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How to Use Sketchy in the Clinical Years
Studying for your clinical years in med school can be difficult. Learn how Sketchy Medical has all the content to cover you on your rotations.
Before I started clinical rotations as a third-year medical student, Sketchy released their clinical course. And boy, was I excited. As a loyal Sketchy fan during my pre-clinical years I knew that Sketchy would help me learn new concepts faster while retaining them for longer. Over the course of the year and through the busy and not-so-busy rotations, I was able to trial different ways of using Sketchy in tandem with other resources. My goal is to present how Sketchy can fit into your study schedule and help you succeed in the busy clinical years, both on the shelf exams and for those pesky attending questions.
Third-year is a whole different ball game. No longer do you have most of the day to study. Now rotations are taking up most of your day and the norm for studying has become a busy team room and late at night before you pass out from sheer exhaustion. You will have less time to study, so you need to make the most of the time you have. To make it even more daunting, the shelf exams can sometimes be very difficult and take up much of the grade percentage. But have no fear, Sketchy is here to help!
I happened to start with the Internal Medicine rotation. During this rotation I would watch the Sketchy videos, and then try to find or make Anki cards with the same material. Some people stop using Anki during rotations, and I cannot blame them. It takes a lot of motivation and time to go through reviews every day, but I found that even if I only did the reviews for my current class, it was very helpful to keep the information in mind for the shelf exams. I also found that I was well prepared for Step 2, even before I started my dedicated time. There are a lot of videos for IM, so prioritize the high yield videos first. During this time I focused solely on Sketchy and neglected my UWorld questions. On rounds I found that I knew more than my peers, and when questions came my way I was confident that I knew the answer. At one point I remember listing the Duke criteria for endocarditis while my classmates wondered how I could ever have those memorized. Sketchy.
Sketchy & Questions
My next rotation was Surgery. There were less Sketchy videos for Surgery so I found I had time to do both Sketchy and UWorld questions. I would highly recommend doing both if you have the time. Both create a strong foundation and make the shelf exams less daunting. Watch Sketchy videos first to get a strong foundation, then answer questions to fill in the gaps and cement the knowledge. During Surgery I found it was best to leave the med student room and go to the surgery suite really early. In this way I was both well prepared for the case, and I could take time in the empty suite to watch Sketchy videos or do questions. The new Sketchy app can bring even more flexibility to watching videos before surgery or during a trauma call.
Rotations without Sketchy Material
Rotations like Family Medicine and Psychiatry do not have Sketchy sections. These are generally easier rotations that also have more free time for studying. For Family Medicine, I found that reviewing some of the preclinical sketches was an excellent way to relearn relevant material, especially the Sketchy Pharm for anti-hypertensives, diuretics, and dyslipidemia. For Psych, I reviewed the antidepressant, mood stabilizer, and antipsychotic sketches which were immensely valuable and very high yield for the shelf exams. Sketchy just dropped a brand new Neurology section, so go ahead and check that out as well!
Sketchy's here to help you
Third year is full of new patient and clinical experiences. It can be incredibly fulfilling while at the same time incredibly exhausting. Rotations are unique because of the flexibility needed for how and what to study for each rotation. For some rotations you might have plenty of time to complete all of your practice questions, Sketchy videos, and outside course requirements while for others you will need to choose what works best for your learning style. Either as a main focus or as a supplement, Sketchy is here to help you look your best on your shelf exams and during rounds all through your clinical years.