Ravendown

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I am just about to start histology and i have done anatomy and biochem so far. Would it be a good idea to get first aid now and start marking it up now? I've never really seen the inside of it [aside from the embryo section that i printed out, which was pretty good for the shelf exam, contrary to what i have heard here] and was wondering if there even is a histology/cell biology section in it?
 

VanBrown

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Yes. In fact if you join the AMA (maybe AMSA?) you get a free First Aid or Netters Flash Cards...
 

bodonid

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it wouldn't be a bad idea, but there isn't much cbio and virtually no histology.
 
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Ravendown

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what about physiology? I take that right after histo. So far, i hear that's one of the more important subjects, so there should be a ton of physio in the book...right?
 

phospho

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what about physiology? I take that right after histo. So far, i hear that's one of the more important subjects, so there should be a ton of physio in the book...right?
Quoted from the 2007 edition:

The portion of the examination dealing with physiology is broad and concept oriented and thus does not
lend itself as well to fact-based review. Diagrams are often the best study aids, especially given the increasing
number of questions requiring the interpretation of diagrams. Learn to apply basic physiologic
relationships in a variety of ways (e.g., the Fick equation, clearance equations). You are seldom asked to
perform complex calculations. Hormones are the focus of many questions, so learn their sites of production
and action as well as their regulatory mechanisms.
A large portion of the physiology tested on the USMLE Step 1 is now clinically relevant and involves understanding
physiologic changes associated with pathologic processes (e.g., changes in pulmonary function
with COPD). Thus, it is worthwhile to review the physiologic changes that are found with common
pathologies of the major organ systems (e.g., heart, lungs, kidneys, GI tract) and endocrine glands.
 

Vonsmack

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As stated above, First Aid is a review text. It is in no way detailed enough to be useful for your school exams. I would not recommend even making notes in your First Aid at this point, it will be full of useless details that will probably not be helpful. Study from your primary textbooks and your school notes, and leave First Aid and other Step 1 books for step 1 review.
 

chessknt87

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Yea FA is far too vague to be useful for class. Maybe you can flip through it to get an idea of whats on the test, but I doubt it will have much effect.`
 
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Ravendown

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I didn't mean to exactly use it for class, but to start annotating it while i'm taking the class as a method for review.
 

HTxFrog

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you are probably going to buy the new version of first aid anyways when you are actually reviewing for step one so annotating this year's FA isn't going to help for boards. Plus you will probably annotate stuff into it that you will think seems simple by the end of next year. I've annotated stuff in a couple months ago that I already think is stupid and obvious. I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy the book. I would definitely buy it and review sections as you are studying that material, but I just didn't want you to think that your annotations now are going to be useful in a year because in all likelihood they won't be.
 

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I didn't buy one, but I have heard from a lot of M3's that following along with it during M1 & M2 helped them keep their attention on high yield material throughout preclinical years. Supposedly it made their review for step I easier.
 

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I wouldn't buy it until the version for the year you're taking step I comes out.

I annotated mine with the UWorld questions I got wrong, that was useful. I wouldn't annotate much M1/M2 stuff in there just yet, you're still working on figuring out what's high yield.
 

Scrub MD

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I bought a used one on half dot com for cheap, didn't matter what edition because you will buy a new one come Step 1 time. I made notes on the side, nothing too in depth. Glanced over it for an hour or 2 the week of (or before) the test to solidify I was keeping everything in perspective (it is easy to get stuck on details for the exams) and to add clinical info, and it helps with mnemonics. Read over it and transferred the information into the new edition when studying for Step 1. I did very well using this technique.
 

silverlining1

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I didn't mean to exactly use it for class, but to start annotating it while i'm taking the class as a method for review.
This is actually what I did - I found it really helpful. Writing stuff down helped me consolidate info as I was learning it for classes, and now that I'm actually studying for the boards, it's nice to have annotations and clarifications already written in there (as opposed to having to slog through Costanzo Physiology again or something). The downside is that your classes likely teach too much info, so you won't want to write EVERYTHING in first aid (plus, it's hard to guess what's going to be on the boards before you've done practice questions).

I do agree that First Aid isn't that useful for studying for preclinical exams, but again, it may be a good investment of your time to scribble some things in there now.
 

SouthernSurgeon

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I didn't mean to exactly use it for class, but to start annotating it while i'm taking the class as a method for review.
I find that most first years who try to do that end up not using it. Your head is spinning as a first year so much that you don't even know what is or isn't "high yield" information, and by the time you get to the end of second year when you look back at your marked up FA you will wonder what the heck you were thinking at the time you wrote all that junk.
 

seelee

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned. If your school does NBME shelf exams during first year, then FA is very very good for review since NMBE questions are old step questions.

First thing I would do is send out emails to upperclassmen and ask them if they have old editions of FA that they would let you have for free. It doesn't change that much, and while I wouldn't use it for step, it should be fine for NBME.
 

riceman04

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned. If your school does NBME shelf exams during first year, then FA is very very good for review since NMBE questions are old step questions.

First thing I would do is send out emails to upperclassmen and ask them if they have old editions of FA that they would let you have for free. It doesn't change that much, and while I wouldn't use it for step, it should be fine for NBME.
finals end this week...then I'll be gearing up for some party time down in the carribean, possible surfing here in Sunny Diego, and cracking my whip on myself to start prep for Step 1. I have alot of notes I need to consolidate and make sense out of.

Time to DO WORK...after these crazy finals at least!
 

Black Surgeon

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finals end this week...then I'll be gearing up for some party time down in the carribean, possible surfing here in Sunny Diego, and cracking my whip on myself to start prep for Step 1. I have alot of notes I need to consolidate and make sense out of.

Time to DO WORK...after these crazy finals at least!
I just finished first year. My plan this summer (besides research) is to read every one of the 900 pages of baby Robbins numerous times, and to take & pass (if not "destroy") a practice NBME pathology shelf exam before second year starts. Call me crazy, but I've already knocked out 2 chapters in two days (21 more chapters to go). My dreams keep me up at night! Straight Gunner and proud.
 
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Mr hawkings

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I just finished first year. My plan this summer (besides research) is to read every one of the 900 pages of baby Robbins numerous times, and to take & pass (if not "destroy") a practice NBME pathology shelf exam before second year starts. Call me crazy, but I've already knocked out 2 chapters in two days (21 more chapters to go). My dreams keep me up at night! Straight Gunner and proud.
Not a gunner till you also start sabotaging your classmates' studying by stealing their texbooks.
Wanna own the title? Do it right
 

Black Surgeon

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Not a gunner till you also start sabotaging your classmates' studying by stealing their texbooks.
Wanna own the title? Do it right
Ha, No thanks. If that's your definition of a "gunner", than I'm far from it.
 

Mr hawkings

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Ha, No thanks. If that's your definition of a "gunner", than I'm far from it.
Thats the real definition, brother.
A real gunner not only works harder but makes sure other do worse than him.
 

The Poet Sings

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Ha, No thanks. If that's your definition of a "gunner", than I'm far from it.
you're just hardworking and determined. sorry. a true gunner is hardworking and determined to make others fail!
 

Random Anesthesiologist

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I bought the 2010 version and will take step 1 next year.

I followed the advice of others and had the spine cut and the book 3-hole punched to put into a binder so I can annotate/add as I need to during M2.

I plan to follow the Taus plan eventually and I think rather than wait for the 2011 version, it will be more valuable to me to annotate and fill in the errata as I go.
 

Black Surgeon

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you're just hardworking and determined. sorry. a true gunner is hardworking and determined to make others fail!
I believe this is the nicest thing anyone has ever written about me on SDN. :D

Thats the real definition, brother.
A real gunner not only works harder but makes sure other do worse than him.
You win, I am not a "real gunner" by the universal definition. I would never want to sabotage my peers.
 

Black Surgeon

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I just finished first year. My plan this summer (besides research) is to read every one of the 900 pages of baby Robbins numerous times, and to take & pass (if not "destroy") a practice NBME pathology shelf exam before second year starts. Call me crazy, but I've already knocked out 2 chapters in two days (21 more chapters to go). My dreams keep me up at night! Straight Gunner and proud.
Update: 8 chapters down, 15 more to go.
 

drizzt3117

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seems like Goljan would be a better resource to read over the summer than Baby Robbins, but whatever I suppose.
 

Black Surgeon

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seems like Goljan would be a better resource to read over the summer than Baby Robbins, but whatever I suppose.
Yep, some of the upperclassman at my institution have said the same thing. However, it's a little difficult to read bullet point (goljan) notes without prior knowledge of the material. Thus, my plan is to get through the baby Robbins, and then through goljan at least once before the comencement of the school year.
 

drizzt3117

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Yep, some of the upperclassman at my institution have said the same thing. However, it's a little difficult to read bullet point (goljan) notes without prior knowledge of the material. Thus, my plan is to get through the baby Robbins, and then through goljan at least once before the comencement of the school year.
I suppose that would work. I went through several chapters of the big robbins for the purpose of board review and I just didn't think it was useful. It was useful for class in some ways but not in others, just too much esoteric info in it.
 

theVster

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned. If your school does NBME shelf exams during first year, then FA is very very good for review since NMBE questions are old step questions.

First thing I would do is send out emails to upperclassmen and ask them if they have old editions of FA that they would let you have for free. It doesn't change that much, and while I wouldn't use it for step, it should be fine for NBME.
This.

I took the NBME exam for Neuroscience and I didn't read First Aid until the night before, thinking "whatever I'm prepared, I read my class notes and Siegel's Neuroscience, I'm sooooolid"--and then proceeded to get my ass whooped on it along with the rest of the class. If I had gone into FA in more depth I would have gotten easily 15-20 more questions right without needing to think. There were at least five questions on different CNS tumors that we had never ever learned during class, but were all listed in detail in FA.

The problem with the NBME exams is that they have a LOT of pathology on them... and if you haven't learned pathology then you're obviously going to have trouble on the exams. That's why most schools don't even bother using them. This was in particular problematic with the Physiology Shelf, which is mostly pathology--most MS IIs that I know told me after I took the Shelf that had they taken it after finishing their Path class, they would have gotten at least 30-50 more questions right on it. One way to stave this off though is to flip through FA and scan through the pathology examples they give. So IMO if you can get an older edition of FA during your first year for cheap, get it and use it to study for NBME exams.
 

theVster

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Yep, some of the upperclassman at my institution have said the same thing. However, it's a little difficult to read bullet point (goljan) notes without prior knowledge of the material. Thus, my plan is to get through the baby Robbins, and then through goljan at least once before the comencement of the school year.
Yeah, first of all as others said you're not a gunner ;) for that you'd have to be the a**hole who trashes laptops and burns other peoples' notes. Kind of like the *&^&-off who stole my notecards in the middle of biochemistry last year and I mysteriously found them back where they were after the exam... you're just a very driven and focused individual.

Secondly, buy the Goljan stuff--I did the same and I'm skimming it--but yeah it's tough to really comprehend all of the material, and you won't understand the pharmacology either, etc... so don't stress too hard as long as you have a good foundation.
 

Mr hawkings

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This.

I took the NBME exam for Neuroscience and I didn't read First Aid until the night before, thinking "whatever I'm prepared, I read my class notes and Siegel's Neuroscience, I'm sooooolid"--and then proceeded to get my ass whooped on it along with the rest of the class. If I had gone into FA in more depth I would have gotten easily 15-20 more questions right without needing to think. There were at least five questions on different CNS tumors that we had never ever learned during class, but were all listed in detail in FA.

The problem with the NBME exams is that they have a LOT of pathology on them... and if you haven't learned pathology then you're obviously going to have trouble on the exams. That's why most schools don't even bother using them. This was in particular problematic with the Physiology Shelf, which is mostly pathology--most MS IIs that I know told me after I took the Shelf that had they taken it after finishing their Path class, they would have gotten at least 30-50 more questions right on it. One way to stave this off though is to flip through FA and scan through the pathology examples they give. So IMO if you can get an older edition of FA during your first year for cheap, get it and use it to study for NBME exams.
I used FA exclusively for all my NBME shelfs (never touched my class notes) and i always did waaaay better than my average grade for the school exams in that class.
I know everyone says you wont know whats usefull to annotate but some of our teachers were good at telling us during lectures which topics were high yield for boards so if those were not adequately covered in FA, i would annotate as the year went on.
It turns out that about 70% of the stuff i annotated showed up in some form on NBMEs. LIke the poster above said, i also used the path portion to supplement all the other subject shelfs.
 

riceman04

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Yeah, first of all as others said you're not a gunner ;) for that you'd have to be the a**hole who trashes laptops and burns other peoples' notes. Kind of like the *&^&-off who stole my notecards in the middle of biochemistry last year and I mysteriously found them back where they were after the exam... you're just a very driven and focused individual.

Secondly, buy the Goljan stuff--I did the same and I'm skimming it--but yeah it's tough to really comprehend all of the material, and you won't understand the pharmacology either, etc... so don't stress too hard as long as you have a good foundation.
depends on the school

My school actually covers pharm during 1st year
 

theVster

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depends on the school

My school actually covers pharm during 1st year
Ah fair enough then. It's covered right before pathology, though we do learn a fair bit of neuro/psych pharmacology.
 

Black Surgeon

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Yeah, first of all as others said you're not a gunner ;) for that you'd have to be the a**hole who trashes laptops and burns other peoples' notes. Kind of like the *&^&-off who stole my notecards in the middle of biochemistry last year and I mysteriously found them back where they were after the exam... you're just a very driven and focused individual.

Secondly, buy the Goljan stuff--I did the same and I'm skimming it--but yeah it's tough to really comprehend all of the material, and you won't understand the pharmacology either, etc... so don't stress too hard as long as you have a good foundation.
Thanks.

Update: 14 chapters down, 9 more to go. The hematopoetic and lymphoid systems chapter (12) was brutal. I definitely spent more time than usual on that. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there.
 

Black Surgeon

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Update: 20 chapters down, 3 more to go. Liver pathology is pretty interesting.
 

Black Surgeon

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Are you skimming the material or reading for memorization?
I don't know what you mean by "skimming", but I can tell you that I read the material for conceptual understanding, which is usually easier to ingrain in long term memory.

I chose to reserve the laborious minutia memorization process for the actual school year, since I probably would have forgotten it all by the end of the summer.
 
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Black Surgeon

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Update: 20 chapters down, 3 more to go. Liver pathology is pretty interesting.
Last update: I've finished all 23 chapters. Now it's up to time to prove or disprove the usefulness of my efforts.

I will revive this thread upon the culmination of MS 2/post step 1 score release, and comment on whether this was in any way helpful or simply waste of time.
 

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After finishing MSII and Step I, my advice about FA is this...

Any information you would add during your first year classes is WAY too much detail for board review. Believe me, the minute details you learn for MS-I classes are not what is tested on step I. During year 2, FA was not enough detail to help with any classes and tools like Goljan and USMLEWorld were far, far better step I prep than FA could ever be.

I found that if I added notes during a class, they would be too much detail for board review. If you try to use FA as a study aid, its not enough material. End result: I hated FA as both a study aid and as board review....don't waste your time or money