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Choosing Your Specialty: Gaining Insights from Clinical Clerkships

A group of medical school students on their clinical clerkship.

Selecting a desired medical specialty marks a pivotal moment in a medical student's career. However, the process is intricate and evolves with factors throughout your academic journey. One of, if not the most important, contributors to this decision-making process is the exposure gained during clinical clerkships in medical school. In...

The Impact of Shelf Exam Performance on Residency Applications

A group of medical school students taking their shelf exam.


In the journey to residency, medical students' shelf exam performance holds significant weight in applications. Shelf exams, designed to assess students' knowledge and clinical reasoning in specific core clerkships, can play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of a medical student's academic capabilities. In this article, we explore the...

8 Time Saving Tricks to Study for the Shelf Exam During Your Pediatric Rotation

11 min


A medical school student on their pediatric clinical rotation treating a patient.


As you dive into the world of pediatric medicine, you'll encounter a whirlwind of learning opportunities, patient interactions, and, of course, the looming shelf exam at the end of your rotation. With so much to absorb in a limited time frame, efficiency is key, especially on a rotation that is...

Your Guide To Mastering the Art of Patient Presentations During Clinical Clerkships

A medical student presenting a patient on her clinical clerkship.


Clinical clerkships represent your transition from the classroom to the front lines of patient care. Central to this experience is the art and science of patient presentations—a skill that not only communicates the patient's condition but also reflects your depth of knowledge, critical thinking, and ability to collaborate with the...

Balancing Act: Managing Research Responsibilities During Clinical Rotations

Medical School students participating in a research opportunity during their clinical rotations.


Your journey through medical school is marked by crucial milestones, and arguably the most pivotal phase is your time spent in the hospital and clinic. These hands-on experiences in different healthcare settings provide a bridge between classroom knowledge and practical application. However, integrating research into clinical rotations enhances the educational...

Studying for the Shelf Exam During Your OB/GYN Rotations

13 min


A group of medical school students on their OB/Gyn clinical rotations.


Studying for the OB/GYN Shelf   So you’ve made it to your Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship. OB/GYN is a fun and exciting field. However, between delivering babies, scrubbing into surgeries, and working in the outpatient clinic, you somehow have to find time to study for a shelf as well? On...

Will Surgery and Medicine Shelf Exam Scores Replace Step 1 Now That It’s Pass/Fail?

9 min


A group of surgery and medicine clinical rotations students.


As of January 1, 2022, USMLE Step 1 officially became pass/fail. Historically, the Step 1 score served as a metric for competency of basic medical foundational knowledge and most importantly, was used by residency programs to determine an applicant’s competitiveness. One of the reasons for the change to pass/fail was...

7 Ways to Ace Your Psychiatry Shelf Exam

20 min


A medical student studying for her psychiatry shelf exam, wearing scrubs, in front of a laptop and textbooks.


After surviving a notoriously more rigorous clinical rotations like Internal Medicine and Surgery, many students find some relief in knowing that they are able to take a little breather on their Psychiatry service. The hours are more regular and your psychiatry shelf exam seems a bit less daunting and easier...

Mistakes Medical Students Make While Studying for Shelf Exams

A group of medical school students in scrubs studying for their shelf exams while in the hospital for their clinical rotations.


During your first clinical year of medical school, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. You will find yourself taking care of patients, rounding, working in the operating room, reading about your patients’ diseases, creating case presentations, and more, all while studying for your shelf exams. Here, we will discuss the...

Six Tips to Help You Succeed on Your Clinical Clerkships

A group of medical students in a hospital completing their clinical rotation.


During your third year of medical school, you will get the opportunity to go into the hospital and help with patient care during your clinical clerkships. For many students, this is the first time they get to work with patients, round with a medical team, assist with surgeries, and more....

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