May 12, 2019
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Hi,
I'm starting my first year this August and was wondering if there are any guides available to entering medical students on how to make the most of their 4 years (study habits, when to apply for research positions, STEP advice etc.). I want to start off strong and put myself in the best position for great match. I tried to find something on the SDN forums and reddit but am not having any luck. Thank you!
 

EspressoDrip42

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@Goro has a pretty well written one floating around here. Check the pinned threads
 

libertyyne

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Here is the guide
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 50 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
 
Aug 11, 2018
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Other Health Professions Student
Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 50 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
Would you recommend downloading things like pre-made pathoma deck, sketchy micro, and zanki pharm and doing those with the main Zanki too or should we just stick with the main zanki, and make cards for classes so technically studying mainly two decks?
 
Oct 8, 2017
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Would you recommend downloading things like pre-made pathoma deck, sketchy micro, and zanki pharm and doing those with the main Zanki too or should we just stick with the main zanki, and make cards for classes so technically studying mainly two decks?
I believe the main Zanki deck already consists of Pathoma so you would only really need to augment with a micro deck. Some friends in med school recommended lolnotacops deck since it's primarily based on sketchy micro.
 
Aug 11, 2018
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I believe the main Zanki deck already consists of Pathoma so you would only really need to augment with a micro deck. Some friends in med school recommended lolnotacops deck since it's primarily based on sketchy micro.
Oh, ok. Cause I was debating about downloading pepper's deck for pathoma, zanki pharm, zanki, sketchy micro and netter's anatomy deck.
 

Nucleophile1

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Oh, ok. Cause I was debating about downloading pepper's deck for pathoma, zanki pharm, zanki, sketchy micro and netter's anatomy deck.
I would recommend:

Zanki Step Deck
Zanki Pharm
Lolnotacop Micro

Once you start systems, get a Qbank (Kaplan or Rx) and go through the entire thing.

Are your exams professor written or NBME style?
 
Aug 11, 2018
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I would recommend:

Zanki Step Deck
Zanki Pharm
Lolnotacop Micro

Once you start systems, get a Qbank (Kaplan or Rx) and go through the entire thing.

Are your exams professor written or NBME style?
Not sure about the way the exams are written...but I'm already doing Zanki step, Zanki Pharm and Pepper Micro. My school is system based so I might do Kaplan along side classes.
 

Gilakend

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@AnatomyGrey12 @Nucleophile1

Do you think having Zanki matured for 1+ year would be harmful in long term retention? Do you think that spacing it out over 2 years helps more?

Because of how my schools curriculum is set up, by the time I take step I would have Zanki matured for over a year. Didn't know if that would mean because of such long intervals between cards that I would not be able to recall a lot of it. Or do you think because of the formula it would be committed to memory just as well?
 

WhereMyLiberalsAt

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@AnatomyGrey12 @Nucleophile1

Do you think having Zanki matured for 1+ year would be harmful in long term retention? Do you think that spacing it out over 2 years helps more?

Because of how my schools curriculum is set up, by the time I take step I would have Zanki matured for over a year. Didn't know if that would mean because of such long intervals between cards that I would not be able to recall a lot of it. Or do you think because of the formula it would be committed to memory just as well?
Zanki is great and all, but the real star is Anki!

Anki is the one helping you remember everything, Zanki is WHAT you remember. If you’re honest with your recall scores the algorithm should help even over long intervals.
 

Nucleophile1

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@AnatomyGrey12 @Nucleophile1

Do you think having Zanki matured for 1+ year would be harmful in long term retention? Do you think that spacing it out over 2 years helps more?

Because of how my schools curriculum is set up, by the time I take step I would have Zanki matured for over a year. Didn't know if that would mean because of such long intervals between cards that I would not be able to recall a lot of it. Or do you think because of the formula it would be committed to memory just as well?
You can adjust the max interval so you don't go too long without seeing the cards. I would try 60-90 days and then see how your percentages look. For each subject you finish in Zanki, start doing a block or even a half block of timed random (add in systems as you finish them in Zanki) questions (depending on classload, time, etc.) on a Q-bank up until Step prep to continue integrating concepts.
 

Gilakend

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You can adjust the max interval so you don't go too long without seeing the cards. I would try 60-90 days and then see how your percentages look. For each subject you finish in Zanki, start doing a block or even a half block of timed random (add in systems as you finish them in Zanki) questions (depending on classload, time, etc.) on a Q-bank up until Step prep to continue integrating concepts.
Thank you! For percentages do you just use the true retention add on?

How often would you do the blocks? I planned on using Rx during my organ systems to solidify concepts, but might save them for after I finish the system like you said if you think it'd be more helpful. Or are their enough questions to use them in both manners?
 

Nucleophile1

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Thank you! For percentages do you just use the true retention add on?

How often would you do the blocks? I planned on using Rx during my organ systems to solidify concepts, but might save them for after I finish the system like you said if you think it'd be more helpful. Or are their enough questions to use them in both manners?
Yes, I would recommend using the true retention add-on.

Here's what I would do if I could start med school over haha:

USMLE Rx Q-bank: Use during the organ system (divide number of question by number of days til the test)
Kaplan Q-bank: Use alongside Zanki throughout the year to keep up with previous organ systems (doing 1/2-1 block per day)
UWorld: Save til dedicated or shortly before (depending on how long you get for dedicated)
 

mistafab

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Lots of good info for you on this thread already. I’ll add Goro’s guide to success in medical school (2018 ed.) to your reading list. Also, here are some non-scholastic things:

1. Go to the gym and make sure it is a habit. Cardio for health and weights for self esteem.
2. Get your diet on point. If you eat like crap now, you will eat worse in school.
3. Get good sleep habits.
4. Never sacrifice your health during your medical journey. That includes never giving up #s 1-3
 
Jul 7, 2018
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Is zanki useful for schools that have a more traditional curriculum? The one I will be attending is still block based by systems but M1 is physio and M2 is path so its like a 2 pass system (and anatomy is done as the first block of M1).
 
Oct 8, 2017
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Is zanki useful for schools that have a more traditional curriculum? The one I will be attending is still block based by systems but M1 is physio and M2 is path so its like a 2 pass system (and anatomy is done as the first block of M1).
Yes it's still useful. My school is the same way and I plan to suspend the pathology subdeck pertaining to that organ system until I actually go over it in second year. Try downloading Zanki and you'll see what I mean in terms of it's organization.
 
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nrs2doc

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Step 1: download Zanki
Step 2: Do 50 new cards every single morning the first two years and all reviews. If you do this you will only have about 200 reviews a day and you could do 40 new + 200 reviews in 1-1.5 hours (1.5 at the beginning until you get faster). Just start from the very beginning of the deck and go through it as it's set up.
Step 3: spend the rest of the day pounding away at class material. Every day.
Step 4: Smash both boards AND class because you studied smarter and more efficient than everyone else.
Step 5: do research between first and second year
Step 6: match whatever specialty you want because you have a killer rank, killer board scores, and research.
Step 7: PROFIT
My school only gives NBME exams, and weekly quizzes that are not mandatory. Will this work for me?
 

Deecee2DO

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Am i the only one that didnt use anki or zanki or pathoma first year? All I used was class slides/youtube stuff I didnt understand and every once in a while FA (barely) and did well. Didnt even use kaplan pretest or any board books. Am I missing something?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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My school only gives NBME exams, and weekly quizzes that are not mandatory. Will this work for me?
For you I would just do Zanki all day every day. Use BnB to brush up on topics if you want to supplement with some auditory lectures.

Am i the only one that didnt use anki or zanki or pathoma first year? All I used was class slides/youtube stuff I didnt understand and every once in a while FA (barely) and did well. Didnt even use kaplan pretest or any board books. Am I missing something?
No but you need to make sure you are learning the stuff in each unit that is pertinent for boards. My school glazes over entire topics that are a big deal on boards and there are a number of people at the top 1/3 of our class that are barely passing COMSAE's and have withdrawn from USMLE because they got like 170s on NBME practice exams. Especially at a DO school you cannot assume your curriculum is preparing you for boards, because chances are that it's not.
 

Deecee2DO

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For you I would just do Zanki all day every day. Use BnB to brush up on topics if you want to supplement with some auditory lectures.


No but you need to make sure you are learning the stuff in each unit that is pertinent for boards. My school glazes over entire topics that are a big deal on boards and there are a number of people at the top 1/3 of our class that are barely passing COMSAE's and have withdrawn from USMLE because they got like 170s on NBME practice exams. Especially at a DO school you cannot assume your curriculum is preparing you for boards, because chances are that it's not.
Crap, Good point. well I guess I did first year wrong lol. Im a rising M2 so if I start M2 in July supplementing board resources possible to catch up and score well on Step? Also should I start zanki/anki? I need to learn this summer so im good at using it for this upcoming yr never used it before
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Crap, Good point. well I guess I did first year wrong lol. Im a rising M2 so if I start M2 in July supplementing board resources possible to catch up and score well on Step? Also should I start zanki/anki? I need to learn this summer so im good at using it for this upcoming yr never used it before
Whatever works for you is what you should do. Yes starting at the beginning of 2nd year is plenty of time if you do it right. At the bare minimum you need to start doing questions at the beginning of M2 for the topics you covered first year.
 
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Am i the only one that didnt use anki or zanki or pathoma first year? All I used was class slides/youtube stuff I didnt understand and every once in a while FA (barely) and did well. Didnt even use kaplan pretest or any board books. Am I missing something?
No and no. I never used anki or sketchy, didn't use pathoma until M2 (and didn't find it too useful) and did quite well. However, having a repeatable study tool (like anki/flashcards) has been shown in studies to improve learning, which is why everyone recommends such. Also, practice questions are key.

there are a number of people at the top 1/3 of our class that are barely passing COMSAE's and have withdrawn from USMLE because they got like 170s on NBME practice exams. Especially at a DO school you cannot assume your curriculum is preparing you for boards, because chances are that it's not.
This is solid advice and I'm quoting you for emphasis because it reflects what I've heard from friends at other schools/DOs. Always supplement lectures with FA/another text, just to make sure everything is covered. There may be blind spots in the curriculum. I've also heard the same of some DO programs where students from the top quartile of the class fail boards.


In third year, probably 80-90% of the material on the shelves/boards isn't taught to you; you have to learn it yourself. Start preparing for that now. If you go into med school being expected to be told everything you will eventually be expected to learn, you won't do well.

Personally I was a fairly average student in pre-clinical coursework but scored well above average on the steps because I focused all my studying towards learning the step-related material really well. Wouldn't change a thing if I had to do it again.
 
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Frogger27

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I’ll put a plug for Boards and beyond. Dr. Ryan will take you to the promise land. His videos are amazing and he covers everything you need (more so for boards). The lightyear deck made off of BnB is very well done and some people prefer over zanki (myself included)
 

Deecee2DO

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Whatever works for you is what you should do. Yes starting at the beginning of 2nd year is plenty of time if you do it right. At the bare minimum you need to start doing questions at the beginning of M2 for the topics you covered first year.
Awesome thanks for the advice. Questions are def key i agree
 
Aug 11, 2018
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So does this plan sound about right for system base curriculum?

During M1 and M2, do Zanki, Zanki Pharm, Sketchy deck and incorporate Q banks of choice.
M2 dedicated, focus on Uworld and practice step?

Fill in gap knowledge and difficult subjects with BnB etc?
 
May 18, 2019
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For biochem watch AK lectures, anatomy do netter flash cards, the rest I would stick to BnB/pathoma, and sketchy. I would also recommend annotating FA. Also when you do to organ systems get a Q bank. Helps you apply knowledge.
 

Donna Moss

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Are there any Qbanks that can be used with a curriculum that systems based where M1 is normal physio and M2 is Pathophysio. Each block has NBME exams. I study best by doing practice questions.