The USMLE Step 1 is all you can think of in the months after AICM and the time before clinical clerkships because that’s all you should be thinking of. To get prepared I basically asked over 13 medical students who are doing rotations and another 3 students who were applying for residency at the hospital I did my AICM at. I asked one question to all of them and that was “how did you study for Step 1”. Now, several times I did ask how long they studied but that’s not as important because some students study longer than others. The important factors to look for when these senior students answer were what tools they used to study for Step 1.
Don’t be shy about asking them about Step 1 because 99.9% of the time they will be more than happy to tell you about their study plans and experiences. If you are in a room with them waiting for the doctor, then kick off a non-academic conversation such as sports or cars and work your way to the Step 1 conversation; that’s what I did. But sports or cars is what I asked regarding guys, for the girls I asked them what school they came from because SJSM students are not the only ones doing clerkship in that hospital. I got what I wanted because I knew what I was looking for and that’s what you have to do. Becoming a doctor is not an easy process; one has to be fast and cunning in order to reach his/her goals.
I also got advice from a Kaplan tutor, who apparently got 99s on both USMLE Step 1 and Step 2. He basically confirmed what the rotation students told me and he summed it up in a easier study plan. I wish I can tell you what they told me but I have to apply it first to see if it works then I’ll write about it.
However, one really good advice I can tell you is, start studying for Step 1 from MD4. I don’t know much about Anguilla campus, but in Bonaire MD4 is less difficult than MD3 because Pharmacology is done in MD3. During MD4 semester spend more time reviewing for Step 1 than studying for that class notes.
Keep in mind, PDI class in MD4 will have everything you need to get prepared for clinical clerkships. Dr. P’s taught well in PDI and they went so well with AICM rotations.
Also if you haven’t done so get the First Aid for USMLE Step 1 2011; it’s what every student uses to get a reference of what will be on the test.