Summer Review before Second Year

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10+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2013
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Hey all,

So I kind of struggled last year adjusting to the medical school curriculum as well as having a family emergency. I got B's and C's mostly so I'm trying to review my weak areas of the classes covered last year.

What books would you recommend? The classes already finished include: anatomy, biochemistry, embryology/histology, physiology, immunology as well as neuroscience.I was going to look at the BRS series, any other suggestions?

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I would focus on physiology, that shi* keeps coming up and will be important for boards.

Survivor DO
I would focus on physiology, that shi* keeps coming up and will be important for boards.

Survivor DO


I was getting ready to say the same thing. Those other subjects will pop up on step 1, but as far as being helpful for second year and beyond, physiology is definitely top of that list.
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well I pretty much read BRS Physiology cover to cover haha so that's good (my teacher wasn't the best), any other advice appreciated:)
Drink a beer or something
I'm currently reading How The Immune System Works and it is an amazing book. And it won't take you more than a week.

Vander's Renal Physiology as well, but it's more dry. Whatever you're weak in, find a super text that is specifically for it. :)
Try reading Step 1 Secrets. It's a very easy read with good explanations. I wish I had done it throughout MS1 and MS2.
Drink a beer or something


Depends on the school you go to frankly. All the important anatomy and physiology correlates were tethered into our 2nd year curriculum. If your school is similar, then please, for someone's sake, enjoy your life. Just started my 3rd year clerkships today and gotta say, no free time for the next 352 days coming my way.
I've done nothing all summer for the past 6 weeks and 4 more to C's last year tell me I should review and be at least somewhat productive as I need to get solid board scores to get a halfway decent residency...
I'm starting to get very anxious about having not done anything this summer so far... (I'm a rising M2). I did end up with As and Bs this year but I feel like I've forgotten every blessed thing I learned. I also got mixed messages about what to do. Some students ahead of me told me to do nothing. Heck, our Dean of Students even advised us to take our last summer off. Then there are other folk who said they read through First Aid. Our academic advisor suggested an hour a day of studying... yeah, right. I had written up a very ambitious to-do list so of course I feel lame now... I'm hoping that I'll just get back into the swing of things once school starts again and it won't really matter that I didn't spend the summer studying. I think it was more important to spend time with family. My grandmother has dementia and I know I'd regret it someday if I didn't take the time to be with her when I had the chance.
If you have to do something, it's physio. Hands down.

I really wouldn't recommend studying over the summer though. Enjoy it! You always have to worry a bit about the possibility of burning out. That's definitely something you want to avoid as much as possible, especially during M2 year, and even more so right before Step 1 studying.

It's normal to feel like you're weak in a bunch of stuff after M1 year, even if you did really well in classes. You'd be surprised how quickly everything comes back once M2 year gets rolling. Also, learning pathology/pathophysiology during M2 year makes M1 year material make a lot more sense since now, you'll have a more complete picture of what's going on. Seriously, I think learning path was what truly solidified my physio knowledge base and that's something I probably wouldn't have gotten even if I re-read BRS physio 10 times.

So, relax and enjoy the summer. There's plenty of time for studying once M2 year starts and things will also make a lot more sense once you start covering path.
Absolutely nothing.

Enjoy your free time. Come back fired up and ready to go for Path.

First AID will bring back all the first year stuff you need.
Good to hear the last few posts because I have done zilch lol
Save your energy for 2nd year for godssake
OMG don't study and why is this question asked so extremely frequently? Can we sticky this topic or something?

I have suggested this previously too. It can go along with the "omg I am special and so should I study before M1???" question
haha I'm sure there are gunners that reviewed M1 stuff over M2 year or previewed M2 stuff coming up...I on the other hand have done nothing but relax and I hope it doesn't end up biting me in the ass