Ramoray

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2002
832
4
Visit site
Status
I am wondering if anyone else has decided to scrap first aid use despite all the hype? I bought one in summer and used to go through it a bit while going through the brs or whatever review book i was doing and i realized for example BRS neuro covered everything in FA and alot more. Or path or lippin biochem etc. They all cover everything that FA has and more so i figure if i study and know the other review books well and go more for an overall understanding of things that will be even better. THe more i hear step1 is going away from memoring, what good is it to memorize all those facts from FA, it has like no understanding involved and i just cant see that helping u on a conceptual test. anyone else?
 

scootad.

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2001
889
145
Visit site
Status
Keep repeating that to yourself and you might start believing it.

sorry, but there's no way around it. there's a ton of memorization required for step 1. concepts will get you nowhere.
 
OP
Ramoray

Ramoray

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2002
832
4
Visit site
Status
scootad. said:
Keep repeating that to yourself and you might start believing it.

sorry, but there's no way around it. there's a ton of memorization required for step 1. concepts will get you nowhere.
I also understand this but I am saying if you memorize everything needed to be memorized from the respective review books ie neuro, bchem, pathbrs etc etc then is it necessary to use FA as well or my point is that the review books will cover anything FA does AND will give some conceptual understanding or a "story" behind what your memorizing. is that not true, are there things in FA that arent in other books
 
About the Ads

Doc Ivy

Miss Understood
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2003
839
2
Seattle
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
scootad. said:
Keep repeating that to yourself and you might start believing it.

sorry, but there's no way around it. there's a ton of memorization required for step 1. concepts will get you nowhere.

I agree with Scootad. Yes-- concepts will probably help, and the more you understand the less you have to memorize, BUT I think FA helps you focus your attention on the really high yield stuff you know.

I was a First Aid hold out too, but I finally caved and bought it a month ago.
 

HEME-ONC

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 24, 2003
119
0
Visit site
Status
Allow first aid to show you what is going to be on the exam. If you come across something that needs more explanation then look it up in BRS. Don't complicate your life the exam will provide all the complication you need. Do Qbank and finish it and you will be fine.
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
scootad. said:
Keep repeating that to yourself and you might start believing it.

sorry, but there's no way around it. there's a ton of memorization required for step 1. concepts will get you nowhere.
He's right. All students use First Aid, but to varying degrees. The worst part of the book is on the back cover when they brag on the number of copies sold and, in the same sentence, state that it is "a secret weapon" for the Step I -- Great logic. :rolleyes:
 

JMK2005

Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2004
678
19
Status
Attending Physician
Ramoray said:
I am wondering if anyone else has decided to scrap first aid use despite all the hype?...
Ramoray... I think there is a misunderstanding when you hear upperclassmen talk about how FA is all that you need for step 1. I'm currently a 4th year -- so to give you some perspective on who is giving this advice.

You should use FA AND everything else you mentioned in a synergistic fashion. FA represent the minimum that you need to know for step 1. It serves as a great overview book. In preparation for step one, I think I went through FA about 3-4 times... each time going through it a little faster, picking out something I hadn't notice before.

All the little things i thought were important and helped my understanding that I got from Hi-Yield, BRS, Lippencott, and even Big Robbins... I would annotate on the margins of my FA.

So... memorizing FA is worthless. But every line of FA represents pages of understanding that get from the other books.

Hey... if you don't want to follow the FA bandwagon, there are other good overview books that you SHOULD use in CONJUNCTION with all those other review books.

Disclaimer: Like everything that you read on SDN... take my advice with a grain of salt. Find what works for you and stick to it!!!

G'luck :luck: to everyone on the test. Studing hard and doing LOTS of question will serve you well.
 

the_equalizer

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2003
106
0
Visit site
Status
I feel you Ramoray. I was just thinking today that I don't even want to use first aid. I mean, tis liek a random bunch of facts, no elaboration, no explanation. Why would I reaed that when I could read hy/brs? I'm thinking now I 'll use it as a quick review, and before the test use it to make sure I covered everything in it. But time changes things, and as time runs out and the pressure mounts, my money says first aid is going to become our favorite book too.
 

DHMO

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2004
186
0
Status
I have been using first aid and trying to memorize it--every word in the book. When I don't understand, or don't remember what it is talking about, then I look up that topic in a review book or text book and write stuff in the margins so that it is clear the next time I look at it. I have also been doing Q-bank questions, and I often will remeber a specific box or diagram from first aid that holds the key to the answer. So, I think FA is extremely useful in preparing for step 1. You should already have most of the concepts down from taking first and second year classes. FA is there to give you the facts that you need to know for the exam.
 

irrka

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2005
405
1
Status
Ok. i used step up figuring that it covered the same stuff as FA but better organized. oh and of course i annotated the daylights out of the step up using the brs books and vignettes and you name it. i did look at FA in the very end just for drug side effects i think (biotin-flushing i still remember and i took it 4 years ago; half way through third year, havent seen anyone use biotin yet, but who's counting). Then during the actual test realized that i probably should've looked at FA a LOT more carefully since some of the questions were straight out of the high yield stuff (the kind of thing where your brain goes--hey! i've seen this before! and i can see the exact page i'd seen it on!! i just cant see what the answer is!)
so i'd say.... other books are good for concepts and such, but make sure you do look at the FA pretty carefully.
 

Furrball

Faking sincerity daily
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2005
248
0
Pacific NW
Status
I did not like FA. I used BRS and NMS review books and QBank. Step 1 score was 236. I used FA for step 2 a little bit, but I just do not like how it is set up. I'm still waiting to hear about how I did on CK.
 

SLUsagar

rock chalk jayhawk
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2004
512
1
Visit site
Status
I found FIRST AID (step 1) to be the BIBLE of all sources for good, summarized, efficient step 1 prep..memorize it, and you're guaranteed not only a pass but a very solid score.

FIRST AID step 2 is good too okay, but honestly, 80% of questions you'll get just by being an ms3 (aka not nec. by studying).
 
B

Blade28

I used FA as an "outline" when I studied for Step 1 - I ended up annotating it with notes from other sources.
 
About the Ads

T.A.M

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2002
245
0
43
Philadelphia, PA
Visit site
Status
I didn't use FA, and I ended up scoring in the top 60th percentile for USMLE and top 80th percentile in COMLEX.
 
OP
Ramoray

Ramoray

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2002
832
4
Visit site
Status
T.A.M said:
I didn't use FA, and I ended up scoring in the top 60th percentile for USMLE and top 80th percentile in COMLEX.
Not to rain on your parade but i wouldnt exactly scoring in the 60th percentile something to brag about and second they dont post percentiles for step 1 so how would you know that?

Also i have been looking at fa for neuro and path as that is what i am doing right now, rather for neuroanatomy and neuropath exactly and i have been using BRS neuro and path and when i compared it to FA, there was nothing at all FA had that brs didnt clearly have so again i am just not sure why fa is so great.. but i am still giving it a chance
 
B

Blade28

Ramoray said:
Not to rain on your parade but i wouldnt exactly scoring in the 60th percentile something to brag about and second they dont post percentiles for step 1 so how would you know that?
You can calculate it based on the given mean and standard deviation. For my year, it was 217 and 24, respectively. So a score of 241 would have been in the top 16%, I believe (100% - [50% + 34%]).
 

PTOSIS

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2004
86
0
Status
ramoray, u are such a jerk. maybe u should get your head out of robbins and develop some people skills.
 

T.A.M

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2002
245
0
43
Philadelphia, PA
Visit site
Status
Thank you, Blade. 60th percentile (or top 40% not top 60%), is not too shabby, if I must say so. But I'm sure scoring has far more to do with individual study methods, not with what book you use. If you're willing to pay the hefty price, Kaplan's home study course has an excellent, if rather extensive neuroanatomy section.
 

automaton

drone
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 25, 2004
1,063
6
assembly line
Status
why read first aid? i already read robbins and katzung and none of those books require any memorization, so theoretically i know everything right now. isn't that right ramoray?
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
PTOSIS said:
ramoray, u are such a jerk. maybe u should get your head out of robbins and develop some people skills.
....or at least a high school junior's knowledge-level of statistics. ;)
 

Idiopathic

Newly Minted
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2003
8,362
18
Here
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
I think people who think that FA was the key to their 240+ or whatever score they got really learned a lot more during pre-clinical years, so FA was more review rather than new material.

It is worthless for COMLEX though.
 

docslytherin

Tenacious D.O.
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2002
250
0
Birmingham, AL
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
i've heard from many people who took the USMLE last year that they wish they'd looked more at FA. most of them have said that they didn't realize how much of the exam was direct questioning and how many of them were actually contained in FA.
 

klubguts

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
166
0
the big D
Status
FA for step 1 is a concise and excellent resource IMHO. While some of conceptual explainations are lacking, this book provides you a great summary of high yield facts that are consistently tested. I was initially hesitant to use it (i.e. thought i needed to use a bunch of other texts), but FA became my primary source and i added occ. notes in the margins as Blade28 suggested. Y'all should study from whatever texts you are comfortable with, but i would not dismiss this book so quickly. Best of luck.
 

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
It's like Paris Hilton. At first, it may be easy to dismiss her because of her money, etc., but don't be fooled: She is an amazing and qualified actress. And so it goes with FA...........:)
 

klubguts

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
166
0
the big D
Status
bigfrank said:
It's like Paris Hilton. At first, it may be easy to dismiss her because of her money, etc., but don't be fooled: She is an amazing and qualified actress. And so it goes with FA...........:)
EXACTLY what i was trying to say....great comparison!!!
 

docslytherin

Tenacious D.O.
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2002
250
0
Birmingham, AL
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
bigfrank said:
It's like Paris Hilton. At first, it may be easy to dismiss her because of her money, etc., but don't be fooled: She is an amazing and qualified actress. And so it goes with FA...........:)
HA HA HA HA!!!!! that's hilarious!!
 

Buster Douglas

Unregistered User
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 22, 2003
315
1
Visit site
Status
Medical Student
Idiopathic said:
It is worthless for COMLEX though.
Could you elaborate on that, por favor? :)
 

Idiopathic

Newly Minted
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2003
8,362
18
Here
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
It is as if the authors of COMLEX test questions go through FA and pull out any question that is referenced, even remotely, in the text.

I may be exaggerating a little, but you could get a better resource by picking blindly through a stack of medical reference books, I believe.
 

Elysium

Not Really An Old Beaver
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2001
2,014
5
46
Austin
Visit site
Status
Non-Student
Idiopathic said:
It is as if the authors of COMLEX test questions go through FA and pull out any question that is referenced, even remotely, in the text.

I may be exaggerating a little, but you could get a better resource by picking blindly through a stack of medical reference books, I believe.
Oh lord. :eek:

When those clowns came to our school to go through the NBOME song and dance (we're not taking it until next year) and I asked them why the COMLEX has a rep for being a badly written test they told me "medical students like to complain". That was their stunning assesment.

So, if FA is useless for COMLEX, what would you recommend instead?
 

joshua_msu

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2002
269
0
Visit site
Status
Idiopathic said:
It is as if the authors of COMLEX test questions go through FA and pull out any question that is referenced, even remotely, in the text.

I may be exaggerating a little, but you could get a better resource by picking blindly through a stack of medical reference books, I believe.


Im am taking both exams. Using FA, Step Up, BRS, HY, etc.

Since you dont recommend FA for the COMLEX, what is the next best thing?
 
About the Ads