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RR Pathology vs BRS Path

Discussion in 'Step I' started by premedgeek, May 9, 2007.

  1. premedgeek

    premedgeek Senior Member
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    Is RR Pathology much better than BRS Path? I have used BRS Path throughout my 2nd year (didnd't know about RR Path). Would it be benefitial for me to at least read through RR Path once?

    I am generally weak with recognizing images/slides. BRS Path has none while RR Path has plenty. So, that is one advantage I see.

    Also, I have listened to goljan lecture once and I am going through them again. I have his High Yield notes (100 page and 36 pages) but have not had a chance to look through them yet. For the record, I LOVE goljan lectures. He makes everything crystal clear.

    I am scheduled to take USMLE on May 30 but seriously thinking about delaying it until Late June (especially since I found out that they gonna be changing question pool and not releasing scores untli July 18th anyway - better be safe and study harder).

    So, Is RR Path worth the extra effort?

    What you guys think?
     
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  3. KNightInBlue

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    personally, I love RR path but ppl seem to be divided on this, some prefer RR path and others, BRS path. I guess the best thing to do would be to pick up a copy and read the same chapter in both books............see which one u like better


    good luck!
     
  4. WhoisJohnGalt

    WhoisJohnGalt NYC Psychiatrist
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    I LOVE my RR Path... but it's nearly 700 pages. I think at this point in the game, ESPECIALLY if you're planning on taking the exam May 30th, it's a bit late to pick up and read through even once. I've been using it only this last semester (since I was waiting on the new edition), and even I am getting overwhelmed by trying to get through the other half of the book in time for when I take the exam (on June 23rd!).

    I think it really depends on how long you actually have, and how many other resources you're planning to get through. If you have AT LEAST an entire week to devote only to this book, then it may be worth it... otherwise I'd stick with what you have.

    Again, this is by no means anything negative about the book, it's just more geared toward people who are using it with coursework or who have tons of time (as opposed to BRS, which astounds you with how concise it is, but certainly doesn't include any extra explanation for understanding).
     
  5. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    It's very doable in a week. His book goes along with his lectures very well. I don't think you'd have to have read it over the year - I mean you're going to read it again anyways. If anything, you can get through it quicker because you've listened to all his lectures.
     
  6. premedgeek

    premedgeek Senior Member
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    I can reschedule it for late June. Its not a problem. I am strongly leaning toward this option from what I have read in this forums.

    I wish I had followed these forums earlier:oops:
     
  7. FotoFusion

    FotoFusion Giggity Giggity
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    This HAS got to be the most asked question on the Step 1 forum. Someone oughta sticky all the posts having to do with this topic:D

    It's definitely a time investment, but like everyone else has said, it's much more integrative than BRS and the pictures rock, too. The test at the end was really good, plus there are more online questions to boot.

    Blz's plan is good considering the time you have left - just listen to the audio lectures again, and follow along in the book. Plus those awesome blue notes in the side. You can do it, 1 week probably sounds good if you're going to go at it hardcore.

    Good luck!
     
  8. goodies

    goodies Member
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    i am having this problem too.. deciding which to use. i keep switching back and forth and i'll probably end up reading both at this rate since i cant seem to be satisfied with one or the other.

    my path background knowledge is pretty decent, but when i read brs path for some reason it doesn't stick as well. i like how goljan describes the histo you'd see under biopsy of a certain lesion... and the way he describes it is very similar to how UW describes it in the question stems..

    when i read brs, i'm always wondering WHY certain things happen (ie. why you'd get hypercalcemia with a certain condition,etc..), but goljan actually explains it.
     
  9. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    I'm the exact opposite. I get a whole lot more out of BRS Path than Goljan. The thing is that I've never listened to any Goljan lectures --- without the lectures, the book is not all that helpful.
     
  10. premedgeek

    premedgeek Senior Member
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    You gotta listen to his lectures (if you still have time). They are awesome.

    I will probably end up using them both.
     
  11. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    Before the path shelf I read a chapter a day of RR (very doable). With four days before the exam I read it again in 3 days and flipped through it all again (rapidly) on day 4. I then picked up BRS and read it in 3 hours, which was a nice "easy" summary of everything. We'll see how I did on the shelf but I felt good. I bet you can get through RR twice in the 20 days you have remaining.
     
  12. cromagnon

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    not to hijack the thread, but i had not heard of this. what exactly are they changing?

    thanks
     
  13. premedgeek

    premedgeek Senior Member
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    I am not sure what they are changing. Here is word to word quote from Dean of our medical school:

    "Normal score reporting for Step 1 usually occurs in 3-4 weeks. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool as well as the processing load caused by a heavy volume of test takers, there will be a delay in score reporting for most Step 1 examinations administered in late May and June. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing from May 18 through late June will be Wednesday, July 18, 2007. "
     
  14. cromagnon

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    wow, they actually talk to the students at your school? that must be pretty cool.

    the only info passed down to us irt to step1 this year is that we will have only have 4 weeks (down from 5 last year) from our last final to study/take our exam. thanks buddies.



    ...to the OP, if you like goljan audio i think the clear winner for you is RR.
     
  15. domer621

    domer621 MS4
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    You, my friend, are a BEAST! :eek:
     
  16. G0S2

    G0S2 SDN Angel
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    Not to be but when the path course uses the shelf as 20% of your final grade, the pressure is on a bit. It also allowed me to become more familiar with the book before I really start studying for the Step.
     
  17. N-Surge

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    You have answered your own question. You LOVE Goljan lectures. There you go! :thumbup:

    You have PLENTY of time to get through his book. Check out ALL THAT WHITE SPACE in the margins! Not to mention ALL THOSE PICTURES taking up space. Ch 1 - Ch 25 is 596 pgs. At 75pg/day you are done in 8 days! More than doable.

    Do RR or BRS, not both! Use that other time for FA review and/or problems. You know who you LOVE. So, the choice is yours. Wouldn't want you to make a decision based on my biased opinion.
     
  18. N-Surge

    N-Surge Emeritus
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    Going into studying for the STEP with mine already tattered and such (from the shelf as well). Quite broken in, actually. Hope yours is holding up just fine. :D
     
  19. goodies

    goodies Member
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    lucky..... mine is almost brand new :(
     
  20. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    it's probably better that way. i refused to take notes in my RR while studying for classes this year because I didn't want to taint it with all the extra crap our school makes us learn
     
  21. KNightInBlue

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    The only changes I made in the beginning were the ones on the errata document on goljan's page. After reading all the exam experiences and going back for a 2nd read, I felt like a few places could use some additions. Like on pg 54, in the table listing the B and T cell disorders, SCID is listed as an autosomal recessive disorder via the adenosine deaminase deficiency route...........but there's another way to get SCID, via mutations in the common gamma chains shared by IL receptors, basically leading to defective IL signaling/virtually absent immune system - this is an X-linked disorder............lo and behold, a friend of mine had a question on his test regarding this difference in inheritance pattern for SCID.


    Overall tho, the book can definitely stand on its own as a formidable weapon to crush path, without any additional notes.
     
  22. HMSSurgeon

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    I guess I'm in the minority here but I preferred BRS Path. I knew it was light on content but it's actually written in sentence format and it flows. RR is just an outline. Yes, RR might have everything you ever need to know about Path but if it's in a choppy outline form and doesn't allow you to retain the information, what good is reading it? And I don't know anyone actually read it because it's essentially like reading a grocery list. I would much rather read something that is written and organized well and allows me to retain that information even if it is only 80% of that path you need to know.

    BRS Path approaches the material from a practical standpoint. It purposefully focuses on the main points and allows you to get the big picture. This is why it purposefully leaves out content.

    Oh and one last but extremely important point is that RR is very different from the Goljan audio. I loved the audio but hated RR. I had a lot of friends who felt the same way. I recommend his audio lectures but the RR is nothing more than a long choppy outline on glossy paper with some nice pictures. I supplemented the missing areas of path by doing thousands of questions. I knew BRS cold and that was enough for me to do well.
     
  23. N-Surge

    N-Surge Emeritus
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    I try not writing in books anymore. It's tattered from being read, lol. And well, it also fell in the mud probably just two days after I received it in the mail. So, my copy has issues other than being high-lighted, lol.

    PS-Unless I find an error! That's worth circling/marking.
     
  24. psychobob

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    I feel the same way. My RR is just sitting there in my closet after having read a few chapters. It's very difficult to read and absorb the material IMO. I would recommend it if you're starting your pathology course with it, but to use it a few months before the step would be a bit of a mistake.

    I used BRS throughout my courework, so I feel comfortable with it. I know it lacks pathophysiology, but FA and USMLEWORLD questions fill that void nicely. Also, I find the goljan audio to be great and concise source of info. I usually write much of what he sais in FA or BRS.
     
  25. Freshnstylin

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    In my opinion RR Goljan is awesome. BRS sucks. Pretty much BRS anything sucks. For me anyway. I started studying about 1.5 weeks ago and just got through Goljan (took me 10 days). I took form 3 NBME yesterday to see where I need work. Got 550. Goal is at least 600. It's Goljan and First Aid for me. Maybe Kaplan Biochem to help out with Genetics etc. But that's it. Too many sources is a waste of time. There aren't going to be tons of brain teasers like USMLEworld. If I don't have any clue it's pick and click. If all the questions were 20 lines and 19 steps to figure it out you'd never finish the stupid exam.

    Don't waste time. Goljan and 1st Aid. Trash BRS.

    One more thing. You have 17 days till your test. It's never too late for Goljan. Read his chapters in the areas you suck at most. Good luck.
     
  26. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    another vote for goljan - he really explains the pathophysiology which really grills the stuff in my brain. makes it a lot harder to forget
     
  27. peppy

    peppy Senior Member
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    I've been trying to get through Goljan's RR path (only 10 more chapters to go!).
    At first I did find it hard to get into the outline format, but I'm sticking with it and now that I've gotten used to the format I like that it's straight to the point without any filler.
     
  28. N-Surge

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  29. G0S2

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    I read Goljan like a madman and earned a 94.5% on the NBME shelf. Doing it again for the Step 1 4 sure.
     
  30. ginger60

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    Goljan all the way. I didn't read him until after finishing BRS for my step 1 studying, and after switching to Goljan I realized that BRS was a waste of time because he organizes and reviews it so much better AND includes pictures.
     
  31. loca Dr. chica

    loca Dr. chica Junior Member
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    Like everyone else had said, definitely do Goljan...I'm regretting not using his stuff sooner. He really integrates a lot of other concepts into Path, so at the same time you're learning biochem, micro and immuno, which are much better learned in context than anyway. He really emphasizes concepts too.
     
  32. goodies

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    ahhhhh, i seriously keep switching back and forth between the two based on everyone's opinion here. prob is i am pressed for time (less than 4 wks left) and can't decide on which one!! i will end up reading both at this rate... i only like BRS cuz it's shorter and people seem to do well with BRS alone... what do i do!!!!!:scared: (but my heart secretly lies on Goljan RR)

    thing is, i feel like by reading brs.. i'll be saving time and more time to do questions. with goljan, i might learn more but less time for questions. or do you think they actually come out to about the same length because brs is dense (words are all bunched onto a page) whereas goljan is spread out + pictures + tons of blank space (which is why it's longer)?!?!??!???????
     
  33. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    don't freak out - goljan takes only a week to get through (spend a day per system). get the job done and use the nights and the rest of your three weeks for questions.
     
  34. N-Surge

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    I seriously question the length comparison. Blz is right, it is actually a 1 week read. In fact, it is more like a 4-5 day read! Like you said, the text isn't dense like BRS and there are BIG pictures and blank margins taking up space.

    Sure, people do well with BRS. However, people also do well with RR Path.
     
  35. goodies

    goodies Member
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    yea, so isn't better to do well with a shorter book? nevertheless, i think i am going to stick with RR like blz and you are recommending. i just like it better.:thumbup:
     
  36. N-Surge

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    Thing is, which is REALLY shorter in word count?
     
  37. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III
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    Ditto... except I listen to the audio after BRS and maybe follow along in the book or use the tables once in a while. Gosh weren't you and I just studying for the MCAT together ??? :D
     

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