Talking with some of our classmates, I had an idea about a potentially fun way to study for the USMLE Step 1. Our discussion was largely centered around the notion of “buzz-words” and how they may or may not be present in question stems so as to direct your thinking to a particular disease process. Often times we’ve found ourself quizzing each other verbally using such descriptions as a way of studying for exams.
Yeah yeah, but what’s the deal with Taboo? Well, my thought was, wouldn’t it be interesting (and difficult) to attempt the same process without using those characteristic buzz-words? After all, if that was the way examinations took place (or real life for that matter), this whole medicine business would be pretty easy. Does this sound familiar? It should? It’s basically the premise for the game Taboo!
For the person describing the disease or finding for a given taboo card, hopefully this can be an exercise in expanding our ways of describing otherwise dry material. Likewise for the individual or team trying to guess the disease or finding, It will be challenging to do so without the buzz-words we are so accustomed to.
By making an online interface, it is my hope that you may be able to access this game anywhere: from your computer, phone, ipod, tablet, etc. Hopefully it can be fun!
So here’s how I hoped to set this up. Above you’ll see a couple of tabs, including on which says “Taboo!”. There you will be presented with a set of 10 flashcards. drawn randomly from a database (hopefully growing). Clicking/tapping each card will reveal a disease or finding at the top and a series of “taboo” words associated that you cannot say (you also can’t say the disease obviously!). The goal is to get a friend (or members of a team) to identify as many of the cards listed in 2 minute. Meanwhile, a member of the other team can use the tools on the “extras” page, including a functioning buzzer (just like the traditional game) and a countdown timer. For each correct identification, your team will earn 1 point. You can then refresh the page and alternate turns amongst teams/study partners for subsequent rounds (ideally keeping score for bragging points).
I’ve also tried to develop a single-player option. In this mode, you will receive the buzz-words and will be asked merely to identify the disease/finding. Therefore, in order to keep it relatively challenging, you will be asked to type in the correct response.
Single player- for whatever reason during text entry, apostrophes don’t seem to work well (they seem to be interpreted as backslashes and therefore don’t match the “correct answer” which has apostrophe’s appropriately).
Buzzer-doesn’t always work when clicked the first time. Just keep trying. Also on computer, try turning sound up or down if there’s still problems.
Taboo- repeated cards. I haven’t found a clever way to avoid this yet, so unfortunately at this point, we’ll have to just keep refreshing.