what is up guys karma medic here and welcome back to another dose if you need to the channel hi my name is Nasir and I'm now a third-year international medical student studying at King's College London and right now between my third year and my fourth year of medical school is what I'm studying and preparing for the USMLE exam the reason that I'm making this video is that if you're an international medical student like myself so you're not studying at a medical school in the United States well then nobody really talks about the USMLE nobody tells you or teaches you how to prepare for it and it's all very very confusing so I'm making this video hopefully to help people who are currently in the same situation that I was two months ago who are looking at the u.
M leagues I'm not knowing where to start or how to prepare for it I feel like I finally found my routine I found my groove I've done a lot of research and I feel confident and ready to make this video if you've already taken the USMLE exam or currently studying or preparing for it please do share any tips or tricks in the comments down below I would love if we could create this community of helpful knowledge information and resources just to help each other out of it during this very difficult time the first thing that I want to say about studying for the USMLE step 1 exam is that this is a very long process this is a very hard process and a very expensive process it's an 8 hour long exam that takes the average student between 6 and 9 months to study for so in case this is the first time you're doing research about the USMLE step one I think it's a good idea to know what you're up against if you're an IMG like myself then your medical school is not going to give you dedicated time off in order to study for this exam and so you're probably gonna have to carve a routine into your already existing medical school schedule studying you know after lectures after hospital placement in the evenings and on the weekends and things like that so it is a really difficult and self-driven motivational process and having it detailed of a flexible schedule is something that's gonna be very important to managing your studying over long periods of time and I'll get into that in a little bit when I talk about the crown fighter now as you can imagine or if you've done any research at all I'm sure that you know that there are tons and tons of different resources out there to help you prepare for the USMLE exam thankfully I know a group of people who have already written this exam and I have friends who are currently studying and preparing for this exam right now and so after talking to all of them and doing tons of my own research online I've accumulated what I believe to be the best resources to help you study and prepare for the USMLE exam okay so here's the long list of resources that I'm using in order to prepare for the USMLE step 1 well the first aid book 2020 Edition boards and Beyond video lecture series path oma video lecture series with the accompanying textbook sketchy micro sketchy farm Anke flashcards and then for the question banks I'm currently using us Emily rx and I will be using you world question Bank in the future and lastly the crime fighter application for scheduling all of this madness now that's obviously a lot of resources and it's a lot of different material to wrap your head around but honestly as an international medical graduates and the nature of the USMLE built into our already existing medical school schedule I feel that a lot of these resources are necessary in order to put us on the same page and beyond what the average US medical student is exposed to a quick disclaimer is that you obviously don't need all of these resources in order to do well on the USMLE step 1 exam these are just resources that I've been finding very helpful in my studying and my preparation and then I wanted to share with you in this video alright now let me break down each one of those resources and tell you what it is that I'm using them for and why I find them very helpful keep forgetting to drink coffee alright guys let's start off with first aid for the USMLE step 1 this book is basically the holy mecca for students preparing for the step 1 exam you pretty much can't say the words USMLE step 1 without saying first aid they go hand in hand it is a condensed collection of high-yield facts and important points obviously it covers all of the different organ systems it covers both physiology and pathology and it even covers biochemistry immunology Public Health Sciences ethics and things like that it's basically like a syllabus of high yield content for the step 1 exam I'll follow the advice of all the students who I talk to have taken this exam before me and I've written down all of my notes annotated in this one book and the reason that I've done that is because you're gonna be accumulating information from a wide range of resources and it's very useful to have everything in one place it's kind of like your encyclopedia if you want to search up something and get all the information that you've gathered for that one topic in one place this is where I'm gonna do it ok the next resource that I'm using is the boards and Beyond video lecture series this is a comprehensive video lecture series narrated by dr.
Jason Ryan and it covers pretty much everything it's as close as you can get the full curriculum for what you need to know for the step 1 exam this is basically like your medical school curriculum from years one to three but tailored and focused for studying for step one as an international medical student I'll let you know right now that there's a decent gap between what my medical school has taught me and what I've come across in this video lecture series so this will basically recap everything that you've already learned a medical school and then teach you everything that your medical school didn't dr.
Ryan is an excellent teacher I love how he explains every topic his slides are simple and easy to understand and he's just fantastic this is the interface over here and you can see how many hours each section has I'm currently doing cardiology so let me show you guys that right now so as you guys can see here there's videos for pretty much every topic that you need to know within the cardiology section and then every single one of these videos it'll tell you what pages in the first-aid book to refer to so that you can go and take your notes in here and then after every video there's a quiz which is just great because you can immediately test how much of that knowledge you've picked up and focus on things that you might have not really understood that well but I'm basically re teaching myself my medical school curriculum by going through this video lecture series recapping everything that I already know and building and adding on to that knowledge all right now let's move on to talk about path omma path oma is again a video lecture series with this accompanying textbook that is taught by dr.
Sutter or sitar I hope I'm saying that right but this book only focuses on pathology hence path oma now because this book focuses on pathology and this book over here include pathology and the boards and bullion's lecture also includes pathology obviously there's going to be overlap between these three resources but the reason that I like listening to his video lectures is that he reacts Plaines some of the complex topics in a different way which helps me understand them better and on top of that he has a very very very high yield focus every other sentence he says is accompanied by this is a high yield fact and you should make sure that you remember it I actually find this book very useful also because it helps organize information in a different way that helps you sort of put it in a mind map a little bit better ended up annotating this book in here simply because I don't have enough space in the US under the first eighth book all right now moving on from path oma if you didn't know this already I hate to be the bearer of bad news but for the step one exam you have to remember a ridiculous number of microorganisms and medications and then an even more ridiculous number of facts about each and every single one of those as a result of that you basically need to memorize a stupid amount of material now since this part of the exam is very memorization heavy looking at blocks of texts or lecture slides really isn't that helpful and that's where sketchy medical comes in to save the day sketchy medical takes every single microorganism and every single drug that you need to know and turns it into a sketch and because all of these sketches are so weird strange and out of the ordinary it actually helps you memorize all the facts that you need to know for these different microorganisms and drugs so I'm personally using sketchy medical for microbiology and also for pharmacology so if we take bacteria over here for example you'll see all the different microorganisms and the sketches that come along with them let's take Group B Strep for example so if I run through this video on three X speed they'll get a bit of a better idea as to what I'm talking about so every video has a sketch and they walk you through a story or a narration of all the different facts you need to know about that specific organism and how it relates to this sketch personally I'm much more of a visual learner and so drawing out information in this way really helps us stick in my memory a lot better every student I've spoken to who's taken the step one exam has sworn by this resource and told me that I absolutely have to use it so I took their advice and I haven't regretted it at all sketchy medical also does physiology but because I have all these other resources I'm not using it for that I'm using it mainly from microbiology and pharmacology okay so moving on to the next resource which is Anki flashcards personally I've never really been a flashcard kind of guy and I certainly would not be using Anki if I had to make all the flashcards myself but we're in luck because there's a group of anonymous medical students who have already created a deck with 30, 000 cards in it to help you study and prepare for the step one exam not only do they have all of those cards but they include images and references back to first aid and other resources for the step 1 exam they've absolutely done God's work when it comes to doing this and they deserve a huge huge thank-you from the medical school community I'll leave links in the description down below so that you guys can go download this exact deck and they explain how to set it up properly and use Anki and everything like that I am an absolute Anki noob in fact I haven't even started using this deck I plan to use it in a month or so in the second phase of my revision for the step 1 exam but as you can see here there's a whole range of tax for each and every different section and within each one you have even more sub categorizations and let's click on one of these decks for example I can start studying now it'll start asking you questions you can hit the spacebar and it's like a flashcard I mean I'm sure you guys know how thank you for because I don't need to explain this I'm excited to use these decks because it's a way to include active recall and spaced repetition into my studying routine which is at the very top of the hierarchy of studying techniques as far as it goes for memory retention and long-term retention of information now the next two resources that I want to talk about are the question banks question banks are an absolutely essential part of your studying you have to be exposed to the questions and understand what the questions look like in order to know what they're going to be like on the exam now let's start talking about you world for the USMLE step 1 exam as you can read here there's over 2, 800 practice questions that you can do now this is the question Bank that is most similar to the real questions that you will see on the USMLE step 1 exam and because of that most students like myself we're saving these questions towards the end of our study period when we've already gone through all of this material and at least understand it somewhat well so we can get a good estimate of how well we'll be able to answer the actual questions on the USMLE step 1 exam and so in the meantime until you study enough to feel ready to tackle questions that are going to be very similar to what's on the step 1 exam I personally think that you need another question Bank another resource in order to continually test yourself throughout the studying period so you get exposed to what the questions are going to look like in the future on exam day and you get to test your knowledge using active recall and learn so much from making mistakes now there's a ton of question banks out there I've personally gone for the USMLE rx question Bank I've no reason to tell you why it's better than any other question Bank out there it's just the one that's been recommended to me by friends and people who have taken this exam previously and having used this question Bank for a while I actually really like it because you can go back to previous tests that you've done like you can see here and you can review your question so for each question that you do whether you get it right or wrong it shows you explanations for each answer why the answer is incorrect or why the answer is correct and this is by far the most important part of the learning process for me it's doing questions and knowing why I got the things that I did get wrong on top of that it directly links to the first eight books as you guys can see over here for example it tells me right here this is a screenshot from the first eight book and I can go back into the book and look at my own notes on these things so for each question that you do it shows you the relevant pages in the first eight books that you can go back and review that material and that's obviously the most important part because you can learn from your mistakes and you can learn from the questions you get right as well when it comes to choosing questions to test yourself with you can really customize what you want easy medium hard questions questions that I've seen before questions that I haven't questions that I've gotten write questions that I've got it wrong and then on top of that you can also really narrow down which sections you want to test yourself on it's for example here by disciplines you can select biochem and biology epidemiology whatever or you can go by organ system hematology musculoskeletal and neurology whatever or you can organize by first-aid topics which is great because after I finish a chapter in the first-aid book I then go on to do the same chapter in pathumma and want something with that I come here and I choose that specific section that I just did to test my cell phone like I said before I think question banks are an extremely valuable resource when it comes to preparing for any test and I certainly have found using this question Bank very helpful now finally the last resource that I'm using to study for the step 1 exam is an application called crown fighter and cramp fighter is a scheduled making application which is just so so so useful basically how it works is that you input dates for the studying period that you want and then you choose all of the resources that you want to study and use during that study period so for example over here I've selected boards and beyond I selected path AMA sketchy micro and then within each one of these resources you can individually select what it is that you want to cover and each one tells you how many minutes it's going to take to cover that individual chapter or video or pages or whatever so then after you've selected all of your resources you tell the application how many hours you want to spend studying per day if you want to take any days off in the week or for example you want to take a holiday at some point for example here I have unscheduled days seven unscheduled days any days you want to take practice tests catch-up days I've put is every second Saturday and basically you input all of this information into this program what resources you want to use how many hours you want to study on what of the wheat on what weeks of the month you get to choose everything and then it creates a schedule for you so for example if you look over here you can see my schedule for the month of May and if I click on any one of these days it breaks down all of the different resources and things that I should be doing it's for example on Tuesday May 5th I have all of these different things scheduled I have a whole bunch of boards and beyonds video lectures for the he Munk section it looks like and then 57 questions of us Emily are xmax to do now because like I mentioned before the average student spends between 6 & 9 months studying for this test I think it's so vital to be able to have a schedule like this that helps keep you focused and on track for that whole duration of time and if one day for example you're having a bad day and you don't do any studying you just let crimefighter know that in the application and then it shifts all of that content over the remainder of your days so it's very flexible now don't get me wrong you obviously don't need this and if I wasn't using this I would make my own schedule with a pen and paper honestly I think it's so worth it purely for that flexibility where you can change things around and move things forward or back if you decide to take a day off or whatever oh okay I think that's all of the resources that I'm using to study for the step 1 exam let me turn around and now like I already mentioned I haven't actually written the step 1 exam I'm currently studying and preparing for it and so everything that I said in this video are my thoughts and ideas so far about the resources that I'm using in case you're wondering how much this costs I've chosen between the three and six month plans for all of the resources that I'm using and so far it's cost me 550 pounds on top of that the registration fees for actually taking the step one exam have cost me over a thousand pounds so like I said this is a very long process this is a very hard process and a very expensive process with the USMLE step 1 exam if you write the test and fail then you can retake it but if you write the test and pass then you cannot retake it again and so I highly recommend that when you decide to write the USMLE step 1 you do it once and you do it right and that's why even though all of these resources are really adding up and I'm gonna be holed up in this room studying for a long time like I said I want to do this once and I want to do it right all right and I think that is it for this video thank you so much if you've watched this entire thing I hope you found it useful especially if you're an international medical student I know that this was very very confusing for me a couple of months ago if you've already taken this exam or are currently studying for you and have any useful information at all to share please do leave it in a comment down below I would love it if we could share some of the information and some of the things we've learned from studying and writing this exam and help each other out during this difficult difficult time and that's it for me please don't forget to leave a like on this video and subscribe to my channel to see more content from me in the future happy studying good luck studying I hope you're all doing well during this time and I will see you in the next one peace turn around and.