Saturday, 20 October 2012

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First Aid, Kaplan Review Course, MedEssentials, Gojan Pathology... What is best for me?

Study material. There's loads out there waiting for you to pick it up. Most people I know are compulsive buyers.

Have you noticed how people love talking about what they should be doing instead of JUST doing it? 

When I attended the Kaplan Reveiw Courses, I was surprised to see how much students loved to slack off. The would half-study for an hour and then talk for 2 hours. Why? I guess people feel a false-sense of productivity when they are talking about what they SHOULD be doing.

I know students who love to buy all the books to study for the USMLE and the weirdest part is that they carry them everywhere. They love to show off 20 kilos of pages containing the same information.

Review Material

From the hundreds of thousands of books there exist to prep yourself for the USMLE you should choose no more than 2 books and no more than 2 Qbanks. Why? Because you are a human that gets saturated easily by stress and packing up information into your brain.

If you think you can read 20, 30 books for Step 1, you're wrong. You need to focus your endeavor in one or at most, two sources of information. Why? Each source organizes information in a specific way. You want that organization to stick to your mind, to dig deep and install itself into your hardware. Every time you change the source of information you are altering the natural pattern already created by the previous one. This means destroying a schema and this could be detrimental for your progress.

By far the most popular books filled with review material are:

1. First Aid

2. Kaplan Review Books

Ever student you find who has studied for the USMLE will tell you that either he has studied from one of these books, or at least, that he owns them. 

Why do you need review, concise, and precise material?

Ok. Take the textbook from each of the following topics:

Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Behavioral Sciences
Microbiology and Immunology

That would sum up to more than twenty kilos of pages you should study. It's crazy.

The review material will give you great tips and the information has been already digested by the specialists who studied or are masters of the material and are giving it to you in an organized, concise way. Better yet, the review material is optimized to meet the needs of the USMLE.

One thing is needing great books to review the material. Another on is getting proper mentoring.

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