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

Member Profile

Joshua Muniz (2018)
Member Type: Student, Junior Member Campus: Chicago
Advice
M1/M2 year advice:

I was a dedicated class goer all of M1/M2 year. I know that isn't for everyone, and if you don't learn that way, then don't do it. But, for me, it forced me to get up early and keep up to date on the material. It also allowed me to have multiple passes through material, as I would supplement what I learned in classes with the classics (Pathoma, First Aid, Picmonic, Sketchy, Kaplan videos, etc.). I would also do a bunch of questions before exams as practice. For path, for example, I would highly recommend Robbins' questions.

Weekends were used to catch up on any supplemental material that I was behind on. I would also use it as a time to relax and to do what love: running, sleeping and spending time with friends/loved ones.

I think for me, treating school like a job throughout the year made getting through classes and transitioning into dedicated time much easier. If you get into a good rhythm throughout the year, then dedicated won't be as daunting. It will also prepare you for the long and early days of your clerkships.

Step Advice:

I used primarily first aid, Uworld, and pathoma during dedicated. I used DIT, but mainly as review for micro, immuno, biochem and some of the M1 material. It can be good for some topics that you have difficulty understanding, as they have great explanations. However, I would caution using it as a primary source, because it often doesn't have the level of detail you will need for the exam.

During dedicated, essentially I would start in the morning with reviewing (broadly, no more than an hour) the material from the day before, then I would do a block in UWorld. Most of the rest of the day was going through FA and supplementing with pathoma. I would make sure to cover some pharm and micro/immuno every day as well. The pharm review would cover drugs used in the organ system I was currently covering. I would do another UWolrd block before dinner, and then after dinner I would review physio and any pathoma I didn't get to.

The only other resource I would definitely recommend is BRS physio. I would read the appropriate chapter at night for like 30-45 min, which was enough to review the pertinent M1 physio material. If you have time during April Practicum, I also read through Rapid Review Biochem and High-Yield Neuroanatomy. I was able to finish both in the two weeks of practicum by reading 1-2 hours a night, so it's doable. I would definitely say that you don't want to overload with too many resources, so if any of these aren't working for you or you don't have time, do not be afraid or feel bad to drop them.

I did 2-3 UWorld blocks a day essentially and I think I was able to get through all of UWorld during dedicated. And I would do blocks related to the material I was doing. Some subject (eg cardio) have much more questions than others, so you'll have to adjust how many blocks you do accordingly. Some subjects are stand alone so at the end you may have to do random questions.

I would take a practice test every Saturday of dedicated. So I think I ended up doing 4/5. I bought two from UWorld and two from NBME, and I did one DIT exam. I would take the exam in the morning, took a couple hours off to relax after, and then caught up on any questions, UWorld explanations, videos, or micro/immuno/pharm stuff I was behind on. I would recommend doing the NBME exams later on, cause they are much more predictive of your score than the UWorld ones (they are a little inflated). Some people would do a few UWorld blocks right after a practice exam to better simulate the length of the exam, but I was always too tired for that.

At the very least, make sure you get through all of UWorld and take a few practice exams, two of which should be NBMEs. You should take the more recently published NBMEs too cause they are much harder and closer to the exam level. I would also highly recommend taking one night (at least) a week and do something fun. Go out, watch a movie, go to an event, etc. It'll help keep you sane.

Feel free to email me with any questions or if you want to take a look at the schedule I had during dedicated (muniz1@uic.edu), I'm happy to help!