postbacpremed87

7+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2011
2,049
588
Status
Medical Student
Okay so I am in my planning phase for boards. I will preface this by saying that I will be taking both the USMLE and COMLEX. I wanted to run things by people and get several last minute opinions before I spend $1000+ on board review material.

* What are your thoughts on courses like DIT? Are they really needed if one uses UWORLD + First Aid + USMLERx + Pathoma?

* Courses like DIT don't really begin until January and they are REALLY expensive and based on their video reveal dates have me taking the USMLE in April. I am not taking it until June.

* My goal is to take the USMLE early June and the COMLEX a few weeks later after COMBANK + Savarese.

* Will I be fine doing the following November - May (UWorld 2-3x; First Aid; USMLERx ; Pathoma) Take Step 1 first week of June 2016, then do COMBANK and Savarese for 2 weeks, then take COMLEX? How do you develop pacing for the Steps if you do maybe 40 questions at a time in UWorld. To me UWorld is more of a go through a couple dozen at your own pace and learn why you get them wrong versus a simulated test environment.

How would you tackle it all? I kind of want to get a head start on boards and do minor studying before it picks up next spring. I know this is a long topic, but any answers would be appreciated.
 

dfib slim

7+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2012
1,266
1,012
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Okay so I am in my planning phase for boards. I will preface this by saying that I will be taking both the USMLE and COMLEX. I wanted to run things by people and get several last minute opinions before I spend $1000+ on board review material.

* What are your thoughts on courses like DIT? Are they really needed if one uses UWORLD + First Aid + USMLERx + Pathoma?

* Courses like DIT don't really begin until January and they are REALLY expensive and based on their video reveal dates have me taking the USMLE in April. I am not taking it until June.

* My goal is to take the USMLE early June and the COMLEX a few weeks later after COMBANK + Savarese.

* Will I be fine doing the following November - May (UWorld 2-3x; First Aid; USMLERx ; Pathoma) Take Step 1 first week of June 2016, then do COMBANK and Savarese for 2 weeks, then take COMLEX? How do you develop pacing for the Steps if you do maybe 40 questions at a time in UWorld. To me UWorld is more of a go through a couple dozen at your own pace and learn why you get them wrong versus a simulated test environment.

How would you tackle it all? I kind of want to get a head start on boards and do minor studying before it picks up next spring. I know this is a long topic, but any answers would be appreciated.
I started last December by working up to a block a day using USMLERx. Finished mid February and started a 90 day Uworld. By doing a block a day I finished it twice by mid May. Went through First Aid and Pathoma during that time. Squeezed in one more thorough pass of First Aid and Kaplan Qbank until the beginning of June when I took the USMLE. Took 5 days off to do the OMT questions in Combank and read Savarese then took COMLEX. I thought Combank was a waste of time and that 5 days in between was too long. 2-3 days should be plenty, you can knock out the green book in half a day.

The only reason to do DIT or any other board programs is if you have a weak foundation or are unable to get through First Aid on your own. I personally think it is a waste of time and money.
 

Petypet

10+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2009
781
692
Ohio
Status
Attending Physician
* What are your thoughts on courses like DIT? Are they really needed if one uses UWORLD + First Aid + USMLERx + Pathoma?
Depends on the student, I found DIT useless. Uworld FA pathoma are more than sufficienet.

* Courses like DIT don't really begin until January and they are REALLY expensive and based on their video reveal dates have me taking the USMLE in April. I am not taking it until June.
You don't have to register for USMLE in April. You can do the class and then keep studying.

* My goal is to take the USMLE early June and the COMLEX a few weeks later after COMBANK + Savarese.
Too much time in between, 3-4 days is plenty. Learn OMM during year 2 and you should only need a few days of review.

* Will I be fine doing the following November - May (UWorld 2-3x; First Aid; USMLERx ; Pathoma) Take Step 1 first week of June 2016, then do COMBANK and Savarese for 2 weeks, then take COMLEX? How do you develop pacing for the Steps if you do maybe 40 questions at a time in UWorld. To me UWorld is more of a go through a couple dozen at your own pace and learn why you get them wrong versus a simulated test environment.

You dont need to do all of Savarese and COMBANK in 2 weeks, you will be burned out. Your 6 months of preparation prepare you for the test. Most people do not simulate a full length exam, and nor should you.
 

QueenJames

Membership Revoked
Removed
5+ Year Member
May 16, 2013
1,547
2,641
Status
Medical Student
What are your guys' takes on prep courses, and was board prep time a huge consideration you took when choosing the school you went to?
 

Giovanotto

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2014
1,557
1,353
Status
Medical Student
What are your guys' takes on prep courses, and was board prep time a huge consideration you took when choosing the school you went to?
Piggybacking off of this. I found it so odd to learn during the BCOM interview day that they are bringing in Kaplan to prep us for the boards. Do other schools do this? Why does the faculty not prepare us for boards? I mean, why are we paying tuition to medical schools if we then need outside sources to help us study for an exam that validates our education?

If I am misunderstanding something, someone please explain. I'm new to this, and I was really confused when I learned of this.
 

kenjixshadow

5+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2014
1,051
1,950
Totland
Status
Medical Student
Piggybacking off of this. I found it so odd to learn during the BCOM interview day that they are bringing in Kaplan to prep us for the boards. Do other schools do this?
Yes, many do. However, high score players don't use Kaplan. In fact, you don't need to use it, just read step 1 thread and follow SDNers' advice.
Why does the faculty not prepare us for boards?
US medical schools prepare you for residency. They do prepare you for the board albeit not all of it. Caribbean schools are notoriously well-known to solely set up their curriculum for the board. This is what separates us from them.
why are we paying tuition to medical schools if we then need outside sources to help us study for an exam that validates our education?
Because the board is a national standardize exam. They aren't written by your faculties. Outside sources give you the high-yield topics, which cover what you should be taught during school, to review in a 4-6 weeks timeline. You will find that every single student, even the smartest one, will use external materials to prep for the board -- First Aid & Uworld & Pathoma for Step 1 and Comquest or Combank for Level 1.
 

Giovanotto

5+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2014
1,557
1,353
Status
Medical Student
Yes, many do. However, high score players don't use Kaplan. In fact, you don't need to use it, just read step 1 thread and follow SDNers' advice.

US medical schools prepare you for residency. They do prepare you for the board albeit not all of it. Caribbean schools are notoriously well-known to solely set up their curriculum for the board. This is what separates us from them.

Because the board is a national standardize exam. They aren't written by your faculties. Outside sources give you the high-yield topics, which cover what you should be taught during school, to review in a 4-6 weeks timeline. You will find that every single student, even the smartest one, will use external materials to prep for the board -- First Aid & Uworld & Pathoma for Step 1 and Comquest or Combank for Level 1.
Thank you, very informative.
 

DocWinter

Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,145
1,234
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yes, many do. However, high score players don't use Kaplan. In fact, you don't need to use it, just read step 1 thread and follow SDNers' advice.
Agreed, Kaplan is nearly unanimously ranked below USMLE-RX and UWorld. Building around Kaplan is a mistake, IMO.

Also nearly unanamous is the trio of FA, Pathoma and UWorld (Savarese for COMLEX) is sufficient to do well. I tried combank, was disappointed in the quality...found some answers that were clearly wrong - only 9% of people got it "right", and 79% chose the "incorrect" answer along with me. Poorly worded, full of mistakes...I'm going to save the OMT section for COMLEX study and that's probably it.
 

QueenJames

Membership Revoked
Removed
5+ Year Member
May 16, 2013
1,547
2,641
Status
Medical Student
Yes, many do. However, high score players don't use Kaplan. In fact, you don't need to use it, just read step 1 thread and follow SDNers' advice.

US medical schools prepare you for residency. They do prepare you for the board albeit not all of it. Caribbean schools are notoriously well-known to solely set up their curriculum for the board. This is what separates us from them.

Because the board is a national standardize exam. They aren't written by your faculties. Outside sources give you the high-yield topics, which cover what you should be taught during school, to review in a 4-6 weeks timeline. You will find that every single student, even the smartest one, will use external materials to prep for the board -- First Aid & Uworld & Pathoma for Step 1 and Comquest or Combank for Level 1.
Oh yeah..Caribbean schools like Ross and SGU get more time to prepare for the boards as well don't they? Which I believe is complete and utter bull. I personally know a few peeps who were able to score above 250 and one even a 263 on their Step 1. Both were from SGU. I mean, don't get me wrong, they obviously had to work super hard to get those scores, but how are those programs able to grant their students more than 2 months of board prep time when most programs here in the states get about 4 weeks? How does this affect their residency chances, if at all? They even get a Kaplan review course as well too IIRC.