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Mar 16, 2000
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Regarding the subjects to study for the USMLE, what would you consider the least important subjects on the exam? I mean, which subjects have the lowest # of questions on the actual USMLE? What could you do without studying/reviewing if you actually did run out of time?

I am thinking that Anatomy and Biochem. are pretty low yield. If I know all of the other subjects really well, but don't have time to study anatomy and biochem., will that be too risky?

The reason I ask is bec. I have about 4 weeks left, and I am trying to schedule certain subjects for a particular number of days. I also want to leave around 7 days before the exam for complete review........
Let me know what you think!


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Jul 31, 2000
I wouldn't leave out biochem, I think that I had a good number of biochem questions on my test. Not so many of the know what gene has a defect with this disorder, more of just general biochem questions (I can't remember specifically what, I have PTSD from taking the USMLE). For anatomy, what they have in First aid is extremely high yield for USMLE, particularly the part about the brachial plexus. I had ~4 questions on the brachial plexus alone, so I would know that (even though everyone has a different test). One of my classmates told me that she didn't have any epi questions on her test so I skimmed over epi stuff but ended up having ~10 epi questions on my test.


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Jun 6, 2002
Attending Physician
It's completely random what subject questions you get, but I've consistently heard people getting hit with biochem. I had a lot of enzyme questions.

Anatomy is very simple on the exam. I can't vouch for First Aid (didn't read it), but a simple review should be sufficient provided you did ok in anatomy in school.

My histology questions were also very simple. I think I only had 1 embryology question.

Keep in mind that many disciplines are double and even triple scored. A question about where a particular disease affects the brain may be scored as pathology, anatomy, and neuroscience. If it's a genetic disorder, then genetics may also get the question scored there.
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