Aug 27, 2017
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Hello guys, I am an entering MS1. Lately, I have been swamped with so much information about organizations and opportunities from medical school orientation. Many MS2+ recommended that I should look into First Aid, Pathoma, Firecracker, etc. I just got into medical school. I will attend my first classroom lecture in the coming week. I have no idea on how to fully leverage these resources. For example, do I attend lecture and use these resources alongside the lecture materials? Or do I study these resources independently of the class? Or do I complete the semester course first and review the materials at a later date, because I have established a foundation?

Please advise and share your MS1 experience. :D
 

Datypicalpremed

Feed me Seymour!
5+ Year Member
May 7, 2013
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Brace yourself.







But in all seriousness, I wouldn't worry too much about FA, pathoma, etc. at the start. You will eventually, but even more important is learning how to learn in medical school. Start developing your optimal learning style (eg do you learn best with notes? Flash cards?) Learn how to take an entires day worth of lectures and distill it into a manageable form. Learn how to tell if the information you are reading is something you will see only on the upcoming section exam vs something you will see on the step and/or clinics. Honestly you probably won't have this skill down until well into your 1st year, but the sooner you get it down, the better. During the pre clinical years, you will be learning a sh*tload of different topics, many of which will be completely different and potentially require different learning approaches. What won't change is your ability adapt, absorb knowledge on the go and not get overwhelmed.



Besides...please don't be that guy who brings FA, pathoma, etc to the first day of class. Please.
 
Jul 24, 2017
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Use your material alongside with your classes. what helped me most was seeing a video (I used lecturio. concise and well taught, but use what you want) before class then combining the lecture notes with the video. This was the basic guide. If i felt anything was missing i completed the info from the book.

After this it really is all about review. use anki, use flashcards, use whatever but review review and review some more.

extra pointers: don't overload on resources nor follow a resource you don't like just because everybody is using it. concentrate on understanding as much as possible and less about the fine details (unless specifically mentioned in the lecture). Be very picky about what and how much you read and from where . Develop a good study method (reading is not enough, needs to be an active study method). Do not sacrifice sleep nor your social life. Finally, you don't necessarily need the resources you mentioned until MS2, you can prepare the step 1 then....

All these things I am telling you are not because i did them, more because I didn't do them until much later on and I regret it immensely.

Final point. You will probably freak out in the beginning, as everybody does since you get hit with a flood of info. Relax and keep motivated, everybody feels like that in the beginning.
 
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aSagacious

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Mostly agree with the above. The number of available resources can be overwhelming. In my experience, the information contained in your lecture PowerPoints and handouts should be fairly exhaustive. That is, the exam material will be drawn almost exclusively from these. Therefore, I would consider most other resources a distraction and waste of time as an M1. It's really in M2 when the above-mentioned resources come in handy. Even then, I'd use them sparingly. Lastly, there is absolutely no need for First Aid prior to your dedicated Step I study period. It is intended to be a review book and would serve as an awful first-pass resource due to its brevity and over-simplicity.
 
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Saxappeal1

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@aSagacious that was surprisingly accurate to my MS1. Just use PPT's OP. Don't use FA or pathoma until much later, no need to, and probably detrimental to a degree.
 
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raiderette

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Feb 2, 2014
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I am in a systems-based curriculum so a Qbank like Rx or Kaplan can be helpful but certainly not the first month. I also found Sketchy to be helpful. Start with PPs and see where you need additional support.

Sent from my QTAQZ3 using Tapatalk
 

LyMed

2+ Year Member
May 4, 2017
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You can start using resources right away, or hold off until the next semester. Your priorities include things like figuring out your study schedule/habits, learning where to go and what you're doing. Figuring out USMLE material now should be at the bottom of your list. The first semester can be a whirlwind, but best wishes to you.
 

Osteoth

Fake it till ya' make it
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Feb 12, 2012
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A lot of people above believe in powerpoints the school provides, I on the other hand HATE them.

Most of the time as you'll find, you're going to have either basic scientists (first year) that can't link things together clinically, or you're going to have a bunch of random physicians (second year) who all give a different picture of the same disease process.

As a result I think its advantageous, obviously if you can get away with it, to download one of the super Anki decks (Zanki, etc) and put in 1-2 hours a day on the subject matter you're learning. Aka if you're in your biochem block do 1-2 hours of biochem on Anki/day. Aim to mature the biochem section by the end of your block and then add those to a master "old" deck that you compile throughout the first two years.

If you can do 1 hour of new cards on the subject you're currently on and then 1 more hour on your old deck for the first two years of school, you will at once be studying for your courses and also solidifying the material you will be required to know for STEP1 from those courses.

Depends on your curriculum, but if you go to a school that does not emphasize STEP1 you're going to learn a bunch of useless ****. I personally think it would be very nice to know what you're expected to actually take with you going forward, and those Anki decks do a good job of limiting some of the noise.

This all hinges on you having an extra 1-2 hours a day in your schedule though, so use the first block to figure out if you do. If you're on the lower end of the bell curve just focus on studying for classes and perfecting your study strategy.

Also, if you're a super gunner and are aiming for AOA this is not the strategy for you. This is more for people who are trying to maximize step 1 and preferably for people who are at true P/F pre-clinical schools so it won't affect your AOA status at all.
 
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Gurby

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Jul 28, 2014
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I'm a new M1 and finding First Aid helpful for figuring out out which details are important vs not important. Often we'll have a slide that lists 5 different proteins and it's not clear whether we should memorize them or not. I open my PDF of First Aid and do a control+F for each of them. Sometimes they aren't there so I figure I can disregard them in good conscience, but sometimes they turn out to be more important than I would have thought at first glance.
 

Goro

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Hello guys, I am an entering MS1. Lately, I have been swamped with so much information about organizations and opportunities from medical school orientation. Many MS2+ recommended that I should look into First Aid, Pathoma, Firecracker, etc. I just got into medical school. I will attend my first classroom lecture in the coming week. I have no idea on how to fully leverage these resources. For example, do I attend lecture and use these resources alongside the lecture materials? Or do I study these resources independently of the class? Or do I complete the semester course first and review the materials at a later date, because I have established a foundation?

Please advise and share your MS1 experience. :D
Read this:
Goro's Guide to Success in Medical School (2017 edition)
And congrats!!! And good luck!!
 
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theonlytycrane

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Mar 23, 2014
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I'm a new M1 and finding First Aid helpful for figuring out out which details are important vs not important. Often we'll have a slide that lists 5 different proteins and it's not clear whether we should memorize them or not. I open my PDF of First Aid and do a control+F for each of them. Sometimes they aren't there so I figure I can disregard them in good conscience, but sometimes they turn out to be more important than I would have thought at first glance.
+1. Sometimes I'm like "man... I don't wanna study this- I bet it's low-yield." Then I check FA / Bros and say "crap... I gotta know this."
 

aSagacious

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Nov 16, 2010
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I'm a new M1 and finding First Aid helpful for figuring out out which details are important vs not important. Often we'll have a slide that lists 5 different proteins and it's not clear whether we should memorize them or not.
If you try to play this game, you will lose. That's a promise. There is literally no factoid too small for exam purposes. Every single med student is intelligent enough to memorize "important" information, so an exam testing only these would be useless. In order to stratify students, professors are forced to overemphasize trivia on exams. So please memorize every word of every page on your handouts.
 

Gurby

5+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2014
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If you try to play this game, you will lose. That's a promise. There is literally no factoid too small for exam purposes. Every single med student is intelligent enough to memorize "important" information, so an exam testing only these would be useless. In order to stratify students, professors are forced to overemphasize trivia on exams. So please memorize every word of every page on your handouts.
Fortunately the first 2 years are pass/fail unranked at my school!
 
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OP
T
Aug 27, 2017
8
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Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Fortunately the first 2 years are pass/fail unranked at my school!
Yeah, my school is also pass/fail. I am a tad worry about Gross anatomy. I do not have a strong anatomy background. Literally, I have been reading essential clinical anatomy. My brain wants to die. I need more glucose. Lol.
 
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