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

Member Profile

Poonam Merai (2011)
Member Type: Student, Senior Member Campus: Chicago
Specialty: Internal Medicine Program: University of Chicago
Advice
USMLE STEP 1 ADVICE

A disclaimer before I begin: everyone has different ways of studying/learning, so be weary of the advice you get from people (including me!).

First off, the best thing you can do for yourself is to really know the material that you learn M2 year. Try to do your best to learn the material thoroughly using the textbook, Goljan Pathology review, First Aid, etc. In other words, learn the material from as many angles as possible, not just what you learn in the classroom. People recommend that you annotate First Aid as you go through M2 year. Although I would recommend it, just be careful because you might end up putting TOO much info in the margins.

Next, donít worry about studying until the last practicum in April. I spent most of my time worrying about studying; but I never really got around to it until April. You're going to be around people who want to start studying in December... distance yourself from them. If you start too soon, you really do run the risk of burning yourself out. Don't forget that UIC will give you about 6 weeks where you can study exclusively for the exam and regardless of what people say, it's actually plenty of time so long as you are disciplined.

Before I began studying, I made a daily schedule for myself. My routine was that I would wake up at 6am, study from 6-8am, be at the library by 9 am, study until 5pm, run/eat dinner, do UWorld questions from 7-9pm, then watch a couple LOST episodes J

During my six weeks of studying, I went through a review book for each subject. As I was going through each review book, I would put all my notes in my First Aid; so at the end, my First Aid had everything that I thought was important to know. I then spent two weeks just going through First Aid and doing a lot of practice questions.

As for the different questions banks, I was told by upperclassmen that USMLE World was the best. I agree. The questions are pretty difficult and fairly representative of the actual exam. I finished the entire question bank by the time the exam rolled around. One thing that I wish I had done was to take a practice exam at the test site itself. The whole process of taking the exam is kind of stressful (i.e. they make you turn your pockets inside out every time you exit the testing room, etc). If you take a practice test at the testing site, you can minimize stress and familiarize yourself with the whole process. For example, I didn't know that there would be questions with an audio component (i.e. heart sounds of murmurs).


These are the review books that I used:
1) First Aid
2) Rapid Review Biochemistry
3) Board Review Series Neuroanatomy
4) Board Review Series Cell Biology and Histology
5) Microbio Made Ridiculously Simple
6) High Yield Embryology
7) Goljan Pathology
8) Lange Pharmacology Review
9) Board Review Series Physiology