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How to Study for Family Medicine Shelf? Top 5 Amazing Tips!

How to study for family medicine shelf? You should know that the family medicine shelf is a very challenging exam. The exam covers a vast diversity of family medicine topics. So, it can be tough to prepare for the exam.

People usually begin studying for the exam when their rotation is about to end. You can even kick-start the preparation during a family medicine rotation.

So, it would help if you had the ultimate guide on studying for the best resources for shelf exams. This article will focus on building a basic idea of the exam. And finally, you will get some valuable to succeed in the medicine shelf exam.

What is the NBME Family Medicine Shelf?

The NBME shelf exam is a unique medical exam. Medical students usually sit for the exam after completing their medical rotations. The exam can be tough to crack. So, you need to know the basics first.

The family medicine shelf exam checks the ability to create a unique differentiation. A successful student can distinguish between urgent and non-urgent patients. You learn how to decide the seriousness of the condition or disease from the symptoms.

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Students can schedule patient treatment properly after passing the shelf exam. It enables you to make emergency care or provide a gradual treatment process.

The exam further enables you to assess potential risks. You will be able to identify patients who need immediate medical attention. This is why the exam covers a vast area of expertise set by the family medicine board. Thus, it is necessary to prepare vigorously for the shelf exam.

Who Should Study for Family Medicine Shelf?

So, you want to start preparing for the exam. But are you eligible? The eligibility criteria are the first thing to consider. You should target the best way to study for shelf exams for selection.

Shelf exams are the assessment of your mastery of medical knowledge. Students usually sit for the exam after completing clerkship or medical rotations. If you intend to get a medical degree, you should take the exam.

Most countries will give you a medical license after completing the clerkship. But not every medical student needs to take the family shelf exam. The importance of shelf exams depends on the university. If your university puts a higher percentage on shelf exams, you need to pass the exam.

How to begin with the Family Medicine Shelf Study Guide?

It is essential to know where to begin. The internet is full of valuable tips for shelf exam help. But it would be best to understand a few things before studying.

Preparing for the exam can be challenging, mainly because the exam covers a wide range of topics. You must make sure to begin on the right track. You should be clear that the exam wants you to understand medical urgency. It means that you need to identify patient cases and symptoms correctly.

After that, focus more on family medicine. The topics of the exam relate to family medical situations. This could include pregnancy, cardiovascular, Epidemiology, respiratory, immune system, and other medical sectors.

The questions will ask you about different medical scenarios. This will also involve the age group between 18 to 65. The review questions will focus on the primary diagnosis, maintenance, and management. Finally, the exam will test your intervention, prevention, and surveillance capacity as well.

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How to Study for Family Medicine Shelf: 5 Successful Tips

Now comes the most challenging part. How do you study for the unpredictable exam? Well, no need to worry. There are always things you can follow to crack an exam. Here are 5 successful tips to pass the family medicine shelf.

Use the Free Times

Any medical exam is very hard. But you chose a noble line of study. So, you must use any of your free time to study for the exam.

You can practice the question banks and Pre-test books to prepare well. Listen to the AAFP list of podcasts during leisure times. You can get both minor and significant information. These can help you a lot during the exam.

Review Videos on the Topics

The OnlineMedEd platform can become your YouTube during the preparation phase. The website has hundreds of videos. These videos can be a great resource to review different family medical topics.

But this might cost you a little money. You need to pay subscription fees to get access to the videos. Even so, it will help you a lot. The videos cover a wide area of topics. This can help you greatly to prepare for the exam.

Understand Your Lacking

There are many resources available to study for the exam. We will look into it in the following section. But you already know the kind of topics that can come on the exam. Now it is time to find out where you lack.

There will always be areas you are strong in. And then there are areas that you are uncomfortable. Assess yourself thoroughly and list the topics that often confuse you. Practice and practice in those areas. The moment you feel confident about the difficult issues, you should be ready to take the exam.

Develop Flashcards to Study

Different conditions have different diagnosis methods. You can use flashcards to write down the forms. This will help you go through them whenever you are doing something else.

You can write flashcards in the middle of a class. You can even create a flashcard during your practice for the exam. These flashcards will help you in doing a daily review of the topics.

Utilize the Outpatient Clinic Times

Spending more time at the outpatient clinic would be beneficial. You can ask questions to the nurses, residents, and physicians. These people can mentor you to understand medical conditions better. You will also come close to experiencing real-life situations. This will guide you to answer the shelf exam questions correctly.

5 Best Resources for Shelf Exams

You need to use the available resources to prepare for the exam. Here are the 5 best resources available to help you study.


This is a great website to help you study. The website includes many videos on high-yield topics. The best thing about the website is that it provides family medicinal topics. You will also find several notes, flashcards, and information on the website.

AAFP question bank

AAFP means the American Academy of Family Physicians. You can find a great question bank on the AAFP website. The website includes many family medicine shelf questions. You can practice them for free with your student membership account.

Case Files

It is always best to use books to study for an exam. Case Files is a great resource. This book is excellent for learning about clinical problems. You can also find medical cases. This will help you to find real-world information on family medical conditions.

Step Up to Medicine

This is a physical book that you can carry all the time. The book is an excellent resource for surgery shelves and internal medicines. This book can come in handy even after passing the shelf exam.


UWorld is helpful mainly for any shelf exams. You can also use this resource to study for the family shelf exam. But you may find it hard to filter different shelf questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NBME shelf exam?

NBME means the National Board of Medical Examiners. The NBME prepares shelf exams to check medical students’ ability to apply their knowledge practically.

How many questions can come in the family medicine shelf exam?

There will be a total of 110 questions. The questions are multiple-choice questions. The inquiry follows hypothetical medical situations. Students will have 165 minutes to complete the test.

Is it hard to pass shelf exams?

Shelf exams can be tough to pass. They cover a wide range of topics. Even the family medicine shelf covers broad issues of family medical situations. So, it would help if you studied a lot to pass the exam.

Are question banks enough to study for the family medicine shelf?

Question banks are a great resource to study for the exam. But it would help if you did a more intense study. So, you should also carry and read online and physical books.

How much should I score to pass the test?

The passing mark for the test depends on your university. Different universities allocate different percentiles to pass the exam.

How long will I have to wait to get the results?

The result publication depends on your medical school. It should take a minimum of 1 to 2 weeks to get the result.


Preparing for the NBME shelf exam can be overwhelming. It would be best if you studied a lot. And you need to know how to study for family medicine shelf correctly.

The 5 resources can be of great help to your preparation. Follow the suggested tips of the article. Study at your own pace by creating a timely schedule.

Thus, you should be good to sit for the exam and pass it with a good grade. We hope our guidelines help you to understand how to study for family medicine shelf.

Olivia Charlotte
Olivia Charlottehttps://sarticle.com
Olivia Charlotte can usually be found reading a book or doing something new, something creative. It mesmerized her to do something that will help her to feel she's helping others with her knowledge. After her graduation, she got herself into reading and writing many creatives. In her lonely time, she found cooking her favorite dishes. Olivia always keeps herself a bit separate from others because her mind is always thinking and not everyone can accept it. After she found SArticle.com, she finally had a place to share her helpful writings with people who want to get resourceful articles on almost anything.
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