Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
Just finished up my round of step 1 exams and had pretty good results. Felt like I could help those of you about to begin your journey by offering some tips, as well as by answering any other questions I fail to address in my original post.

Resources: Pathoma, Sketchy Micro, First Aid 2016, Lange Pharm flashcards, BRS Physio, HY Neuroanatomy, Savarese (OMM)

Supplemental Texts for reference: Goljan RR Path (never read cover to cover and I don't think it is necessary to), Wikipedia (honestly used this more than I probably should have for quick references)

QBANKS: UW (untimed tutor by system starting in Januray), then USMLERx (timed random 44 Q Blocks), then COMBANK (timed random 50 Q blocks), then UW again (timed random 40 Q blocks during dedicated)


COMLEX
""
USMLE
""
 
Last edited:
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
10, 13, 10 mcat (relatively speaking didn't study for it nearly as hard as step 1)

Ortho, really interested in pinnacle health program
 
Last edited:

MelMcT2009

2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2016
374
188
Status
Medical Student
Just finished up my round of step 1 exams and had pretty good results. Felt like I could help those of you about to begin your journey by offering some tips, as well as by answering any other questions I fail to address in my original post.

Resources: Pathoma, Sketchy Micro, First Aid 2016, Lange Pharm flashcards, BRS Physio, HY Neuroanatomy, Savarese (OMM)

Supplemental Texts for reference: Goljan RR Path (never read cover to cover and I don't think it is necessary to), Wikipedia (honestly used this more than I probably should have for quick references)

QBANKS: UW (untimed tutor by system starting in Januray), then USMLERx (timed random 44 Q Blocks), then COMBANK (timed random 50 Q blocks), then UW again (timed random 40 Q blocks during dedicated)


COMLEX
""
USMLE
""
Killed! Congrats! What were your NBME scores? COMSAE?
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
Comsae E - 750
Comsae D - 675

I did NBME 15-18 but only bought NBME 18, which I got a 262 predicted.

Comsae D underpredicts.
NBME exams (16-18) good predictions.
 

MelMcT2009

2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2016
374
188
Status
Medical Student
Comsae E - 750
Comsae D - 675

I did NBME 15-18 but only bought NBME 18, which I got a 262 predicted.

Comsae D underpredicts.
NBME exams (16-18) good predictions.
Sweet, my scores were creepily close, so I hope I can come out somewhere near yah!

How did you feel after USMLE about the test?

Congrats again!
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
Sweet, my scores were creepily close, so I hope I can come out somewhere near yah!

How did you feel after USMLE about the test?

Congrats again!
I left the USMLE about 80 minutes ahead of schedule and didn't feel too awful leaving it. Contrary to popular opinion I actually thought my USMLE exam was more nitpicky than my COMLEX exam in terms of minutiae on the test. COMLEX I left with even left confidence than the USMLE and was certainly more crunched for time compared to the USMLE. I would recommend to any future test takers to schedule the USMLE ahead of COMLEX at the same testing center to get your bearings.
 
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AlteredScale

Staff member
Administrator
5+ Year Member
May 10, 2013
7,607
6,824
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Medical Student
@jc294813 can you go into more detail in regards to how you utilized your resources throughout second year? Do you think doing UWorld untimed tutor in January helped you and did you go through all of UWorld that time?
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
+AlteredScale

My advice would be to find the best people available on the internet for a basic discipline and use them to teach you the subject. I used Lionel Raymon kaplan videos to teach me pharm (and some Biochem - Lionel is great), Turco for biochem, and Sattar/Goljan for pathology. Those three disciplines along with a skim through block-relevant costanzo physiology will give you the majority of the base you NEED to succeed on step 1. If your foundation is weak your auxiliary studies will be too. Assuming you have a strong conceptual foundation - which I think is the most important part about studying for step 1- your studying will be much more effective.

My answer to both your questions is "Yes". I did all of UW beginning in mid January and would absolutely recommend it because it helps you reinforce concepts and solidify your foundation before you really start the grind (which I already established is paramount to success).

The sooner you lay the foundation the more parallels you will make as you work which helps you to integrate your knowledge (the efficient way to tackle the large amount of material). I used First Aid since year 1 and read that along with my coursework to at least be familiar with most things in a given chapter. As for second semester of year two, I stuck to mostly pathoma (Goljan supplement if I wanted more detail), first aid, uworld (can add more qbanks if you have the time [UW > Kaplan > Rx >= Combank (DO)]).

TLDR: Have a good foundation through whichever resources teach you the material best. Start UW early to solidify foundation then hit it again during dedicated.
 

mymembernames

10+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2009
801
208
Status
Medical Student
Congrats! Did you have first aid pretty much memorized by the time you took your test?
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
Congrats! Did you have first aid pretty much memorized by the time you took your test?
This is hard for me to say. I certainly understood most of what was in first aid. I definitely had the biochem and mbi chapters memorized. Towards the end I focused on learning the minutiae once I felt I had a firm handle on most of the larger important areas within each field. Is it beneficial to be able to recall all of first aid from memory for USMLE? I would say yes, because there were times on both tests that I would be on the fence about a somewhat easy fact "is nitrofurantoin a sulfa drug or not - I remember that one tripped me up (it isn't)". Sometimes there are extensive lists of things (eg causes of ARDS) that I don't think in hindsight are really worth cramming all the reasons - as long as you can identify the clinical picture of ARDS you'd most likely get questions right.
 
Dec 1, 2014
1,740
1,614
This is hard for me to say. I certainly understood most of what was in first aid. I definitely had the biochem and mbi chapters memorized. Towards the end I focused on learning the minutiae once I felt I had a firm handle on most of the larger important areas within each field. Is it beneficial to be able to recall all of first aid from memory for USMLE? I would say yes, because there were times on both tests that I would be on the fence about a somewhat easy fact "is nitrofurantoin a sulfa drug or not - I remember that one tripped me up (it isn't)". Sometimes there are extensive lists of things (eg causes of ARDS) that I don't think in hindsight are really worth cramming all the reasons - as long as you can identify the clinical picture of ARDS you'd most likely get questions right.
Just finished first block of med school. Is acing or getting high Bs on the course material the best way to prepare for the STEP? Also, how did you go about studying OPP?

Did you take the USMLE first?

Anything you would have done differently or would advise us future DO students to take into account when studying for the USMLE?

Congrats once again. Killin' the game.
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
Just finished first block of med school. Is acing or getting high Bs on the course material the best way to prepare for the STEP? Also, how did you go about studying OPP?

Did you take the USMLE first?

Anything you would have done differently or would advise us future DO students to take into account when studying for the USMLE?

Congrats once again. Killin' the game.
Sorry for delay, been busy on IM rotation.

Study for your schools course material but do so using board prep material as much as you can. Use online videos (via file sharing torrents) for relevant pharm (lionel raymon videos) or biochem (Turco videos). Buy two years of Pathoma and start watching it along with your blocks - Dr. Sattar is literally amazing - on test day I heard his voice whirring in my mind on multiple questions and he helps you lay that pathology foundation that is so vital to your pre-clinical years.

I took USMLE 1 week ahead of COMLEX. I studied for OPP multiple times throughout the year using the relevant chapters in Greenbook I then annotated COMBANK OPP into Greenbook when I went through COMBANK the first time and then did COMBANK OPP questions again in the week b/t (I did NOT use the practice tests in the back of Greenbook- they were absurd). I can vividly recall multiple times where an answer on my COMLEX was from a specific sentence in Savarese - do not overlook this book.

Would I have done anything differently? I would have watched Lionel Raymon pharm videos, Turco biochem videos, and read relevant chapters in Goljan RR path along with my first 18 months of school (along with the relevant organ system being taught at that time) to lay a better foundation. Other than that I don't think there is much I would change - stick to the plan and be critical of the areas you need to improve on going into Jan (or feb or march - depending on when you start) of second year.

Firm believer anyone can get above a 250/650 if you spend your winter break of second year really formulating a plan and sticking to it using the resources that have been proven to be most helpful.
 

cdistel

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2008
202
42
Asheville
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Congrats on the score. So during your winter break is when you did Uworld?
 
Aug 3, 2013
463
537
Status
Medical Student
Some questions I have,
Are you in the top quartile of your class?
Did you use or ever try Firecracker?
What advice would you give an OMS-I to do their best on boards/school? Read Robbins? Start Firecracker? etc.
Thanks dude/dudette. Those are beast scores and I wish you all the very best in third year!
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
I studied for about 6 months, never more than 10 hours a day but typically more than 4 hours a day at the minimum. I tried to always do something every day. This test only closes doors it doesn't solidify any spots.
 
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May 13, 2016
12
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pre-Medical, Medical Student, MD/PhD Student, Resident [Any Field], Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician, Academic Administration
Congrats! Great scores!
 

sab3156

7+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2011
1,004
992
Status
Medical Student
Nice scores.

1) What do you think about Firecracker? Did you use it at all?

2) Are you only going to apply to AOA Ortho? Why or why not?
 
OP
J
Dec 24, 2015
14
13
Status
Medical Student
1) What do you think about Firecracker? Did you use it at all?

Yes I used it (at a bar with a buddy who bought it once just to see what it was like).

I think it would work, but I didn't think it was worth the money.

2) Are you only going to apply to AOA Ortho? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

Yes AOA. I'm not the kind of guy to suicide rush acgme ortho, even with good scores. Applying to both is not realistic because AOA match is before acgme.
 
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MedNation907

Chasing Awesome-ness
2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2015
525
291
28
Status
Medical Student
Any advice for those of use going into our winter break? Other than working through my Qbank, I don't have a plan.
 

mymembernames

10+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2009
801
208
Status
Medical Student
Just finished up my round of step 1 exams and had pretty good results. Felt like I could help those of you about to begin your journey by offering some tips, as well as by answering any other questions I fail to address in my original post.

Resources: Pathoma, Sketchy Micro, First Aid 2016, Lange Pharm flashcards, BRS Physio, HY Neuroanatomy, Savarese (OMM)

Supplemental Texts for reference: Goljan RR Path (never read cover to cover and I don't think it is necessary to), Wikipedia (honestly used this more than I probably should have for quick references)

QBANKS: UW (untimed tutor by system starting in Januray), then USMLERx (timed random 44 Q Blocks), then COMBANK (timed random 50 Q blocks), then UW again (timed random 40 Q blocks during dedicated)


COMLEX
""
USMLE
""
What were your Qbank averages for Uworld and Rx if you don't mind posting? Trying to get a rough idea of where I stand. TIA.
 

Fedxup

5+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2013
712
174
Status
Medical Student
Do you mind sharing what you did everyday to study? What was your plan?