Dr. Cuts and everyone else, what are the best review books for the USMLEs?

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Jul 14, 2001
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I'm going down to SGU in August and I was wondering what review books you suggest that I take along with me. Many people have suggested that 'high-yield' series. do you? how about FIRST AID. I've been told that yes, we should concentrate on the class notes, etc. However, I feel like it would be a good idea to have these review books to look at.

Thanks in advance people! Dr. Cuts you've always been helpful.



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Apr 4, 2002
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Hey Kid! I think it's great that you're willing to start early in your Step 1 prep... to ace the exam, you either have to do that or take a good 2-3 months off to study full time later (and I don't think that's an option for y'all at SGU). That said, I really can't comment on the High-Yield Series or most other books (I'm sure they all have their virtues), but I can tell you what I used to get my score (244/99)...

1) Kaplan notes for everything - I took the 7 week course in Houston in the summer of 2000
2) supplemented Path with Dr. Goljan's review book
3) Buzzwords - IMHO, although they tell you that the NBME has eliminated buzzwords and test-wise strategies from Step 1, I found the exam to be loaded with buzzwords... i.e. easy points
4) UCVs
5) And of course, the Step 1 bible... First-Aid

I also did app. 5000+ mcqs from Q-bank, WebPath, and MedRevu.

To be honest, although I was happy with the sources I used, I'm sure all of the A-rated sources (as ranked in First-Aid) are good and one could score very well using any one of them. The problem I see happening often is "source overload," where a person (with good intentions) buys like 3 books for each subject... he gets so overwhelmed that his efforts become totally diluted, and his score suffers as a result.

I say pick ONE review book for each of the 7 main subjects, learn in inside and out, and do tons of mcqs... the K.I.S.S. method if you will.

Hope this helps! Good luck my friend!