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Jefferson Medical College Alpha Omega Alpha Guide to the Second Year

Physical Diagnosis

This course is a little different because you have 8 days of lecture as a sort of "primer", and then the course is continued through FCM. After your 8 days of lecture you will have an exam on the material. Then when you start FCM you will have some Physical Diagnosis lectures mixed in with all of the other FCM lectures. The information you learn for Physical Diagnosis during the FCM part of the year is double-tested. You will need to know it for the FCM exam you are taking (ex. You will learn about heart murmurs during cardiology), and you will need to know it for a Physical diagnosis final exam. The final exam at the end of the year tests you on all of the information you have learned throughout the entire Physical Diagnosis course. Your grade for Physical Diagnosis is based on the exam before Thanksgiving break, performance at the affiliate hospital visits, a scenario-based, focused history and physical exam using standardized patients at the clinical skills lab, and the final exam.

BOOK
The course recommends "A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking" by Bates. Not many people used this.

SYLLABUS
Don't be overwhelmed by the syllabus they give you at the beginning of the course. You are not tested on all the information in there. Don't spend time on the obscure historic facts, but do know the pertinent physical diagnostic points.

For the week before Thanksgiving, if the PowerPoint lectures are included in the syllabus, follow them. If they're not, take notes and then print out the PowerPoint after the class. Unfortunately, the PowerPoint is usually not available until after lecture. If you learn the PowerPoint and anything extra in class, you'll be fine. Don't worry about all the information in the syllabus. Also, make sure you either buy a copy, or find a way to listen to Dr. Mangione's heart and lung sounds CD and the information included with it. There are sounds on your exams and they come from the CD and lecture.

As for the FCM lectures, they usually hand out the PowerPoint in class, which is then available later online. The best strategy is to go to lecture and follow along. Then, get the PowerPoint after class and review it. By the end of the year, all of the information in the original syllabus should look familiar, though still it has extra information you will not be tested on.

HOSPITAL VISITS
You will either go to Jefferson or an affiliate hospital for an afternoon during each block of FCM. The experience depends upon your assigned physician. Some people get assigned to Delaware or New Jersey. They provide transportation to Delaware, so if you're worried about time, you can study on the bus. Some students choose to drive, and that usually cuts down on time because the bus runs on a schedule and you might end up sitting around doing nothing for awhile.

Usually the afternoon consists of meeting with your doctor, performing a history and physical on a patient and then reviewing with your doctor. You will be required to submit some form of written documentation, usually to your preceptor. It may be a history and physical, or just some of your notes. This can be a valuable look into what 3rd year is like. Some demand more than others. If you have any problems with a preceptor tell Dr. Mangione immediately. He will always help you. Also, the preceptors tend to grade rather harshly because they only see you 4 times and they are more used to grading students in the 3rd year who are there for weeks at a time. Don't stress too much about it.

CLINICAL SKILLS CENTER
You will spend one afternoon at the clinical skills center during each block of FCM. The afternoon will consist of exam instruction, performing a physical exam on a standardized patient, and reviewing exam skills with a physician. These sessions are required and are very helpful. You will get a checklist at each visit that you should save. One of the standardized patient final exams will be based on these checklists.

FINAL EXAM (Standardized Patient)
Each time you examine a standardized patient they will review a checklist with you. For your final exam you will examine a standardized patient using these checklists (from memorization). If you do everything on the checklist, you get 100%. Easy! If you don't save the forms, they are available online.

FINAL EXAM (Written)
Again, just try to review the PowerPoints from the lectures throughout the year and you should be fine. Review Dr. Mangione's Heart and Lung sounds CD (know these very well). Most of the information in the syllabus that was handed out in November should look familiar now. It still has a little extra detail than needed, so stick to the PowerPoint presentations from throughout the year and you should be fine. Student-made study guides from previous years (often posted on the course discussion board) can also be very helpful at consolidating necessary information. Also, be prepared because this exam will be stuck somewhere in or around the end of another FCM block. You will likely have to take this exam a few days after another FCM exam. Students try to complain about this block every year; it never works, and it just makes you stressed. The test can be difficult and you should not expect honors unless you really know your stuff. Of note, to honor the Physical Exam course, you need to independently receive an honors grade for BOTH exams (an honors average will not suffice).



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Last updated: 7/12