At the end of every rotation of the third year of medical school you take a National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) exam. These are standardized exams that most medical students in the country take for multiple classes all 4 years of school. First and second year, our final exams were NBME exams. Now we take one every 6-8 weeks which covers the topic we just finished- pediatrics for me this time!
The IU pediatrics rotation is split into two 4-week rotations. The first 4 weeks for me were inpatient pediatrics. I was assigned to a team at the local children’s hospital and spent 4 weeks on that one team. Some of my classmates were on the cardio team, pulmonology , neonatal, general pediatrics. I was on GI- gastroenterology. For 4 weeks I learned about everything that can go wrong in a child’s gut. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation were my game. The attending physicians on the GI team were AMAZING and tough. They expected a lot from us. So I studied my booty off- and I only studied GI.
After Christmas break, I began the second 4 weeks of my peds rotation but this time I was on outpatient peds. I split my time between an urgent care center and a general pediatrician office. I saw kids with fevers, sore throats, ear infections, rashes, you name it! All my studying on the GI service did not help me when I was working the urgent care center in the middle of flu season.
Once I started the outpatient 4 weeks, I realized there was A TON of pediatrics I needed to learn to a.) help these kids waiting in urgent care and b.) do well on my exam. I had been neglecting studying general pediatrics and it was time to get down to business.
For 2.5-3 weeks prior to my exam I studied a pediatrics review book. Last week I hit it hard and did an entire book of review questions. When Friday rolled around and it was time for my exam, I was super nervous! I had heard the test was hard and I had no idea what to expect- there are so many things you could be asked!! But after 2.5 hours and 100 long questions later, my exam was over!
Looking back on the pediatrics rotation, I learned SO MUCH. Here are the big things I learned:
1. Every child should have a pediatrician they love.
2. Kids are strong!
3. I LOVE babies
4. Get your vaccinations people!!!
5. Good parents are the best thing ever.
6. Stop drinking JUICE!!!
7. Using your otoscope is hard.
8. Pediatricians are nice.
9. Kids in the hospital need lots of love.
10. I could see myself doing Peds!
***And now for the med-school part: How I studied for the Pediatrics NBME: