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Summer between MS1 and MS2 studying

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blastokine

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Hey all,

I have recently completed my MS1, and have heard mixed things about studying/reviewing for Step 1 during this Summer. I did well in my classes, but I did some Scholar Rx questions in biochem and anatomy the other day and barely remembered a thing (we took those classes at the very beginning of the year). My plan was at the minimum to keep up with my Anking reviews and do all of the Scholar Rx questions for material that we learned this past year. However, I've heard mixed things about studying this Summer from you shouldn't be studying at all, to do some light reviewing, to just watch some Pathoma, etc. I also saw that Amboss has a M1-M2 Summer study plan program, not sure if anyone has any experience with that.

I'm already doing research this Summer and I definitely don't want to go into M2 year burnt out, but I want to score a competitive Step score. What are y'alls thought from your experiences? Thanks in advance.
 

7331poas

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people get so worked up about this. Just study if you want to. How painful is a couple hours of studying per day that you are going to get burnt out?
 

slowthai

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There was a recent reddit thread that basically said "Don't study at all, I broke 260 with only a month of dedicated study" I just lol'ed. If you're gunning for the highest score possible and you're not a genius, you're going to have to put in the work one way or another. Personally, I prefer to take small bites everyday for two years than to wait until spring of M2 or dedicated and then start freaking out about how much I don't remember.

I think the best thing is to come up with a plan for when you want to finish all the resources you want to use and work backwards from there. That way you can build in some flex time if life happens and you can have a relatively chiller time in dedicated.
 
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M&L

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There was a recent reddit thread that basically said "Don't study at all, I broke 260 with only a month of dedicated study" I just lol'ed. If you're gunning for the highest score possible and you're not a genius, you're going to have to put in the work one way or another. Personally, I prefer to take small bites everyday for two years than to wait until spring of M2 or dedicated and then start freaking out about how much I don't remember.

I think the best thing is to come up with a plan on when you want to finish all the resources you want to use and work backwards from there. That way you can build in some flex time if life happens and you can have a relatively chiller time in dedicated.
Exactly . Plus it is a good time to catch up on areas of weakness . I started working through cheesy lightyear deck (it’s huge - 27000), and working through AMBOSS, and sketchy micro/pharm. I just figured second yesr will be very busy (we have heart-lung- kidney module followed by reproductive- endocrine). I want to solidify first year material now .
 
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teenyfish

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I'm just going to keep up with my anki deck, and focus on areas that I was weak in during M1. I'll also probably do a block of a Q-bank a few times a week, but nothing crazy. At most probably 3-4 hours a day? A few upperclassmen also highly recommended watching all sketchy pharm & micro over the summer which I will probably do as well, since we've covered over half of it at this point.
 

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Hi sk1791,

This early on, I would recommend going through Sketchy Pharm and Sketchy Micro videos. Make sure you also have a PDF or paper copy of the annotated images so that you only have to go through the videos once and then can reference the annotated images later on to save time. I think Sketchy provides them or you can make your own. These two resources are extremely time consuming, however, they are excellent resources and are 100% worth the time investment. They will not only help you crush the pharm and micro questions on Step 1, but will also be extremely useful when studying for your basic science coursework during M2. Additionally, I would invest in Pathoma. This is the best pathology resource out there in my opinion. Since all three of these resources are time consuming, the most efficient and effective way to utilize them during M2 is to do them along with your basic science course work. For example, if you are going through Heme/Onc this week, then watch all the Heme/Onc videos in Pathoma, go through the chemo drugs in Sketchy pharm, and watch the fungus videos in Sketchy micro (fungus = think immunocompromised). It will not always line up perfectly but you can do your best to try.


One last thing, UWorld is an amazing resource, but I wouldn't start it too early into your second year. UWorld is better to go through when you are closer to your designated study period. For example, if you plan on taking Step 1 next summer, I wouldn't recommend starting UWorld before December. In fact, some tutors recommend not doing any UWorld Questions before starting your designated Step 1 study period.


In terms of burn out, just make sure that you are not overdoing it and fitting in time for yourself and time with family/friends. Getting a head start isn't a bad thing, you just don't want to spend every waking moment studying this early on. Fitting in a few hours per day most days of the week wont lead you to feel burnt out. In fact, learning should be enjoyable! As long as you have a sense of fulfillment and are still making time for yourself and the things you enjoy, then you should be fine.


Hope this helped. Best of luck with everything!

- Annette G, MD, MPH - USMLE Tutor and Residency Advisor at Med School Tutors
 
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