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98 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have gone through pretty much all of the step 3 review books in the market including FA, Crush step 3, the nail the board, Board and ward, and Strong Medicine. I also have read the Kaplan Q book step 3

This volume surpass all of the above in terms of the quality of content, amount of fine detail, board relevancy, and the author's unique insights into the material as a good teacher himself.

He tend to shed a lot of good insight into the board questions. I had met him once in person when I was a medical student at the FHMC in Queens, NY.

But this book is not perfect (There is no such thing as a perfect board review book, we all know it). I wish there are more complete index, which is pretty bad and too brief. It takes some time to find a topic with "rushed out" kind of index.

Also, there are a few errors. It says that Mitral valve prolapse with even regurgitaion does not need endocarditis Prophylaxis but I have been able to verify with a few medical references including Harrison-the recent update- and Washington manual that MR with regurgitation needs prophylaxis.

the author boldly claims that there is no prophylatic therapy for cluster headache with some rather unconvincing logic, but I have read from several respectful sources that beta blockade or Calcium channel blockade must be given for prophylatic RX for cluster HA.

I also found this misleading information about ASCUS in Pap smear results. It says that if pap results in ASUC, the patient need HPV testing, But it does not mention the important fact that if the patient is a high risk group, ASUCS must mandate immediate Colposcopy biopsy.

Other shortcoming is the Leukemia section, which he almost neglect to cover the important facts about ALL and AML but throw in very vague mixed information under title "Acute leukemia".

Other than the index, it is a decent volume and very reasonable priced.

I would not recommend it as a sole review source though. Step 3 seem to ask the understanding of the concepts and application of the further managements contrast to the step 2 which is more of recognition of the key words and classic signs. Thus I reject this book's so called Guarantee passing score Claim....I highly recommend a second review book beside this for a better performance on step 3.It is really unreasonable to claim that this book has "everthing" to do pass step 3.

I never recommend Strong Medicine, which is consistent of skeletal bullet list of the information without no actual bread and butter for each disease presentation. This book fails to demonstrate the competency and confidence of the material presented with a fair amount of wrong information as well.

FA is also not recommended since its missing out too many topics and is also very boring to read with little insights. I only use the 100 CCS cases on the back of this book.

Board and Ward is not recommended as well since its too basic to tackle the step 3 questions, which tend to ask much more in dept understanding and managements than mere factual key words, which is what is all about Board and Ward. It was useful for step 2 though and NBME Shelf exams.

PS: I passed the step 3 with 217/91%,(October 2010) which I have to give a lot of credit toward this great book. Peace after the agony of waiting for the score, which sent to me via a lengthy email @ 12 PM, midnight third wednesday. Yet the matching process is yet to be known. Career in medicine consumes my soul and the person itself. Prayers for all.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
As much as I hate Kaplan (the McDonald's of exams and USMLE with no hesitation to milk profit from poor students), this book is probably the best of the 3 books, which are:

1- This one
2- Crush by Brochert
3- First Aid

I personally like this the best and is the most complete and exam-oriented book. Heavy emphasis is placed throughout on what to do in the CCS scenarios and are, in my opinion, even better than the stand-alone section in FA, which is fairly worthless apart from a few cases which are valuable (so look through them somehow).

Brochert is a little too similar to USMLE 2CK, and while this exam appears similar, there are some differences which books really need to bring out, at least heavier CCS emphasis. Most books however, appear to have given up by the time it gets to USMLE 3 and just want to publish something that will sell, FA is classic for that and the standard deteriorates rapidly as you progress from USMLE 1 to 2 to 3... Sorry but making money comes second when it comes to my grade and I am a little annoyed as you can tell.

The money-back guarantee is probably crippled with restrictions but in fairness I cannot tell and base this on the cover disclosure. For the quality of the print, it should be a little cheaper and this is where it loses half a star in my opinion (a new highlighter will show on the other side of the page). The guarantee is nonetheless reassuring when you see the authors have confidence in their text, and that makes a difference, especially as it doesn't take much these days to publish a book ridden with errors and factual inaccuracies.

There are some sections in this book which are written phenomenally (cardiology) and others, less so. There, depending on your strengths, you may need help online for further clarification (nothing like having wikipedia open along with reading the book when unsure... my personal golden advice!). On the less well written chapters, this book loses the other half star.

There you go, 4/5 and probably the best out there.

Let me know if you need any further clarification... Last piece of advice, don't get bogged down with CCS, it's only 20% and there is a day and half of pure questions that are not CCS. Be careful not to lose focus here in your preparations.

Good luck
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just bought this book recently and have been studying with it for the Step 3 exam. If you're looking for something that basically sums up the Kaplan material into one book, you might like this. I doubt it would be the only thing you need to score well but it definitely helps out. Certain chapters dont have as much material as you'd hope but the Ob/Gyn chapters in my opinion are pretty good. However, it is not got for the C.C.S portion of the exam. I havn't found a book that can be used for that portion of the exam as of yet.

Combine this book with First Aid for the Step 3 and a few months of UsmleWorld, it should help out.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If I had more time I would tell you about all the mistakes I've found, but I need to study for the Boards! The book is filled with mistakes, so many, in fact, that I can't trust a word it says. For example, for colonoscopy screening, it says if you have HNPCC begin screening at age 25, then every 1-2 years. However, go to the next chapter, and it will give you a table that says you should screen at age 25, then every 10 years. Well, which is it? (I believe it's every 1-2 years)

Another example: When talking about renal tubular acidosis, it refers to Type I as "proximal" and type II as "distal." However, the chart on the SAME PAGE lists Type I as "distal" and type II as "proximal." (Type I is distal)

A third example: It says any head trauma with loss of consciousness should lead to head CT. Fine. But right afterwards is a box with the following: "Loss of consciousness [does not equal] CT scan." I thought you just said you SHOULD get a CT with LOC?!?!?!

Not to mention that instead of explaining what a disease IS, it just list words associated with a disease. For example, talking about Wegner's, it says that "Upper respiratory problems such as sinusitis and otitis are the key to diagnosis. Lung problems (cough, hemoptysis, abnormal CXR) are present as well."

Maybe this book is meant to be more of an list of free-association of words to diseases (with plenty of mistakes to keep the reader guessing), instead of a concise explanation of important diseases and their management. In that case, five stars!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dr. Fischer, of Kaplan fame, and his co-author have done a pretty good job in combining all that you need to know about Step 3, in the space of 524 pages.

However, be aware that this guide is not a complete guide, nor is it meant to be. Get more information about a topic from either USMLEWORLD, UpToDate, CMDT, or even Washington Manual, and write it on the good amount of margins that the authors have provided throughout the book. They also do a relatively good job in giving tips on how to tackle the topics as they appear on the CCS.

One glaring problem throughout is the spelling errors, and this is why I rate it 3 stars. Yes, this may be an anal point, but I don't want to spend time correcting the errors in the words, and trying to figure out what the authors mean. Hopefully, if Dr. Fischer and his co-author release an updated version, they will find an editor who knows how to edit properly.

Otherwise, a very bold and good text, if used with the materials suggested previously. Do one complete read, then do the UW questions and write the necessary points in the margins of MTB, and then re-read again about 2 times, and your Step 3 score should be a good one.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a second-year medicine resident who has used many review books in the past to study for all the Steps. This book is, by far, the worst book I have ever used. The information in it is poorly organized, misleading, sometimes incorrect. It does NOT give you any insight into any disease, it just lists random words after every disease. For example for Alport's syndrome, it says "is a congenital problem with eye and ear problems, such as deafness. There is no specific therapy." It doesn't mention anything about the kidney, even though it's in the Nephrology chapter. For lipid management, it doesn't clearly states the guidelines, it only jumbles words together to make the reader even more confused. There are typos in every chapter. Tables are in odd places in the book and do not summarize information in a useful way. They also give you long lists of findings NOT seen with the disease it's talking about. What's the use of that?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As a current medical resident who successfully passed step 3 with a good score , I found this book as a very useful addition to multiple choice questions for preparation for step 3. Despite of few errata here and there, overall I consider this book as a very straightforward, right to the point for really high yield topics in the step 3 compare to other available review books. You definitly need to practice multiple choice question and CCS cases and relying only on this book for taking usmle step 3 might be a little bit risky, but if you want to choose a quick review book for high yield topics that almost covers everything in addition to practicing MCQs & CCS cases, I strongly recommend Kaplan Medical USMLE Master the Boards Step 3.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is excellent review book but lots of mispellings, some are of vital importance. e.g Under "Hematology Chapter", Under folate & B-12 deficiency. It referes as " microcytic" which is not true. It is mAcrocytic.
There are few more. Needs proof reading.
Ali Shaikh
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
the book is a great tool for step 3, its very focused, targeted, and reads very easy, comes in 4 colors on regular paper(my favorite for writing notes, unlike other glistening textbook papers which reflects light and gives a headache). very well organized, the page is not heavily loaded (except some tables) which makes it more convenient to surf through the book

the content of the book covers all the aspects of internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, OBGYN in very nice clear way that matches the format for the CCS cases as regards what to order next and how to write the order, the best is the format is consistent though out the book.

this book relies on the fact that for step 3 its targeting the primary care management of the patients rather than focusing on the pathophysiology and mechanism of the diseases (so you might feel it's not covering every single pathophysiologic fact you've heard about, that's true, but being into step 3, the assumption is you already know the facts)
this book acts as a brush to cumulative knowledge, getting it from the back of the mind to the front , but in a very nice orderly manner
goes the current guidelines , focuses on primary care and has the strongest most condense OBGYN review .
i find it helpful as a review tool to organize my thoughts and to avoid getting overwhelmed with endless knowledge , it's going to be my review book number 1 , specially in the last week before the exam, as compared to other books for step 3 (rapid review, triage, crush) it comes as number 1, followed by Crush (crush is a powerful book but it's too little ) , this book has the advantage of covering more in-depth prep.
Warning: this book is not a textbook , it's a review; most of us forget this fact while evaluating a book, so yeah in comparison to Harrison's it looks inadequate, but for the purpose of retention and the time constrain its more retainable and simulates real patients situation that i see in the ward and systematize my memory for the Step 3 .

bio statistics not covered up in the book :(
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Seems like they didn't even take the time to run the manuscript thru a medical spell-checker. Great layout, easy to read and nice highlights for test but the book has extremely sloppy editing: charts mislabled, obvious wrong words, microcytic instead of macrocytic. Thankfully, it's mainly a lot of dumb mistakes, but it makes reading the book worrisome, and one had to wonder about some actual content as well.
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