My Internal Medicine EOR went the best out of the three EORs that I have taken so far in clinical year, and I think a huge portion of that is due to the patients that I saw during my six weeks. It was so helpful to be able to read the scenario during the exam, and say “yep, I saw that!”. One of the more challenging aspects of these exams for me is that they don’t actually test you on the patients that you saw in clinic, but rather what the PAEA thinks that you should have learned. This is why I’ve found it important to make a study plan from the start and come up with goals to complete every day. I talked about how I made a study plan for the EOR a couple of posts back, but I did change it up a little bit by reviewing the sections that are most important (Cardio, Pulm, Ortho/Rheum, GI) right before the exam rather than the material I struggled with. And I think this worked really well for me!
Like always, I created my EOR chart and this was the main way I studied for the exam. This chart ended up taking me about 2 weeks to complete, because I’m also studying the topics that my preceptors give me in clinic.
So what resources did I use?
One of the biggest resources I used for this rotation was Up-To-Date. I was lucky enough that the hospital I was rotating at had a site-wide setup, so every computer in the hospital had access.
- Pros: It gave me the ability to be on the “cutting edge” of medicine and read some more up to date treatment options. The set up of the articles is really user friendly; the headers give you the ability to jump to a section quickly. Up-to-Date also splits up some of the more complex medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, to make the articles less daunting and easy to read.
- Cons: I don’t have a membership of my own, so I was only able to use this resource while I was at the hospital.
- How I used it: This was my go-to while I was at the hospital. Anything I was slightly unsure of or hadn’t seen very often, I looked up using this. I would then keep a running list of some “big hits” in my moleskin notebook to remember for if I saw another patient with this condition. For example, for the different kinds of pneumonia (community-acquired, healthcare associated, or aspiration), I had listed out the different antibiotics to use and red flags for them.
PANCE Prep Pearls was probably the study resource I used the second most frequently after Up-To-Date
- Pros: the format of the book with the 5 P’s – Pathophysiology, Present, Pick it up?, Palliate, and Pharmacology – is incredibly helpful for refreshing base knowledge (because realistically, I learned all of this medicine last year and I just needed a refresher). I also found the cardiology section of this book extremely helpful, especially with the compare and contrast charts it uses
- Cons: No major downsides, at least for inpatient medicine. Occasionally, it wasnt as updated as I would have like on treatment methods, and some of the abbreviations can be annoying — definitely get the SECOND edition!
- What I used it for: this was my main resource for filling out my EOR chart! The set up of this book is really in line with the factoidsI felt were most important, and thus, the ones I include in my charts
No list of study resources for an EOR exam would be complete without mentioning the “Green Book”
- Pros: this book is specifically designed for PA students (and recertification), so it covers almost all of the material needed for the PANCE and thus, the EOR exams. The author uses an outline format to discuss medical conditions, so it’s super user friendly and easy to read.
- Cons: Not every topic on the PAEA blueprint is in this book, and it doesn’t really cover any material not on the blueprint. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you have to remember that the blueprint is just a guideline and the EOR can ask you a question about something that is not on the blueprint! Because of this, I wish that the green book covered other topics that were important.
- How I used this: This was my “double-checker” as I went through filling out my EOR chart. Some topics I felt were better covered by this book, and so I tried to double check everything I put in my chart from PPP against this.
I used the Internal Medicine Case Files book as a pre-review the weekend before my rotation started. I really like the set up of these books. It presents you with a clinical scenario and asks you some initial brainstorming questions. Then it discusses the answers to those initial questions and goes into an analysis. Here it talks about considerations, definitions of the disease or condition, clinical approach, assessment, and differentiating between differential diagnoses. Finally it gives you some comprehension, multiple choice questions with detailed reasons why the answer is what it is. I was hoping that this book would get me prepared for some of the patients that I might encounter on my rotation, and I think it did a great job of doing that.
In terms of test banks, I used ExamMaster and a Kaplan PA test bank. One important thing to realize about this EOR is that it isn’t necessarily testing you on Inpatient, internal medicine. It tests a lot more on advanced primary care. So sometimes the answer won’t be what you would do in the hospital, but rather what a primary care provider would do. Think of it as a primary care provider who moonlights as a Hospitalist.
I also utilized the Kaplan PA videos I talked about back in my primary care study tools post! I watched the videos for the four largest sections on the EOR – Cardiology, Pulmonary, Gastrointestinal, and Orthopedics/Rheumatology. I ended up taking the time to transfer the information from the slides in these videos into an outline format, which I think was a really good decision.
One thing I also recommend is trying to schedule both your Primary care and Inpatient medicine early in your clinical year experience! Most people seem in agreement that these are two of the more challenging EOR exams, mainly because of the sheer volume of information covered on the blueprint! Getting these rotations done early will let you have already reviewed most of the more “general” medicine before you do your specialty rotations.
I would love to hear some of the resources that you used for your EOR exams! One thing I do want to try to get more into is using podcasts, because I’ve heard there is a lot of really amazing ones out there, but I just have a hard time learning with no visual component. So be sure to share any great podcasts you know of and how you implement them into your study routine. I would also love to hear your thoughts on which of the EOR exams is the most challenging.
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