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Upperclassmen and others have told me that during this set of classes called "fundamentals" that we should only rewatch lectures and make Anki cards to memorize the mountain of information we're getting. We are thru biochemistry and gross anatmy with histology and I did quite well, perhaps because I'm a biology major and did a lot of research in my undergraduate studies, but I'm making low to mid B's. I recently finished the first 2 weeks of pharmacology with a borderline B/C and am wondering if this advice is really in my best interest, or whether I should also try to at least skim the required textbooks for the material presented in lecture? After Christmas we start organ-based systems and I hear you do more reading then but if I skip all the textbooks now, a I going to be double-timing it to go back through all I flash memorized in fundamentals to really understand this at depths needed to get into my desired orthopedic surgery residency, or should I just keep on cramming until I hit organ-based systems? How much time does the average MS1 spend reading medical textbooks as percent of overall study time, for those wanting to reach a highly compeititive residency?
 
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Idk but is your school P/F?

I'm just kinda surprised when people here talk about letter grades on here and why they care if they have a "low B", "mid B" ect
 
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M&L

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i think it depends on learning style, but i do not know A SINGLE MEDICAL STUDENT AT ALL who reads books. (pathoma that comes with pathoma subscription and first aid dont count).
I have friends who scored over 260 on step 1, and every single person i talk to tells me that it is the number of questions you go through that directly correlates with your step score vs reading the book. I am the person who read books in undergrad, and i quickly realized that it would never work in medical school.
Instead, all the successful students do this: BB, FA, anki, sketchy, and focus heavily on THOUSANDS of questions.
 
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M&L

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also, doing your own anki is not time efficient..... I am not sure why they advised you to do it.

Are your exams written by professors or NBME?

For step (and if your exams are NBME) scoring better depends on the number of practice questions you go through. I use AMBOSS and Uworld as i go through the material. THis is much more efficient then going through book, tbh.
 
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JoaoMoutinho

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I use textbooks. I don't use them exclusively but they tend to be helpful to me for putting things into context and working through them logically. Everyone has different learning styles. We'll see how my step scores compare to everyone else but I need to understand the reason why things are happening in order for the various details to stick in my head.

Study in the way that helps you learn the best, which is not necessarily the way some rando on the internet tells you to study. For as well meaning and helpful as many people are in telling you what has worked for them, at the end of the day we are all individual people with different needs. Certainly you can (and should) try different resources and strategies but it is certainly not one size fits all.
 
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slowthai

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Textbooks are totally unnecessary unless that's what you prefer. The only textbook I can recommend in good conscience is big Costanzo. Best textbook ever. It's the source material for Zanki phys.
 
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Schwifty

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I had opened the Costanzo pdf a few times during first year just to reference material, but other wise just use AnKing cause anything you need that’s written in a textbook will probably be a card in there
 
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catnip12

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Use textbooks to help you to understand concepts if you have them. After you understand a concept, use a review book to review. Some units / lectures are better organized than others and if something doesn’t make sense to you from lecture material, then cross referencing with a textbook or doing a google search isn’t the worst approach.

Review books are not meant to teach you material! You should be trying to learn a concept the first time you approach it and depending on your background, a textbook could be what you need.
Sometimes the advice on here is incomplete at best IMO.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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i think it depends on learning style, but i do not know A SINGLE MEDICAL STUDENT AT ALL who reads books. (pathoma that comes with pathoma subscription and first aid dont count).
I have friends who scored over 260 on step 1, and every single person i talk to tells me that it is the number of questions you go through that directly correlates with your step score vs reading the book. I am the person who read books in undergrad, and i quickly realized that it would never work in medical school.
Instead, all the successful students do this: BB, FA, anki, sketchy, and focus heavily on THOUSANDS of questions.

My school’s curriculum is super path heavy. I have had to crack open Robbins a couple times, and we are very clinical reasoning heavy as well. I’ve had to use Harrison’s a couple times to prep for those sessions.

Other than that, anki (cheesy lightyear/zanki) and BnB all the way.
 

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Dude(ette) I haven’t opened a textbook and I’m a fourth year
 
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On a *sorta* textbook note, do you recommend the BRS *text*books ( ;) ) for pre-clinical? In our Cardiopulm block and considering it. Way cheaper than a BB sub.

Not over a sub to BnB. They are good for review to make sure you hit the big bullets, and the questions are decent, but it isn’t a primary learning source. I tried to use them instead of BnB the second half of last block, and it wasn’t enough.
 
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I like textbooks and read them when the lecture seems to follow the chapter closely, but I don’t when the professor chooses a dense text that’s overkill for the lecture material presented (ex: Boron & Boulpaep). I really like Costanzo Physiology (the big one, BRS for review & questions), so if my professor uses Boron as a source text I’ll read that chapter in Costanzo instead. I have classmates and upper classman friends that love textbooks and ones that loathe them, so I think it’s a matter of personal preference.
 

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I've used anatomy reference books and used Gray's 2nd ed. for practice questions. Other than that? Nope
 
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YeOleBoneWiz

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I had an attending tell me that patients don't read textbooks.

I told him that I don't either so its all good
 
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I don't think any of my colleagues in the preclinical Sciences require a textbook. I certainly don't.
Robbins and Harrison's seem to be the only books my students ever mention.

But just out of curiosity kids, how many of you have access to your professor's required or suggested ebooks via your school library?
 

M&L

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I don't think any of my colleagues in the preclinical Sciences require a textbook. I certainly don't.
Robbins and Harrison's seem to be the only books my students ever mention.

But just out of curiosity kids, how many of you have access to your professor's required or suggested ebooks via your school library?
we have all the books for free online, but no one uses them though. It just feels like not enough time. I do fist pass of the material with BB following FA along (making notes into it), second pass with our house lectures. SOlidify with anki and sketchy, and than AMBOSS and UWORLD to practice. i do not have time for anything else.
if i need help with certain clinical things i use Dynamed or UptoDate for clinical reasoning, and google path images if i have to. It is enough for me.
 
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Goro

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we have all the books for free online, but no one uses them though. It just feels like not enough time. I do fist pass of the material with BB following FA along (making notes into it), second pass with our house lectures. SOlidify with anki and sketchy, and than AMBOSS and UWORLD to practice. i do not have time for anything else.
if i need help with certain clinical things i use Dynamed or UptoDate for clinical reasoning, and google path images if i have to. It is enough for me.
Don't overlook the fact that ebooks may have useful videos, clinical cases, or question banks!!!
 
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M&L

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Don't overlook the fact that ebooks may have useful videos, clinical cases, or question banks!!!
oh our ebooks are just PDFs, but our instructors give us great cases, and i have 2 huge question banks that i am working through. So its enough. Important to note maybe that my undergrad was in biochem and i took advanced anatomy and physiology which was VERY deep in my school. So now we are going through endocrine system, and i already know everything besides clinical application itself. So i definitely feel like i already have the concepts down, if it makes sense.
 
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Cornfed101

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I’m reading Dune right now before the movie comes out... I don’t read textbooks
 
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I don't think any of my colleagues in the preclinical Sciences require a textbook. I certainly don't.
Robbins and Harrison's seem to be the only books my students ever mention.

But just out of curiosity kids, how many of you have access to your professor's required or suggested ebooks via your school library?

We are given all our textbooks during orientation. Not many people actually use them, except for Robbins and Harrison’s.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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yep. Thats military for you. I am jealous. If i had free text books at home i would maybe use them more.

Doubtful. We get them for free and still almost no one uses any of them lol. Reading textbooks is just a really inefficient way to learn.

They did give us some books that will be useful in clerkship though.
 
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I don't think any of my colleagues in the preclinical Sciences require a textbook. I certainly don't.
Robbins and Harrison's seem to be the only books my students ever mention.

But just out of curiosity kids, how many of you have access to your professor's required or suggested ebooks via your school library?

Free access to almost everything online, I can count on one hand how many books we don’t have access to for free in the first two years. Ours are full-featured texts with videos, quizzes, etc.

However, my biggest gripe with the online texts is that they don’t show page numbers on the online versions, and recommended readings always indicate page numbers. This makes correlating the text with the PPTs tedious. If I find I’m using a text a lot, and it’s one that crosses blocks, I just buy it.
 
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ohmanwaddup

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i think it depends on learning style, but i do not know A SINGLE MEDICAL STUDENT AT ALL who reads books. (pathoma that comes with pathoma subscription and first aid dont count).
I have friends who scored over 260 on step 1, and every single person i talk to tells me that it is the number of questions you go through that directly correlates with your step score vs reading the book. I am the person who read books in undergrad, and i quickly realized that it would never work in medical school.
Instead, all the successful students do this: BB, FA, anki, sketchy, and focus heavily on THOUSANDS of questions.
Yeah for boards I focused way to much on anki and not enough on practice questions. Ended up with a 231 on step on which is still a good score, but worse than what I was hoping for
 

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never met a medical student who used a textbook

my first weed i actually tried to read the 50 page recommended histo chapter for a lecture. it was awful. dont do it
 
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MedSchoolTutors

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Classical textbooks are like a 4th line resource. Don't read them. Don't buy them.

That being said, some USMLE books are helpful. Kaplan Lecture Notes and Pharmacology for the Medical Student come to mind.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 

Thenewguy02

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MS4 here. I read all of costanzo, most of robbins and did sidmans neuroanatomy. I studied mainly off of lecture with BnB and Sketchy supplemented and didn't do any anki until dedicated (made my own deck off Uworld). Did well on in house exams and upper 250's on Step 1. There isn't a wrong way to study, just the way that works best for you. For a lot of people it is Anki, but it isn't required to do well.
 

ohmanwaddup

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I bought a wilderness medicine textbook because i like the topic

I usually buy one textbook for every rotation. It's good to have a reference material when an anki card doesn't make sense
 
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Depends on the block and the professor. Occasionally you’ll have one that writes questions directly from Robbins or Moore’s Blue boxes, and I have had at least one block where the textbook is vastly superior to listening to lectures.
 

Yasuo

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Free access to almost everything online, I can count on one hand how many books we don’t have access to for free in the first two years. Ours are full-featured texts with videos, quizzes, etc.

However, my biggest gripe with the online texts is that they don’t show page numbers on the online versions, and recommended readings always indicate page numbers. This makes correlating the text with the PPTs tedious. If I find I’m using a text a lot, and it’s one that crosses blocks, I just buy it.

If the school provides you with a full, although horribly formatted online version of a textbook, I wouldn’t have any problem searching for a PDF of the textbook online using something like Lib Gen. makes your life much much easier
 
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