This post is super, duper over due – which is why I decided to combine my typical “what’s in my pocket” and “EOR study tools” into one, longer post! Also, the Behavioral Medicine EOR exam tends to be thought of as easier end of rotation exam, and I really only used just a few resources for studying and no real pocket resources.
I ended up loving my Behavioral Medicine rotation, which was a shock to me! I’m not a huge lover of emotions (I tend to feel super uncomfortable) and I was at a children’s hospital, so it could be kind of emotionally distressing. I was on a Consult / Liaison service. So basically the different medicine teams would consult us throughout the day on patient’s that they thought had need for some sort of behavioral medicine services. A lot of the cases were consulted on were steaming from concerns of depression or anxiety related to their medical conditions, but we also ended up blocking a lot of consults. Seeing this in action really helped me understand the need for a concise (and real) reason behind calling a consult, and not just calling one to throw the kitchen sink at an illness.
So here are some of the resources I ended up using (and a few that my classmates have told me are amazing).
The study guide I created for this rotation was a different format than my usual charts. I decided that knowing the DSM-5 criteria was SUPER important and that trying to fit that information into a chart format was going to be way to difficult. So instead, I did an outline format that allowed me to fully write out the diagnosis criteria. It worked out super well, and I still ended up hitting the major points I normally cover in my charts.
My number 1 go-to was First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship.
This book is set up in a similar way to most of the medicine resource books, but with less of an outline format. It does use complete paragraphs to share the information, but its still a quick and easy resource to use. And it hits all of the major diagnoses and their information I needed for the exam! I filled in most of my “chart” with this book.
**One of the biggest things I try to do when I create my study guides is to make sure that I’m not just regurgitating the information onto the page, but instead synthesizing it and putting it into my own words. I’ve found that the act of creating these charts (and outlines) are actually the best way for me to study, but make sure you try different methods to see what works for you!**
NEXT UP WOULD BE THE DSM-5. While First Aid includes a synopsis of what the DSM criteria is, I felt like it would be most beneficial for me to have the full criteria. And honestly, I just straight up memorized the criteria (something I don’t normally do). By having the criteria memorized, I was able to use that information to diagnose the patient in the scenario during the exam. Behavioral Medicine is one of the few areas in medicine where I think it would be helpful to have diagnoses criteria memorized, because it’s almost like checking things off on a list when you’re interviewing a patient. Granted there are also a ton of people who don’t fit into one simple diagnosis, but that’s the real world – not the exam.
There’s also a POCKET GUIDE VERSION of this that the fellow I rotated with used all the time! I just chose not to invest in this because I have no desire to enter into the world of behavioral medicine following graduation.
I then filled in some information with the textbook I used during my Psychiatry section during Didactic year – INTRODUCTORY TEXTBOOK OF PSYCHIATRY. This is a super helpful book with how easy to read and understand it is. It goes into a lot more detail than First Aid, so I mainly used it on the diagnoses I was confused about (like Schizoid personality disorder versus Schizotypal personality disorder) or the diagnoses I knew would be most important (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders). It was also a SUPER helpful book during Didactic year, and one of the only “textbooks” (as compared to study guides) I completely read front to back.
As always, I used the amazing CASE FILES series to review. I don’t suggest using these books as your only study material, because it doesn’t hit everything you need to know, but they’re great review books! I read this book the weekend before I started my rotation, and it was super helpful for when I started. I think the series also does a good job of presenting patient case scenarios for you to get used to thinking in that way before the exam.
For practice questions, I use LANGE Q&A PSYCHIATRYand the PSYCHIATRY PRETEST, as well as ExamMaster (like always). I find that ExamMaster is the most realistic in the intensity level of the questions, but it’s always good to see things worded in different ways.
Something that just came out this year, and I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get to try out are these Master the Wards: Psychiatry Flashcards. I LOVE flashcards, but these guys just came out in Jan 2018. The price is a little hefty, so I would maybe go in with a group of people to share throughout Clinical year. And if you do end up getting them, please let me know what you think of them! I’m always so curious about the resources people end up using.
So what did I end up carrying around with me on my rotation?
I didn’t wear my white coat for this rotation (it scares the kiddos), and I actually ended up bringing my laptop with me when I saw patients. My fellow really wanted me to get used to the act of interviewing patients and typing into the computer, which was super stressful at first but in hindsight I’m so thankful she made me do this. It was also great in the fact that it allowed me to ask every question I needed to for my note because I was going off a template (psych interviews were not my strong suit when I started the rotation).
I hope hearing about the resources I used during this rotation helps! I’m so sorry for the long delay in getting this post out, but better late than never, right? Definitely feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! And I would love to hear any suggests for blog posts that you guys have.
Comment below with your thoughts on these resources! And definitely the biggest suggestion I have when compiling your study tools is to make sure you get things that have been updated with the DSM-5 criteria!