By:  Brigitte T


How do you study for an upcoming exam? As a surgical resident, you know the ABSITE comes around every January.  So do you wait until the last 2 months prior to the exam to memorize the material? Or do you plan in advance and study throughout the year...or even half the year? 


As a surgery resident time is limited: juggling work, life and studying...there just seems like not enough time in the day. So when it comes to reviewing for the exam do you opt to take a review course that you have to pay $600 - $1000 for plus travel to for the weekend? Or do you start searching for the best ABSITE review books.


You have options out there to help you pass and do your best on the exam. If you are in general surgery residency you obviously strive to be as good as you can at everything. It takes that to make it in this field.


So the next question I look at is "How do you get the best bang for your buck?" since funds are most likely limited.  An expensive review course (I know I wouldn't have an extra $2000 to spend on one) or review books?  Review books sound more like it to me!  So…


Let’s take a look at a few of the BEST review books that are available:


The ABSITE Review 6th Edition


The ABSITE Review 6th edition by Steven M. Fiser MD, was the first outline-style ABSITE review book. It provides a rapid review of essential surgery information with sufficient explanation to build knowledge for you to prepare for the ABSITE.


Clinical Scenarios in Surgery 2nd Edition


Then there is the Clinical Scenarios in Surgery 2nd edition by Justin B. Dimick MD, Gilbert R. Upchurch Jr MD, and Christopher J. Sonnenday MD.  It presents 135 cases that take you step by step through the principles of safe surgical care.  This one is geared more for the senior residents who are studying for the oral board exam.


The ABSITE Review:  Practice Questions, 2nd Edition


The ABSITE Review: Practice Questions, 2nd edition by Steven M. Fiser MD, includes over 1100 essential questions covering material found on the ABSITE.  Do they match the types of questions on the ABSITE?  Not so much.  But the content is useful.


The ABSITE Smackdown! Review Manual with video lecture course included


The ABSITE Smackdown! review manual with video lecture course included by David Kashmer MD MBA FACS...yep you read that correctly...a video lecture course included with an ABSITE review book that follows along!

It's the only review book with an included video lecture course with your purchase of the book.  ABSITE Smackdown! was created from five years of notes, three surgeons’ experiences, and more than 500 hours of work. It also shares research on ABSITE performance and tips for preparing for the test.


Those are four useful review book options to make this year's ABSITE your most successful ever.  Good luck and get reading!

Remember repetition, repetition, repetition is a key for retaining information. The more I see and hear the more I retain!

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