When/Should I stop research second year?

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7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2008
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Anyone have any tips on how I should handle doing research during M2, or if I should at all? I have done research (between 5-20 hrs a week) throughout most of M1 and I have been happy with my class grades.

If it makes a difference:
-Working in basic research, been doing lots of experiments on my own, happy with my freedom to do my own thing in the lab

-I will have submitted a literature review by the end of summer.

-Have no idea what step 1 studying should entail during second year? Do most people start after winter break??? Should I do nothing but study for classes and step 1 after winter break??


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Jun 22, 2009
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How much time does your school give you to study for Step 1?

Starting in January is risky unless you feel dedicated to keep it up the entire year. A lot of people try this method, only to realize they forget everything they learned during that study time anyway. I.e. this can be a real time sink and ineffective.

Best method is really to continue to concentrate on your current MS2 classes. To be honest, the best way to study for Step 1 is to be a good medical student and not fall behind on your actual course material. This way, Step 1 is a good review. Not a "learning this for the first time because I was distracted by Boards studying old material that I forgot anyway".

You should collect your resources in January-March (register for a test date, make a schedule, buy review books/flashcards, etc.). Start on some QBanks to get a sense of questions. Maybe give First Aid a good perusal if you don't already annotate it.

Bulk of studying should be done 6-8 weeks before the exam. Just need to dedicate 8-10 hours/days for that period. Do a ton of questions. Take a bunch of NMBE practice exams. Memorize all those good awful bugs/drugs. And you'll be set for a good score.