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Study for Step I early???

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Baki, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Baki

    Baki Junior Member
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    Hi guys, hopefully some of you upperclassmen/residents can help me out with my dilemma. I am about to finish up my first year and I have about 8 weeks off. I am wanting to go into surgery, probably ENT, and I was wondering if I should take this time for myself (i.e. start reviewing for Step I, work out, work on my salsa dancing, party...you get the idea) or should I do a preceptorship/research position and try to publish/start smoozing with the faculty now. Will I have time to smooze later? I realize ENT is pretty competitive and seeing as how I just passed all my classes this year I really want to kick some butt on Step 1. Some people say that its useless to study so early as I will forget all the stuff. What are some things you guys did that really helped; did anyone here start studying for Step I early and find it useful???

    :confused: :confused: :confused:
    Any insight would be much appreciated.
     
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  3. I'd consider doing research. You probably won't retain that much if you start studying for Step 1 right now (and have you gone through typical second-year material like path yet?).

    I did some "light" studying during the summer between first and second year, in addition to research and a preceptorship. By "light" I mean I skimmed through First Aid and read BRS Path and Phys.
     
  4. aboo-ali-sina

    aboo-ali-sina Member
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    don't touch anything related to the boards this summer!

    If you are interested in ENT, do some research this summer, but most importantly find some time to take a break. This is the last real summer of your life and 2nd year is long. It feels much longer than first year because you cover a lot of material and you have a lot of tests and then, when you think it is all over, you have to study for the boards. So take some time off (even if it is just a week).

    Regarding the boards, wait until you have finished 2nd year, take one week off, then study hard for 4-6 weeks.

    good luck
     
  5. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    Most of USMLE Step I comes from your second year courses anyway. You are going to get something of a "built-in" review of your first year stuff when you are doing things like Path and Pharm. The folks who told you to relax during the summer between your first and second year are correct. If you can get a good research project, do so but don't waste your time on USMLE Step I. You don't have enough information to do much study that will be useful.

    njbmd :cool:
     
  6. DadiyaMD

    DadiyaMD Member
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    First year of med school, i believe, is just to bring everyone up to speed and put everyone on a farily even playing field. For example someone who majored in English and someone who majored in Mol. Biol. may be classmates. Their understanding of mol. biol would be different. First year course work is basically to try and level the field. Second year is VERY important for doing well on the boards. Suggestion are to use FIRST AID as you go through your second year and fill in details in that book as you study different subjects. For your future, I suggest doing research and working out :) . You may not realize it but you already ARE studying for Step 1 as you progress through your 1st year. Just keep doing what your are doing with your course work, and for this summer do ENT research and try to get your name on a paper or an abstract. Contact a faculty member and tell him your goals and that you would like to work toward getting your name on an abstract. That, in my view, would be the best thing to do.
     
  7. carve em up

    carve em up Member
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    I definitely agree with all the above posts. Considering the time lag between completion of research efforts and publication, the summer after MS1 is the best time to do research. During my summer between MS1 and MS2, I did research in our surgery dept, worked ~6hr/day and ended up getting on one paper and 2 other abstracts. The abstracts, I'll actually be presenting at two separate conferences in late April and May.
    The other thing that I would suggest is taking a look at the ERAS application to see how it is laid out and to see the kind of information they ask for. This way you can plan how you want your application to look when you apply for residency. Its very important to be able to fill in all the available blanks (i.e. research, community service, etc.) and hopefully in the specialty that you are applying in.
    PS also try to rest up a bit over the summer!!! :D
     
  8. Baki

    Baki Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the great advice guys. I decided to pursue the research route. I actually did research in my 2 years off before med school, so it will be good to get back into a more more relaxed environment. For those of you who took step one, what did you find most helpful? What particular subjects did you think were more heavily tested?
     
  9. Astroman

    Astroman Member
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    Totally agree with aboo. Do NOT study until you have taken a short break from 2nd year, then bust-it for 4-6 weeks. After about 4 weeks, you begin to forget things you studied 4 weeks ago.

    Path, pathophys, micro and pharm are the heavies. First year stuff is way less important (thank God). For example, I would study extremity anatomy for maybe one day. Then that's all for anatomy (yes, believe it). I'd say (unfortunately) neuroanatomy is more heavily covered. Do TONS of Q-bank practice questions (at least 1000). Also agree about addending a First Aid for Step One book (a lifesaver) with your own notes/diagrams/etc. Learn that book.
     
  10. mary

    mary Member
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    I think you would be much better off doing research in the long term. I don't think most people retain info that well after a year- just make sure you understand the concepts taught in M1.
     
  11. Med Phred

    Med Phred Junior Member

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    Is there any reason you can't do both?
     

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