Must Have Books for Step 1?

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Nov 1, 2005
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Hey guys. So I'm staring at the options available on Amazon and wondering what books I should be getting to study for Step 1.

I'm thinking BRS path, BRS phys, pharm cards (Which ones?), micro cards (which ones?), clinical micro made ridiculously simple, and FA. Anything else like Robbins Review of Path, Goljan Rapid Review, et cetera? Any high yield books?


2003 Member
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Oct 16, 2003
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I liked the BRS cards, theyre low on clutter and I can get thru all of em in an hour. RR is worth it, Robbins ROP also worth it, but that's pretty much it.


Just got Nard-dogged
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
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Yeah, but the OP is asking about must have books.

I'd say the only "must haves" are: FA (most recent edition, which comes out in December or something if I recall), either BRS path or RR path, and BRS physio...and USMLEWorld, but the OP is asking about books. The rest you can supplement based on your own preferences (HY, BRS, flashcards, etc.).

To summarize, must haves:
BRS path or RR path
BRS physio


Full Member
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Dec 29, 2007
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I don't think there is really any one must have book. I'd say you need:
1) General knowledge skeleton book / framework - I loved First Aid but there are others out there. I skimmed some of my friends' (who disliked FA) and I thought they were pretty good. Resist the urge to utilize more than one. Basically use this text to keep you on track with the breadth of knowledge so you don't delve too deep into any one topic.
2) Path Book - BRS Path or RR Path (my preference for its pathophys). You can hit 260 with either.
3) BRS Physio - I'm not sure this is 100% must have as I know people who got along without it and just worked off of the physio stuff in FA. But I think it's such a well-written enjoyable read (except for reproductive section). Probably my favorite part of each subject was reading this book.
4) USMLE World Qbank. (Split kaplan qbank with 5 other people and use their biostats, behavioral science questions- they have good what would jesus do and biostats questions not found in UW... everything else blows)
5) Maybe not ESSENTIAL and not a text but Goljan Audio. There are so many times during qbank or nbme's when I practically said outloud "oh i know this cuz of goljan". Great for the basics in the subjects which were taught poorly by your faculty.