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

Member Profile

Kent Truong (2015)
Member Type: Student, Senior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Pathology - Anatomic and Clinical Program: University of California (UCSF)
Advice
To begin, all that follows is what I found to be helpful and may or may not work for you. I hope it does, but I’d also recommend clicking on a lot of light bulbs until you find someone who sounds like they have similar study habits as you and incorporate their advice as you see fit.

M1/M2:
Try to find resources (see below for where I found mine) to use during M1/M2 year that you will be using to review for Step 1 so that you don’t have to open up any books you haven’t reviewed before when you start your dedicated step studying. Also try to put as much effort into M1/M2 year as you can muster so you have a solid foundation as you walk into dedicated step studying – not all the courses are amazing, but I did rely upon knowledge from classes to study outside material and answer a good number of Uworld/Step questions. I also frequently followed a “2 – week rule” an upperclassmen once told me where two weeks before any exam I would divide out all the lectures evenly by 14 and review them on top of normal material planned that day. This way I didn’t neglect earlier material as it came close to test day and everything would be recently reviewed once I took the exam.

When I began to make my Step 1 study plan I came across the Taus Method online and modeled my schedule off that plan. I didn’t follow it exactly, but the idea was the same – basically to get through all the material twice within your dedicated Step I study time. I used 90% of the resources he suggested and particularly found it useful to go through each organ system methodically following the anatomy-->physio-->path-->pharm sequence he suggests. I would spend on average about 2-3 days per organ system and increase or decrease the scheduled days depending how big the section was in FA and how well I thought I knew the material – be honest with yourself when scheduling the time spent on different areas. The Taus Method should be easy enough to find through a google search. Personally, I don’t think resources like DIT are worth the time – it’s too easy to go into lecture mode and miss the material they are trying to teach you. Rather I would spend that significant amount of time that would be spent on those lectures and go through FA/Uworld and work things out on your own – it will take longer, but it will also stick better. Every day during dedicated study would be identical and looked something like this:

-Breakfast
-2-3 Uworld blocks in the AM
-Lunch
-Review resources in the PM
-Dinner
-Personal time
-Sleep

Try to leave yourself a lighter ‘catch-up’ day per week in your schedule to stay sane and hang out with friends and family (yes, you have time for this and it’s important).

Key Resources for Step 1:
*Uworld x2 – do it twice, you’ll get so much more out of it the second time around
*First Aid x 3 – memorize every word, ideally try to understand conceptually so you don’t have to memorize as much
Golijan Audio (listen in the gym), Rapid Review Pathology, Pathoma, BRS Physio/Constanza, Kaplan Pharm

Clerkships:
One of my M4 mentors once told me that the key to doing well third year is to not get lazy – and he’s absolutely right. It’s going to be difficult every rotation to come home after 8+ hours of being at the hospital and opening up a book to study for the shelf. However, if you manage to do this from day one in the rotation, even for just an hour or two, you’ll not only be better prepared for your shelf but you will gain much more out of the rotation having more knowledge earlier on. You can’t always control the clinical grade you receive, but you have full control over your shelf score. Take advantage of that. Also, try to have some resources on you during third year to study during downtime (flash cards on your phone, review books etc).

I studied for the shelf exams by using the resources mentioned in the blog linked below.
http://www.benwhite.com/medicine/studying-for-third-year-nbme-shelf-exams/

Hope some of this is helpful and I wish you guys the best of luck.
If you have any questions feel free to email me: ktruon2@uic.edu