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Textbook Advice

CavsFan2016

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  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
    I just started my M1 year and I keep having all these different textbook names thrown at me (pathoma, franks, First Aid, BRS, etc.) ON TOP of the required textbooks we have to buy for our classes. I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed.

    I know this has been asked before, but I thought it might be appropriate to hear some fresh advice on the subject. Here is a list of the textbooks I already have:

    • Pathology Rapid Review (Goljan)
    • Pathological Basis of Disease (Robbins and Coltran)
    • Basic & Clinical Pharmacology (Katzung)
    • Frank's Basic Medical Biochemistry

    Because we have MBME shelf exams at the end of each unit someone suggested I read BRS while I go through the readings in the class textbooks - is that a good idea? What exactly should I focus on going forward and what additional textbooks do I need to buy?
     

    bananafish94

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      Thus far in medical school, I have never read a real textbook. There's so much material that they throw at you in lecture that I think a proper textbook would be overkill and a somewhat inefficient use of time. I've found some of the review books to be helpful. BRS Physiology has really good, concise explanations and comes with a solid amount of practice questions for each organ system. Gray's Anatomy is an amazing source of challenging practice questions. First Aid is hit-or-miss for M1 year but can be useful to look through for quick explanations or facts, and has some decent mnemonics.
       

      Jabbed

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      1. Attending Physician
        Check with your upperclassmen to see what has worked for them for in-class exams.

        For NBME exams, your best bet is a combination of:
        • Pathoma
        • Rapid review pathology
        • First Aid
        • Sketchy
        • Anki (Bro's, Zanki, w/e else the kids have come up with these days)
        • BRS (physio is the only one worth it imo)
        • UW/USMLERx banks
        This obviously depends on what subject you're covering and how your units are set up. What are you in now?
         
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        rafa 22

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        Jul 24, 2017
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        1. Medical Student
          Do not buy. I bought all the textbooks in med school and it was a mistake. Big emphasis on mistake. I say this because wading through all the fluff in them just made life much more difficult than it had to be. if i was smarter back in the day i would have stuck with the lectures + review book and or video lecture service (definitely lecturio and maybe najeeb for stuff i really did not understand at all).

          Honestly, this isn't the most moral of advice, but if you need the textbooks just download them in PDFs.

          That being said some textbooks that i felt that could be worth it to study and maybe even buy: robbins, constanzo physio, the BRS books..
           
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          Jabbed

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            The module is called Origins I/II
            Ya I have no idea what that is.

            Given that it's August I'm assuming it's cell molec and biochem.

            Resources that I found helpful:
            • Lippincott Illustrated Review of Biochemistry
            • Lippincott Q&A Review of Biochemistry
            • First Aid (not as a primary source)
            • Anki
            • UWorld
            • +/- Rapid Review Biochemistry
            Marks isn't a horrible book, it's just not the greatest. Focus on your lecture material and go through LIR Biochemistry. Start reviewing FA on the weekend so you're familiar with it. Review FA again leading up to your NBME in conjunction with UW questions +/- LIR Q&A. Anki 4ever.

            Again, check with your seniors
             

            CavsFan2016

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              Ya I have no idea what that is.

              Given that it's August I'm assuming it's cell molec and biochem.

              Resources that I found helpful:
              • Lippincott Illustrated Review of Biochemistry
              • Lippincott Q&A Review of Biochemistry
              • First Aid (not as a primary source)
              • Anki
              • UWorld
              • +/- Rapid Review Biochemistry
              Marks isn't a horrible book, it's just not the greatest. Focus on your lecture material and go through LIR Biochemistry. Start reviewing FA on the weekend so you're familiar with it. Review FA again leading up to your NBME in conjunction with UW questions +/- LIR Q&A. Anki 4ever.

              Again, check with your seniors

              Thanks I really appreciate this. You have no idea how helpful this is.

              When you say Anki, are you talking about just making my own flashcards with key concepts and reviewing them? Or using a pre-made deck
               

              Jabbed

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              1. Attending Physician
                Thanks I really appreciate this. You have no idea how helpful this is.

                When you say Anki, are you talking about just making my own flashcards with key concepts and reviewing them? Or using a pre-made deck
                I used Bro's extensively, but I'm old now and apparently Zanki is the new go-to.

                The key is to understand the big concepts as you go through your lectures/text but not forget the little factoids by keeping up with Anki.
                 
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