USMLE®

Prep for USMLE with 2018’s most popular stumpers

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1, Step 2 or Step 3 exams are key byways in your progress to a career as a physician. Kaplan Medical gives us a peek into their operation by sharing the questions most often missed by test-prep takers.

The AMA selected Kaplan Medical as a preferred provider to support you in reaching your goal of passing the USMLE® or COMLEX-USA®. AMA members can save 30 percent on access to additional study resources, such as Kaplan’s Qbank and High-yield courses. 

From how to prepare to USMLE-specific training, here’s a look at some of the most popular test-prep stories in 2018.

Use the right resources

There are a variety of them out there. One reliable option may be Anki, a flashcard app—available free for computers and $25 for a phone app—that uses spaced repetition. That is the name for a study technique in which the user is quizzed more often on the information they struggle with, and tested less often on the material that is easier or more familiar to the user. Students can use decks of questions that others have created at no cost, or they can create their own questions.

This year’s top stumpers

USMLE Step 1: What’s next when NSAIDs are ineffective? A 54-year-old man comes to the physician for a follow-up examination because of progressive rheumatoid arthritis unresponsive to high dose NSAIDs. Treatment with prednisone and hydroxychloroquine began six weeks earlier.

He is concerned about steroid-induced osteoporosis, because his father, a type 2 diabetic, recently fell and broke his hip. Laboratory studies and a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry test (DEXA) of the spine and hip are ordered to address the patient's concerns. Which additional tests would be recommended for this patient?

USMLE Step 2 prep: Man has unusual mole; what’s next? A 50-year-old man comes to the physician because of an unusual appearing mole on his upper back. He says that his wife has noted a recent change in its color and shape.

The lesion measures 0.7 cm and has ill-defined margins and irregular pigmentation. The patient is otherwise healthy and takes no medication. What is the most appropriate next step in management?

USMLE Step 3 prep: Which test for epigastric pain? A 36-year-old man comes to see you with recurrent epigastric pain after treatment for multiple duodenal ulcers, for which he was treated with a PPI, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin. Follow-up stool antigen showed no evidence of active Helicobacter pylori infection.

Today’s endoscopy shows three ulcers in the third and fourth portions of the duodenum near the ligament of Treitz. The ulcers are 2 cm in size. Serum gastrin level is elevated, and it does not drop after the administration of IV secretin. What would be the most appropriate test for this patient?