In order to become a practicing physician, in addition to attending medical school, we also have to take national licensing exams (USMLEs or ‘boards’). The first of these exams is known colloquially as ‘step one’ and is supposed to be the most difficult of them all. At most U.S. medical schools, students take the exam after they finish their first two years of med school. Most schools have a 6-8 week period after classes end in the second year that are designated specifically for studying for the exam. Some students take it earlier in the period and use the rest of time for vacation and others take it right before third year begins so they have more time to study.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, it takes me a reaaaaally long time to understand and memorize material so I have to be really careful about my study schedules and make sure I review throughout each block in addition to learning new material. So when it comes to studying for step one, I know that I need to start early. Below I’ve included the resources I’ll be using over the next few months during second year and before the designated step one studying period starts. This, of course, is just what I think will work best for me. Many students wait until January to even think about the boards or don’t even study until the designated studying period starts. But I think it’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and create a plan that’ll work best for you.