Apr 1, 2010
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I realize it's my "last summer," and first year is far less applicable than second year to the boards, but I still feel that I need to start preparing now. PLEASE HELP! I'm not a gunner. In fact, I have struggled to find the right approach this year, with mostly average to sub-average grades. Tireless toil is the reason I am here and able to get by and I see no reason why I should change things now.

So, with the few precious months I have off, I do plan to lay on the beach, surf, fish, climb to the top of Half Dome, etc, BUT I still want to feel like I have made a meaningful contribution in preparing for Step 1 when it's all said and done. Does anyone have any ideas on how to approach this? Should I read through FA just to familiarize myself with it? That's about all I've come up with so far.. Also, just an FYI: my first year covered pharm and path, along with anatomy and the other regulars (biochem and cell bio).

I would really appreciate your help. Any of you that have already taken your Step 1, try and put yourself in my shoes... Is there anything that I can do at this stage to help me out? Thank you all!
 
Mar 14, 2010
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Hi, Zon. I'm same as you - finishing up MSI with subpar grades and lots of work to do.

I am currently going through FA and USMLERx and learning as much as I can. I am really making sure I know my neuroanatomy and some pathology (we get a bit in MSI here). I will also be focusing on biochem and a bit of micro.

So, essentially, I think First Aid + USMLERx is the way to go.

In case you're interested in doing some reading on top of FA/RX, I would get the Kaplan Home Study guide and read the basic principle sections - micro, immuno, etc. That's what I'm doing at least (mostly cause I got it VERY cheaply). Anyways, good luck!
 
Apr 1, 2010
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Thanks, Pirlo! I will look into USMLERx. Your suggestion regarding a study guide makes sense too. I think it would be very easy to get bogged down with a subject using certain resources. One question I have for you, is how did you determine your focus topics: neuroanatomy, path, etc. Did you choose these bc it is material you have already covered? Also, as you are working though FA, how are you handling topics that are new? Are you using reference books to develop a more conceptual understanding of the material or approaching it more as rote memorization to be fleshed out later?

My gut tells me that there is a fair amount of material that would be useful committing to memory now even without the proper framework and I feel like this is something I can start working on. The trouble is figuring out which topics, or chunks of information should be tackled this way.

Thanks for you support!
 

turkeyjerky

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Sep 27, 2008
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since you've already covered path and pharm, i imagine your second year is gonna be pretty empty...

i'm taking step1 in june, so you can what i'm about to say with a grain of salt. my advice is, first, to forget about anything and everything school related during summer. if that's not possible and you want to study, then I'd suggest you go through the first aid sections that you've already covered in school (biochem, anatomy, etc) and make sure that you know everything in there. that way you won't be encountering stuff for the first time when prepping for the exam (which is extremely frustrating)
 

DrVanNostran

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Mar 19, 2006
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My recommendations for post MS-1:

1. Memorize the sections of FA that you already covered in school.
2. Read CMMRS
3. Party.
 
Apr 1, 2010
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Thanks for the advice all! So far, the prevailing wisdom seems to be to: a) party..(fortunately, this comes naturally).. b) focus on the material that I have already covered during my first year using FA, etc. This makes sense. I think that's what I will do. I think something else I can do is get my game plan for in order for next year/summer, so I don't have to stress about that, and maybe familiarize myself with the logistics of the exam. Ok, feeling better. Cheers!