Why I study for Step and my study resources | USMLE Diary Series #1

Hey guys, I hope you all are doing well! So this post is going to be a little introduction for a blog series I’m planning for my blog and it’s going to be based on my study experience for USMLE-Step 1. For those of you who don’t know about Step 1, it’s a massive test which is taken usually by medical students in the US. But for anyone else on this world who wants to either do a residency in the states or work as an educated doctor there, we have to take the exam as well. There are three Steps, Step 1 being the most important which kind of decide a huge part ofyour future and what residency program you can attend.

In the end of last year, I decided to take that exam as I’m planning to go to the states for an elective. The specific hospital I’m interested in requires USMLE-Step 1. As the exam would test me in everything I’ve learned in the past four years in medical school, you can imagine the workload in preparation for it. It covers subjects like Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology and many more and requires an deep understanding of all the organ systems.

Not only am I motivated to take the exam for my dream elective place, but also I feel like it’s a good opportunity to revise subjects and relearn things that I’ve already forgot over the last years. It’s scary how much is on the forgotten side. Also, I’m kind of considering going (or at least try to leave myself an option) to attend my residency program in the US.

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Being a 4th year medical student, I’ll start my clinical years from October on. We will routine through Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, Gynaecology, Neurology, ENT and Opthalmology from October this year to June next year and afterwards, I’m going to take one of my last bigger exams before attending my elective year. The elective consists of three big medical fields such as Internal Medicine, Surgery and an optional course. And after finishing the elective year, I will graduate from medical school. I’m planning to attend my clinical years from next February on abroad and as I said before, I would love to do one of the elective parts in the US.

So here we are, on the beginning of my study journey for a huge exam. I don’t know many people from my Uni wanting to take this exam at the moment, so I’m pretty much on my own right now. Therefore I thought I’d share my study journey here on my blog, to maybe connect with other med students who want to take Step 1 but also to help myself discipline for studying for it. I haven’t signed up for the test because I want to be sure first that I can at least pass and create a realistic test date for myself since the registration fee is super high and postponing the date is costy as well.

At the moment, I try to get an overview of the material. I make myself familiar with my study resources, decided what I want to use and what not (since there is soooooo much resource to choose from and again and it’s a bit overwhelming) and tried to figure out where my weaknesses are.

These are my resources so far:

First Aid USMLE Step 1 2018  |   Rapid Review Pathology by Goljan  |   Sketchy med for Pharm and Microbio  |  BRS Physiology  |  Kaplan notes  | Goljan audio lectures |  Pathoma  |  U-World & NBME (haven’t purchased both yet)

I know this kind of posts are very specific and maybe more interesting for medical students. But I thought I create a series of my study journey for Step 1, letting you guys know how it goes every month and maybe get to know people who are interested in taking the exam as well. Also, I feel like it would be cool to look back on this posts when I’m closer to taking the exam or even when I already took it. I’d generally love to share more of my medical school journey here on my blog as it’s one of the biggest parts of my life right now and maybe, a few of you would find it interesting to follow!

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So that’s it for the introduction. I had quite a few enormous exams in the past, very similar to step 1, which is good as I’m pretty used to it. Step 1 is already very scary to me but I’m positive that studying for it and going through the experience is going to be great in the end.

I hope you had a great start into the week so far and thank you for reading! I would love to hear from anyone! Is anyone preparing for a gigantic exam at the mom? How are you doing?

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