Books that have helped me feel less incompetent

If you want to impress people while reading CXRs:

Remember the bright orange Dale Dubin book, Rapid Interpretation of EKGs?  And how it’s totally amazing, though we all wish it had been written by someone else?

This is that book, for chest x-rays.  It has the same “programmed text” system: fill in the blank sentences with the answer on the right, to keep you actively reading.  It uses tons and tons of pictures which you test yourself on, and is also a surprisingly quick read.

After reading this book, I’m really surprised at how little of this I picked up back in our pulmonary section.  I now know much more than “too much white = oh dear, not good.” 

If you want help with differential diagnoses:

I know we’re supposed to come up with differentials on our own.  I know.  I do.  But I swear, every time I look something up in this book, I remember it better later. It’s like magic.

The table of contents covers common complaints/signs.  You turn to the page for, say, “hypocalcemia” or “night sweats” to get a brief overview of common etiologies, initial diagnostic tests to consider ordering, initial patient management, and maneuvers that need to be a part of the physical exam. It fits in a standard white coat pocket.  (They also have a version for “Medicine”, which I also love.)

If you want to make studying about 3,000% more awesome:

GUYS. HEY GUYS. GUYS. Gel pens are ERASEABLE now.

(Why?  Because God takes many forms, that’s why.)

(… okay, fine, it’s not a book.)

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9 thoughts on “Books that have helped me feel less incompetent

  1. I just got eraseable gel pens for my bday!!! ( nerdy? Perhaps) Warning:: after spending the past 12 hrs studying I came up with pretty little flow charts for immunology and embryology…on information I’ve already been tested on. Fail. I may be too distractable for colorful gel pens.

  2. What I would have given for multicolor erasable highlighters! Gel Pens…ick. Give me a good old ball point (Bic of course) and a box of colored pencils!

    The cat used to “help” me study, by sitting on my lap and batting at the highlighter when she wanted attention…lots of bright yellow and pink stripes all down the pages of my book…..HOW COULD I TELL WHAT WAS IMPORTANT NOW?????
    Oh, yeah, all of it was important.

  3. I really hope that you’ve seen the amount of blog space that Michelle Au has dedicated to pens + their awesomeness. As a result I’ve spent ridiculous amounts of money on 0.4 tip multicolored Japanese Pens.

    I will now spend more money on the orange text for CXR! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  4. My Amazon shipment arrived today. Looking forward to being able to make sense of those black and white pictures…

    Colored pens are incredible! I use the clicky-kind, and I’m sure I drive my study roommates insane. Maybe I’ll give these gel things a try.

    If I can make a suggestion of my own…Grooveshark is the greatest thing ever invented.

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