ChalkTalk: Medical Topics Explained

Anna Piazza - Jun 19, 2018

Some topics just get you every time. There are diseases and conditions that are so thick with vocabulary, formulas and differentials they can seem almost impossible to get through. Even when you’re on top of your med school game, you’re bound to run into moments when you’ll want to reach for anything that will help clarify what exactly it is those textbooks and professors are talking about.

To help you untangle all those Aesculapian knots is AMBOSS’ ChalkTalk series. ChalkTalks are mini-lectures that explain diseases, conditions and diverse medical topics using clear language, illustrations and graphs. They reveal connections between different topics and help you create a clear framework of medical knowledge you can refer to time and time again. You'll find them handy when you’ve hit a wall in your studying or just need a quick refresher on something you’ve covered in the past.

How ChalkTalks Are Set Up

ChalkTalks are purposely set up to break down complicated topics that either aren’t commonly covered in textbooks or are based on such recent findings they haven’t even made it into common resources yet.

For example, take a look at this ChalkTalk episode on Hematological Malignancies

What it's about: Since blood can be found almost everywhere in the body and a variety of cells are present in blood, the clinical picture of hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma, is quite diverse. ChalkTalk aims to make this complex topic more comprehensible. 

Or this one on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:

What it’s about: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. This ChalkTalk episode discusses differences in the etiology, clinical features and complications of both conditions.

Try More Versatile Learning 

In addition to being easily digestible, ChalkTalks are versatile and can be quickly adapted into your study plan. They offer both a lean-back format and an interactive experience. How you choose to use them is up to you.

For example, let’s say you’re in the middle of your Surgery rotation and just came home after a long day on the wards. You’re exhausted, but know that you’ve got to get in at least an hour or two of studying before bed—you really want to honor this particular clerkship. You're probably thinking that tonight isn’t the night to scour entire Learning Cards in-depth, but you can certainly click play on a ChalkTalk episode and just sit back.

However, if you are up for a more thorough review, you can always take advantage of their more interactive features. Click and skip to the specific areas you want to focus on most, and when you’re done you can take a corresponding quiz. It’ll satisfy your kinesthetic needs and can help you test your knowledge on common diagnoses.

Where Can I Find ChalkTalks?

ChalkTalks can be found both in- and outside of the platform.

For a more interactive ChalkTalk experience, access them directly from their own dedicated section in the Knowledge Library, within the AMBOSS platform. They can also be found throughout a variety of Learning Cards. Keep in mind, however, that ChalkTalks are not currently available in the Knowledge and Qbank apps.

ChalkTalk episodes can also be found on our YouTube channel where they can be accessed anytime for lean-back viewing. Plus, you’ll be able to check out all of AMBOSS’ other videos covering special exam maneuvers, how-tos and much more.

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