System vs Subject based studying?

Discussion in 'Step I' started by jumpmanv15, May 7, 2012.

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  1. jumpmanv15

    jumpmanv15 2+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2012
    So I finished doing DIT and have some Pathoma left to do, but I am strugglin to make a schedule and sticking it... do you guys reccomend system based studying (cardio, resp, GI etc) or subject based (physio, pharm, micro). I will have to do a lil bit of subject based bc the first few chapters of FA are behavioral and pharm and micro immuno etc but what has worked for you guys?

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  3. MrBeauregard

    MrBeauregard Soon-to-be PGY-1 5+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2009
    I am doing a systems-based approach covering all disciplines. I meticulously studied each of the individual discipline chapters in FA. Once I was finished with those, I moved to studying systems. I study a single system and make sure I understand every single word. I then study that same system in Goljan RR Path. After that, I sit down and do all the UWorld questions for that particular system but with questions from all disciplines. So far it has worked really well for me. I feel like it helps to beat the information into my head and reinforces concepts. It also helps me see which concepts I obviously didn't understand. After I complete all of the questions, I move on to another system and repeat the whole process. I originally wasn't going to do this, but after being advised by a person who scored well on USMLE (>250) and after reading the UWorld intro screen that describes UWorld as a learning tool, I figured it was the best way for me.
  4. mdeast

    mdeast 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    I like the Systems approach. At least once you've been through the General Principles stuff at least once. You may have to refer back anyway (i.e. look at autonomic drugs in cardio/pulm section, look at bugs in pulm section, do the corresponding embryology correlates when they come in systems, etc.).

    I'd usually reserve one day a week though to go back through General Principles (particularly Micro and Biochem) to make sure I was retaining things.

    Otherwise, as long as you're doing UWorld questions, you'll continue to see Bug, Drug, Biochem, Embryology, etc. questions in their respective system blocks and you'll be studying it that way. Boards is always going to try and ask these questions in a clinically relevant, systems-based it's good to prepare yourself that way.

    I've also found that once you've been through First Aid once, it's better to do review days in related system groups rather than alone. (i.e. do Cardio/Pulm/Renal all together over say 3 days...instead of just one each day. They are highly related and you'll make better connections that way). I grouped MSK/Neuro/Psych together as well. And GI/Endocrine/Reproductive.
  5. jumpmanv15

    jumpmanv15 2+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2012
    Sounds good. Basically following the way FA breaks it down sounds like the way to go. Some subjects like the ones in the front, the rest of it split up system wise and I like the way your grouped them Mdeast like Cardio/Resp/Renal, GI/Endo/Repro and Neuro/Psych/MSK, because those subjects seem to have overlap, of course everything is connected in some way shape or form but this sounds like a good starting point. Also I like the idea of going back to Biochem/Micro/Pharm every once in awhile because those subjects are harder to conceptualize(if at all) for me because of my weak background, and you just gotta memorize it.

    Any suggestions on how to break down how much time per chapter I should put into each system/subject? My exam is on June 22. I want to finish a pass of FA/Goljian/Pathoma in about 24 days which would bring me to June 1st.

    thanks again fellas

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