The LMCC Study Plan
I’m on my final stretch of medical school with only the LMCC exam to write. For those that are unfamiliar with the certification process, when you graduate from medical school in Canada, you are required to write the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part I (MCCQE Part I). Part II, which is in an OSCE format, comes later during your PGY2 of residency.
There is only one goal when writing the LMCC and that is to pass the exam. That pass mark is set at 390, and scores range from 50 to 950 (MCC Scoring). How well or poorly you did doesn’t matter as long as you pass.
And for a $900 exam, you want to only write it once.
The MCCQE Outline
How does one study everything they have learned in medical school for one single exam?
The answer is you can’t possible know everything cold (objectives). But the secret is to know how the exam was written and what topics you must cover. You see the exam material tests you on six areas of medicine including
1. Internal Medicine
4. Obstetrics and Gynecology
6. CLEO (Considerations of the Legal, Ethical and Organizational Aspects of the Practice of Medicine)
Obviously some of these subjects like Internal Medicine are much more extensive than the others. However, the test is weighted equally between all six subjects. Meaning that each of those subjects is worth 1/6 of the exam and they will all have the same number of questions allotted to each.
The LMCC Strategy
Knowing that each part is weighted equally, the only rational way to approach studying for this exam is to study the highest yield subjects first. To maximize your efforts you should spend the most time on sections which cover the least amount of information.
The order you should approach this exam is to study (1) CLEO (2) Psychiatry (3 & 4) Peds & OBSGYN, (5) Surgery and completely ignore (6) Internal Medicine.
And although you may think knowing how to treat a heart attack or read an ECG is important – and it is in a clinical setting – you will get much more points studying about occupational hazards and different types of study design.
MCCQE Study Materials
Almost everyone studies exclusively from Toronto Notes, which was originally a study guide for the LMCC! Looking at the Table of Contents, the high yield topics of CLEO consists of 2 chapters, Psych – 1 chapter, Peds 1- chapter, Obsgyn – 2 chapters. Surgery has 9 chapters and Internal Medicine has a whooping 13 chapters, almost as much as the rest combined.
I also had some friends who tried Essentials for the Canadian Medical Licensing Exam and Canada QBank with poor reviews, so I would recommend against them.
So for the last few weeks, I have been ignoring my chosen field of specialty (Internal) and have been reading exclusively the other five topics. The result has both refreshing and frustrating at times.
It has been good to refresh my memory on a lot of topics I had forgotten. It’s been almost a year and a half since I last did obstetrics, so a quick refresher was nice. I even learned something new about health care and public health in Canada. But it’s also been frustrating because the topics that I intrinsically am interested in – Cardio, Pulm, Nephro, Rheum, etc – are also the ones that are the lowest yield.
In a way, the LMCC will not prepare me at all for a residency in Internal Medicine.
But I think I’ve resigned myself to that fact. Afterall one of the perks of being in Internal is little to no off service rotations for the next few years. Now… if there only wasn’t a Part II…