2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2017
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I'm currently a first year and would love some Anki vet wisdom.

I will be taking a P/F Step 1 after my clinical year (which ends in second year for me), and am wrapping up my didactics now. I've used Anki (anking v7-9) on and off throughout physiology and pathophysiology and its been amazing when I've been able to keep up with it. But I'm not really motivated at this point (bc it's a ****ing grind and P/F step) and am leaning on my school's curriculum. It's truly only useful if you do it everyday, and for me, that means doing it every day until Jan/Feb 2023, which isn't happening lmao. As I get closer to the start date of my clinical year, I'm growing increasingly anxious and feel like I don't know **** about ****. SO, my questions are as follows:

1) Will forgoing Anking hurt my performance on the wards? I've learned a lot of clinical medicine mostly through BnB/Pathoma and I've noticed that I just know more when I see patients and feel more comfortable on my clinic days.

2) Will forgoing Anking hinder my ability to do well on Step 2 CK? I heard from upperclassmen that doing anki religiously for step 1 has helped them prepare well for step 2. I want to go in a competitive surgical speciality and hope to do well enough for that.

3) Ultimately, my goal is to become a good clinician and diagnostician, but my memory is absolute ass. The anki that I've done has stuck with me from day 1, as opposed to when I leaned on my curriculum, where i've forgotten a lot already. What's your advice on retaining a broad foundation of clinical knowledge without having to do anki every day?

4) What are your thoughts on keeping me news to only 10-20 cards per day and sticking with that?

Thank you all so much!!
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Elite Medical Prep

SDN Gold Donor
Jan 5, 2021
Hey! I feel your pain. Anki is a grind sometimes, but it's worth it if your goal is to do well on your exams. To answer your questions:
  1. I would try your best to keep up on anki. Step 2 CK builds on Step 1 and you'll be tested on that information again. It will be more practical and less esoteric, but it will be there.
  2. Learn how you learn best. The best advice I got in medical school was, "don't listen to anyone's advice, including this advice." That's frustrating... I know... but you have to do what works for you. When I was starting medical school in the stone age, I found Anki and stuck with it. I was one of two people in my class who used it, and many of my classmates told me it was overkill. By the end of MS2, most of my class was using it. :) You have to do what works for you. I had a friend who did practice questions and read big Robbins, and he and I got the same score on Step 1. Do what works.
  3. What do you mean by, "your memory is absolute ass"? haha try to be kind to yourself. What I've found is that the knowledge will stay there if you use it. Anki is a good way to keep using it. Another great way to keep using it is to be active on wards. Keep in mind that what's on your wards a) might not be on your exams and b) might be wrong or outdated (or even up to date where the exam is not). My experience with knowledge retention is that I have all these facts ferreted away in my brain somewhere and they kind of... come to me? when I need them. I couldn't tell you where I learned them though. They've transitioned from short term to long term memory, I suppose. Trust that, as you study and learn, you will become an expert eventually and you will be a good clinician!
  4. If that works for you, do it. Just make sure you're being thorough. Shelf exams (especially IM, surgery, and peds) can be quite broad. Make sure you're at least seeing all the testable material before your exam.
Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy to help!

- Eric
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