12 PAC: Survival Guide 2013
USF Health

2013 Survival Guide



MS1 – An Overview

·         Your ten months will be divided into three portions:

o   POM (Professions of Medicine)

o   Block I

o   Block II

·         The goal of this guide is to reduce your med school anxiety by showing it’s manageable when tackled in a piecemeal fashion.

·         At the end of this list, there is also a list of restaurants, bars, and other fun places to go out when all this med school stuff requires you to go blow off some steam J


·         Books

o   Mosby’s Guide to Physical Examination

§  While this book is suggested for the patient encounters and for Physical Diagnosis I (PD), which comes later in Block I and II, it really wasn’t beneficial to students. The bottom line is that test questions for PD come from the powerpoints that Dr. Schrot posts and from this text.

·         Course Setup

o   M-F 8-5 for 2 weeks

o   Includes…

§  Administrative (filling out forms)

§  Faculty Lectures

ú  Topics range from the “super case” for POM to medical professionalism to Evidence Based Medicine

§  Presentation Work Time

§  Student Organization Presentations

§  How To Do Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) Research

ú  It’s what it sounds like. Essentially, you learn how to make full use of the electronic resources available to you as a USF medical student.

ú  PAY ATTENTION! You’ll need this knowledge when you do Molecular Medicine group presentations.

§  Patient Encounters

ú  Dress in business attire for these

ú  You won’t be expected to know much at this point so don’t freak out if you don’t know how to do an anterior drawer test or how to check for JVD. It’s to be expected since you’ve only been in med school for a few days.

ú  The theme to your patient encounter will usually reflect what you are doing in POM (plus a cardiovascular session).

§  Basic Life Support Training

§  White Coat Ceremony

ú  Have your friends and family come to this event, which truly signifies the beginning of your medical journey.

·         Grading

o   1 Presentation

·         Final Thoughts

o   POM is structured to be a low stress introduction to medical school, but it’s up to you to make that happen. Enjoy this time by going out to 12 PAC events, meeting new people in your class, and talking to your friendly Class of 2012.

o   Just be professional regarding the presentation and everything will fine.

o   I can’t stress it enough: use this time to get to know others. That is the most important thing you can do during POM.

o   GO TO THE Bull Run!

Block I

·         Molecular Medicine

o   Books

§  While the faculty recommends Textbook of Biochemistry 5th  Edition by T.M. Devlin, Wiley-Liss and Lippincott Human Molecular Genetics 3 by T. Strachan & A.P., these books aren’t really necessary as all you really need are the powerpoints and some good notes.

§  If you do have trouble understanding something, High-Yield Biochemistry is a very thin and easy to understand review book that makes the information presented by professors more palatable to the brain. Also BRS Biochemistry is a book from a great company.  A few people used it and liked it.

o   Course Set Up

§  Includes…

ú  Genetics

ú  Metabolic Pathways

·         Glycolysis

·         TCA Cycle, a tried and true friend

·         Fermentation

·         Pentose Phosphate Shunt

·         Gluconeogenesis

·         Glyconeogenesis

·         Urea Cycle

·         Amino Acids

·         Fat Metabolism

·         Cholesterol

ú  Proteins

ú  Also, a group presentation

·         You will randomly be put in a group of six and be given a disease, which you will research and present a powerpoint presentation of no more than 30 minutes (You can go a couple minutes over and it be a big deal). 10 minutes of questions from faculty and students.

·         Get students to ask you a lot of questions so that faculty have less time to interrogate. The faculty will ask really tough questions in order to fluster you and see what your reaction is to a question you can’t answer.

·         Use the librarians to help with research. That’s what they do… and they’re pretty good at it.

·         Make sure you’re done with the presentation (information gathering and slide creation) about a day or two before you must turn it into education affairs. You’ll need this time to cut out excess slides to make sure you’re within the time limit for the real thing.

·         It’s better to put less information than more on the slide since this leaves you less open to more pointed questions, but make sure you’re prepared for pointed questions by doing the research. This is all about defensive presenting.

o   Grading

§  1 Group Presentation

§  3 Unit Tests

§  1 Cumulative Final

o   Final Thoughts

§  Regarding the tests, make sure you sure understand the following:

ú  Rate-limiting steps

ú  Which enzyme catalyzes the rate-limiting step

ú  What happens when you mess up the rate-limiting step

·         Subsequently, auxiliary pathways

ú  Genetic diseases associated with particular points in pathways

ú  For specific professors, the summaries are great place to look for potential test topics… for other professors, not so much. You’ll realize this by the length of the summary.

ú  There will be histology on the test. Know the type of tissue (muscle, neuronal, connective, and epithelial) and their sub- specializations. Also, know the cell types for each slide.

§  Relying on strictly on your notes and maybe a High-Yield Biochemistry review book is all you really need to do well in the course.

§  You will have a cumulative final. Memorize the RLS’s you’ve encountered throughout the year and the different genetic diseases you’ve seen in the lectures. Also, study the genetic and biochemistry portions of the student presentations since that will be included in the exam.

§  Most importantly: study the powerpoints!!! The powerpoints are where the test questions come from.

·         Ethics and Humanities

o   Humanities

§  Books

ú  On Doctoring. This will be given out for free during the white coat ceremony.

ú  Whatever book you were told to read during the summer.

§  Course Set Up

ú  Includes…

·         Reading stories from On Doctoring.

·         Reading the summer mystery book.

·         A trip to the art museum on campus and a paper on a work of art you found to be fascinating.

·         Random assignments. Seriously, just a menagerie of assignments that aren’t hard, but you must do.

§  Grading

ú  None last year

§  Final Thoughts

ú  This Course is…. Well difficult to put into words.  Just show up.  It’s pass/fail and attendance is required.  It’s really that easy. 

ú  This class gets way better towards the end of the year so if you really hate it just  hang in there.  It gets better.

o   Ethics

§  Books

ú  None

§  Course Set Up

ú  Includes…

·         Ethical case discussions

·         Watching movies on ethical case discussions

·         Reading about ethical case discussions.

·         Not much else.

§  Grading

ú  none

§  Final Thoughts

ú  This course is also difficult to put into words.  It is lumped with humanities under the course title “on doctoring.”  Like humanities, it’s pass/fail and attendance is required.  So show up, answer questions, and keep your eyes on the prize (the prize being that the course gets exponentially better ½ way through the year)

·         Physical Diagnosis

o   Books

§  Mosby’s

ú  Please look at what has been said above in the POM section

o   Course Set Up

§  For every test, there are 1-2 physical diagnosis sessions that will go over a particular system or region of human anatomy (i.e. –  Pulmonary, Musculoskeletal, Head, Ears, Nose and Throat).

§  A power point will be posted by Stephanie Peters that has all the information that you need to know for the exam and patient-encounter.

§  Patient- Encounter Sessions are two hours:

ú  First Hour is devoted to a group session which you will be instructed on what specific techniques you need to know. These sessions are very good in covering in what you need to know for the second hour

ú  Second hour gives you an opportunity to demonstrate what you learned in the previous session on a standardize patient. You will be put in groups of four to a room and each of you will get a chance to perform the proper examination for that session with a preceptor (usually a 4th year) guiding you along the way.

ú  This sessions get changed around so what is described above may change for yall this year.

o   Grading

§  8 written exams

§  1  history and  write up

§  1 complete neurological exam and write up

§  1 communications session

§  A plethora of patient-encounters (individually, these sessions are worth a minute bit of your grade and everyone gets a 100 for them).

o   Final Thoughts

§  The videos in Dr. Schrot’s power points are not always that helpful since they will sometimes conflict with what is taught by Dr. Schrot and the preceptors who are grading you.

§  For the most part, the patient-encounters are very low key. Just do what you learned from the previous hour (and the Mosby videos from the ppt’s that are loaded by Dr. Schrot if you watched them) and you’ll be fine.

§  If you have a patient encounter you will probably need to dress up and wear your white coat with business attire.  Some sessions are casual.  Just keep an eye on that.

§  For the tests, memorize the power points and pay attention during the group sessions. Do this 1-2 days before the exam.

§  Make sure you bring all of your tools for the tool inspection session. I know it’s dumb and not worth anything, but it’ll frustrate you if you don’t.

§  For the NBME final, study the most common physical diagnosis sections of each system from a Mosby’s (you can get it in the library) and study the First Aid. You should tear it up.

§  Practice the full neurological exam and make sure that you finish it within 30 minutes. Even if you know how to conduct the rest of the exam, the preceptor won’t let you finish it if you go over time.



Block II

·         Anatomy

o   Books

§  Anatomy has the most variety in terms of literary resources from which one can call upon during test time.

§   Here’s the pool of books that almost everyone used to some extent throughout the year:

ú  Netter’s***

·         This atlas is full of illustrations that clearly show where things should be in the body. Now, whether it looks like it is another story considering that your bodies will become desiccated over the course of the year.

·         Extremely useful for muscles and bones

·         There are flashcards as well that go perfectly along with the musculoskeletal system since it gives attachments and function

·         You will use this book a lot so it’s one of the few books that everyone got

ú  Grey’s Anatomy

·         Some people got this to read.  It was helpful for some and not for others.  You’ll see a lot of people carrying theirs around at the very beginning of anatomy and towards the end of the year people taper off in using it.

ú  Rohen’s Photo Atlas

·         This atlas is like Netter’s but with photos of cadaver parts.

·         For some systems and structures on the practical list (to be explained later…) is extremely useful.

·         They close the cadaver lab a few days before the test so if you want to review cadaver stuff this is the place to look.

o   Course Set Up

§  Anatomy, of course, covers all the major systems: musculoskeletal, nervous, circulatory, endocrine, pulmonary, reproductive, and renal.

§  You are tested by a written exam with all of your other subjects and a lab practical, which you must identify a structure in one minute for however many structures that are tagged in the anatomy lab. They won’t test all of the structures but usually between 70-80.

§  The majority of the class lectures are taught by Dr. Orhan Arslan. Knowing his testing style is of the utmost importance.

§  GO to Dr. Arslan’s reviews. You will get a good sense of what is important to him as well as a test question or two.

§  You will usually spend about 2-4 hours of required lab time doing dissections in the anatomy lab each week.  Some weeks you’ll spend what seems like days in the lab.  Other weeks you’ll go to lab for 20 minutes.  It just depends on what test it is. 

§  Go ahead and plan on spending a huge amount of time in the lab for 3 systems: musculoskeletal, nervous, and circulatory.  There are A LOT of muscles, nerves, and arteries/veins in your bodies.  It’s going to take some time to get those down.

§  Histology

ú   is also included and taught mostly by Dr. Muffly with clean up by Dr. Wiranowska.

ú  You must be able to identify particular structures at a microscopic level (i.e. – islets of langerhan or d cells), determine from what tissue they originate, and what they do.

ú  The first two tasks are tested by the lab practical where you will have a picture of a slide and must answer either of those two questions. The third question is usually asked on the written exam

§  Embryo is the final piece of the anatomy puzzle. Everyone seemed to be dissatisfied with it last year so they’ll probably change it for yall this year.

o   Grading

§  Half of an exam grade comes from the written exam. The practical makes up the other half.

§  7 exams

§  1 NBME final

o   Final Thoughts

§  Of all the courses, it is Anatomy that has the most contact hours and, therefore, the most weight of the first year curriculum.

§  During dissection, definitely ask questions. Dr. Arslan is a great resource for helping you figure out where some of the more nebulous structures are hidden.

§  There’s a lot of extra stuff in the lab guide. The only thing you are responsible for is the structure list posted on blackboard. Once you get to more visceral structures such as pulmonary and endocrine, just find the structures as efficiently as possible.

§  Be able to identify structures in multiple bodies since they will use this for the practical.

§  Definitely go to the practice practicals right before the test. It’s useful since you learn how Dr. Arslan wants you to identify based on the position of the tag. Also, many of the tags from the practice practical stay the same for the real thing. Finally, by going into the lab with a lot of other people looking at bodies, you definitely learn tricks from other people when it comes to identifying.

§  For the written tests, the most high-yield thing that you can study are the clinical correlations with the anatomy. These represent about 70-80% of all Arslan questions. In addition, you’ll see these things again on the NBME shelf and USMLE Step 1 so definitely learn them!

§  The rest of the Arslan questions relate to the orientation of anatomy structures to other structures (ex – At what level is the kidney? A – T11. Or what would find in the right 5th intercostal space? A – liver.

§  Histo written questions can certainly be difficult… especially for Dr. Muffly. He usually asks very extraneous things, but there is some pattern. First of all take good notes. Second, if in your notes you notice that there is a list of things, then know it! Know what the different cells consist of. Also, if there are layers of cells, that would be good to know.

§  There aren’t many surprises for anatomy. What you see is what you get.

·         Imaging

o   Books

§  None

o   Course Set Up

§  A radiologist will come a show you CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays of different systems

§  This course is integrated with anatomy.  You will be tested on the practical portion of the exam (you walk into the cadaver lab and they have x ray boxes where they put up hard copies of plain films, mri scans, ct scans, angiograms, etc and you have to identify structures)

§  This is actually pretty easy.  If you know the anatomy and you look at the imaging power points then you should have no problem

o   Grading

§  Questions are integrated into the practical examination

o   Final Thoughts

§  The power points usually have blank arrows pointing to structures and then give you the answers at the end.

§  Many of us simply just reviewed the power point about 1-2 days before the exam. This turned out to be enough to get a perfect score for many people.

·         Colloquium

o   Books

§  None

o   Course Set Up

§  Different speakers will introduce you to different topics at 8 in the morn. Your sole job is to sit there respectfully and listen to what they have to say.

o   Grading

§  Pass/Fail

§  Just make sure you attend and that you’re not late.

o   Final Thoughts

§  Just go! 

§  Everyone gets confused.  They sometimes call this class “on doctoring” so if you have to go to on doctoring the 2nd block then this is the same thing.

·         LCE

o   Books

§  None

o   Course Set Up

§  You will be paired with a preceptor from across Tampa Bay

§  Your only task is to shadow them and present a case that you came across to your small group which meets every two weeks

§  You’ll end up presenting about once a year

o   Grading

§  Pass/Fail

o   Final Thoughts

§  Don’t skip LCE unless you want to be kicked out of med school

§  If you don’t like your preceptor at first then be patient.  Almost everyone ends up really enjoying their LCE by the end of the year

·         Behavioral Medicine

o   Books

§  None

o   Course Set Up

§  The new course director, Dr Stock, is not quite as nice as the previous guy.  you’ll meet him.  He comes to class to give quizzes.  He’s really funny.

§  It’s not a bad course.  Lots of guest lecturers (as opposed to anatomy that has a lot of the same lecturers every test)


o   Grading

§  4 exams

§  Each exam worth nearly 20% with a cumulative final at the end worth 20%

§  Questions are integrated into 4 of the tests throughout the year

o   Final Thoughts

§  Like every other class…study the power points!

·         Neuroscience

o   Books

§  Medical Physiology by Guyton and Hall

ú  This book is one that is suggested for physiology.  It contains a lot of neurophysiology, and some of its chapters matched the lecture perfectly.  If you’re dying to buy a book why not buy one that is good for 2 classes…

§  BRS Neuroanatomy

ú  Its BRS so if you’re a fan of BRS then you’ll like it.  It has practice questions that are good for understanding certain concepts

o   Course Set Up

§  For the entire block, you’ll go over the following:

ú  Anterolateral Tract

ú  Lemniscal Tract

ú  Cranial Nerves I-XII

ú  Cerebellum

ú  Cerebral Cortex

ú  Blood Supply to the brain

ú  Clinical correlations to the anatomy

o   Grading

§  Seven exams

§  NBME Final

o   Final Thoughts

§  For a lot of people, this was their most difficult course

§  Essentially, you’ll become a better multiple choice test taker after doing neuro but here are some tips:

·         Usually the question asks where is the lesion? To answer it, figure out what the patient is presenting with. Then figure out what system is affected. Then determine  which side is affected and whether the system in question is ipsilaterally wired or contralaterally wired. This may not make sense, but it will once you start the course.

·         Read all the answer choices. Sometimes the only way to figure it out is by eliminating all the answers rather picking the right one. This may sound dumb, but there are a lot of questions like that on his exams.

ú  There’s no right way to study for neuro. Some people make study guides using books. Others just use notes plus a BRS or High-Yield. Some people just study the power points, but it may not be enough.

·         Physiology

ú  Many people thought this was the most well taught class of first year

o   Books

§  Medical Physiology by Guyton and Hall

ú  Some students refer to this book as the “bible of physiology.”  If you don’t know the story of Guyton it’s a good one.  He was a Harvard Trained Neurosurgeon who got Polio and dictated this textbook.  This textbook is the gold standard at many schools (not usf.  It’s just a “suggested” text here).  The chapters are short and easy to read.  The information is easy to grasp.  If you feel the need to buy a textbook for physiology then this is it.  You can also use it for Neuroscience.

§  BRS Physiology

ú  The most important resource you can buy. Covers everything that you’ll be doing throughout the year. Definitely get this.

o   Course Set Up

§  You’ll be covering endocrine, renal, pulmonary, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, and muscle physiology.

§  Taught by all sorts of teachers

§  You will also have a case discussion meetings with ten other students  where you will discuss case questions over a topic relating to test material

§  Dr Tigno, the course director is great.  She send out practice questions.   DO THEM.  Sometimes they are on the tests.

o   Grading

§  Exams

§  NBME Shelf

§  Case Discussions

o   Final thoughts

§  Without a doubt, beware of the cardiovascular physio exam. It is the most difficult of all the topics you’ll be covering throughout the year and the questions are not very straightforward

§  Definitely use outside sources (BRS) for this course. The lectures aren’t always the best in quality and the BRS will break it down.


Places to Eat/ Party/ Relax


·         Restaurants:

o   Greek Food

§  Athenos (quick and easy greek/med food on fowler before 56th)

§  Acropolis in Ybor Or New Tampa on Bruce B Downs

o   Spanish Food

§  Hugos Spanish on Howard Ave (cheap delicious)

§  El Puerto Grill in Ybor (Argentine grill, the best steak in town)

§  Columbia (classic in Ybor)

§  Tropicanna in Ybor (see the trend)

o   Fine Dining

§  Bern’s Steakhouse

§  Ocean Prime at international

§  Bella’s Italian on Howard Ave

§  Wine Exchange in Old Hyde Park Village


o   Indian Food

§  Cilantro on 56th south of Fowler- great lunch buffet

o   Thai Food

§  Ruby Thai (Amberly Dr.)

§  Liang’s Asian Cuisine (Bruce B. Downs)

o   American Food

§  Jacksons ( Harbour Island, great for going out and its bar, and good food)

§  Jimbos BBq- best in town (Kennedy)

§  Boston Market (Bruce B Downs)

§  Outback Steakhouse (Fowler)

§  Hooter’s (Bruce B Downs close to campus or down in channelside)

§  Chilis (Fowler)

§  TGIF (Fowler)

§  Bennigans (Fowler)

§  Gators Dockside (Fowler- closer to I-75)

§  Sally O’Neil’s Pizza on S Howard

§  SOHO gourmet pizza company off of Howard and Swann

§  5 Guys Burgers in downtown and up on Fowler by school

§  Deck Pizza of off Platt and S Howard (great place after a Friday night McDinton’s happy hour)


o   Jamaican Food

§  Jerk Hut (Fowler)

o   Italian Food

§  SOHO Gourmet Pizza Company(Top Ten National pizza joint in Soho)

§  Maggianos (Westshore mall, for pasta)

§  Berninis (very good and affordable Italian in Ybor)

§  Carrabas (on Fowler)

§  Bella’s on S Howard

o   Tapas

§  Ceviche (awesome date place, great tapas and drinks)

o   Sushi

§  Water on Howard

§  Samurai Blue (Sushi in Centro ybor)

§  The Rack off of Platt

o   Seafood

§  The Colonnade (seafood on bayshore- great view)

o   Sandwich Shops (close to campus)

§  Panera

§  Jimmy Johns

§  Jason’s Deli

§  Firehouse Subs

§  McAllister’s Deli

§  Quiznos

o   Healthy Food

§  Evos (Fowler)

§  Pita Pit (Fowler)

§  Gladstones (Fowler)

o   Vietnamese Food

§  Pho Gyuen (Fowler)

o   Mexican Food

§  Chipotle (Fowler)

§  Moe’s (Bruce B Downs- new Tampa)

§  Tijuana Flats (Fowler)

§  Tia’s (Fowler)

o   Fast food

§  Steak n Shake (Fowler and Bruce B Downs)

§  Wendys (Fowler and Bruce B Downs)

§  Five Guys (Fowler)

§  Sonic (Bearss Ave.)

·         Bars:

o   South Tampa:

§  Jacksons ( harbour island),

§  Macdintons (Irish Pub, Soho)

§  Dubliner (Irish Pub, Soho) it has great pizzas too.

§  Mangroves (Howard Ave.)

§  The Rack (Platt St.)  pretty decent sushi here too.

§  Hyde park Café (Dance club, Platt St.)

§  Splitsville (bowling alley/ dance club, Channelside)

§  Howl at the Moon ( Piano Bar, Channelside)

§  Banana Joe’s (Country/ Dance, Channelside)

§  Four Green Fields (Platt near downtown)

§  Taps (downtown wine bar. Very nice)

§  Cheap on S Howard (it’s not cheap at all unless you go for happy hour)


o   New Tampa

§  Blue Martini (International Mall)

§  Whiskey North (Dance Club, Dale Mabry Ave.)

§  Peabody’s (Pool hall, Bruce B Downs, kind of smokey)

§  Dallas Bull (Country Western bar, lots of fun, near Brandon)

·         Other Fun Stuff:

o   Busch Gardens (get your year pass now! Lots of fun after exams!)

o   Adventure Island

o   Muvico and Channelside Movie Theaters

o   County Parks (great trails for running, hiking, etc)

o   Beach (St. Pete, Clearwater, Anna Maria Island, Ft. De Soto are some favorites)

o   Tampa Theater (old restored 1920’s movie theater- shows indy films and concerts)

o   Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (if you’re into plays and musicals)

o   Tampa Improv Comedy Club in Ybor

o   Running on Bayshore Blvd. (Where all the million dollar homes are)

o   International, Brandon, and Westshore Mall are places to shop (avoid the University Mall if possible)

o   Rock Climbing on Waters Ave.

o   Canoeing on the Hillsborough River (watch out for alligators)




o   Class socials!!!!

o   More Class socials

o   Pool parties put on by your social chairs

(basically, hang out with your classmates and get to know them.  They’re good people…)