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Guide to USMLE Step 1


SO, you are approaching the end of your second year at Jefferson, which was quite possibly the most grueling part of your medical education. Having gone through about a thousand pages of Path and countless lectures of FCM, you are so ready for a major break from the books, right? Well there’s still one hurdle to cross before you reach the promised land of clinical medicine: Step I of the USMLE, or "the boards." Although this examination can seem pretty intimidating, a logical and well thought out approach to studying helps many Jefferson students pass on their first try. So first and foremost, do not panic!

This guide is meant to provide a framework and some simple suggestions for studying for Step 1. Remember, these are just suggestions and no one approach to studying is right for everyone. The key to success is to think about the topics and issues that need to be covered, make a realistic study plan, and then do your best.

To organize this guide, we’ve separated it into 4 major sections. The first answers some commonly asked questions about the boards. The second section deals with scheduling your study time wisely and efficiently. Finally, the third section discusses the review books that are available within each major subject.

In addition to this guide, be sure to visit these Web sites for official information:

National Board of Medical Examiners: The United States Medical Licensing Examination

To register/apply for USMLE exams (and later check scores)

For more information about Step I