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Worth it to study USMLE/COMLEX as soon as first year starts?

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PsychoPass987

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Hi all,

I will be an incoming med student for Fall 2016. Just wondering if it's worth it to prep for the USMLE/COMLEX board exams alongside the regular coursework taken as soon as classes start. (i.e. lightly practicing on board questions alongside relevant course material an hour a day) I understand that the boards are a one shot deal, and want to get the best possible mark that I can. ... Still haunted by the fact that I had to take MCAT 4 times, and don't want a similar mistake to occur.
 
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kenjixshadow

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I don't recommend of doing study for board in first year, like using UWorld or Comquest/Combank. However, I recommend of doing FA, pathoma, and sketchymedical along with your class. These materials help me tremendously with class and I was never even close to fail any subject. Moreover, they keep my feet wet for board. Med school can be lots of work. Try to keep your head above the water first before drink more from the firehose.
 
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Mad Jack

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First Aid and Pathoma from day 1, used concurrently with the relevant material.

Year 2, start with USMLE Rx and UWorld. Get a copy of Savarese to review before boards. There's probably some stuff I'm forgetting.
 
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zafonte86

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Looking back on my first year I would have liked to try using uworld concurrently with my class studying (doing Biochem questions during Biochem, etc). I def agree that pathoma and FA is huge help. Just try not to get to many study materials. It can be overwhelming with all the resources available. Do whatever works best for you. Getting in was the hardest part. Best of luck!
 

ninjaman22

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No. Try to get A's in your classes instead.
 
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HappyKitten

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Hi all,

I will be an incoming med student for Fall 2016. Just wondering if it's worth it to prep for the USMLE/COMLEX board exams alongside the regular coursework taken as soon as classes start. (i.e. lightly practicing on board questions alongside relevant course material an hour a day) I understand that the boards are a one shot deal, and want to get the best possible mark that I can. ... Still haunted by the fact that I had to take MCAT 4 times, and don't want a similar mistake to occur.
I would take a month or two to get use to the pace of everything and make sure you're doig well on tests. I would agree with some above posters that you should primarily focus on class notes/ lecture and learning it so you do well on tests. Once you've acclimated to it I would start supplementing with pathoma, FA, whatever else you like (just don't drown in resources, too much stuff isn't necessarily good either), but don't do it at the expense of studying your notes from class. Use it as an adjunct. I would also probably hold off on uworld until your second year and use another q bank like Rx or Kaplan or something and then start uworld 2nd year and complete the first round of it prior to your study month so that you can go through it twice before the boards. Use FA and pathoma throughout the two years so you can recite those in your sleep by the time boards roll around. Maybe look at goljan RR during summer between M1 and 2 and work on your weak areas from M1 ? That's probably what I would do. Good luck.
 
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Looking back on my first year I would have liked to try using uworld concurrently with my class studying (doing Biochem questions during Biochem, etc). I def agree that pathoma and FA is huge help. Just try not to get to many study materials. It can be overwhelming with all the resources available. Do whatever works best for you. Getting in was the hardest part. Best of luck!

Using UWorld first year instead of as board prep is a really, really bad idea for most people. It's the gold standard for board prep. Don't waste it before you're ready for it.

Using a "lesser" q-bank (Kaplan, Rx, etc) first year could work, though.
 

Ioannes Paulus

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What is "Pathoma?" Is it the big "Fundamentals of Pathology" book by Dr. Sattar?
 
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uworldrelay

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Using UWorld first year instead of as board prep is a really, really bad idea for most people. It's the gold standard for board prep. Don't waste it before you're ready for it.

Using a "lesser" q-bank (Kaplan, Rx, etc) first year could work, though.
There is no wasting uworld, that concept is popular amoung students that score 210-220
 

Rekt

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There is no wasting uworld, that concept is popular amoung students that score 210-220

If you're blowing UWorld first year, you're wasting it. No idea why you would use the best boards material during first year.. makes no sense. Plenty of other crap to use. Start with BRS then throw in Kaplan if you're bored. Start Rx begining of 2nd year. UWorld and NBMEs for dedicated
 
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uworldrelay

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If you're blowing UWorld first year, you're wasting it. No idea why you would use the best boards material during first year.. makes no sense. Plenty of other crap to use. Start with BRS then throw in Kaplan if you're bored. Start Rx begining of 2nd year. UWorld and NBMEs for dedicated
I scored higher than anybody on this entire forum
 

JW2020

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It depends what you mean by board studying. If you mean question banks, etc then I would strongly discourage doing any of that until second year. It's likely to be too overwhelming and your retention will be poor. In terms of using pathoma, FA etc as supplemental sources to your curriculum, that's certainly a good idea. Make sure you use these resources along with the subject/block you're on. For example, don't try to teach yourself a couple systems while you're in the middle of your biochem block. Stick to the present task at hand for first year.
 

Rekt

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I scored higher than anybody on this entire forum

hIfnD7N.gif
 
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ninjaman22

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I would not do UWorld during the first year. I would advice you to stick to qbanks like kaplan or combank during the first year if you were going to do questions. Our school required us to finish 2400 Combank questions by the end of second year so it made sense to me to do them while going through different blocks.
 

padfoot777

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100% should be studying board prep stuff along with coursework, it's going to make your life way easier when boards come around. As far as the debate about when to start using Uworld, I didn't touch it until the winter of 2nd year and instead used UsmleRx as my main question bank until then just to help me get through First Aid better. I know a few students, including myself, who did very well without touching Uworld until halfway through 2nd year. I also know students who started doing questions first day of second year who scored really well. So I think the most important take him message is you need to do Uworld and understand it, give yourself enough time to comfortably do so.

With regards to Uworld first day of first year, I don't think that would be the most efficient use of your time, especially if you're school does not teach pharmacology and pathology until 2nd year because Uworld teaches you how to think the way the USMLE (AND the COMLEX) want you to think. I think it would be more efficient to spend your time really learning the associated board prep material with your first year classes (micro, physio, biochem, etc) and wait until 2nd year to start Uworld so you can answer some of the questions
 
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Dr Tony T. Chopper

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First Aid and Pathoma from day 1, used concurrently with the relevant material.

Year 2, start with USMLE Rx and UWorld. Get a copy of Savarese to review before boards. There's probably some stuff I'm forgetting.
Would you recommend buying the 21month access to pathoma pro?
 

Giovanotto

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First Aid and Pathoma from day 1, used concurrently with the relevant material.

Year 2, start with USMLE Rx and UWorld. Get a copy of Savarese to review before boards. There's probably some stuff I'm forgetting.
Pathoma, as in the videos (PP slides), or the Anki deck, or both?
 
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Giovanotto

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Yep. If you (and this applies to everyone in the thread, not you personally) steal it and don't buy it I just want you to know you're a terrible person, for the record.
Still trying to decide between Free and Pro.
 

Goro

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No.


Hi all,

I will be an incoming med student for Fall 2016. Just wondering if it's worth it to prep for the USMLE/COMLEX board exams alongside the regular coursework taken as soon as classes start. (i.e. lightly practicing on board questions alongside relevant course material an hour a day) I understand that the boards are a one shot deal, and want to get the best possible mark that I can. ... Still haunted by the fact that I had to take MCAT 4 times, and don't want a similar mistake to occur.
 
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EmergDoc2B

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I would agree with the no's with some exception. For anatomy I used BRS anatomy to get extra questions and for BioChem I used BRS as well. Some of the questions will be beyond what you need to know but some wont. Also, for anatomy abuse this site : http://ect.downstate.edu/courseware/haonline/quiz.htm it was as good most days as going to the anatomy lab to study after hours. Too many cooks in the kitchen and alot of well intentioned bad advice from fellow classmates (blind leading blind sometimes). Other than that stick to the program and get the best grades you can in first year. Sets you up nicely for second year.

Good Luck to you!
 
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Giovanotto

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I don't recommend of doing study for board in first year, like using UWorld or Comquest/Combank. However, I recommend of doing FA, pathoma, and sketchymedical along with your class. These materials help me tremendously with class and I was never even close to fail any subject. Moreover, they keep my feet wet for board. Med school can be lots of work. Try to keep your head above the water first before drink more from the firehose.

Is this advice still applicable if your school does OMS1=anatomy, physio, biochem, micro, pharm, path, etc and OMS2=systems?
 
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kenjixshadow

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Is this advice still applicable if your school does OMS1=anatomy, physio, biochem, etc and OMS2=systems?
Use FA for all. Anatomy = spent time in labs. Physio = physiology by Costanzo 5th edition (the big one, not BRS version). Biochem = kaplan videos. Micro & pharm = sketchymedical. Save Pathoma when you hit system.
 
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Giovanotto

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Use FA for all. Anatomy = spent time in labs. Physio = physiology by Costanzo 5th edition (the big one, not BRS version). Biochem = kaplan videos (you know where to find it). Micro & pharm = sketchymedical. Save Pathoma when you hit system.
This right here was the level of detail I was looking for. Thank you!

Do you use Anki as well? Broencephalus?
 

dfib slim

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I see. Do most first years purchase a 2 year subscription from http://www.pathoma.com/ or do schools provide it for students or just get them from third party sites?
Most buy it second year when they start pathology courses. Never heard of a school providing it for students. Honestly for the price, it's extremely worth it. He could charge double and people would still pay.

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QueenJames

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So start with the annotating First Aid with the class material and then supplement that with doing practice questions from Uworld or no? What other sources do you guys recommend for doing practice questions?

Also, do you guys even have enough time to go over the lectures, take notes, review them, do practice questions, and then review first aid? What practice questions should we do for the class material? Also, do we time ourselves for all of this?
 
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Most buy it second year when they start pathology courses. Never heard of a school providing it for students. Honestly for the price, it's extremely worth it. He could charge double and people would still pay.

Sent from my SM-N910P using SDN mobile

Agreed. Sometimes schools organize a discount for Pathoma, but really it's worth the sticker price.

So start with the annotating First Aid with the class material and then supplement that with doing practice questions from Uworld or no? What other sources do you guys recommend for doing practice questions?

No UWorld until you're seriously boards studying. I've heard good things about USMLERx, but I don't think I'd use that first year, either. Best practice questions I found first year were the the specific subject review books (Guyton & Hall for physio, BRS and Green Gray's for anatomy, etc).
 
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