USMLE Step 3 Strategy: Knowing The Patient

Reference & EducationCollege & University

  • Author Gerald Faye Johnson
  • Published August 16, 2011
  • Word count 434

It is expected that after medical school and USMLE Step 2 CK as well as USMLE Step 2 CS and successfully passing these two USMLE Steps that you already have the necessary capabilities to go through USMLE Step 3 and continue onwards medical licensing.

When you are already in your medical residency training, certain aspects in Step 3 will be the determining factor for a good medical residency training performance. The practical knowledge that you acquired through personal and collective means and reflections comes from "personal knowing." It is arrived at through your own practice, reflection, synthesis and integration of artistic, scientific and practice components, which is already offered with every review for your USMLE boards.

Personal knowing can be experiential, interpersonal and intuitive in nature. Experiential is achieved through being part of the world of Medicine and becoming increasingly aware of the experiences inherent in this participation. Interpersonal knowing results from enhanced awareness about situations resulting from extensive, in-depth interaction with others. These interactions are another source of knowing and they promote the development of knowledge.

When you know something without the explicit use of scientifically accepted forms of reasoning, it is said that you achieved the knowing through intuition. It is knowing a whole without resorting to linear reasoning, without basis. It is knowing without knowing how. When doctors use intuition to know, they open themselves up to allow sensing and understanding of the patient's situation. Intuitive knowing is a component in "clinical knowing" important for the USMLE Step 3 is essential in a more holistic understanding of clinical situations as as significant in making more effective medical and therapeutic decisions.

Knowing your patients allows for more particular and individualistic approaches that may be based on more general knowledge related to patient's situations. It leads to more appropriately selected management based on knowing the patient's resources, readiness and current understanding related to their responses.

Several processes have been identified to elucidate the meaning of knowing the patient. These are perceiving, envisioning, communication, self-preservation and showing concern. Perceiving and envisioning involve identifying the meaning and significance of patients' responses. Knowing the patient also involves communication and interaction with or about the patient. Knowing patients is assumed to be connected to the extent to which a medical doctor shows and demonstrates concern.

The practice of Medicine reflect human condition and situations and therefore, these phenomena could be developed through different patterns of discovery. Discovery can only occur if you have the proper knowledge both practical and theoretical, such that these can be applied to further identify conditions or behavior of your patients that hinder effective treatment and medical management.

Gerald Faye Johnson is an Educational Content Consultant for various Step One USMLE Reviews produced by Apollo Audiobooks, LLC and Premedical Solutions, LLC. You can find the source interview podcast for this USMLE 1 resource at our website.

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