on February 23, 2010
I am writing this review for two reasons. One is to let all those who are considering to read Kaplan medical USMLE medical ethics By Conrad Fischer that this book gives you enough knowledge about medical ethics and presents it in such an interesting way that it becomes a pleasure to read and memorize the important principals. At least for the purpose of USMLE exams, it is best for all the three steps. I am saying best because it is neither deficient nor lengthy,is totally exam oriented and gives you all the Hi Yield as well as the occasionally tested facts about ethics on the USMLE exams. The presentation of the material in the book is in an orderly fashion, topic wise and also gives questions and answers with examples of case scenarios and their explanation , so that most ethical issues becomes like individual small stories which are very helpful and enjoyable to remember and also very easy to apply to practical exam questions. This book may seem lengthy compared to the tested number of questions on each USMLE step but keeping in view that it works for all the three exams including dealing with simulated patients on Step2 CS it is not lengthy and is just a repetition of the text in the form of 100 questions and answers. So don't be scared by the number of pages. I does not take more time than memorizing the ethics portion in other Kaplan Series which is difficult to apply to answering the actual exam questions. You will finish this book in less than a week. When I have taken USMLE step1 many years back, with average scores in the whole exam but unfortunately bad performance in the ethics portion. At that time I didnt know about this book and tried the kaplan last few pages of ethics with the popular 20 rules. Despite the fact, that I remembered the text of the book, it was difficult for me, Being an Foreign Medical graduate, to apply the knowledge in the actual exam. Now that I have read this book, I wish I could have this book at that time. I have realized that presence of pertinent material in a book is one thing but not all that we need. The presentation of the knowledge and the way it helps you to make a good grip on concepts is equally important especially when it comes to ethics whose questions are usually trickier than to be straight forward scientific facts. This is the book which gives that understanding and concept which makes it easy to answer ethical questions on the USMLE. For me it made it simple to find out where the catch was in the question and what options are certainly not the correct answers, thus narrowing the answer options to only one or two, so that even a guessing among the two options had more than fifty percent probability to be the correct choice. In short, I recommend this book for Step1 , step 2 and step 3 , specially for IMGs who will benefit the most. Regarding it being helpful during residency, it definitely will help, but by then most ethical decisions becomes part of the residents reflexes to situations you get practically trained rather than needing a book.
The second reason that I took the time to write a this review about is the the good service of amazon.com. While it may look like I work for amazon, this is not true.I am a foreign medical graduate and I have been through the difficulties of not being able to afford books here in the United States and it is my pleasure if someone, specially Foreign medical graduates find my review to be helpful in some way . In USA we have to pay in dollars as compared to paying in rupees in my country,Pakistan and, even the neighboring country India. I therefor first try to arrange books from my country or from India but when it is not available there or when it takes more time than I can wait for, or any other reason like not finding a good print overseas, I first do a search in the local bookshops in Chicago. It is always almost double the price of Amazon.com in the local bookstores including University of Chicago , Borders and others. Then I try it online, usually with Barnes& Nobel, Discount Books, Bargain Books, Amazon.com and many others. But I have never been able to find a book cheaper and with a reliable service than Amazon.com. Put a book name to the Google comparison and it will give you dozens of options and put it on eBay (which I admit is good for many other types of items to buy )and then compare all the website with amazon taking into account the service, item presentation, price, delivery, correspondence when a problem arises and many other aspects you prioritize and you will see the difference. Sometimes the price listed on other websites will be cheaper than Amazon.com but there is always a catch like expensive shipping price, prolonged shipping time or others which makes the total cost and time less preferable than Amazon. After five to six such efforts, I have finally concluded that Amazon is the leader when it comes to price and service, at least these days, and this is what I thanked them for during my last transaction when I bought a book from them. By mistake I had ordered the ethics book with one click without choosing the Expedited shipping Method. I corresponded with Amazon to change it to expedited delivery But the Store who had put the item On Amazon was not having this service available. In few hours Amazon frequently corresponded with me through emails multiple times till they canceled the order, refunded my money fully and facilitated me to make another transaction to my satisfaction.They have always shipped and delivered as they have mentioned with the item. That helped me when I was in hurry to prepare the Conrad Fischer book for my step3 exam and I was able to improve my score in ethics to an excellent level. Once again , the review has nothing to do with me being exaggerating about the Conrad Fischer or Amazon.com. In fact they don't know me and both are popular enough , not to depend on my review to help them. This is just an attempt to respect those who are good for others and also if my review can be useful in any way. If someone has doubts, one can write to me through Amazon and then later can contact me through phone or in person in Chicago, Hyde Park in the University Book shop. Best of Luck to All.