Interviews 2020: How to Prepare as a 3rd Year Student?

by Jacob Green.

Happy New Year Everyone!

As many of you know, the 4th years are in the final stretch of their preparation for CASPR/CRIP (January 9-14, 2020) and APMLE Part 2 (January 2, 2020). As they prepare, many 3rd years reach out and inquire about, “What is the best resource to study and be ready for this challenging period?”


The Trio

Board Study Image for HalluxMag_Pre-Pod LifeThe classic trio we most often utilize include: Pocket Pod (Watkins Manual), PRSIM+ and The Crozer Manual. It is important to not hit resource overload and spread yourself too thin, however relying on a single resource will not encompass every topic we are expected to be familiar with.

For 3rd years, it is often suggested by residents and 4th years who are in the midst of this process to experiment over the remainder of your 3rd year and throughout the externship process to find what works best for you. When you reach crunch time, you should know what works best for you and stick with it. Everyone studies differently and some resources work better for others.


Other Resources

Other resources that may help along the way are:

  • McGlamry (especially Chapters 1-5),
  • Board Vitals for practice questions

And of course one should read the classic articles such as:

  • Ramsey and Hamilton article from 1976 or
  • Gustilo and Anderson article from 1976 as well as their modification to the type 3 open fracture published in 1984.


How to Summarize Research Papers?

There are many more out there and it’s best to start early to not feel overwhelmed! I suggest reading the ‘Land Mark Articles’ and create a very brief reference sheet, no more than 1/2 page for each article.


ARTICLE– Ramsey and Hamilton. Changes in Tibiotalar Areas of Contact Caused by Lateral Talar Shift. JBJS. (1976)

  • METHODS – 23 LE s/p amputation for PVD; infected joints were excluded.
    Black carbon powder was placed on the DISARTICULATED TIBIA which was then rearticulated in a neutral position and 7kg of force was applied to see the tibiotalar contact areas. This was repeated at 1mm, 2mm, 4 mm, and 6mm of lateral displacement to visualize and quantify the decreased surface area of contact due to lateral talar shift.
  • RESULTS – 42% decreased Tibiotalar Areas of Contact at 1 mm of lateral displacement of the talus. Non-displaced talus demonstrated that the lateral talar dome had a wider area of contact. After displacement, the contact area was wider medially without contact centrally

The above is useful so if someone asks you a question regarding the importance of adequate reduction of the ankle mortise with an SER 4 you can respond with ….

“According to Ramsey and Hamilton in 1976, restoring the ankle mortise to as close to anatomical alignment is important because they found a 1mm lateral displacement led to an average of 42% decreased tibiotalar contact area which they hypothesized predisposed patients to early osteoarthritis of the ankle joint.'”


Jacob Green



Interviews 2020: How to prepare as a 3rd year?

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