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New FA Books (First Aid: Basic Sciences, Organ System/General Principles)

Discussion in 'Step I' started by BigBrother, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. BigBrother

    BigBrother New Member

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    Does anyone have any info on the new First Aid books that are set to come out in 2009?

    First Aid: Basic Sciences, Organ System
    First Aid: Basic Sciences, General Principles

    You can pre-order them on Amazon.
    Does anyone know anything at all about them?
     
  2. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    From the publisher descriptions (here and here) it looks like this is their attempt to make a truly comprehensive study package that would compete with BRS, RR, etc.

    I think with the First Aid name behind them a lot of people will be interested. But then again everyone is scared to experiment with untried resources. Given the page counts (about 1500 combined) I also wonder if this might be aimed more at Kaplan customers or IMGs.
     
  3. Knicks

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    Just another attempt to rip off broke students.


    No thanks.
     
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  4. JeffLebowski

    JeffLebowski Just got Nard-dogged
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    Agreed. Sounds like an attempt to cash in on the Step I FA reputation. FA for Step I is great, no one would question that. But once every M2 in the country buys a copy, how do you expand from there? I guess this is how.
     
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  5. Monica Lewinsky

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    How could it compete with the arrogance of RR Path? The simplicity of BRS Phys? The humor and associations of CMMRS?

    There's a reason why BRS or RR isn't used for every subject. We use the best resources for each subject and until these FA resources are proven to be sufficient they won't get my limited money.
     
  6. Keyser112

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    lol at people saying they can't afford it. you'd rather save $80 buy not looking through a book that is potentially awesome (the FA name is renouned, ldo) and risk not doing as well on your step 1.

    oh but paying $120K in tuition is no big deal because we have to. priorities people. don't be so stubborn.
     
  7. Monica Lewinsky

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    Money is limited, but not as limited as time. These are huge books.
     
  8. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    The risk goes both ways. Why spend $80 on books that no one has looked at yet when you can study books that people on these forums have used and identified as good resources post-test? IMO, these books aren't going to offer anything that Kaplan or other resources are not already offering. They could be a great, comprehensive, single source, but they could also contain way too much information, making studying burdensome. I'd at least wait to see if you can check them out in a bookstore before buying.
     
  9. Knicks

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    Well-played. :thumbup:
     
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  10. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    It's funny to me that people seem angry that new books are coming out. Obviously they are expensive and it would be unwise to buy them without seeing them first, but why the hostility? Maybe they will be great, maybe not. No need to get worked up until we see the books.
     
  11. Monica Lewinsky

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    I just think people are stupid to think that anything with the "First Aid" brand has to be the best resource without any evidence to back them up.
     
  12. Knicks

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    Who's being "hostile"? lol

    Not me.
     
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  13. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    The preview for the Organ System book is up on Amazon now. It looks good but the devil is in the details. I decided to order it...will post impressions when it arrives.
     
  14. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    this book kinda looks awesome to me. i know it's the first year and i'm the guinea pig but seriously it has the embryology, physiology, pharmacology, radiology, etc all in one place. i think i may just get it. i guess i'm into overkill since i mainly want it for pathophys and i already have rapid review, big robbins, brs etc
     
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  15. Aptamer

    Aptamer Senior Member
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    I'd be interested in your impressions of the Organ System book. I've taken Step 1 and just started the PhD portion of my program, and this book looks like a nice comprehensive review of second year. It'd be something nice to read as a brief refresher before joining the MS3 year...whenever that may be.
     
  16. RunwayModel

    RunwayModel Member
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    In looking at the previews in Amazon, what it seems to be is an expanded version of First Aid. The books are made to be used DURING ACTUAL COURSEWORK (when you learn things for the first time). After all First Aid for Step 1, really isn't helpful in comprehensively learning subjects, just getting tidbit facts.
     
  17. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    So, I wouldn't say it's exactly an expanded version of First Aid except that First Aid is the outline for the entire US preclinical curriculum. So far it really seems like a comprehensive review (like RR Path) but in prose form instead of outline. I do like it so far but haven't had a chance to do detailed comparisons as far as how much detail is included. It's readable and has nice figures though.
     
  18. maybepsych

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    So do the books complete each other? Do you need both of them?
     
  19. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    They cover different material. General Principles covers mostly first year subjects and Organ Systems covers second year topics (the tables of contents are on Amazon).
     
  20. MedLover25

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    I wouldn't use these. Just because something looks nice doesn't mean it gets the job done. It also hasn't been tested by any med students really. If you want to risk it and use this to study and be a guinea pig for an extremely important exam - be my guest.

    If you're just starting med school and choose to be a guinea pig, be my guest.

    I'd recommend staying with what's worked for others in the past, and wait for the brave ones to try these out.
     
  21. Rhapsode

    Rhapsode climbing...climbing...
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    Anyone who has used these books have anything more to add? They seem like the perfect resource, but I can't bring myself to pull the trigger.
     
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  22. confuse

    confuse Senior Member
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    Hey guys,
    I just purchased the FA Basic Science and Organ System book. I took almost a whole day to look through them and here is my impression.
    Highlights from the FA Basic Science book:
    Beh Science: exactly like FA written out in sentence form. :thumbdown:
    Biochemistry: very thorough and solid. Not as much detail as Kaplan or RR but extremely well written. :thumbup:
    Micro/Immuno: excellent. I just took the Micro/Immuno shelf last semester and I wish this book had been available sooner. :thumbup:

    Highlights fromt the FA Organ System book:
    For every organ system, it is broken down into a section on embryology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology similar to the format of FA but with more detail and better explanation.
    I feel like the embryo and anatomy sections are excellent and sufficient. Perhaps not as much detail as HY or BRS but it is very well written and more clinical oriented. :thumbup:
    The physiology section is excellent and covers about 90% of the material in BRS physiology. :thumbup:
    Pathology section doesn't cover as much detail as Goljan but probably more info than BRS. It is extremely well wirtten with nice pictures. I feel like it's more helpful for 3rd year because disease is broken down into general description, presentation, diagnoses, treatment, and prognosis. :thumbup: For the Boards, I think I would still use BRS or Goljan though.
    The pharmacology section is excellent but not much different from FA. :thumbup:

    In general, I'm very happy with the purchase. Because it's rather thick (>500 pages for Basic Science and >900 pages for Organ System), it's not suited for cramming for the Boards but rather for reviewing during the year. I really like these books because as I follow along my path and pharm class, I can review embryo, anatomy, and physio for that organ system as well. :thumbup:

    Negatives: Pharm and Beh Science not much different from FA, some overlapping info btw the Basic Science and Organ System book :thumbdown:
     
  23. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    so i just bought the organ systems one a few days ago and i'm still waiting on it. for those who already have it, just wondering if it's necessary to use first aid in addition to this ie if i still have to annotate first aid. also, just curious...when people annotate first aid is basically just ending up looking like a rapid review path or brs path (obviously not the biochem etc sections)? i understand the want to have it all in one location but i wanted to know if when used in combo with rr and brs (i don't mind dispersed resources...it changes things up) , these books would make it uneccessary to annotate first aid path section.
     
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  24. g6pddfishnc

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    #24 g6pddfishnc, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  25. confuse

    confuse Senior Member
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    Sorry, couldn't help you there. I just got these books less than 2 wks ago so I haven't had time to check for errors. I think if you use them as you go along with your coursework, you can catch and correct the errors early.

     
  26. AllUpOnYoMama

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    I just got the books yesterday and they seem legit to me. I feel like I have a good foundation of the basic sciences so Ive always felt like the kaplan books are too much and first aid is too little. These new first aid books seem perfect for someone who just needs a quick recap read. Im planning on knocking both books out in 3 weeks and then just doing USMLEworld and qbank for the details. example: FA goes over transcription/translation but doesn't really compare prokaryotes and euks transcrip/translation well as compared to the bigger book which has charts comparing the small difference between proks and euks. So, the bigger books dive a little deeper but not too much. Hope this helps
     
  27. g6pddfishnc

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    #27 g6pddfishnc, Jan 5, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  28. Bluemirage

    Bluemirage Senior Member
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    Anyone else have any further feedback on these books?
     
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  29. InspireMe

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    thanks for the reviews of the books but I'm starting to feel like I spent a little more than I should already and in these hard economic times I'll stick with whats tried and proven (not mention errata), I'm sure there are great products though
     
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  30. Mortal_Lessons

    Mortal_Lessons H.Perowne
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    The important nature of this test and wide range of approaches to studying for it make new resources from respected sources very attractive. However, there are other resources that have proven success in preparing one for this test, and I don't really find the utility of spending money on books that may or may not be better/more effective than other established resources. I think this would be more attractive for one who has not already purchased/become familiar with other texts. In the end, there is no golden ticket to success. There are no shortcuts. It must be earned.
     
  31. scube

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    books are great. well written, wish i had them at the start of year one. There is a binding issue with organ systems. and a TON of ERRORS. typically with diagrams imported from other sources. The neuro section references Kendal so you could probably get by with out it(not that you need it in the first place). There are a lot of misspellings. I am making it my duty to flag each mistake I find and send them my copy.
     
  32. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    Why not post them here?
     
  33. tallash

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    Any students who used these during their review want to offer another update? Thinking about picking these up for my own studies...
     
  34. ucsfstudents

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    Unless you have many months to study for Step 1, I would recommend against buying additional books. Buy the few essentials (first aid, brs, goljan, a few extra you feel you can't live without), learn them really well, and do the practice problems. The number of questions a student does correlates with their step 1 score, but the number of books they use has never been shown to correlate with their step 1 score. Good luck!
     
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  35. tallash

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    1) I'm looking for a series of books that I can use to review the first year material and fill in any holes that may have been in my school's curriculum or in my knowledge - but at the same time I'm not ready for the bullet point format of FA or some of the other board review books. I'd also like something that I can use to read along with during second year - something I didn't do during first year and that I wish I had done.

    2) I'm thinking about using this series or KAPLAN's home study program - feedback about these series would be greatly appreciated.

    3) Can you point me in the direction of the statistics you're citing in regards to predictors of USMLE success? I've found a few things on PubMed but would be interested in finding out more about the topic.
     
  36. defcon8

    defcon8 Information ≠ Knowledge
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    Stick with the Home Study Program by Kaplan.. I have both that and the books by FA and would recommend Kaplan over this 1st edition of FA anyday. The organ systems book has errors on almost every other page that makes you doubt the credibility of anything that you read subsequently unless you are familiar with the material from before. It is notably deficient when compared to Kaplan in physiology and anatomy-embryo, though may be superior in some instances when it comes to pathology. There are certain fundamental diseases that are left out of the book and even more that show up only in the review section for the chapter and nowhere else in either book(Polycystic Kidney Disease as an example). All that said, I think the next edition might actually be suitable as a primary resource, but as it is now I would not recommend it. I dont have any serious complaints about the general principles book apart from a few errors and would recommend that as a primary resource even in its current edition.
     
  37. tallash

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    Anyone have some links for the stats that UCSF is referring to?
     
  38. DiverDoc

    DiverDoc KCUMB 2012
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    I bought the Organ systems book and was very impressed initially. I used it to study for our year I comprehensive exam. However there is either a serious concept error or spelling error on nearly every single page. Youd think with a dozen or more faculty 'reviewers' these would be limited. But, it is a first edition.
     
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  39. prn2oblivion

    prn2oblivion lolerskates
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  40. defcon8

    defcon8 Information ≠ Knowledge
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    Nowhere near. As far as I am concerned, they put out the errata just for the sake of saying they have one for it. Half of the errata only covers misspellings and trivial errors of that nature. It barely touches the numerous conceptual errors. Errors are concentrated in some chapters more than others though, so you will know when to have a higher index of suspicion.
     
  41. ZonaRidicularis

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    #41 ZonaRidicularis, Aug 4, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009

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