Saturday, 20 October 2012

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Kaplan Step 1 Review Course. Should you take it?

When I finished Medschool I wasn't sure which course to take. I knew that I wished to take the USMLE and eventually get a medical residency position in the US, but hell, I was pestered by many, many negative comments:

"You're going to study for what, 2 years and then possibly match? You're crazy."

"Dude, those exams are way too hard. Best stay home and go directly into residency. You avoid all the hassle."

I was annoyed by all the negative feedback but most of all, I was scared because I was stubborn and nothing  could dissuade me from studying for the USMLE.

So what did I do? I sought for advice. Most students recommended the Kaplan Review Course, otheres didn't. Anyway, I signed up and live in Houston for over a year, attending live courses and meeting intersing people.

After taking the exams and finishing the courses, here's my review of the Kaplan Step 1 Review course, in case you are in a position where you don't know what to do.

Course Review

Attending live courses was an amazing experience. In part, living the same tough experience with your classmates makes of the event something grand. Sharing the pain and the discomfort while engaging the review material is somewhat soothing. 

Faculty is mostly composed of well rounded physicians and or specialists in the area. In few occasions I felt I was wasting my time. For the most part, the course is just as intense as the exam during exam-day. It's 8 hours of study time with little breaks in between. You get the opportunity to ask your classmates for assistance just as you have the lecturer helping you out solving problems.

Lecturers I thought were superb during the live course are:

1. Steven Daugherty (Behavioral Science and Biostatistics)
2. Dr. Wazir Kudrath (Physiology)
3. Louise Ruebush (Immunology)

After finishing the course I delved into 2 Qbanks and when I finished them, I plunged into the Step 1. I scored 238 when my goal was 240. 

Would I take the course again? Most certainly. Is it the only way to conquer Step 1? No. I know many friends who scored higher than I did withouth attending the Kaplan Courses. 

My mentor at Kaplan was Ravi Draksharam, a great leader.

Did you take the course? Share your experience here!

Other articles you may want to read:

1. Becoming the Warrior
2. Mnemonics: A great way to learn new material.