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"Delving into Davidson" - a Guide to Medicine!

By Amna Khalil, Class of 2016

There aren't many who make it through senior year without falling head over heels in love with medicine. But when it comes to the sitting down and studying part, jaan jaati hai!

Fret not! Lets break this vast subject down into easily do-able and revisable parts!

                                                      Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim


a) Throw that Inam Danish in the bin

b) Sorry, pick it up again, Infectious Diseases wahan sey hi karni hain!

c) If you too have wasted the entire year wondering Davidson karoon ya Kaplan, Oxford karoon ya Step up, its high time you decide which book speaks the best to you, instead of blindly following the crowd

d) If you must must listen to Conrad Fischer Sahib, squeeze that in before the prep leaves ( unlike me, who attempted to listen to it all just a month before the professionals)

e) For those who still have their rotations to go, jo case  present kardo kabhi nahi bhoolta, so see and feel and hear as much you can, and Bedside plus West Medicine checklist ko ghol kar pee jao
f) If you know your pharma, you can skip that part from Davidson and just quickly revise from Katzung (saves a lot of time and energy)

e) Focus on the algorithms of Davidson, not the text

With the basics done, lets start :


The first read can be attempted chill ho kar in 20 days plus minus a few, a good 5 for CVS, 4 days for CNS, 3 for Respo, 2 for GIT , 2 for Liver, 2 for Renal and 1 for blood.
For the completely clueless amongst you, here is a list of what I did from where!


Frankly, I have always hated it and all I would do is go over is these notes of COPD, but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
Here is a list of the important topics and where they are written the easiest ;


Sarcoidosis, IPF, Bronchiectasis, Bronchogenic CA ( Go over your Robbins for a quick revision) , RFTs, Pneumoconiosis, Asthma, PTE, Pleural Effusion - Kaplan

For fun!

Presenting problems, ARDS, Respiratory Failure and its four types, their management , Pneumonia, TB - Davidson


Now a lot of people did CNS just from Inam Danish and that sufficed for them.
Here is my list anyways ;

Stroke / CVA 
One book does not work well for this vast topic and it is better to consult both Davidson and Kaplan.

Localizing a lesion

Ideally, we shouldn't be expected to localize lesions at the drop of a hat , but examiners do love to confound you in this specific area, especially in vivas!
Dr. Sajid Obaidullah came to our rescue luckily and for those of you who missed out on his lectures, here are my messy notes!

Multiple Sclerosis - Kaplan
* Do MacDonald Criteria and clinical features from Davidson
* On M.R.I , there is "Dawson finger sign"

Clinical Examination, Lumbar Puncture, Fig 26.16. Table 26.9 , Coma, Pseudobulbar and Bulbar Palsy , Subdural Hemorrhage, Dementia, Parkinsons, Raised ICP, Hydrocephalus, Infections of the nervous system - Davidson

G.B.S ,Myasthenia Gravis ,Trigeminal Neuralgia, Motor Neuron Disease ( A.L.S), Pseudomotor Cerbri, Epilepsy ( Do management of Status Epilepticus from Davidson ) ,Brown Seqaurd and other spinal stuff
- Kaplan

Pott's disease

Bell's Palsy




Hardly half a day's work from Kaplan.

Davidson stuff - Investigations, Spleenomegaly, PAN, TTP 
A few weird questions in past papers were diagnostic criteria of PRV, causes of polycythemia and esoniphilia, look em up!


Heart Failure

* Dr.Irshad's notes ( Causes, Agg Factors, Types, Clinical, Investigations, Management)

Note : If you'd rather read from a book, you will find the same in PJ Kumar.

* Davidson ( Complications)
* Oxford ( Framingham's Criteria)

Pulmonary Edema : PJ / Oxford

* Kaplan ( pg 110 to 120)
* Dr.Irshads notes ( Types, TIMI, Assesment, Inv )
* Davidson ( Clinical, Algo for treatment)

Rheumatic Heart Diseases, Infective Endo, Investigations, Presenting Problems, Cardiogenic Shock, Cardiac Tamponade, SCD, Abnormal Heart Sounds n murmurs, Aortic Aneurysm, Aortic Dissection, HTN, Congenital Heart Diseases, Myocarditis, Acute Pericarditis
- Davidson

Cardiomyopathies, Valvular Heart Diseases, AV Blocks, A.fib, A,flutter, V.tach, V.fib, WPW, Torsades - Kaplan
( Do anti- arrythmics from Katzung)

Extra stuff :
* Do 13 signs of Aortic Regurg from elsewhere
* Do Gallivardans Pheno in A.S, Also there is " Mercedes benz sign" in A.S, new treatment is "TAVI"
* 3 conditions with same haemodynamics as M.S are
1) Co-artriatum
2) Atrial Myxoma
3) Ball Valve thrombus in L.A

* Usual presentations in M.S are of a pregnant woman with severe dyspnea and old patient with Atrial fibrillation

* PTMC and criteria for valvuloplasty


Hated it and just revised Robbins and did ARF n CRF , kindly consult another senior lol.
Btw " Rifle Classification" zaroor karlijiye ga!



SUPER SUPER IMPORTANT, do it all from DAVIDSON, in order of high yield topics as given in the list included in the past papers


Again, gotta do it all, bummer.


Kaplan, bass.
R.A , J.R.A n SLE kay criteria karlijiye ga!


Kaplan, again.


* Do go over the anti-psychotics wala chapter from Katzung

Infectious Diseases

Inam Danish Zindabad!

Fluids and Electrolyes

Kaplan to the rescue again!
Go over Alkalosis n Acidosis from Davidson
Look up the tic-tac-toe mothod on Youtube for a quick assesment of ABGs

Best of luck, y'all !


  1. I had made some really good notes from this article that really helped me in understanding the concepts for some tests and especially in completing assignments.


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