Is Sketchy + Anki sufficient to do well in school?

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Jul 20, 2023
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Hey all, USMD M1 here who had a lot of trouble in my first block (biochem + anatomy) and just barely passed my in-house exams. However, I feel so much better in block 2 (micro, path, and pharm) because I basically disregarded the lectures our school gives and started using Sketchy and making Anki cards out of every video. I'm actually getting questions right on practice quizzes and feel good. I guess I'm a pretty visual learner, haha. Does anyone have experience using primarily Sketchy as a resource for learning most of the material for med school? Is it sufficient to pass all the exams? I'm not looking to score some crazy number on the step exams or become the next Fauci; I just want to feel comfortable about passing and get the knowledge/skills necessary to be a good PCP.

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Yes. Yes it is. Until third year, then start UWorld.
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*I'm sorry this turned into an essay, but I'm still going to leave it in case it helps anyone. I had to figure all these resources out through trial and error since my school changed its curriculum drastically starting my M1 year.

Yeah, you'll be fine just doing board resources and AnKing. The reason you struggled in biochem and anatomy is because that stuff isn't high-yield for step 1, so you would indeed have to be taking notes on your professors' slides.

The thing is, and you don't realize this now, but passing step 1 still isn't a joke, and the stuff in pathoma + sketchy micro + sketchy pharm is the stuff you need to know to pass that test. My plan wasn't to do all of AnKing (that's crazy), but to just do the stuff my school taught. The thing is, I'm a few months out from step 1 right now, and I've discovered that my med school has skipped large chunks of these resources. So I'm stressed and cramming unfortunately. I would advise you to match up pathoma and sketchy with whatever your school covers, and plan to do it all (+ associated AnKing) closer to second year.

I want to do FM, so similar career goals to you. Not gunning for neuroderm surgery.
making Anki cards out of every video.

Good grief, don't do this. Google AnKing V12, pay $5 a month, and use the Anki cards that some nerds in Utah have already made for you. Or you can always use the free version, V11. Search Reddit for it. Or if you can't find it I'll send you a link.

Feel free to DM me WellThatWasDumb. There's a possibility you might go to my school.

most of the material for med school?
Well, I just use Sketchy for micro and pharm. I imagine it would be good for biochem as well but I didn't know about sketchy back then.

Costanzo for physiology, Pathoma for pathology, Sketchy for micro and pharm, boards and beyond for everything else. But this is what works at my school, YMMV.

Nothing wrong with using sketchy for physiology for example, it just might not be everything you need to know.
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More important than anything else is access to a high quality QBank.

Amboss is the best. USMLERx is a good budget option.

For Anki, you can absolutely get away with Anking V11, but AnkiHubs V12 is absolutely worth the $5/month. I am a huge fan.
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Avoid making Anki cards from scratch, wayyyy too time consuming. Need to find pre-existing deck, unless you're only using In-house exams, in which case you might be stuck making cards.

Anki is good tool, but Sketchy will not be enough IMO, a lot of the content is out of date or missing key info. And you don't really learn from it, you just learn to associate certain things with certain Buzzwords.
It's great for Bugs and Pharm, so-so for path and biochem. I'd at least add-in Pathoma to it, although your knowledge of physiology might still be lacking. Consider BnB + Anki too (although I personally consider BnB overly detailed)
One word: UFAPS…
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Don’t feel bad doing what works best for you. Your school’s lectures are simply a tool (most of the time a bad tool) to help you do well on exams. If you do a lot better using sketchy and anki then go for it! I was the same way. I would have done more good quality practice questions if I could do it again because I suffered from missing the big picture, but otherwise I used a similar strategy
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