource for Ob/Gyn practice questions.

Ob/gyn is a fascinating, exciting rotation, but patient privacy is particularly important due to the sensitive nature of the field. You often will treat women who are scared but excited while carrying their first child. You may examine a patient who has never had a speculum exam before. Other women may be apprehensive to have their breasts examined by a medical provider. Sometimes, you might have to tell a woman that she has contracted an STI or break the unfortunate news that her fetus has a lethal disease. All of these issues require particular sensitivity and patient respect. Taking extra precautions to make the patient feel comfortable can go a long way, such being cautious to drape her during the exam and fully explaining what you are doing and why at all times. Don’t forget to ask an excited pregnant patient if she has a name picked out for her baby or inquire how a new mom’s baby is doing at home. A little extra interest and respect can go a long way in making your patient feel comfortable.

Overall, the Ob/Gyn clerkship is a critical and fascinating rotation which allows medical students to experience a field which most formerly knew little about. By practicing extra precautions to make patients’ feel comfortable and preparing well for the NBME final exam, all students can have a successful rotation.

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Lauryn Falcone

Lauryn Falcone

Lauryn Falcone graduated Summa Cum Laude and as co-valedictorian from Rollins College before pursuing an MD/PhD degree at West Virginia University School of Medicine. She is currently working towards a PhD in cellular and integrative physiology at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in a respiratory toxicology laboratory. Lauryn completed her first two years of medical school as an honors student, scoring a 254 on the USMLE Step 1 examination and achieving above the 90th percentile on eight NBME shelf exams. Lauryn has a strong passion for tutoring and mentoring students and enjoys helping them navigate the challenges of medical school.
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