How to use your patho/pharm courses to study effectively for Step 1?

Mar 1, 2011
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So I just started pathology/pharmacology this week. I was wondering what would be some effective strategies to do some minor studying for the boards on the side based on what's being covered in class. Obviously I'm not talking about all nighters with FA when I still have months before I take the exam but I would like to get familiar with the review materials so that when it does come time to study for the boards, it'll be a smoother experience. So is reading the relevant sections in FA and Pathoma which correspond to what's being taught in lecture an effective way to study for the boards while also studying for class or am I just wasting my time? What about Step 1 secrets? And should I begin annotating now or wait until I start dedicated board studying in the spring? Lastly, should I use UWorld before class exams or save them until later and use another qbank in the meantime? Mind you I rarely rememeber the correct answer off the top of my head if I see the same question again especially if it's been months since I last saw it.
 

Pacna

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"Mind you I rarely [remember] the correct answer off the top of my head if I see the same question again especially if it's been months since I last saw it."

Sounds like someone needs Anki. ;)
 
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OP
ravupadh
Mar 1, 2011
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"Mind you I rarely [remember] the correct answer off the top of my head if I see the same question again especially if it's been months since I last saw it."

Sounds like someone needs Anki. ;)
I don't like using flash cards, especially when my own notes are usually superior in every way.
 

JP2740

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It's not magic. The pathophys doesn't change when you start studying for step 1.
 
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Pacna

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I don't like using flash cards, especially when my own notes are usually superior in every way.
I don't like flashcards either, but if you want to remember stuff months out of exams, SRS is the way to go.

Even if you're 10x smarter (better recall) than the average person, you'll still only remember 80% of information after a month of not looking at it (that curve falls off exponentially, by the way). If you can look through all of M1 and M2 every month, and you think you are in fact 10x smarter than average, then by all means just study your notes. That should work for you. If, on the other hand, you're having problems with long-term retention like you described above, there just isn't any way around the fact that you'll need to review that material in a smart, repetitive, spaced-out way. If you can do that on your own without relying on software, kudos to you! I had similar problems. Now I don't. :shrug:
 
OP
ravupadh
Mar 1, 2011
338
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Medical Student
I don't like flashcards either, but if you want to remember stuff months out of exams, SRS is the way to go.

Even if you're 10x smarter (better recall) than the average person, you'll still only remember 80% of information after a month of not looking at it (that curve falls off exponentially, by the way). If you can look through all of M1 and M2 every month, and you think you are in fact 10x smarter than average, then by all means just study your notes. That should work for you. If, on the other hand, you're having problems with long-term retention like you described above, there just isn't any way around the fact that you'll need to review that material in a smart, repetitive, spaced-out way. If you can do that on your own without relying on software, kudos to you! I had similar problems. Now I don't. :shrug:
The main problem I see with Anki is how do you know if your cards are sufficient enough? You're basically making everything from scratch so there's always the chance that you'll miss things. So how much information is too little and how much is too much on a card? That's my main dilemma.
 

Jabbed

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The main problem I see with Anki is how do you know if your cards are sufficient enough? You're basically making everything from scratch so there's always the chance that you'll miss things. So how much information is too little and how much is too much on a card? That's my main dilemma.
Even if you cover only 50% of the information that you 'need to know' for step one in anki cards, that's 50% less information that you'll have to cover during your dedicated study period. I think you're underestimating how valuable that is. It also works EXTREMELY well for the rote memorization aspects, which can be a huge burden during crunch times.
 

Jabbed

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The main problem I see with Anki is how do you know if your cards are sufficient enough? You're basically making everything from scratch so there's always the chance that you'll miss things. So how much information is too little and how much is too much on a card? That's my main dilemma.
As for this, it's just a skill that you develop after writing enough cards. The key point though is that you will always try to split a complex point into several smaller and simpler points that are phrased in a direct recall format. You're essentially trying to recall the factoids necessary to understand the larger conceptual point. It works synergistically with your other study methods.
 
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