Well, since I've been told by numerous people to start studying off the board review books (I'm a first year), I'd like to know which series to buy, so I can use them as I take my classes. Or, are there certain subjects that are better in one series vs. the other?
Honestly, you can use both for classes, but BRS will help you out a lot more now than later (and FA will help you out a lot more later than now). BRS Anatomy was one of my sole sources of information for the course (supplement with your class notes - there are some errors in the book!). BRS Physiology is also a great book, but you'll likely need to know more physiology for your class than it contains.
First Aid seems to get rave reviews for step 1, but I find it to be way to skimpy for classes. That said, if you skim it during classes and make notes here and there as you cover material, it might make step 1 studying easier.
But if I could choose one for classes, it would be BRS. If I could choose one for boards, it would be FA.
Would any current MSII's recommend holding off on buying the First Aid until a newer edition comes out for 2004? I want to annotate in my classes to make it easier in the future, etc., but I want to make sure I have the newest version possible?
Also, for the BRS books, did these substitute for textbooks with notes? I mean could you study/supplement from the review books with your class notes and still be OK, say in a Pass/Fail grading system? I know eventually you must know a lot for Step I, but is the BRS affordable for this?
Which subjects btw? Anatomy, Physiology,...??? Thanks.
LET ME JUST ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS (my work is never done)
First of all, first aid is NOT adequate for any class, and certainly not for the boards by itself. Its a starting point, as its authors point out. It has SOME high-yield facts, but it is not nearly enough. In fact, there is a large section in first aid devoted to rating other review books so you can make a decision as to what review books to buy with what subjects.
If you're a cheap-@$$ like me, just browse the bookstore to find out what review books you want to get, or ask your friends. Then go to ebay or half.com to get used books. I haven't seen anything in first aid that isn't already covered in discipline-specific board review books, and if you use first-aid as your only board study book, you will get burnt to a crisp.
As for waiting for new versions, my advice is not to do it. You'll be financially better off by using a year-old book for each subject, and there's rarely any new information that warrants spending the extra $20-40 a year for each updated book (Fibrin will still do the same thing in 2004). Remember, the authors are trying to make money! The only exception I would say is pharm. Get the most up-to-date book you can because new drugs are fair game on the boards.
Second, no review book is going to be sufficient for any class by itself. You need to see what your instructors emphasize. Having said that, its a good idea to use review books along with course notes and texts for preparing for both exams and boards.
Finally, BRS is ok for some subjects, but I wouldn't run out and buy it for every subject. You may decide you like Lippincott for pharm, BRS for path, etc. Be your own man (woman).
Dr. Goofy's picks:
1. Anatomy, Neuroanatomy, Embryo - High yield series
2. Behavioral Science - High yield and 1st aid section
3. Biochem - Lippincott
4. Micro/Immuno - Lange Micro/immuno by Levinson
5. Path - DONT SKIMP HERE
b. Robbins review
6. Pharm - lippincott or Katzung review-no older than 1 yr
7. Phys - BRS
For a final review I would read First aid a couple times, boards step 1 made ridiculously simple, and get your hands on a buttload of practice questions from kaplan or other.
Sounds like a lot but I've got most of this stuff from ebay for a total of about $120.
These books are near concensus amongst my most anal-retentive gunner classmates, so ENT should be no prob with this combo.
I wholeheartedly agree with goofy's recommendations except that I think Clinical Micro Made Ridiculously Simple is awesome. You'll need something else for immunology review, but when I started using Clinical Micro while studying for boards, I found that I actually enjoyed reading that book each day (esp. compared to BRS path, an excellent book but hardly an "enjoyable" read). At first, I thought the format was not for me, but once I really started reading it, I thought it was great.
Also, consider getting Step Up...I found it to be a great book to use with First Aid (often, if something was not well-explained in first aid, it was well-explained in Step Up, especially the cardiovascular section IMO). Step Up has lots of charts and drawings for reference as well. My classmates who used it said Step I Made Ridiculously Simple was too basic for boards....I've never looked at it to know how it differs from others, though.