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Cracking the NBME Shelf Exam: Neurology

For many, if not most medical students, neurology is perceived as a difficult subject due to the combination of anatomical minutiae regarding the brain and the nervous system and the challenge of localizing lesions. Make no mistake, I headed into the clerkship with this fear, but with the right study resources you'll probably find the neurology shelf exam completely manageable and not difficult at all. In particular, this is a clerkship where I highly recommend having at least one book in addition to your question bank of choice.

Recommended Resources

No surprise here. As of this writing, the venerable UWorld question bank contains a total of 218 "nervous system"-related questions (there isn't a dedicated subject for neurology, so make sure to check all subjects when creating a test).

Step-Up to Medicine

The neurology section of Step-Up to Medicine is about 40 pages long and provides a systematic overview of neurological conditions and diseases (multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, etc.) If you already own the book it's certainly worth reading, as you can quickly skim through a day or two before taking the shelf. Otherwise, your money might be better spent on a dedicated neurology review book, especially if you've already taken your internal medicine rotation.

[Case Files Neurology]https://amzn.to/2GPgSTt)

The tried-and-true Case Files series is once again a good choice for neurology and provides a reasonably detailed overview of presentation, diagnosis, and management of common neurological conditions. Be sure to do the end-of-case questions as well as the set of review questions in the back of the book.

NeuroSAE for Medical Students

If you're looking for additional practice questions, the NeuroSAE question bank for medical students is a reasonable option. It's $25 or free if your school provides access. There's 100 NBME-style multiple-choice questions, with explanations for each question as well as suspend/resume support.