Saturday, July 9, 2011


I guess I'm competitive by nature!  I think it takes a significant amount of competitiveness just to complete 8 years of school and then continue another 3 months of intensive studying/reviewing to prepare for NPLEX and Boards.  So, I recently could not help noticing while I was studying in a Toronto Public Library that a young woman sat down at the same table to study with her laptop and a book, "Step-Up to USMLE Step 2."  Now, I just bought this book a week ago. 

For those not sure why I would buy this book, naturopathic doctors follow a somewhat similar licensing and board certification track to medical doctors with some variation in the order.  The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 is similar to our NPLEX 2 exams and many naturopathic graduates use the USMLE books as a part of their review material.

So, what fascinated me was the simplicity of this particular young woman's study tactics as she read her Step-Up to USMLE Step 2 book and wrote supplemental information from some online medical sources onto the pages (I realize that she will undoubtedly have many medical reference texts at her disposal).  Now on the cover of this book it says, "Comprehensive yet concise coverage...Perfect prep tool for Step 2 CK and a head start for the Step 2 CS" (note: CK = Clinical Knowledge and CS = Clinical Skills).  Yes, I really like the book because it is very concise; but comprehensive?

Wow, if that is the definition of comprehensive, what do you call the plethora of review notes, manuals and textbooks most ND graduates use to prepare for our exams?!  No disrespect intended, I just found it comical in light of some comments by outspoken critics of naturopathic doctors.  I realize conventional medicine is no walk in the park either but, if you want a real challenge: try naturopathic medicine!!


Usmle Step 2 CS said...

Usmle Step 2 CS is an examination completely different from what you experience on the traditional hospital wards. The scope of the exam extends beyond accurately making a diagnosis and tests certain skill sets not obvious to international medical graduates. The NY CS Prep course provides an intensive, hands-on seminar highlighting what is required to pass the exam. The course takes you step by step through what is required of you during the exam and ends with a mock exam simulating the real test experience.

Anonymous said...

That's why it's called a review book. It covers only the finest details of the topic, expecting that you are already familiar with the gigantic remainder of the iceberg beneath the surface.

That's what you get after spending 100 hours/week in the hospital seeing thousands of patients during clerkship. Spending a few hours a week in the office of a naturopath during your clinical training does not equal an MD's training.

Reynold said...

This course takes you step by step process!
USMLE exam preparation

Anonymous said...

Naturopathic medical students at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon need a minimum 1,224 hours of direct patient care, along with grand rounds attendance and 240 preceptor hours (145 which must be with an approved N.D.)

I do believe that both N.D.s and M.D.s have worked incredibly hard to earn their degrees. They both have had to put countless hours into learning the biomedical sciences, diagnostic sciences and into gaining clinical experience. Naturopathic medical students take just as many, if not more credits than conventional medical students (because they also learn botanical medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, manipulation, etc).

Each field of medicine, conventional and naturopathic, is unique and has something to offer patients. There is no right or wrong, just a difference in medical philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above. The amount of hours and the depth of knowledge is very large in naturopathic medicine. It is not the same as conventional medicine, of course, but it still has a role to play for many people.

I know when Dr. Mountain was studying back in those days, he probably took advantage of Pass NPLEX - the most popular resource center. But I maintain that if you look at the broad amount of information that an ND is required to know about, it becomes quite intense. Best of luck to all students out there.