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Pharm for USMLE

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Kalel

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Molly Maquire

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In my opinion, Pharm was much more difficult on COMLEX than on USMLE. You really had to have some in depth knowledge of side affects, interactions, etc. Also, Pharm as a subject receives much more emphasis on COMLEX than on USMLE.

To do really well on COMLEX pharm, you should use a source like Lippencott or something similarly detailed. For USMLE, First Aid is fine--or to maximize your score, you could use something like the Kaplan pharm book, which isn't too bad.

For Comlex, you really need to know the psyc. drugs well (neuroleptics, benzos, SSRIs). The USMLE put more emphasis on autonomic drugs (epi, norepi, atropine, etc).
 

DrMom

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Originally posted by Molly Maquire

For Comlex, you really need to know the psyc. drugs well (neuroleptics, benzos, SSRIs). The USMLE put more emphasis on autonomic drugs (epi, norepi, atropine, etc).

I heard that last year's COMLEX was really big on the autonomics in addition to the psych drugs. I've also been warned about knowing the details of the drugs.
 

souljah1

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Trevor (of Katzung and Trevor's Pharmacology) gave our micro pharm review and told us that antimicrobials are very high yield for step1. Levinson told us that as well. I have no idea about the complex, but I trust him when he tells us to know mechanism, tox, and USE of the antimicrobials with emphasis on bacteria>fungi>virus>parasites.

Autonomics are also supposedly heavily tested on b/c they require very good understanding of physiology and, in many cases, cell biology.
 

Molly Maquire

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Yeah, micro pharm is pretty high yield for both COMLEX and USMLE. For COMLEX, you had to know stuff like which ones turned on the p450 system, etc.

For the chemotherapy drugs, most of the questions seemed to focus on the side effects (which one causes pulmonary fibrosis, which one causes cardiomyopathy, which one causes hemorragic cystitis, etc).

While we are on the subject of Microbiology, this is another area of difference between the two exams. Micro is huge on COMLEX, not too much on USMLE. Micro Made Ridiculously Simple is awesome for both, but probably overkill for USMLE. What makes it great is that, in addition to its memorable memonics and cartoons, there are tables at the end of each chapter you can really go through quickly that summarize all the important info.

I was really surprised to see a number of COMLEX questions dealing with those bizarre parasites, especially after our Kaplan instructor told us not to worry about them. These questions invariably began with the phrase "A traveler returns from West Africa..." Be warned--don't blow these off.
 

DireWolf

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Originally posted by Molly Maquire
I was really surprised to see a number of COMLEX questions dealing with those bizarre parasites, especially after our Kaplan instructor told us not to worry about them. These questions invariably began with the phrase "A traveler returns from West Africa..." Be warned--don't blow these off.

Are you freakin kidding me? I was told not to bother with parasites for USMLE because you might only get 1 or 2 questions on it tops. Do parasites make up a significant portion of COMLEX or just a couple questions? I would like to spend my time on the most high-yield topics.
 
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