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Doctors In Training (DIT) - Recommended?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by DocYuki, Mar 26, 2009.

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  1. DocYuki

    DocYuki The Gamer Student

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    Hey SDN,
    It's been a long, long time since my last post, haha. I've been busy with the notorious pre-clinical years.

    I am preparing for Step I, which I am scheduled to take on June 3rd, 2009. I have the essentials ready to go once finals are over on May 8th:

    -First Aid 2009
    -Goljan Audio and RR Book
    -USMLE World
    -Clinical Micro Made Ridiculously Simple
    -BRS Physio, Path

    But there's one major detail. I am the kind of guy who, when it comes to things like preparing for Step I, needs something structured; a push, if you will. I'm not confident I can get up every morning and cover all I need to by myself.

    I wouldn't consider a KAPLAN course because they are too expensive and I know that company doesn't bode well with me from previous experience. I was considering this little company: http://doctorsintraining.com/

    I have zero knowledge of how they are. Noone at my med-school has an opinion, except for the fact that noone was impressed when they came and spoke to us. But has anyone on here tried them out? They offer, for $600, a series of lectures spanning 15 straight days, each day being 5-6 hours of lecture. The lectures are meant to be active-learning and they use First Aid 2009 as the text book. I don't see how this could go wrong, but the guy who lectures kind of creeps me out. I don't know if I trust him...he might just read straight off of First Aid and waste my $600.

    So money, and more importantly, good test prep technique is at stake. I'm the kind of person who needs the push of watching daily lectures, but is this worth the cost?

    Anyone with first-hand experience or any idea beyond what I know (which is just what DIT says) is invited to offer an opinion. It would greatly help me out. Thanks! :luck:
  2. Gozar

    Gozar

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    i recently met an MS4 from a public school in texas who said, "i have one big piece of advice for step - doctors in training." this guy was not at the best school in the state, claimed to have a mediocre record in basic science and yet still scored a 267.

    this program used to be called what you need to know for the step. a big chunk of the upperclassmen at schools where you can take it swear by it. i have no idea why they changed the name. i feel like it used to be a january through may kind of thing, where the guy would send you questions and had a whole MS2 2nd semester schedule.

    bottom line - a lot of texas kinds swear by it as an easy way to get motivated to study for step.
  3. SupaManu

    SupaManu Superman

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    Hey I am signed up to take it and some current third years at my school recommended that we take this course (they all did really well on the step) Since Feb every monday thursday they email out questions w/the corresponding page number in First Aid, so I go thru and answer them and its been pretty good so far. The actual course is in may and its 2 weeks long.
  4. Chonson

    Chonson Junior Member

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    Dr. Jenkins is a UTMB grad, and his program used to only be available to UTMB students. Due to the popularity of his review course, he has started expanding and now offers courses in various locations. Most of the current UTMB class will take it, and everyone that I have spoken to that HAS taken it ended up satisfied.

    I HAVE heard that he basically just goes through FA, while adding little gems. He also gives daily quizzes and reviews the answers. I'm signed up for it - what's $600 in the long run?
  5. DocYuki

    DocYuki The Gamer Student

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    Thanks for the bump on the other thread, as well as the replies here!

    I've decided to go for it as well. I really, really need structure, and seeing as I plan to only take this test once, I'm going to drop the $ and go for it.
  6. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    There's an online intro to the course/strategy video on their website. They came to my school and did a similar presentation and I signed up.

    Basically I was looking for guided study as opposed to the total review.
  7. TRKATK

    TRKATK

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    Anyone who recently took this care to share an additional review ? :)
  8. nope80

    nope80 Resident

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    How do people think it compares to Kaplans DVDs?
  9. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68

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    I haven't been on SDN for a LONG time, lol... this is my first post since I was applying to med school, but I got pretty excited when I saw people looking at using DIT.

    I completed DIT last week actually. It was a great tool for a general second pass of the material (I recommend a first pass of FA and general overview). BJ moves extremely fast and plugs in pearls/mnemonics that will stick with you for weeks. The adjunct notes he gives you are great for recall and the way the lectures are setup it really gives you time to integrate, digest, answer his Q's and restart. They are very interactive.

    It is a 13 day program and I found it was best to do it over the course of roughly 2 and a half weeks with a break every 2 - 3 days. My goal was to listen/complete the lectures in 6 hours and then read RR path/DIT notes/review FA/my annotations during the lectures that I made. Of course some sections were way too much to keep up so that's what the extra day was built in for. I ended up finishing the series in 17 days taking 1 complete rest day and then 3 half rest days... I also did 50 Q's a night on USMLE world.

    It adds a lot of structure to your studying and I definitely noticed some large gains from it. Hope this helps... I'll answer any other q's you have about the program and I'll keep checking back on here.
  10. nope80

    nope80 Resident

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    Hey! THanks for the info. How do you think it compares to goljan? have you listened to kaplans dvds? I'm trying to figure out if it is worth the extra $$$.
  11. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68

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    The best bang for you $$$ is DIT I feel honestly... obviously I'm biased but Kaplan seems a little too minutiae oriented and detailed whereas DIT is going to use FA as your primary source and highlights for you what high yield annotations to make. Once you start adding more from USMLE World, RR goljan, and some of your other secondary sources you really start to notice that DIT fills in gaps that you wouldn't have got from elsewhere, especially with clinical pearls in pharm that I may have gotten from a Qbank but really aren't going to be apparent on first pass through a primary source. In terms of the goljan lectures... they are a good adjunct, but can't be the rock to your studying. Great for integrations, pearls, and conceptualizing things, but I haven't been using them as a 'sit down and listen and take notes' kinda thing... more of a passive learning tool when I'm in transit or on the treadmill, etc.
  12. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68

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    And to clarify, sorry, I would say Dr. Jenkins is very similar to Goljan in the way he integrates things... The lecture style is very interactive so its a little different, but all in all high yield info all the time...

    Oh and one more thing I forgot to add... DIT does surveys every year of people who take the USMLE that have taken DIT... they ask for recall on the 'high yield' diseases, etc. Throughout the course of the lectures Dr. Jenkins will give topics ratings... 5 star, 4 star, 3 star, 2 star.. ranging from high to low yield. 5 stars meaning, you will have a q on it, 4 stars 1 out of 4 have a q on it, etc. He'll even tell you when there's a topic he has never heard of someone having a q on. So it is all good at focusing too.
  13. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker Moderator Emeritus

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    I refuse to give a company $600 to help me read through a book that cost $45. I suppose if you really needed a structured program then it is good, but if you have learned how to study by yourself then I would say leave it alone. To be honest, UWorld is the most expensive thing I've bought so far and I believe it is the most valuable.
  14. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member

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    Is DIT a dvd series like the Kaplan DVDs people talk about time to time??
  15. hb2998

    hb2998

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    No, its online only. He tapes his recent live sessions, puts them online. They are under lock and key. You can't view an episode more than x number of times, and its only a 30 day membership.

    I've been signed up since last year.. my sessions will start at the end of may :D.
  16. DocYuki

    DocYuki The Gamer Student

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    Thanks for the info gsmithers68! I totally plan on using DIT because I need the structure. On my own I tend to drift around and over-study some things while skipping over or scanting on things I don't like. For me its an absolute need, and I have my other materials to go along with DIT + FA.
  17. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68

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    Everyone has their own opinion, but its not just that... he has a 300 page supplemental handout full of intergrative questions, charts, diagrams, and clinical pearls to add to FA... it is the primary source, but it isn't like he is just reading the sections to you. Sigh, if that was what it is then nobody would use it, but considering 90% of UTMB uses it, 40-50% at the rest of the texas schools, AND this year about 30/180 in my class are using it (and we are 1,500 miles from Texas) suggests that some people think its worth the money.
  18. HarveyCushing

    HarveyCushing

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    I am curious how many times you went through DIT? Did you feel comfortable after just going through it once? Or would you recommend going through it twice?
  19. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    I'm budgeting enough time to go through it 2x in the 30 days...

    I think the 2009 version of the course is supposed to be 15 days long (1-2 days longer than 2008)... that's supposed to become available sometime soon if it hasn't already. I don't have the stuff in front of me. I think anyone who took it before now had to use the 2008 recording.

    Anyway, if I get through it once and feel like I'm good in some areas, maybe I'll just focus on a few specific lectures on a second pass or just focus on practice questions.

    That's just my plan, not taking it 'till late June so can't let you know how it's working out until then.
  20. snowkhat

    snowkhat Member

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    :idea:

    I took the live course early this spring and plan on retaking the lectures in May (once, online). I don't think it's a waste of time at all if you need structure. Dr.Jenkins has study plans posted in the doctorsintraining.com website and you should take a look at them and see if you are prepared to put in the work. It's been really hard to follow with normal coursework, but not impossible. He expects you to finish FA at least 3 times and go through a qbank, twice. He does not just read you FA, it's more interactive with quizzes and worksheets.

    I will try to keep you posted on my progress and will let you know if everything worked out for the best!!:luck:
  21. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68

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    I went through it once. And I have highlighted the sections that I want to go over again... Like Depakote said, I have been using the 2008 edition and the 2009 is expanded so I have a few days on my subscription to review the 2009 edition thanks to some swindling and mutual understanding that I have to take my boards earlier than most and I could not use the 2009 to study...
  22. imable24

    imable24

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    It is possible to watch the lectures 2X? I'm making a schedule and I think I want to go through them at double speed the second time around.
  23. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    it is a 15 day course and you get 30 days worth of access... I'm going to go through it once, then get a second pass on the areas I feel week in and if there's still time, I'll do the rest of a second pass (or triple up on the real problem areas), but theoretically you should be able to fit 2 full passes in.
  24. Zweisamkeit

    Zweisamkeit y halo thar

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    I was wondering the same thing. Does anyone know if you can speed up the lectures?
  25. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68

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    :thumbup: this how I used it and I thought it was a great tool to really round out your knowledge base and prep you for that three week push at the end.
  26. imable24

    imable24

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    Can you speed up the lectures?
  27. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    Started my course today. 1 lecture in.


    ^no. It's pretty similar to youtube format. You stream the video, you can jump from place to place (meaning you can skip back to a section that was unclear) without having to re-download it or have it count as an extra viewing as long as you're doing it all in the same session.


    There are a lot of points where you pause the video to do a quiz. It's pretty interactive.


    We'll see. I've still got a lot more to go, I'll hopefully be able to give a better perspective in a week or two. If anyone has questions, I'll try to keep an eye open for this thread or you can PM me.



    BTW. at this point, it's going fast enough that I wouldn't be able to speed up the lectures. I'm hitting pause a lot.
  28. kryptik

    kryptik

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    Anymore updates?
  29. Sislo

    Sislo

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    I started yesterday and its pretty damn good and very interactive.We were mailed the study guide which he used to do the quiz and that help you remember the stuff if you have been quizzed on.Also no matter which subject he does, everyday he does a path review using those last pages in FA and say anything he know about those diseases also with pictures that I take my time to photo in my iphone.Also he batches through FA like a rocket.He does not start to read from page 1 to the last as I initally though.This is pretty damn good but you need to have some well defined acquaintance to the material in FA.

    Overall, good investment
  30. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    I finished week 1 yesterday and took NBME form 4 today. There has been a noticeable improvement in my score from baseline.

    The repetitive quizzing has been very helpful in my retention, I have to say... I do like the format.

    I'm probably going to use the rest of today as a decompression/review day. Do some dishes/laundry. I haven't decided whether I'll do day 6 tomorrow or use that to consolidate the information from week 1.

    My original plan was to power through the first 15 days of lecture and get a second look, but now I'm leaning towards taking it slower and consolidating the info then cherry picking a very few choice lectures at the end.
  31. medgirl85

    medgirl85

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    I'm taking the live version right now and I can say without a doubt that it has really really helped me solidify my knowledge and identify question types on USMLE-style quizzes. The best thing about it is the fact that he quizzes you incessantly so that stuff you go over actually sticks. In the past 3 days I've had about a 10% score improvement on USMLE world random 48s, and scored higher on the NBME practice form than I had before.
  32. sebsvenmdc

    sebsvenmdc

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    I'm doing it too. On day 8, right now. I'm going to go thru it only once because I'm taking down any extra stuff he says, and putting it in FA. I should be able to get the benefit of DIT thru using the marked up FA and the DIT manual that accompanies it. I think it's great too. He's a good teacher, and definitely not a burden to listen to...

    When I'm done with this whole deal, I will reveal everything in terms of test scores, UW averages, Kaplan, etc to advise others in the future. Good luck, guys.
  33. Zweisamkeit

    Zweisamkeit y halo thar

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    I'm on day 7 and so far I give the course :thumbup: :thumbup:

    I have to admit that I was grouchy initially when he made us fill in the worksheets and quizzes over and over and over...or that's what it seemed like to me. Now I have a change in heart because it really helps stuff stick! Also I struggled in micro and biostats but his explanations, mnemonics, and little tips for memorizing facts helped me out so much. I'm doing much better in those areas on UW.

    Best 600 bucks I've spent in a long time :thumbup:
  34. Veronicacronica

    Veronicacronica

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    I'm not entirely clear on something based on posts and looking at their website...How long is each lecture (or how long does it take you per day to listen to the lecture and do the quizzes)? Thanks
  35. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    3 lectures a day. The video runtime for each lecture averages somewhere around 70 min I'd say... It does take longer b/c you're frequently pausing the lectures to take quizzes.
    I also find my mind wandering so I'll pause the lecture a few times and take a short break if I think I'm not going to get as much out of it... works better for me that way. I also skip back if I need to repeat a point.

    I spend a good chunk of the day going through the lectures. 5+ hrs, maybe if you count all the break/quiz time.
  36. Booner

    Booner Member

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    I've made it through the first week and have to say I'm glad I took the plunge and purchased the course. As everyone has said, the quizzing works well and he does very much help in knowing what things to spend the most time with. As far as the video format goes, I'm glad to have the opportunity to pause and go back to hear something again or stop to think about something else that might have popped in my head. I'm glad they posted the video run time on the course page the other day. Just the day before I had thought about sending them an email to suggest it. I had planned on doing all the classes in 17 days, but think I'll stick to only doing five days of classes a week. That way I can take Saturday to review everything from the week. Hopefully things to continue to improve. The material I've covered in class has certainly improved my performance in those areas of World. Now that I'm about to start the organ systems my score will continue to improve even more.
  37. pepotonoto

    pepotonoto peptastic MSII

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    I was considering DIT during my last month (in August.) I'm doing Kaplan now. I talked to them about what you receive if you sign up, and they mentioned they will e-mail you all the supplemental questions from the past program and mail you a course book.

    Are these usmle style review questions? How many are there? How many pages is this course book, and is it something that can be rapidly covered? What's the book like? I guess you couldn't compare the course to kaplan, but does he go over fundamental concepts at times? Or is it a straight recap of everything you had already been expected to go over and do? They told me over the phone, that I should have gone through first aid at least once before starting the course. It was a tossup between this course, usmleRX or Kaplan Qbank for my last month...
  38. thedon35

    thedon35 DON

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    The part one questions are more like concept questions about certain topics in First Aid. I have not started the lectures yet but the book looks like it gets you to be very interactive with first aid. A question bank is recommended to go along with it (UW, Qbank, usmleRX). I know it is probably overkill.... but I have done UW... I am doing Qbank right now... and I will be doing usmleRX during the DIT lectures to solidify my knowledge. I just like a lot of repetition.
  39. NCF145

    NCF145 Not Politically Correct

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    Finished 1st day today...getting a refund. All he does is read from First Aid, which, in the end, is just a waste of study time. If you already have a good foundation, not worth it.

    Also, if you do the online course you get the supplemental book and the daily schedule. So, if you cancel after the first day of class you get everything offered by the course minus the video (pretty much all the extra stuff he says in the video is in his supplemental book) and you can follow the same study schedule as the course using the schedule you get in the mail for a total of $50 (after $550 refund).
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
  40. Dr. Love Pants

    Dr. Love Pants New Member

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    That's unfortunate about the first part. Cool trick on the second half of your post ha.

    Despite hearing good/bad, my main hold up has been having 2008 FA and having annotated everything into there already (did the whole binder thing and have all sorts of stuff everywhere). So question for DIT people and anyone else in general - how important is it to upgrade from '08 to '09 (keep in mind I have about a month left till I take the test). I know the DIT dude is gung ho "this wasn't in last years FA so it must be important!" but really... not sure if the update was that big a deal esp since FA is really not all inclusive anyway requiring us to read RR Path, some Immunology outside, Qbanks etc?

    So, Lemme know what you think - should I get the new edition of FA and spend time reannotating? In which case I'd be more likely to try this DIT shiz out... or is it possible to do the course w/ot 09?
  41. Zweisamkeit

    Zweisamkeit y halo thar

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    If you have the 09 edition then you'll have an easier time following along with him because he makes page references. However, if you're really acquainted with the 08 edition, then I doubt you'll have a problem navigating. If I were you, I'd just stick with the 08 edition. There's no way in the world I'd want to reannotate FA again, but eh, maybe it would be a good review. :confused:
  42. thedon35

    thedon35 DON

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    I was in the same boat.... I ended up re-annotating the FA 2009. I really didn't want to but actually there were a lot of things in the 2009 that I annotated in the 2008. It might be worth it if you plan on doing the program.
  43. DrMichelle

    DrMichelle Junior Member

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    I have FA 2009, and I think it's worth the investment. Even in the first few days, there have been a lot of sections that he mentioned are in FA for the first time this year. I'm really a big fan of DIT so far - yes, sometimes it is a little repetitive with the FA material, but it is extremely helpful to have someone pacing you through all of the material in 15 days.

    My one big failure of studying up to this point was to focus on the material that I felt somewhat comfortable with, and to keep avoiding the subjects that I was scared of/unprepared for.
  44. Depakote

    Depakote CA-3 Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

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    I had the 2008 version (minimally annotated) and wound up getting the 2009 version for the course. Given the jumping around that goes on and the number of new subjects... personally I thought it was worth the investment.
  45. medicine21

    medicine21

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    Hey guys!

    I'm doing DIT...I'm about halfway through the online course and it is taking me a lot longer than I thought it would. So....I am not going to be able to do much more than DIT and kaplan q-bank questions. I was wondering if there was anything else you guys thought would be worth trying to squeeze in there???

    Or if someone can post who has taken the course previous years---was DIT and questions enough?

    Thanks!!!! :)
  46. abuecker

    abuecker RN MSII

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Springfield IL
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I've been impressed, though I don't take Step 1 till next Monday, I took the first UW Sim Test the Weekend I started DIT and got a 195, I took the 2nd UW Sim Test yesterday and got a 221 on it, so in three weeks I'd say that was progress. I still have this last week and I plan on watching the first 5 days again with reviewing First Aid. Of course I can't supplement Dr. Goljan so I'm listening to his first 18 lectures again Monday to Wednesday, and I'm still doing questions. I know people talk about shutting down on questions just before the test but I really just figure that if I've seen and understand 10+ times as many questions as I actually have next Monday, they really can't ask me anything too different!
  47. SnowTown

    SnowTown SNOW BABY!!!

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    267
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Yeah... I'm not so sure...

    In the week before I started doing DIT I improved 20 points on NBME studying on my own

    Through 10 DIT lectures out of 15 in about 2 weeks, I improved a whopping 5 points on NBME

    The +20 in a week versus +5 in two weeks might simply be that one form had materials i'm more familiar with... state of mind when I took the NBME (I was dead tired when I took the very first one)...

    I dunno... not sure if I want to finish the last week of DIT or just go off on my own. I wasn't able to cover much if any of Goljan path (stuck at about half way done)... it's funny, i also got HY neuroanatomy, behavioral science, RR biochem...etc but have yet to read a page out of any of them

    ...guess i'll best stick to the last 5 lectures to finish covering the materials that I haven't so far and use the last 2 weeks to focus on my weaknesses???
  48. Lamotrigine

    Lamotrigine

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I am went through FA in one week 60 pgs a day....50 q a day on UWorld. 61% avg. During the year I did about 1/3 of USMLERx 69%. Let's see if this course helps me improve. Best of luck to all. Hopefully I finish all of goljan audio.
  49. cosine

    cosine

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Alright so i'm thinking of getting this course. I have a little over a month left and i have around a 215-225 avg on the nbm'es/world assessments.

    I just want to make sure, the lectures are approximately 3 hrs a day? So theoretically i could finish the course in 2 weeks, do usmleworld along with it, also maybe read goljan as well. Is that being too ambitious or would it be possible?
  50. medicine21

    medicine21

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Well, I have 5 days of DIT left...so if I stay on schedule, I will end up with one week to study on my own. I like the program so far...I just hope it's enough, because I haven't been able to do anything but DIT and questions. During the school year, I listened to some Goljan.

    I guess my plan is to try go through FA again after I finish DIT and do as many questions as I can. I was just wondering if anyone, who used/is using similar resources/schedule, had any other very HY advice!

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