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July 30, 2010

USMLE: United States Medical Licensing Examination

I've recently learned some new information about the USMLE and the related resources we have available to our users, and I thought I'd put together a brief review to refresh our collective memory.

The Test

The USMLE (sometimes known as the "the boards") are a series of tests taken during and/or after medical school leading to the M.D. degree (and the D.O. degree, but that's a whole other story).

The USMLE is composed of three steps, some of which are further sub-divided:

  • USMLE, Step 1 "assesses whether medical school students or graduates understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine."
  • USMLE, Step 2 "assess(es) whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science essential for provision of patient care under supervision. US medical students typically take Step 2 during the fourth year of medical school."
  • USMLE, Step 2 - CK "assess(es) clinical knowledge through a traditional, multiple-choice examination. The subjects included in this exam are clinical sciences like Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology."
  • USMLE, Step 2 - CS "assess(es) clinical skills through simulated patient interactions... . The examination is offered in five cities across the country (including Chicago)."
  • USMLE, Step 3 "assess(es) whether a medical school graduate can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. Graduates of US medical schools typically take this exam at the end of the first year of residency."

Resources for Preparing for the USMLE

In the past, we haven't actively collected test prep materials; however, we now have a strong collection, including:

  • Exam Master - includes content for Steps 1, 2 and 3. Online exams are presented in both a test simulation mode and a study review mode with correct answers and explanations accessible. Score reporting utilities provide immediate feedback and allow for targeted learning based on your test results.
  • Medical School Rotation books - a collection of books purchased with funding from the Medical School. Only available to medical students. See the maroon binder at the Ref Desk for a complete list.
  • Online books - E-Books > Examination and Test Prep
  • Print books - We own some regular collection test prep materials in print. Some review series worth searching for include: Board Review Series (BRS), Case Files, First AID, and Pre-Test. It can also be useful to search MNCAT by the step (i.e. USMLE and "Step 1").

Other Sources

Find E-books Fast! New HSL E-books Search Box

We have recently added a search box at the top of the E-books web page.

You can use this box to search for any HSL purchased e-book in the catalog, including many titles not listed on the e-books web page.

All e-books purchased by HSL have been given the user tag "health sciences libraries e-book" in MNCAT Plus, which makes this new search feature possible.

Happy Searching!

July 20, 2010

SciFinder news to share with depts: new site.prf + end to access via software approaching

Repost from the Science Librarians List....


Hi everyone,

This is a heads up that a new site.prf file will be distributed for off-campus access to the client software for security reasons related to recent unauthorized access to U of M user accounts. Within the next couple of days, when you open SciFinder off campus, you will see a message (http://sciweb.lib.umn.edu/chem/SFSCredentialsMsg.jpg) with instructions on getting the new file. An automated system issues the new file, and you should receive it immediately after emailing the address in the message. (The address shown is for Windows; there is a different one for Macs.)

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that access to SciFinder via the client software will be phased out around the end of this year and only web access will be available. I don't yet have a firm date from CAS, but I will let you know when I do.

Let me know if you have questions!

Meghan Lafferty
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Librarian
Science & Engineering Library
University of Minnesota
108 Walter Library
117 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
Tel.: 612-624-9399
FAX: 612-625-5583
E-mail: mlaffert@umn.edu
IM (AIM, GTalk, MSN, Y!): umchemlib

July 8, 2010

Review of E-Reader Models from Consumer Reports

André ran across a review of current models of e-readers in this month's Consumer Reports, and sent it to the LEIS group. I'm also posting it here so we all have a resource for selection advice in case we get questions at the desk. Enjoy!
E-Readers Review (PDF)