April 18, 2008

Gems for USMLE Step 1 studying

These are a few years old... just some links I found as I browsed through blogs in my "free time" while I study for boards. It makes me feel like posting more, but I could hardly match the level of quality entertainment in these.

Zac shares some of his favorite random facts while he studied for Step 1. My favorite part is Stereotyping for the USMLE.
I mentioned that you shouldn’t stereotype… openly. The USMLE is your chance to practice. Nobody ever needs to know that the instant you see lawyer you immediately think scumbag who sleeps with prostitutes and therefore has gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and herpes. It’ll stay our dirty little secret.
The Table of Contents for a series of posts on Step 1, written by one of the newest editors of First Aid for the Boards... he got the job after garnering a list of corrections for the book on his blog! Amazing. :)

My personal favorite item from this blog came up in one of the comments on micro corrections. From it, I found a great way to memorize the single-stranded, positive sense RNA viruses.
on the mnemonic for the ss(+) RNA viruses. (Wow, the list on wikipedia is impressive.)

"Happy Flava Flav is having a Retro-Toga & Corona party in Pico Cali!"
  • ACE: Hep A (PicoRNAviridae), Hep C (Flaviridae), Hep E (HepEviridae, the virus formerly known as Prince. I mean, Caliciviridae.)
  • Retroviridae: HIV and HTLV
  • Togaviridae: Rubella, an ARbovirus (ARthropod borne for Eastern/Western Equine Encephalitis, but Rubella wants to be a PaRaMMyxovirus)
  • Coronavirus: a crown is round (helical), this is the only ss(+) RNA that is helical, NOT icosahedral!
If you have HHAPPPy DNA viruses and Flava Flav down, the other ones are the other ones. Don't bother classifying them beyond segmented (Reo and Ortho) and enveloped (Naked PAP and CPR)

Some other informative links:
-Whoa, I was the first one to comment on this entry! He has some great recommendations on books to read. Topher has a much more comprehensive breakdown. I thought about unbinding my USMLE book like some of my classmates as Graham recommended, but i noticed that they have to flip through the pages one at a time. I ended up just keeping it together (though I still have a month of studying left and if the pages fall out, I might as well unbind the dang thing.)

-Y.S. links up some recommendations from people on StudentDoctor.net who scored high.


PimpNotes.org is an open-source notes project for medical students and doctors in training. The site hosts free notes, guides, books, or any other materials created by and for medical students and residents. It currently hosts a complete systems-based pathology charts ("the grids") and pathophysiology flash cards (in progress). an open-source guide to usmle step 1 is forthcoming--created and maintained by those who are closest to the material--the students themselves."
-J. Zimmerman, MD'07, Brown Medical

I looked through the charts and they are very thorough -- the text is tiny on the computer screen, but it's formatted for print. So far, he's got Path, Micro and Pharm as open source notes (meaning you're free to copy and distribute them and edit them as you wish.)

Stay tuned, I'll keep updating this list as I come across new items.

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