Αξιον Ωφελειν τους Αλγουντας.” --Be Worthy to Serve the Suffering.

Member Profile

Noor Tazudeen (2014)
Member Type: Student, Junior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Dermatology Program: University of Wisconsin Hospital/Clinics
Advice
The best step 1 prep you can get comes from your M2 courses (with the exception of pharm - look into Lionel Raymon if you haven't already. Or maybe they changed pharm and it's amazing now. I don't know. but if it's anything like it was in 2011 then it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion).

Path is taught very well at UIC and I would highly recommend going to all of these lectures and reading through giant robbins. The thing about step 1 is that, while First Aid will have most of the facts in it, it's just a series of disjointed trivia if you don't have the proper context to fit it all together. CPP and path give you that framework you need to integrate stuff and make first aid make sense and be a proper source of review.

As for some specific pointers, here's what I have to offer based on my experience:

Like I said, learn class material during class time, and review for step 1 during that dedicated 4 weeks you have. Well, get out of that last practicum any way you can and spend that time studying for step 1 as well.

Read giant robbins. Don't skip it for goljan or pathoma - you can use those resources to preview the material and they're absolute gold for review before tests, but if you get through robbins and understand it, you will have an amazing foundation and will find so many questions easy.

Uworld is great, review every question. No need to go through it twice if you learn it well the first time. Get in the habit of doing 46 question random timed blocks and reviewing them and writing stuff you learn into your first aid shortly after you do them.

If you're one of those neurotic people who has to plan your life to the breath, then go right ahead. But if you're not, then I don't think you should start trying to lock yourself into a schedule when step study time comes around. Personally, I just made my bedtime 3AM (i like to watch tv before sleeping and fresh prince was on nick at nite) and I woke up every morning at 10AM.

Beyond this, I didn't really limit myself or plan things concretely. I had goals - I would do and review all of UWorld once through, read through first aid once, and do the NBME practice tests and discuss the wrong answers with a friend in person/over facetime. I worked out 4-5 times a week for an hour or so at a time, I enjoyed home cooked meals, and I spent time talking to friends to de-stress and catch up, all of which I considered mandatory.

Remember that you can't know everything. This may be hard to accept for some, but you have to stop reading the minutiae at some point and see the forest from the leaves, as Kiershenbaum would say.

As for individual subject suggestions, here's what I used and liked:

Anatomy - I hated anatomy and almost failed the final. I used first aid because other books scared me.
Biochem - Kaplan notes were legit
Behavioral - First aid, know the equations cold so you don't miss easy points
Neuroanatomy - I loved neuroanatomy and could study it forever. I used the blumenfeld book for studying and to review, but it's not for everyone. I hear hi-yield neuro is solid.
Pathology - I did pathoma late but it was awesome. I'd recommend this heavily. I also listened to goljan when I could and he really ties the subjects together.
Pharm - RAYMON (Kaplan notes).
Physiology - BRS, Zar reviews
Micro - micro made simple
immuno - first aid is good, you can use the immuno section at the back of the Levinson review of micro if you want more, but first aid straight plagiarizes that book anyway

Anyway, I hope this wasn't entirely a waste of your time. Feel free to email me at ntazude2@uic.edu with any questions. Good luck!