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Two Similar Options Are Wrong
by rasheed 03-20-2010, 12:18 AM

If you face a USMLE question with two similar or nearly similar options then it's highly likely that both are wrong.

There's only one correct answer and if two options are pointing to the same diagnosis or management or idea then they should be both wrong and we should look for a another unique correct one.

Examples:
Patient post MI developed complications. Two options are given; Cardiac Temponade and Ventricular Wall Rupture. They must be both wrong because wall rupture essentially leads to temponade.

Patient with hypokalemia. Two options are given; Conn syndrome and Cushing syndrome. They must be both wrong because both of them causes hypokalemia.
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Old 07-10-2010
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 68
Threads: 5
Reputation: 57
That is very very true. I find myself naturally using that method and highly encourage it as well.
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Old 02-28-2011
 
Steps History: CK Only
Posts: 15
Threads: 1
Reputation: 20
Disagree

I couldn't disagree more. I've found that this is a trick that they LOVE.

I've done most of the UWorld step 2ck questions, and find that i can cross out 3 of 5, leaving two. Then it requires detailed knowledge to separate the final two, which are often very similar.
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Old 02-28-2011
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS+3
Posts: 742
Threads: 137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md5rr View Post
I couldn't disagree more. I've found that this is a trick that they LOVE.

I've done most of the UWorld step 2ck questions, and find that i can cross out 3 of 5, leaving two. Then it requires detailed knowledge to separate the final two, which are often very similar.
I agree with you, most questions boil to two most likely answers and you have to decipher between them, but the trick am pointing to here, is beyond this. It's when you realized that those two options are pointing to the same answer, i.e those two options are pointing to the exact same end target then in that case (in that case only) you should be looking for a unique third option. The idea, is that, there cannot be two correct answers.

For example:
What is the most pressurized vessel connected to the heart:
A) the most elastic vessel
B) the most compliant vessel
C) a vessel connected to the right atrium

you can see above that both options B and C are looking similar, in fact they point exactly to the same vessel (inferior vena cava), so they must be both wrong, you have to look for another option, which is in our example is option A (the aorta).
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Old 02-28-2011
 
Steps History: 1+CK+CS
Posts: 143
Threads: 4
Reputation: 188
Completely agree with Rasheed

Woow Rasheed,
You are really amazing.
The point you are making is really beyond the capacity (awareness) of many students.
Thanks man for the great tips
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Old 04-09-2011
 
Steps History: Not yet
Posts: 20
Threads: 4
Reputation: 23
I usually just go straight to the forums, but I'm glad I browsed through USMLE Articles this time. Rasheed, did you realise you just shed an additional sunray into the tunnel??
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Old 01-31-2012
 
Steps History: 1 + CK
Posts: 197
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I think it might be true , i will try it but as nothing is absolute...!!
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