vicinihil

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I'm not sure what's the best way to approach studying Micro for Step 1's. I've searched the posts and found a few people suggesting First Aid and CMMRS along with Qbank or UW. These posts were from 2008. I was wondering if you guys have an updated perspective.

Right now, my plan is to read through CMMRS and First Aid but I also have MicroCards that I plan to use. How should I employ my resources most efficiently? Would going through a few cards a night be efficient?
 

Ableton

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I'm mostly using the charts from CMMRS and whatever is in FA - I think anything more than that which I don't get from UW will just be overkill. RR Path also has a lot of infectious diseases integrated into the path, so reading through those couldn't hurt either.
 

illixir

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I feel like having read through clinical micro once and also the robbins infectious chapter leaves you pretty well prepared as long as you have a solid background in micro, we did it first half of M2. Going back through CMMRS and then doing FA Micro which is surprisingly detailed and then questions sources is probably good enough for high-yield. The cards are good for on the go and quizzing as a supplement.
 

kryptik

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i am interested in a source that breaks down micro by systems so i can go through it while i review the systems, its tedious to have to go through micro separately. if anyone knows of a source please share.
 

Ableton

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i am interested in a source that breaks down micro by systems so i can go through it while i review the systems, its tedious to have to go through micro separately. if anyone knows of a source please share.
Goljan occasionally does this in the 3rd edition of RR path (not sure about 2nd) for some systems (pulm, CNS, skin, etc.). FA 2010 also breaks down the major infections by system at the end of the micro chapter. I don't think there is anything really comprehensive though, you'll still need to study other topics in micro.
 

illixir

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I feel like micro almost needs to be covered both ways for it to be really known well. It's one of the areas with a vast amount of stuff the board can be picky with sometimes.
 

vicinihil

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Thanks guys! I think my approach is going to be reading CMMRS and annotating my Micro Cards and hopefully running through some cards each day to keep myself fresh. Anyone else want to weigh in on how to study Micro effectively?
 

MilkmanAl

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I'm hoping FA, the tables in CMMRS, and review questions will be plenty. As mentioned, Goljan often hits the high points of each system, too. I'm willing to sacrifice the more obscure micro knowledge in favor of other things as long as I nail down what what I do go through.
 

drauc

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I annotated Kaplan micro into FA. I felt it was more then enough for my exam. I had a decent amount of micro on my exam (which I took 2 days ago) and nothing was completely foreign. I dunno about CMMRS but a lot of people swear by it so I'm sure it won't hurt to read.
 

username456789

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This might be a dumb question, but for those of you using CMMRS (or any other book I guess, really), how do you know where to stop as far as what's relevant for annotating into FA? There's plenty of details that could be added to the already pretty detailed FA Micro section. Sometimes I find myself reading a chapter and thinking "wow there are a million things in here I should be adding . . . or should I?", and other times I feel like there's nothing new to offer.

I guess I'm just looking to get a general idea of how much other people are transcribing into FA from CMMRS or similar sources.
 

vicinihil

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So I've actually decided to NOT annotate CMMRS into FA with the EXCEPTION of phrases and ways to remember stuff that are SUPERIOR to First Aid (rarely the case). The charts at the end of each chapter contain all the information you need to know and the illustrations are what's really helpful in CMMRS.
 

username456789

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So I've actually decided to NOT annotate CMMRS into FA with the EXCEPTION of phrases and ways to remember stuff that are SUPERIOR to First Aid (rarely the case). The charts at the end of each chapter contain all the information you need to know and the illustrations are what's really helpful in CMMRS.

That's not a bad idea. I think what's tripping me up is all the virulence factors (some seem relevant, some not), as well as details of the disease process (which I imagine are actually helpful descriptions much of the time).

Those charts are good, I agree, although often seem so busy and intimidating (at least when I'm first getting back into relearning all this again).
 

username456789

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So I'm on spring break doing some studying, and I just spent a day and a half working through bacteria/fungi/protozoa (didn't even do viruses) and I feel like I mostly wasted my time. Not wasted I guess, but didn't maximize my time since this is just rote memorization that would be more usefully done closer to the exam.

I feel like I should be using this time to go through RR Path to relearn (or in some cases, learn) things that may not have been covered well so far this year.

I'm trying to do the Taus method, so I really wouldn't even be that that point (the path stuff) yet, I'm still doing basic science stuff, but at the same time I'm afraid that I'll run out of time once school starts up and not have enough time to devote to the path stuff (which is, you know, kind of important).

Figuring out a plan is just as bad as actually studying sometimes.
 

MilkmanAl

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I'm also trying Taus's method, and it seems like I'm spending way too much time on individual subjects. It took me all day yesterday and until 1-ish today to get through the ~80 pages of GI/hepatic stuff in Goljan alone and then until 6:45 to get through the GI/hepatic FA section. I guess if I really put the pedal to the metal, I could get through the BRS phys section tonight, too, but that puts me at 2.5 days for one subject if you count the time I'd spend tomorrow doing practice questions. That definitely does not seem to me like I'm using my time well, especially since I ate a 46% on the Rx question block I did a couple hours ago. Ugh. Hopefully I'll retain a bit more after another pass.
 

username456789

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I'm also trying Taus's method, and it seems like I'm spending way too much time on individual subjects. It took me all day yesterday and until 1-ish today to get through the ~80 pages of GI/hepatic stuff in Goljan alone and then until 6:45 to get through the GI/hepatic FA section. I guess if I really put the pedal to the metal, I could get through the BRS phys section tonight, too, but that puts me at 2.5 days for one subject if you count the time I'd spend tomorrow doing practice questions. That definitely does not seem to me like I'm using my time well, especially since I ate a 46% on the Rx question block I did a couple hours ago. Ugh. Hopefully I'll retain a bit more after another pass.

If I remember correctly, Taus's FAQ mentioned something about spending several days (3-4?) on some systems, so I wouldn't beat yourself up too much over that. Sounds to me like you're on track (but then again, what do I know).

But I agree, there's an overwhelming feeling of "should I be spending this much time doing this?"
 

vicinihil

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Wow I feel the same way. I've written out a schedule and haven't been able to follow that closely at all. Though I'm not following Tau's everything seems to take so much longer than it really should but I don't want to rush it because then I won't be able to retain as much.

I found that a good way to retain info after reading FA is to get FlashFacts. I got it about a month ago and though reading FA now takes twice as long, I feel like it forces me to hit the picky details of FA but I guess USMLERx questions do the same as well.
 

username456789

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Wow I feel the same way. I've written out a schedule and haven't been able to follow that closely at all. Though I'm not following Tau's everything seems to take so much longer than it really should but I don't want to rush it because then I won't be able to retain as much.

I found that a good way to retain info after reading FA is to get FlashFacts. I got it about a month ago and though reading FA now takes twice as long, I feel like it forces me to hit the picky details of FA but I guess USMLERx questions do the same as well.


Frustrating sometimes isn't it? Doing questions also tends to take up more time than I want (and I still don't end up feeling like I went through the explanations all that well). I did, however, just take a micro/immuno 48 question QBank block and got a 74% (56% was the "average" for others), so that's a nice feeling, even if in a few days my score probably would've been much closer to that 56%.

I might have to get FlashFacts to reinforce some of this stuff. I actually made some really dumb mistakes (or there were just stupid minutiae that I didn't know about specific bugs).
 

vicinihil

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haha Qbank tends to pick those out and throw them to you. I wouldn't really get hung up on those. Remember that 1 step questions wont be on the exam so if you see dead-end questions that will lead no where with no further connections, I'd just ignore it as a minutiae question (much like the discussed...how quickly does a neuron regrow etc)

Good job on the 74%!!! I ended my tour of Qbank with a 61% with some in the 30s =(
 

username456789

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They were almost all 2-step questions, and in I think all but one case I got the bug right, it was just a matter of me not knowing that Bacteria X could also be visualized by method A or something dumb (or not realizing that if someone has Toxoplasmosis and they're not pregnant, they were infected a looooong time ago and it's a reactivation, or not realizing that neonatal herpes encephalitis is more commonly contracted by a mother with active lesions through the birth canal, NOT transplacentally, despite the ToRCHeS mnemonic).

Basically it was those two issues. Figuring out the bug but not remembering some stupid detail about it, or figuring out the bug and not realizing that what I associate "classical" presentations/histories with are apparently not as common as I thought (i.e. apparently not thinking through the context of the question enough).

My overall QBank score is in the low 60's I believe (but I've only done about 20%, I'm so damn slow). This was the first time I really took a specific block on something I just studied. Up until now, I've basically just been selecting 48-question random blocks including everything except the few things we haven't really done yet (renal/repro/endo/skin path), and occasionally removing any direct micro from them (since they're usually "figure out this bacteria and then tell me whether it's optochin positive or negative" which were just useless for me without having reviewed any of it).
 
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Can someone tell me what are most important bacterias that I should be concentrating more on? Like, what's the frequently asked bacterias in step 1 ?