USMLE review

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This is from a talk given by Dr. Moninger at St. Vincent’s. It’s rough and I’ll add to it as I approach this hurdle myself.

Most important things

1. Good 3rd year grades
2. letters of recommendation
3. previous research
4. usmle step I score
5. 1st and 2nd year grades

-on test day, wear your least favorite long sleeves shirt
-you can’t mark on scratch paper, mark on plastic sheet (laminate a sheet of paper)
-cannot bring in baseball cap, electronic watch
-they videotape you while taking the test

passing is around 57%
avg is around 65%
best is about 80%, this is the best anyone ever does

-you will feel bad after exam even after you studied hard
mean is around 215-218
passing is 182

question types
-vignettes
-pictures
-charts
-calculations

60% of exam is new every year, but they compare everyone on the 40% of questions before
just to get any residency, you want to score above mean
if you get in top 75% of usmle, you can go almost anywhere (225 – 230)

-questions are written by a committee, all members of the committee must agree on each question

-questions based on core information, not research projects
-if there is a disagreement about the answer, the question is gone

question breakdown (approx)

70 – path
50 – phys, micro, pharm
40 – anatomy, behavioral science, biochemistry

-most medical students take 4 weeks to study for step I and take it right after you study, if taking review, take a 1 week to consolidate information
-gpa is more of how quickly you can stuff it in
-I recommend studying from 8 am to 5 pm

5 rules for doing well
1. know the material well that you study
2. keep it simple
3. know differences rather than similarities
4. do half hr of micro and pharm every day
5. rehearse out loud

do half an hour of micro and pharm each day
-med students want some sense of accomplishment
-just do 3 new drugs a day for 20 days will significantly improve your pharmacology score
-doing 15 new drugs a day for 5 days will not significantly improve your score

Rehearse out loud
-we tend to fool ourselves when we read quietly to ourselves
-the real test of knowledge is talking

Good news
-you can study the material you learned here and do very well
-if you created course notes or in some way condensed the material, this would be the best way to study from, sometimes the obsessive and organized people win

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