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Surgery Pre-Test Self-Assessment & Review, 12th Edition 12th Edition

2.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071598637
ISBN-10: 0071598634
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lillian S. Kao, MD, MS, FACS , is Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Surgery Clerkship at University of Texas—Houston Medical School's LBJ Hospital in downtown Houston, Texas.

Tammy Lee, MD, is Assistant Professor of Surgery at University of Texas—Houston Medical School's LBJ Hospital in downtown Houston, Texas.
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Product Details

  • Series: PreTest
  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Medical; 12th edition (March 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071598634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071598637
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Like a typical pretest book, this book is only questions, which do not comprehensively cover surgery. While some questions are good, expect a good number of the questions in this book to be completely unrelated and so random that they are not going to help you pass the surgery shelf examination. Unfortunately this can make some of the sections in this book very difficult. However, I think that it is fair to say that this is one of the few question books that you can buy for surgery. Apple and Lange puts out a surgical question book that tends to be a little more popular but is littered with errors on critical topics. At my school we even had the head of the surgical department denounce Apple and Lange for its grotesque flaws. Because the surgery shelf consists of mostly internal medicine questions relating to the management of a surgical patient, a good number of students thought it would be a good idea to use USMLE world or Kaplan question, both of which contain a separate section on surgery. Although these contain excellent question, they are very expensive to buy just for a clerkship and there are a very limited number of questions on surgery alone. What I am really trying to say is that unfortunately there isn't a good alternative to this book at this time. Other surgical question books remain just as erroneous or are littered with useless question. I feel confident saying that while this isn't the best book, it is one of the best options. Don't use it as a staple study source, but keep it handy to practice questions right before the shelf after you have finished studying other material.
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I don't really understand other reviews that state the questions in this book are too hard. I recently took the shelf exam and would say the exam was just as hard if not harder since most of the questions were very detailed internal medicine questions. I felt it to be very helpful especially when used with another book as a reference for concepts I did not understand. Surgery shelf is very difficult and you need to do questions from somewhere. I also own Case Files and Surgery Recall. I used all three but found pretest prepared me most for the test. Case Files helped with my understanding but should be read at least twice. and Surgery recall is good for pimping and only pimping...not the actual exam.
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This was used during my surgical clerkship to prepare for the shelf. I think it was a decent question book, though as others have noted there are some errors that the publishers shouldn't have missed as well as answers which do not match up to UWorld's clarity and depth. With a printed version, in the concise format that it is, I still don't regret the ability to review this prior to the shelf and found it helpful in my preparations.

I also used Surgical Recall as well as UWorld's surgical questions and Appleton and Lange's Question Bank. All in all, it was a complete source of quick study material; I would recommend this over Lange.
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I bought this book thinking it would be as fabulous as the Pre-test Psychiatry book. However, I didn't really feel that it helped me on my medical school COMAT/shelf exam. The book divides the questions into systems and it gives detailed explanations to why the answer is correct and why wrong answers are incorrect. The questions in this book were very challenging and covered a diverse amount of information, but my exam (COMAT) questions were not similar to the questions in this book at all. My actual test questions were much more basic and asked things this book never even touched on. Overall, I was a little disappointed.
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I just took the surgery shelf today. This is not a bad question book. It's just that there are some really specific questions in here, likely due to the mandatory 500 questions for each PreTest book. But there is good stuff in here if you know which questions you can safely blow over. They need a new editor to fix the mistakes (saying the answer is A when the explanation indicates D is the answer; also, they need to get "increased" and "decreased" straight). They also need to redo the explanations to make the answer more obvious. But I really did learn a lot from the explanations. There are better sources out there to study from, though. Kaplan/Pestana notes are very high yield. The Surgery tests from the Kaplan Qbook are very good too. UsmleWorld is good, but focused on trauma more than my particular exam did. The best way to study for the clerkship exam is to work hard throughout the clerkship, and in the last week or two, do 1st) Kaplan/Pestana notes 2nd)Kaplan Qbook 3rd)any online question source you have. If you finish #3 or feel they are too easy, switch to this book.
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I thought surgery pretest 12th edition was a great book overall! Yes there were a handful of errors, but nothing that I couldn't figure out (meant a instead of b according to the explanation etc). In terms of content, I think there was good coverage of the major aspects of surgery and the book provided questions that tested concepts that were on the shelf exam (of course there were random qs on the surgery shelf that i don't think anything could have prepared me for). I recommend going through the questions twice, because some of hte explanations are a little long winded, and there is a lot of content...repeating it helps solidify everything. If you're on a 12 wk surgery rotation what I'd recommend is spending the first 6 wks reading. (I read first aid surgery which was ok...but I wish I had done pestana which is awesome! Also referencing recall just for wards is good.) Then I'd spend the last 6 wks doing the surgery uworld qs and pretest and repeat the pretest qs near shelf time. This worked overall for me!
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