View Full Version : First aid for USMLE
10-06-2005, 01:49 PM
Does anyone have this book? That has already completed the test? I am looking to buy it.
This is a great book if you are going to study for the USMLE. However, it is really supposed to be a supplement. There are other small books that can be used to supplement the First Aid. I would consider getting some of these books for some of the weaker subjects (for me, it was pharmacology and microbiology). I have been using First aid for the USMLE Step I periodically during clerkship, and I also recently bought the First Aid for the wards for clerskhip. You can get them on Amazon.ca or probably in the book store.
I wouldn't get too many books, though, because it can be overwhelming to try to study them all. The Goljan Pathology lectures are pretty good as well. You can check forums.studentdoctor.net (http://forums.studentdoctor.net)
it's a forum for medical students in the US, and there's a section on USMLE.
The Kaplan Q bank was also useful for me. I'd study for most of the day, do a block of 50 questions in the late afternoon, and then go over my mistakes.
10-07-2005, 08:11 PM
I also used First Aid for Step 1 and that's in fact the only book I used. I only spent ~2wk seriously studying for it (using First Aid) and did well (>90). If you take it right after 2nd year while everything is still fresh in your mind, it shouldn't be too bad. I did try some Kaplan Q bank questions but didn't find them very useful or similar to the actual exam.
10-08-2005, 10:30 PM
I have most of my USMLE books up for sale if you want... Kaplan Qbook, Clinical Q, BRS and High Yield Series (patho, embryo, gross anatomy...etc etc).
Just send me a note if you're interested in anything. As for First Yield, i wouldn't want my copy if i were you. It's highly highlighted, with lots of writing. Plus i don't think i'd want to sell it, as it is a lot of info very well summarized. I don't agree with Med2006Mcgill though, for i found that First Aid wasn't enough to study at all. I studied for like 2 months, what a waste of time, and First Aid definitely wouldn't have been enough.
10-08-2005, 11:17 PM
CY, how much/long do you wish you had studied, then? Thanks~
Two months is way too much time. Most of my classmates only studied about 4 weeks full time. Of course, you can't discount the fact that when you are in second year you are still learning and also "studying" the material relevant to the boards as well.
I studied for about 6 weeks. I was also doing a couple of electives at the time as well. I didn't find that our curriculum was exactly geared towards the US curriculum, so I wanted the extra time. Most students at med schools in the US usually study between 4-6 weeks, depending on their personal "comfort levels." I was thinking of postponing a few days, but I also thought that I'd go crazy if I did. The USMLE is one of those exams where you just have to suck it up, and resolve yourself to the fact that you won't know everything.
I think it's good to do a practice test before actually beginning to study. It's a good way to pinpoint your weaknesses and develop a schedule to use as a study guide. Usually the people at the Kaplan office will offer a practice exam. However, they spend about 30 minutes with you going over your mistakes with the hopes that they can offer you their $1500 courses and materials. I ended up using Qbank, which I thought was amazing.
Also, one other thing that I found extremely helpful were the Goljan pathology lectures. They are really good, because Goljan supposedly travels around the US giving second year med students lectures in this area. He sort of "knows" the types of questions that are asked on the USMLE, and gives out a lot of the hints. I found that at least 4-6 questions were easily recognizable on the actual USMLE because I listened to the hints he gave. Also, I thought it would be useless at first, b/c pathology wasn't one of my weak areas. However, he tends to overlap a lot with physiology, microbiology and nutrition (which isn't a designated topic of the USMLE, but falls into biochemistry and is becoming really important on the USMLE). There are several different ways to get a copy of his lectures and study notes. If you are interested, you can pm me...
10-09-2005, 09:47 PM
When i say two months, i don't mean 8am-6pm every day or stuff like that. I took time off, days off to do things i wanted to do. It was summer after all.
I think that my curriculum is NOT AT ALL geared like the american one, and that the stuff that i was expected to know, i didn't, therefore studying for the USMLE was like studying these things for the first time. I think my school focused on somethings whereas the USMLE focused on all the things my school considered not important or "you'll learn it later"... for eg the drugs, we don't learn them till the end of 3rd yr. Therefore, it was really quite difficult for me. At the test, i thought it was the hardest thing i've ever seen, most of the question were complete guesses for me. I'm surprised i even passed :p
10-09-2005, 11:56 PM
Here's my recommendations for the USMLE Step 1:
If you are going for a tough residency in the US, you'll need to smoke this exam, and that entails probably anywhere from 4-6 weeks of hardcore studying with lots of practice questions and review of the above-mentioned books. The Canadian med school curriculums, particularly those with a heavy emphasis on clinical medicine and PBL aren't particularly well-geared for Step 1 (although they are fantastic for Step 2).
If you are just trying to pass, then the studying requirements go way down.
First Aid for Step 1 is gold. A large amount of the material in the book will be directly or indirectly tested on the actual exam. The problem is that the test doesn't ask you to remember something verbatim from First Aid, but knowing that particular First Aid fact will allow you to solve for the problem. As a result, if you have the contents of that book down, and have done a large number of practice questions (ie. Kaplan QBank, Board Simulator Series), you'll probably do pretty well.
I would agree with the other posters that Step 1 is pure pain all over. :) It's such an irrelevant exam.
10-13-2005, 12:02 AM
if you are still looking, i own a 2004 copy that i am looking to sell.
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