to 4C basic sciences

ATTENTION: this is how I personally studied for semester 4C at RUSM, my study methods may not work for everyone. As such, I advise you to take all advice from me and others with a grain of salt and make sure you tailor it to what works for you! My 4C semester was May-September of 2017, so teachers might have changed.


Welcome to 4C!

Here is a summary of my advice and recommended outside sources for this semester. This is a HUGE semester. I thought, in the end, 4C was the most work I put in and the most stressful compared to other semesters; however, it was one of my favorite semesters. Just be prepared to work for its entirety. You will see me often reference “SP’s” which are study products made from the lectures given. You can often get pre-made ones passed down from upper semesters or you can make them yourself if it helps with your learning!

CARDIO 2: week 1-2.5, followed by 2.5 week break. I used the break to focus in on cardio, which I thought was worth it. This allowed me to do well on the mini and retain cardio information even after I finished basic sciences.

  • Pathology- I tried Sketchy Path, I didn’t LOVE it because it was too long, but I do think it could be helpful if you put some time into it. Other than that, I used study products (SPs) made from the lectures and I used First Aid to review. I would recommend using pre-made SP’s and filling them in with your own info from lecture, or making your own.
  • Pharm- I used SKETCHY, there is A LOT of drugs. Sketchy is really helpful in retaining all the cardio drugs and even helps with some biochem knowledge (lipid lowering agents).
  • Biochem- I used my SP’s and memorized as much as I could. I thought it was a lot to memorize. He asked questions about the types of lipoproteins and the disorders (KNOW THE LONG NAMES NOT JUST “TYPE I”).
  • Behavioral and Clinical Med- these lectures were a HUGE chunk of the unit and they seemed tedious. I used SP’s, and I USED FIRST AID (good summary of the info)! It was important to know the ECGs and heart sounds (murmurs).
    • A big resource I found and LOVED was Osmosis videos on YouTube. They are free videos and they are relatively short. I also liked to draw out the heart conditions to make sense of them, which Osmosis videos help with.

ross university school of medicine

RENAL 2: you will feel like you should take it easy and study renal after the heme and lymph exam is over. I STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST THIS. I did this and it was a big mistake. If I could go back, I would use the time I had to study renal to try and really know at least the pathology! Then, every day until my renal exam when I was studying and being tested on heme and lymph, I would watch Loy’s rapid review videos or lab video to keep my mind fresh. (I still use Loy’s rapid review videos to study for Comp and Step!)

  • Pathology- I used SP’s and watched the rapid review videos every single day and I was able to answer his questions
  • Pharm- they asked me a BUNCH of renal drug questions at the level and detail we learned last semester (renal 1). I should have watched the renal pharm Sketchy videos again. I got these wrong, because I figured they would be basic, they ain’t.
  • CM- I used SP’s. I did not freak out about her lecture notes much. It was mostly a repeat from path. I reviewed the  radiology lecture right before the exam, because that was 2 easy points.
  • Micro- I used Sketchy for UTI bacteria’s. I had seen them before and this worked. THE HARDEST THING TO ME IS MASTERING THE ANTIBIOTICS. They asked several questions on my NBME and Ross’ test about them and I just didn’t remember them. I think attacking this early and repeating as often as possible, especially if you use Sketchy, is the best way to finally master them.

ross university school of medicine

HEME AND LYMPH: Go to class! And do not be afraid of this unit. Go in and see Dr. J, she walks you through details that students get wrong a lot. You don’t even have to come with questions.

  • Pathology- these are THE BEST SP’s EVER MADE (made by someone and passed down, they are black and white tables). I used them, and added any random details she emphasized in class, and I tried to know everything in them. I WATCHED HER LECTURES 5-6 TIMES. I watched her lectures so many times, I could hear her saying things during my exam.
  • Pharm- the Sketchy unit for chemo drugs and anti-retroviral drugs is absolutely the best Sketchy videos they have ever put out (well, in my opinion). There are some drugs taught that aren’t in Sketchy, I referred to the pharm charts and First Aid. I memorized these with notecards.
  • Biochem- I created little stories to memorize the inherited metabolic diseases, they barely asked any questions over these on my mini exam, but there were SEVERAL on my NBME final (and they have come back to haunt me through Comp and Step studying). Metabolism of heme, purines, pyrimidines- I did not study enough of this, there were several questions asked about disorders from these lectures. Now, I draw them repeatedly and eventually they stuck.
  • CM- mostly just path review, I would know the PDSA cycle and the radiology!
  • Micro Anatomy- I used the First Aid book, Osmosis YouTube videos and the SP’s for Dr. A stuff. I used Sketchy for malaria, babesiosis, viral hemorrhagic fevers, HIV/Retroviruses, and parasites.

ross university school of medicine

MSK: so this mini exam was RENAL and MSK. It was a stressful week for me to learn it all. I put off MSK and RENAL (as I said, I would learn renal before, that way it is more doable to put MSK mastery off a bit until after heme and lymph mini). Learning both renal and MSK in a week is challenging, but it can be done if necessary. If I had kept up with renal before, this would have been a much easier week!

  • Pathology- I used SP’s, but I had to add a lot to them. I re-watched her lectures a lot.
  • Biochem- I used a concept sheet from the previous exams and found the biochem questions. They were similar on my mini.
  • CM- this was basically a re-do of pathology.
  • Pharm- I used the lectures.

ross university school of medicine

REPRO 2: this unit was a drag for me. I went to class for most of it, but it was just slow and boring in my opinion.

  • Pathology- I used the SP’s and the rapid review video (its LOY!!! Yay!!), I watched it every. Single. Day. And then I watched the pathology lab every. Single. Day. For Dr. Y, I used the SP’s, BUT sometimes his questions were super specific to his lecture. I would add from his lectures, especially the small details, and use the First Aid book too.
  • Microbiology- I used the SP’s, and it was plenty.
  • Pharm- I re-watched the chemo drug Sketchy videos. I memorized the other drugs that were not in sketchy with flashcards, there wasn’t much.
  • CM/Behavioral- this was the biggest slap in the face on the test for me. I loved her lectures during class, but it wasn’t enough to learn everything. She asked abstract questions. I watched Sasso’s lectures (a previous teacher) to supplement, but I would recommend referring to a past concept sheet.
  • Biochem- use the SP’s, Dr. L asked about the topics he liked the most. I used a concept sheet to focus my study. I often used to go in and see him, he is super helpful!

NBME: I used outside sources almost exclusively. I used my checklists for each unit and I watched DIT for each subject. Then, I would read the First Aid chapter and add details from the DIT videos. I re-watched all the Sketchy pharm and micro videos relevant to the semester. I used my SP’s for the CM/Behavioral. I watched Loy’s rapid review videos every day for renal and repro pathology leading up to the test. I re-watched the ABG YouTube video. I reviewed my heme/lymph study products.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you would like access to my study products.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    July 21, 2020 at 3:05 am

    lol my 4C renal/msk exam is tmrw and I somehow found this page, thank you for the advice!!

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