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Discussion in 'Step I' started by MarylandDude, Dec 30, 2008.
Why does this feel sooo much like the MCAT discussion forum?
MCAT on crack, 'roids, dropped in a vat of goo to turn it into a mutant....
Or so I'm told...
Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
caus just maybe, just maybe it is just that
haha lol, I see you guys are finding it quite easy to have a laugh at the rookie's expense .
But yeah how does a rookie (like me) go about setting himself up to score a 240+ on step I from day one in med school?
Uhh, if you start studying from day 1 for the boards, there is something wrong with you. Not only will it not help you one bit, but you will just burn yourself out over 2 years.
Best advice: don't worry about it until it is time to. Learn your school material well the first two years and it will help you more than you realize it.
The best way to prepare for USMLE Step I is to do well in your coursework. This is your prep from Day 1 of your classes. After that, you can review for Step I. You study and learn your coursework but you review for your USMLE Step exams. You can't review what you haven't learned in the first place. If you KNOW your coursework thoroughly, there is no question on any USMLE Step that you can't figure out.
This is day in and day out work with minimal distractions. Trying to memorize a review book only takes away from that study time and you will get plenty of time to review once your school work is done. The people who struggle with USMLE, are usually the folks who have large knowledge gaps from coursework and attempt to make up for them by review. Again, you can't review what you haven't mastered to begin with.
I was never planning on reviewing for Step I from day one. I am looking for advice on how to approach my classes or med school in a way which will enable me to perform well on the test.
Thank you for the constructive advice, that sounds like a plan .
do very well in coursework, you'll be setting a great foundation for boards...
I agree with what has been said about focusing on coursework and not getting ahead of yourself with board study before you even start your first year. I think that is good advice for anyone to save your sanity as well as that of your classmates. But I can honestly say looking back at my first year and even the summer before there are some things I could have done in addition to coursework that would have helped with Step I, so I'll pass on my two cents.
- If you are absolutely itching to do something now, get a copy of First Aid and look through at your leisure. Don't go crazy memorizing details but I'd look at their step I guidance as well as review source ratings.
- Buy review books instead of textbooks. The only textbooks I purchased were for anatomy: Netter's Atlas, Essential Clinical Anatomy, and Haines Neuroanatomy. Harrison's Internal Medicine, Robbin's & Cotran Pathology, Albert's Cell, etc. are all available for free on the internet (at least at my school through the library).
- For the rest of my classes I have had good success with review books: RR Pathology, BRS Physiology, RR Biochem, HY Neuroanatomy, HY Immunology, HY Cell and Molecular Bio (1999), HY Behavioral Science, HY Embryology, Clinical Micro Made Ridiculously Simple, Lippincott's Pharmacology. First Aid even recommends using some of these with coursework and I agree. Several of us in my class chucked our biochem notes and just went with RR Biochem after we noticed that one lecture had been copied almost word for word from that book.
- Use appropriate qbank questions to help study for tests (Webpath, Robbins & Cotran Review of pathology (questions, not text), Kaplan Q book, First Aid Q&A)
I came to this realization after a terrible stretch of pathology lectures in my first year that left me feeling very frustrated with the school's curriculum. My experience may not be typical for all med school, but my school's curriculum has some holes in it and there's a tendency for lecturers so focus on details they think are important at the expense of high yield board topics. Less is more a lot of the time--I benefited by getting an overview of the material from the review books which gave me a framework for understanding the details in our lecture notes. I've also found that the review books cover a large chunk of material that we are tested on in class as well as being better organized than our course syllabus.
I'll echo the advice sounded above--the first two years is a marathon, find a pace for studying that allows you to be balanced and efficient so you don't blow a gasket. Good luck and PM me if you have any questions about what I'm talking about.
You are amazing. I'm saving this post to my computer. Thank you.