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Is it a bad idea to not use any board review material my first year?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by ohmanwaddup, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. ohmanwaddup

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    So far I just use my profs materials, but should I be supplementing?
     
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  3. fldoctorgirl

    fldoctorgirl MS1 transplanted from the beach to the midwest

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    This is the first block I'm gonna start and try incorporating board materials. The zanki step deck has a good immuno deck that I'm going to use!
     
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  4. libertyyne

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    IMO
    Depends on how your curriculum is set up, If traditional, it doesnt really matter since first year is mostly low yield. I would do well in classes and get some research in.
     
  5. bic_atlantis

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    As a current fourth year, if i could go back to first year, I would start studying for boards much sooner. Not saying, full boar dedicated studying, but I would've started utilizing board review sources a lot earlier.
     
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  6. Ho0v-man

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    If I could go back to first semester I would have started zanki around now. I just started zanki biochem last week and it’s wrecking me. I wouldn’t do any more than that and if you’re still trying to find your groove in first semester I would be hesitant to do even that.
     
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  7. popopopop

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    1. Wish I used Boards and Beyond or something similar for a first pass.
    2. Wish I learned how to use Zanki/Anki better.
     
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  8. DO2015CA

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    The problem is as a first year fall semester student, you dont have a good foundation. If i could go back to then I would prob cut out one of my passes and read a board prep book so I understand what was high yield. I did 3 passes in preclinical years. One the day of the lecture, one that weekend, and one right before the test. I would probably change the weekend one to boards material so that I would still have the basics down and I could still cram details prior to the test.
     
  9. NecrotizingFasciitis

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    I know it sounds ridiculous to talk about OMM as a serious subject on SDN, BUT, it was the first class I incorporated board studying into my schedule first year and it helped for foundation building. All I did was read the relevant chapter out of The Green Book and do the associated Anki (pre-made) flashcards. After I'd study class material (b/c classroom stuff is always more in-depth.)

    I could see this type of thing being useful for 1st year. A nice & easy pass through a board resource, then dive into the class lectures. Especially for a conceptual subject like immunology. I don't think it's a good idea to use First Aid (FA) as that reading resource. I think you need a solid review book that actually explains things to you. FA is useless without previous exposure to the material.

    If you are a KCU student (don't need to identify yourself if you are) you will be totally fine with the lecture slides. If you need help with conceptualization, read the book he recommends to you (not the whole thing, only the sections you need.) It's a solid book.

    The key to immunology is keeping the end goal in mind:

    -Are you trying to start the inflammatory party? Are you trying to shut it down? What cytokines/cells play for what team in this scenario?

    If you get a grip of the above questions ahead of time you will DESTROY immunology.
     
  10. AnatomyGrey12

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    No need to go full into board prep but I would casually use something. As to what exactly depends entirely on your curriculum.
     
  11. Peach Newport

    Peach Newport board certified in jewish dermatology
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    I did great on step and I didn’t touch any board prep material until dedicated, I just worked really hard and did well in class.
     
  12. ohmanwaddup

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    working hard and not doing to hot in class lol
     
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  13. EspressoDrip42

    EspressoDrip42 “I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring.”
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    Boards and Beyond, Sketchy Micro/Pharm, First Aid is all you need for first year. Summer after first year, start Zanki and pick it up come second year. It's been working for me so far.
     
  14. fourandtwo

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    @fldoctorgirl @NecrotizingFasciitis since y'all are at kcu and know first hand how crazy our curriculum is, do you find yourself making time to review ~50 zanki cards per day from previous blocks as recommended by those on Reddit and SDN? If so, how? Lol.

    I'm worried I'm forgetting literally everything I've learnt from even a few weeks ago and that board prep will be super hard because of that. I'm only a first year and I know I've got a long time before I need to worry about boards but I've read countless threads on how people wished they'd review material since the beginning
     
  15. EspressoDrip42

    EspressoDrip42 “I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring.”
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    I'm not at KCU (disclaimer) but I currently do anywhere from 50-150 new zanki cards a day. Which sucks because then you get 50-150 brand new reviews the next day and you have to keep up with it. What works best for me, is to knock out all my Zanki reviews first thing in the AM. I quickly change the settings to make the new card limit to 0 and that way I can just rip through reviews only. I go to my classes so I typically do this before class. It takes about an hour-1.5 hours to knock out all the reviews I have from the previous day. After the reviews are done, I go to class, get all the classwork done throughout the day. Then I do my new zanki cards for whatever deck I'm working on (depending on what block we're in), at the end of the night before bed. This typically takes about an hour. All in all, I'm doing a little over 2+ hours of zanki a day. Which isn't too bad because I still have time to knock out all my school work and do a few practice questions depending on the day.

    I really enjoy this method and it took some time to tweak it up. Being in first year, especially first semester, don't get too frustrated about not having a perfect rhythm yet. It takes a lot of time. Your first semester should be spent figuring that rhythm out. Plus, doing zanki first thing fall semester of first year is odd to me because you wouldn't be able to answer many of the cards. I think it's great once you have a little foundation.
     
  16. fourandtwo

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    Yes, I've been doing anywhere from 100-300 zanki cards a day. But what I meant was more about retaining information from previous blocks. We've already been through 2 blocks (biochem and anatomy). There are many threads on SDN/reddit that advise just reviewing ~50/cards a day from previous blocks just to keep your memory refreshed. I asked other KCU students specifically because I know we run through the systems again during 2nd year and I wonder if it's wiser to just start zanki 2nd year.
     
  17. NecrotizingFasciitis

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    Don't worry about this as a first year at KCU. I was worried about that too when I was in your shoes. As you progress through the curriculum, you'll realize how ingenious the setup really is. You end up reviewing different "high yield" concepts the entire year in different classes & different subjects taught by different professors. For example, we were tested on gout several times throughout the year. When I first tried to memorize "xanthine oxidase" and "allopurinol" in biochemistry I was like "how TF am I supposed to remember these weird words that mean nothing to me?" Now I sit here, casually throwing them out there, because it was harped on so many times in first year. This is just one example, but it happens in all classes, all year long. Immunology may seem like a whole mess of non-sense right now, but I guarantee you at the end of the year, you'll be able to bust out high-yield pro/anti-inflammatory cytokines in your sleep (IFN-gamma, IL1, TNF, IL-10, TGF-Beta, etc.)

    I'm new to second year obviously, but this has seemed to continue. For example, at the end of first year, you will have 10 days to master ALL MICROBIOLOGY (don't freak; you'll be ready when the time comes.) It is the debatably the hardest 10 days of first year, not because memorization is hard, but because you only have 10 days to do it and it is the last class of the year so you're pretty burnt out. I never thought I would be able to remember all of those crazy bacteria after that final exam. Yet here I sit, after completing our GI course, able to name off high-yield GI infections with ease because KCU harps on high yield things so much and so repetitively (campylobacter, E histolytica, Naeglaria fowleri, Candida, EHEC, ETEC, Giardia, Strongyloides, the list goes on.)

    TL;DR: The KCU curriculum is mentally draining. I'm not going to lie, you will feel completely overwhelmed many times throughout the year. Us second years are currently struggling to keep our sanity (check out our FB page. All mental health/support for each other/memes right now.) BUT... the curriculum works. I have been trying to keep up with Anki as best as I can, and I can't always do it (when exams roll around or whatever.) But if you trust the curriculum, and truly give it your 100%, you are going to do well in school and you will gradually start being able to retain this information & apply it in different classes. You might not even notice how smart you actually are until sometime around x-mas or maybe even second semester. But you will get there.

    My TL;DR was actually pretty long, sorry lol. Always reach out when you are feeling stressed or need help, whether it be on SDN or your class FB page or someone in person. Everyone is super supportive at KCU.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that KCU does a "high yield basic physiology/anatomy review" lecture before every pathology unit in second year. It basically outlines First Aid and some extra stuff. So you might forget a ton of stuff after 1st year, but there are PLENTY of opportunities to remember it again. So don't sweat it.
     
    #16 NecrotizingFasciitis, Oct 4, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  18. fldoctorgirl

    fldoctorgirl MS1 transplanted from the beach to the midwest

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    @fourandtwo I haven't been keeping up with reviews of old material, I'm going to focus on that more second year. I am still trying to find my groove with studying before I focus too much on boards/review.
     
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  19. ohmanwaddup

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    This makes the toil and trouble I've being going through seem so worth it.
     
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  20. fourandtwo

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    Omg, thank you. I read the whole thing and it really helped me emotionally, lol. I'm also screen-shoting so I can go back to this when I feel overwhelmed

    And @ohmanwaddup sorry for hijacking your thread. Sounds like you're at KCU too?
     
    #19 fourandtwo, Oct 4, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  21. iforget2

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    If you have the time, I would definitely start zanki now. I've been doing it since the beginning of M1 (so about 2 months now) and it doesn't take much time out of my day. It's also helpful alongside classes. Many people start it when 2nd year begins, but that would take like ~100 new/several hundred reviews a day to finish before dedicated.. It's definitely doable but it would take a lot more work than chipping away at it as an M1.
     
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  22. AnatomyGrey12

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    My biggest regret of medical school is not starting it much sooner. Just like 50 new cards a day.
     
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  23. iforget2

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    Yea I tell all my friends who are even thinking about it to start asap. I do 43 new cards a day (on track to finish by dedicated) which levels out to around ~310 reviews/day. On a slow day it'll take about an hour and a half. People on here and reddit who do 1k reviews/day.. I wish I had their stamina lol.
     
  24. Ho0v-man

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    Start zanki asap if you’ve adjusted to med school and think anki is your thing. You won’t magically have more time 2nd year lol. Listening to lectures is the closest thing I have to a study break at this point.
     
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  25. ohmanwaddup

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    Yup I am. loving it so far, just shy of my goals academically though.
     
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  26. fourandtwo

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    @NecrotizingFasciitis ... Thoughts? Or doesn't pertain to Kcu? Ha
     
  27. NecrotizingFasciitis

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    I’m sure there are people at KCU that have been busting out Anki since day 1. IMO it’s not necessary until KCU students begin MOD (last class of the year.) At the beginning of each second year pathology unit, they may have a slight leg up if they’ve been keeping up with reviews, but if you worked hard in first year, it literally takes 2-3 hours of review to get up to speed and be at the same level as them w/ respect to what you need to remember from first year for second year.

    That being said, once you get comfortable with your study method and are scoring where you want to in class, add it into your studies if you want to.

    N=1 but I didn’t use it at all first year and I feel like I have a strong foundation in the basic sciences that I remember well. I use Anki now and all of the basic sciences stuff is a cakewalk to remember with Zanki. You learn way more than you need to know for boards in classes, so when you go back to review a resource like first aid (which is what Zanki is based off of) it makes it super easy to recall (compared to the in-depth description you get in class.)

    Another N=1 but my good friend at another school scored 272 2 practice exams before his actual USMLE and didn’t start Anki until 2nd year. He’s not like a super genius or anything; he worked hard in school.

    TL;DR: I’m not saying DON’T do it, I’m just saying IMO it’s not necessary 1st year. If you feel you have some extra time however, and you’re not burnt out after studying for school-lectures, then hey go for it. Sometimes I’ll be at the gym and I’ll whip out Anki on my phone whils’t’d on the elliptical and do some review for funsies. And it makes cardio go quicker. You could even make it that type of thing if you feel like you really want to incorporate Zanki 1st year.
     
  28. fldoctorgirl

    fldoctorgirl MS1 transplanted from the beach to the midwest

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    This is my plan: not going to add it until I feel more comfortable with studying for classes.
     
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  29. NecFasc92

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    If you haven't started path then it's pointless. Path/ pathophys/pharm is like 80-90% of boards for step 1. I didn't have a single straight phys question on my boards. And lol of course didn't have any embryo. Maybe 10% anatomy.
     
  30. popopopop

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    That's the thing though, if you supplement with board materials correctly it'll save you time by giving you the highest yield concepts. I understand some professors test on details that aren't in anything but their ppt or a book.
     
  31. tealeafexplorer

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    @fldoctorgirl are you guys running a systems based 1st year anatomy/physiology of all systems and second year path of all systems at KCU?

    If so, we are running the same curriculum at our school (old dean of KCU came over for a few years and supposedly just mimicked the KCU curriculum) and this curriculum is kicking the butts of everyone I know both OMS1’s and 2’s.

    I am currently trying to chip away at zanki for the classes we are doing as people have mentioned above, and it’s going really smooth so far. I actually am slightly ahead in zanki for classes and I feel like it helps me really distinguish what is important in class. Plus zanki has a lot of information in the extra section to where I feel like I can teach myself a good amount so it’s not just memorizing cold hard facts
     
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  32. fldoctorgirl

    fldoctorgirl MS1 transplanted from the beach to the midwest

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    Yeah, I get that. I just don't think I'm quite ready to begin doing this yet. Maybe after this block depending on how I do/if I feel more comfortable. I don't want to overload myself before I feel like I'm on stable ground with my process & grades.

    Yep, that's our curriculum! It's definitely tough, but hopefully it pays off. I'm going to start adding Zanki once I feel more comfortable with my study routine and grades. I just don't feel 100% confident yet, I'm still fine-tuning my approach.
     
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  33. Scrubb

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    My school implemented this type of curriculum starting this year. I'm trying to follow along with my classes using BnB and Lightyear, but I find myself suspending a decent amount of the cards because a lot of it is path and such that won't be touched in the curriculum until second year

    Do you just "learn" those path/disease-related cards now, or do you end up suspending a good amount of cards (putting them off until 2nd year) and just doing normal phys related cards?
     
  34. tealeafexplorer

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    So in zanki every subject has a physio deck and a seperate path deck so you can do all the physio decks, and then all the path decks your M2 year. I’m just an M1, so I’m only doing the physio decks right now
     
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  35. fourandtwo

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    Fyi I've been using purely zanki + boards and beyond for most things and I'm doing decently in class. I haven't listened to lectures either bc as mentioned above board prep stuff does a good job at letting you know what'shigh yield. 1st pass- boards and beyond, 2nd pass lecture ppt, zanki to help retain high yield info. Right before exam, 3rd pass, boards and beyond at 2x speed.

    Works well for me but prob not everyone's thing.
     
  36. Scrubb

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    How well does Zanki correspond with BnB videos? I’ve been using Lightyear with BnB but the frustrating thing is having to figure out which cards to suspend that are path-related (school does path for all systems 2nd year), and I feel like Zanki breaking stuff out into a physio only deck would be better for me in this respect as long as it corresponds decently to the relevant BnB videos.

    Do you have any thoughts/advice on this?
     
  37. fldoctorgirl

    fldoctorgirl MS1 transplanted from the beach to the midwest

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    I feel like I'm finally starting to score where I want on exams, so I'll probably start adding in Zanki after immuno. Abandoning lecture material altogether would make me too nervous! Props to you though, you'll be in awesome shape come boards.
     
  38. futuredoctor1995

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    I am scoring really well too but I heard that Immuno is just a easy class so I would be careful about that! I was trying to do Zanki too but I think I am going to wait a bit.
     
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  39. tealeafexplorer

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    If you want to incorporate bnb into zanki you’re probably going to have to either do the cards for the deck, then watch all the BnB videos for the subject to help give the cards context, or watch a BnB video and then search for all the relevant terms in the zanki deck (sometimes Dr. Ryan pulls info from a bunch of different subjects in a video). I would say the latter is more standard.
     
  40. Black Coffee 24/7

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    Wouldn’t recommend punting all lectures. That’s what I did and I got around average USMLE Step 1. Instead, I would recommend to punt all PhD lectures but actually listen to clinician lectures. There were like 10-20% of stuff on USMLE that count be found on my clinician lecture slides but not on any board prep resources.

    For example, a prime example is an infant of 3 months old coming in w/ with SOB and increasing cough. PE shows diffuse crackling and wheezing. You’re suspecting acute viral bronchioitis secondary to RSV infection due to your board prep yield material.

    The problem is that RSV isn’t on your answer choices, but some bizzard Human metapneumovirus instead. That’s actually the second most common viral cause. That’s how they’re going to separate the 250-260s from the 220-230s.
     
  41. Magus5454

    Magus5454 MS1 C/O 2022
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    How'd you do on the exam? It wasnt that bad imo
     
  42. futuredoctor1995

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    The average was a 73... I wonder how Joplin did?
     
  43. Magus5454

    Magus5454 MS1 C/O 2022
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    For HDM? Where'd you see that
     
  44. Shov

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    I didn't look at boards material till December of 2nd year, and did well for myself on boards. The varied answers here show that there's not a single optimum strategy.
     
  45. futuredoctor1995

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    Shynra said it in his recorded lecture.
     
  46. Magus5454

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    Wish we got that kind of instant feedback here haha
     
  47. Knight in shining armor

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    Current second year at an osteopathic school. I used First Aid like twice last year and I was fine. Many people in my class used Pathoma, Sketchy, Boards and beyond, SOLELY to supplement their current material. However, Savarese is the highest yield book for OMM. I would 100% recommend getting that book and start using it now.
     
  48. ohmanwaddup

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    I thought I killed it, ended up with a 73 which I was sad about until its apparently the average, and its my first time being average which made me really excited
     
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  49. fldoctorgirl

    fldoctorgirl MS1 transplanted from the beach to the midwest

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    I was actually super surprised at the average. The second year tutors told us their averages were like 86, and they barely had a curve. Most of the people I spoke to did well on the exam, so I'm really surprised that the average was only a 73. If that's true, I scored way above average for the first time....this exam was my highest exam grade so far, including OS.
     
  50. FrechToastFries

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    I have a hunch that he meant to say 83, not 73, because right before that he says that we did well on the exam.
     
  51. NecrotizingFasciitis

    Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    Our averages last year were 85 (E1) 82 (E2) for immunology. Shnyra does a good job writing fair exams so I’d be suprised to see an average below 80, but things change so who knows.
     

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