Mar 26, 2010
In my head
I've been regularly browsing Step 1 threads here since I was accepted into med school a few months ago (i'm starting M1 this september). Bit early for this section of the forum but... everyone says success on Step 1 starts with a strong basic sciences FOUNDATION so please help a noob.

I'm an IMG (will be anyway), and my med school curriculum isn't in the "USMLE-style", so although I'll study hard and try to understand/retain as much information as possible from the required textbooks, I wanted some recommendations for good American textbooks that explain things more in the "USMLE-style" (for lack of a better term).

I figure I'll use them along with the curriculum by reading up on what we're studying. Do you think this will be impossible (reading two sets of books)? I'm all for difficult and I have time :D. Also, would it be wiser to get some Step 1 review books and use them for this instead? Like Kaplan, RR, Robbins, etc. for each subject? If so, which ones? I don't want very concise ones because I'll use them alongside my textbooks throughout the year. M1 for me is phys, anat, biochem, histology (3 yrs basic sciences). Recommendations for those?

Also, I read somewhere here that M1 students should get a heads up on path? Should I get big Robbins now?

Sorry for being so anal, but USMLE is my only hope because I'm a US citizen/not a citizen of the country I'm in, and can't practice medicine in the public sector here.
Last edited:


10+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2008
Houston, TX
Medical Student
I'd read BRS physiology along with your physiology course, and then use Lippincotts Biochemistry or maybe Rapid Review Biochemistry during that class. Histology and anatomy aren't highly tested on step one, so there is no need to buy anything aside from what your school recommends for those. Just try to do well in those classes, and you'll be fine. I'd buy First Aid as well and review sections that are relevant to what you are studying at the time so that you know what type of facts are commonly tested in particular subjects. Other than that, just try to do well in class. Hope that helps a little