Other than the Behavioral Medicine exam, this was by far the most confident I felt going into an EOR exam. I think a lot of that had to do with how much I genuinely enjoyed my rotation – it was such an exciting and wonderful learning opportunity for me, and it was something that I really felt like I excelled at. Even though I was doing a lot of studying and brushing up on diagnoses each day while I was seeing patients, it was still really important that I studied for the EOR exam.
But, for this rotation I actually didn’t use my tried and true method of creating EOR Charts, and instead went with something different.
When I was getting ready for this rotation, I reached out to a couple of my classmates (something I don’t typically do because it creates more stress for me), and asked them what they had thought of this EOR. The consensus was that this Emergency Medicine EOR exam wasn’t exactly emergency medicine and more of a repeat of the primary care exam. If you guys read my INTERNAL MEDICINE STUDY TOOLS post, you know that this was also the case for the internal medicine exam (that it was less internal medicine and more primary care). Having already taken both of those exams, I felt comfortable not creating my huge EOR chart and instead going off of those two charts.
I think this was a really smart decision for me, and it ended up working out really well.
With that being said, I still did do a lot of my studying in anticipation that this exam was Emergency Medicine based. I figured it was better for me to know what to do in an emergency, and that this would still be seen on the exam.
I ended up using three main resources for this EOR Exam:
This was the holy grail of studying for me. I read the entire book cover to cover. Even with the fact that this EOR is less emergency medicine and more primary care based, I still really thought it was helpful how this book was geared to the emergency room. It helped me get into the mindset of Emergency Medicine thinking, and helped me feel a lot more confident when I actually was on shifts. Also, realistically treating a condition in the ED is very similar to treating one in a more primary care setting (in terms of basics – like what you absolutely HAVE to do or order), so it was still a really amazing resource for me in terms of studying.
This book is set up in the typical “Step-Up” method – an outline with important “pearls” on the side. It’s very user friendly and easy to read. Since I wasn’t making my typical EOR chart for this rotation, I tried to actively study from the book. This meant I was doing lots of highlighting, underlining, and writing notes to myself in the margin. Often times, I would literally re-write what the book was saying, but put it into my own words. I’ve found that this method of synthesizing information is the best way for me to study.
I love Pretest books. I find the questions a good level of challenge and the topics that they cover important. Typically, I try to take these questions in a “testing format” – aka without underlining or highlighting in the question stem and without writing in the margins. This has been the absolute hardest thing for me in PA school. I hate the fact that I’m taking an exam on a computer and that I can’t do my previous method of breaking down the question. So, even though these are paper questions and I have the option to doodle, I really try to refrain. I will say that I go nuts with marking in the answer explanation; I try to do my best to synthesize the information in these explanation paragraphs and the easiest way for me to do that is to write it out. Also, I feel like the questions I get wrong in Pretest also somehow end up being on my exam, so I really have a lot of love for these books.
I like to use this for every EOR exam as a review tool. Over the last couple of rotations I’ve started reading it twice, once before the rotation even starts and once the week before the exam. I’ve found it really helpful to do this for a couple of reasons. It gives me a rough idea of what some of the “typical” patients to expect for that rotation. Which means it gives me a good idea of things I need to know at the START of my rotation to impress my preceptors. And, by re-reading it before the exam, I remind myself of some of the science and medicine behind those topics that I’ve now become super comfortable in, and thus, maybe don’t know the “testing medicine” as much as I should have (because let’s in honest, medicine on a test and medicine in real life are two totally different things).
my huge Primary care and internal medicine charts
I’ve been getting a lot of messages lately about whether or not I would share these charts with you guys. Honestly, I’m still pretty on the fence about it. My biggest fear is that there is some error in these charts (which I know there has to be) and you guys would end up missing questions because of me! Plus, for some reason I’m just super self conscious about them.
With that being said, I’m definitely considering sharing my PANCE study charts with you guys once I finish taking that – I’ll keep you all updated on what I decide! I’ve been creating them like I’ve been planning on sharing them with you guys, so these are just a little more polished than my EOR exam charts.
One of the bigger differences for this exam is that I didn’t use the same test banks that I normally do (Kaplan and Exam Master). Instead, probably 2 weeks before the exam I started freaking out because I wanted a better test bank – one with questions that were labeled as “emergency” instead of being general systems-based questions – and ended up finding SmartyPANCE.
I’m seriously livid I didn’t look more into this resource earlier in Clinical Year. Currently there are SIX EOR practice exams (Surgery, Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and 2 Emergency Medicine). There are also Blueprint Topic Exams, Comprehensive Exams, Practice PANCE exams, and TONS of Quizlet questions. It’s seriously been an amazing resource for me so far, and I’m really glad I finally found it and subscribed.
So, back to talking about the Emergency Medicine EOR. I took both of the SmartyPANCE practice EOR exams – and let me just say they were amazing. Once I actually took the exam, I was seriously impressed at how similar they were, and there were definitely some questions I know I only got right because I had taken the SmartyPANCE practice test. It was well worth it to buy a year subscription, so I highly recommend checking it out.
Overall, I’m very happy with how this EOR exam went for me. I’m sorry that this post was so delayed, but I hope that hearing about some of the resources that I used to study for the exam were helpful. I would love to hear your thoughts on the resources I used and any other “hidden” gems like SmartyPANCE that I’m missing out on!
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