USMLE-1 Prep

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Oct 21, 2011
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The best advice you'll get is to study hard throughout the first two years. No program or review book – no matter how clever – can ever supplant this. Master the material the first time around, as your school curriculum introduces it. This will allow you to achieve good grades and board scores (which, depending on the study plan, can be very discordant), as well as prevent you from having to cram in large amounts of material or material you haven't seen before right before boards.

Purchase the latest edition of First Aid. It's the current gold standard for USMLE preparation. It will give you an outline of what is high-yield for boards – material you should master over the next two years. Many people also choose to annotate their First Aid with pointers, explanations, and aphorisms they come across during their first two years, making it a very complete and personal compendium of their knowledge.

The only other books I would personally recommend investing in are BRS Physiology and Rapid Review Pathology. There are countless threads here on just about every review book out there, and you'll hear about them nonstop once classes start. Don't invest in too many and research them well; ****ty ones can do more harm than good. A good starting point is this thread, where people share what resources they've used and the results it's gotten them.

Two other things to think about are a question bank and Gunner Training. The best question bank is USMLEWorld; save it until your second year. Pick a different one to start with, such as Kaplan Qbank or USMLERx. Reinforce what you learn in class with questions to make it stick much better, to see how questions will be asked on boards, and to isolate the weaknesses in your knowledge early on. Gunner Training is another tool that may be beneficial if started early on; read this thread to ascertain if it's right for you.

I know I didn't answer your questions directly, but hopefully this will get you started. Enjoy the rest of your summer and congratulations on starting medical school.