Please visit the resources below, which have been selected based on the research on successful residents and some of the common challenges faced by CMU Medical Education Partners residents.
Professional Development Resources
- Individualized Learning Plan. Develop and achieve your goals during residency by utilizing this worksheet, which includes a systematic method to creating I-SMART goals. To learn more, visit AMEE Medical Education Guide No. 19: Personal Learning Plans.
- Time Management for Residents. Visit this resource to find links to a variety of resources, including articles, videos, worksheets, and technology tools, focused on strategies to enhance your time management during residency.
In-Training or In-Service Exam Resources
- Study Plan Checklist for In-Training Exams
- Review your priorities and goals this year and work to balance your rotations, research, publications, presentations, etc. with your study plans for your in-training exam.
- Review the in-training exam content specifications to get an understanding of the breadth and depth of the exam. Identify topics that carry more weight. Also, use this information to assess your strengths and weaknesses.
- Based on your review of the exam content, prioritize weaker and heavier weighted or tested content areas to study or review first. If you're not sure, take or simulate a practice test to use as a benchmark to create your study plan.
- Begin your study for in-training exams by targeting weaker and more heavily weighted areas first.
- Sketch out a study plan (see link to sample plan template below).
- Identify and secure study resources and a high-quality question bank.
- Plan block of time to study all concepts tested on the exam. If possible, align your study plan with the review of topics scheduled in your didactics/conferences.
- Plan your study blocks and use of question banks to focus on specific content/topic areas to get a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of each topic area.
- When you have limited study time, consider how to have reading, notes, flashcards, or questions available to review or work in small chunks.
- Schedule sets of randomized, mixed qbank blocks for use every two to three weeks (increasing as you get closer to the PRITE date) to refresh all topics on the exam.
- Schedule review of challenging content during times when you are most alert and focused. For example, start with the most challenging topics first when you are fresh.
- Schedule regular breaks during long study periods to let your brain consolidate and chunk information. One method residents like is the Pomodoro Technique (study intensely for 25 minutes; take a 5 - 10 minute break, repeat).
- Schedule time to review your notes or flashcards (see ANKI for one online approach to flashcards)
- Schedule catch-up blocks or days, revisit notes and/or work incorrect questions in qbank.
- Take time off regularly to relax and refresh.
- Utilize the practice tests to inform your progress. Again, after each, identify weaker and heavier weighted topic areas and "attack" them with focused qbank blocks and high-quality resource review.
- Schedule another practice test or simulate one prior to your in-training exam date.
- Schedule time the day or half day before your practice test to review qbank questions in a randomized way/random blocks.
- Assess your board Study Style. Depending upon your approach to studying, this site will provide you with a helpful guide for studying for board exams. (Note: You will have to input your name and email to receive the PDF guide). While the guide offers a brief overview of strategies, the recommendations are supported by relevant research.
- Strategies for Studying for In-Service Exams or Boards During Residency. Review this resource for recommendations and links to valuable resources to help you plan for success on your next exam.
- Ten Board Review Study Tips. Visit this blog by NEJM Knowledge+ to learn study tips to help you get started and keep you on track.
- Study Plan Template for In-Training Exam. Utilize this eight-week template, which includes tips and reminders, to develop an effective study schedule and plan.
- Instructions for Working Board-Style Questions. Review this document to revisit and/or learn effective strategies for utilizing questions as powerful, comprehensive content review tools.
- Enhance your Reading Strategies. One of the most frequently recommended strategy is SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite, review). For a thorough explanation, visit Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Reading Course Textbooks or check out How to Study During Your Residency for more ideas.