In my net life, I modify Nanoism and also have been preserving this site for end a decade, whereby I write about medicine, finance, gift a better human, and other exciting miscellany. In the real world, my wife and I are physicians in Texas, and we have two adorable small kids.

You are watching: Crack the core


Here we review Prometheus Lionhart’s multipart book series for the core Exam. If you’re interested in someone’s think on the Titan Radiology video clip series, you’ll have to look elsewhere.1I don’t think civilization need another video clip course, particularly since if you want a video clip course, the UCSF videos room solid and most programs have accessibility to them. I’ve spoken to precisely one person who did Titan and also they claimed it wasn’t precious the money. I’m sure it’s fine/good, however I’d guess: v they’re probably right.

TL;DR: Every book in the cracked the Core collection is usually humorous, relatively engaging, high yield, and also conversational—as well as full the typos and also (mostly minor) errors.

Crack the Core

Crack the core (volume 1 and volume 2) by the eponymous Prometheus Lionhart is prefer the first Aid of the core Exam, if very first Aid was created by a solitary author v a foul mouth and had a watch infinite number of typos. Overall, it’s great. This is now the de facto universal resource for the main point Exam in part because it’s both concise and really memorable, and also in part because there are couple of alternatives. Here is an example of Lionhart’s layout from the GU section:


Multilocular Cystic Nephroma – “Non-communicating, fluid-filled locules, surrounded by special fibrous capsule.” By definition these things are characterized by the absence of a solid ingredient or necrosis. Buzzword is “protrude into the renal pelvis.” The question is likely the bimodal incident (4 year old boys, and also 40 year old women). I favor to think that this together the Michael Jackson lesion- it loves young boys and middle age women.


If that functions for you, then buy this book. His rudely diagrams are stylistically ugly but effective. The book is light on images—it’s yes, really a text and diaphragmatic conversation of topics geared for the main point as if her wise an elderly resident was giving you the low under (e.g. There is no picture to accompany that great discussion that multilocular cystic nephroma). As a result, you may want to read together with statdx or radiopaedia to provide yourself the imaging context, and also need to either do a qbank or casebooks to actually round out your prep. But, ~ above the to add side, the sense of humor and also tone are distinct enough to make reading CTC a relative breath of fresh air.2if you annotate it and also read that over and over, then this starts to get old, specifically as some of it falls flat. There is a slight focus on topics the were well-known on the dental boards the I’m not certain are most likely to show up again, but all at once the contents is high yield and also sufficient. The font is huge and there’s lot of white space—it reads fast.

On the downside, there are an incredible number of typos, many of which are really lazy, kinda pathetic, and also non-substantive. Together in, also by the 3rd edition, he hasn’t run spell check. He additionally has no idea how to usage a comma properly. Portions of the book, particularly for brief passages around rare conditions, are basically just plagiarized radiopaedia articles placed in short paragraph form. Also the fun zebra head symbol is only intermittently placed next to zebra problems for i beg your pardon he offers it. For much better or worse, Lionheart (did I mention that is the coolest name ever?) clearly doesn’t care. He to know it’s still precious reading.

While many typos are merely distracting, some do confuse the worry (e.g. By transforming a reality into that opposite), so CTC is more than likely safest after ~ you’ve excellent some other review (but as whole fine alone). There room plenty of black pearls, though in its entirety not almost enough to matter if friend otherwise learn the material well, and also many cases, you’ll spot lock obviously. One wonderful example in a gamesmanship box from nucs:


Q: how do you grade this unilateral perfusion defect (of the totality lung), yet no ventilation defect? A: It’s technically high probability.

It’s in reality (technically) low probability, i m sorry is only funny because this is plainly a shout-out to a certain classic oral boards question/recall, and also it’s just wrong. This kind of error is rare, and a single author publication without any kind of editorial intake is bound to have mistakes. There’s no means to stop that, and also even books from the huge boys often have errors. While over there is an errata page on the Titan Radiology site (that requires registering one account to see), it’s woefully incomplete. CTC demonstrates an virtually aggressive absence of polish. This isn’t meant to teach girlfriend to it is in a great radiologist, it’s meant to help you happen a test.


If a source disagrees through CTC, the resource is more than likely right. Specific numbers deserve to be dorn or the end of date (making them much less likely come be experiment too), and also incomplete descriptions of truth are likewise common, however again this is a testimonial text because that high-yield core review, so I totally forgive the tailored approach. The book is chock full of a large variety of buzzword descriptions, which are just really helpful in the context if girlfriend are able come pair the standard buzzword through it’s a classic imaging appearance. This is one image-based written test, so they’re no going come tell you exactly how something looks, they’re walking to present it come you. Therefore to use this publication most effectively, you’d must look up every buzzword and sign for this reason you can put a photo to it. I don’t always agree through his assessment of likely test questions, yet this is one resource written to obtain you reasoning along those lines (which is helpful, in addition to actually doing exercise questions).

CTC is accessible as two-volume collection on Amazon via its CreateSpace self-publishing platform. This method that it’s printed on demand per bespeak on crappy copy paper with abysmal manufacturing quality (makes the disastrous image quality even worse). Compounded by Prometheus’ style sense, CTC is quickly one of the ugliest books I’ve ever read.

There room weak Amazon previews for any type of CTC books, which might be frustrating to potential buyers. Unfortunately, over there are also no ebook versions, which may be pertained to his desire to avoid piracy (an difficult goal) or much more likely, due to the fact that Amazon’s aristocracy schema because that e-books uniform pricing in a variety that would certainly be compatible with his profit objectives given the price that the publish edition.3In situation you’re curious, Amazon pays a 70% royalty on books priced $9.99 or less and also 30% on books greater 보다 $10. Thus a $23.50 and $10 e-book in reality pay the same royalty rate. His return on a $45.52 variation of the 382-page War an equipment is approximately $21.88. The would need to charge roughly $67 ($20 more!) in order to generate the very same profit native an digital version. This is among the downsides of the Amazon de facto e-book monopoly. Apple and Kobo pay a flat percentage.

Sales the both volumes are intermittently on hold for the release of to update editions. Uneven you arrangement on actually making use of it in the fall—which isn’t necessary–I would stop buying a provided copy and also hold off till the to update editions room released late in the year (if desperate, loaned a copy from your seniors). Not just do I organize a thank you very much hope the PL will ultimately take his errata and typos seriously, but there is one ever-growing perform of high yield trivia in each section that are presumably produced from reader…feedback.

Verdict: extremely Recommended

Radiologic Physics – war Machine

Update – Physics/NIS were removed from CTC-V2, so now you are compelled to purchase all three volumes, making some of the comparisons below irrelevant. 

War an equipment is a stand-alone growth of CTC physics and non-interpretive skills. Both this topics were extended well in CTC Volume 2. To give you an idea the the page difference involved:

CTC physics, pages 377-552 (175) CTC non-interpretative skills 553-587 (34)

War machine physics 8-269 (261) war Machine non-interpretative skills 269-332 (63) War an equipment rapid evaluation 331-383 (52)

And to it is in honest, much of the message is exactly the same. In fact, whole pages room literally pixel through pixel the same (even the typos):

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Most that the diagrams are the same and also are similar in number. Some topics get a little more love, but as whole the content is basically the same, and I didn’t notice anything wonder in War an equipment that merely isn’t in CTC. Some of the fleshed out material is most likely low yield, an especially some the the nitty-gritty stuff that is less clinically relevant and also thus much less tested on this “Exam of the Future.” The funny testable trivia bits show up basically identical.

An instance of an additional breakdown that only shows up in war Machine:

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Helpful breakdown? Probably. Demanding the a totality page of additional explanation? probably not?

War Machine’s pro/cons are similar to CTCs: It’s an extremely funny (particularly the NIS section). There room an incredible variety of typos. A few of these influence understanding (saying positron once you median beta particle), but most are simply sloppy. Again, a major dearth the images, yet there are lots of nice crudely drawn diagrams. There room very few clinical examples with quite wimpy artifact sections. It, choose CTC in general, reads an extremely fast early out to large font and also generous line spacing.

So in the end, War device is probably a bit far better if you’re physics elevator is bad (or you have actually none), since it’s slightly less summarized/concise. Both publications are essentially a re-writing the the relevant RSNA physics modules into as much plain English as feasible and do wonderful job. If you’ve done the RSNA modules, then war Machine’s main selling allude over just reading CTC is the high yield rapid review ar at the end (note: this is just copied high yield tables and charts clumped together, however it’s quite to check out right prior to the test). There is nothing new in the fast review, simply a practically copy-paste job.

Given the physics is the most generally failed section and currently the just thing girlfriend can problem for, it provides sense to take it physics very seriously. If you want to job-related War machine into your studying, you can conceivably perform so in the start to ultimately (after years of training) to shot to understand physics, then check out the much shorter CTC sections throughout your devoted review closer come the exam. Or simply read War an equipment and skip the CTC section. Yet this is a safe pass if no of those scenarios appeal come you. It just isn’t crucial: they’re so comparable where that counts.

Both versions include a fair amount of nitty-gritty details the from my endure were simply not ~ above the Core, which yes, really does have actually largely clinically relevant physics focused on dose, safety, picture quality, and image manipulation. Both space definitely more on suggest than Huda. Conversely, neither source emphasis the relative dose of assorted exams (i.e. How plenty of mSv is the reliable dose that an median chest CT), which is necessary material for the Core.

On a personal level, War an equipment + Physics 300 were sufficient for me to easily pass physics ~ above the exam. I took pleasure in the extra little bit of depth and also used that to replace (not supplement) the CTC section.

Verdict: Plus/minus. A pleasant but not crucial addition if girlfriend have/read CTC.

See more: Muscles Of The Interosseous Membrane Is Located Between The __________.

Crack the main point Exam – instance Companion

The CTC case Companion help flesh out the truth that CTC is impressively not image-rich because that a radiology text.

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125 Aunt Minnie cases, 50 compare “this vs that” cases (e.g. Cholesterol granuloma vs. Cholesteatoma), and also 30 high yield anatomy asked in the context of 600 multiple choice questions with combined physics for ~$30. An excellent book of low-hanging fruit, solid value. Again, intermittently funny however full the mistakes, choose this awesomely reversed labeling that Galeazzi and Monteggia fractures: