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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic first aid, but now with colored diagrams
Edit: 1/9/12
Changing my review to 4 stars. I just tried to highlighting as another review mentioned and it does indeed smear the ink a bit. But using a bit higher quality sharpie highlighters, it didn't really smear much, if at all. While I don't really highlight first aid (b/c everything's relevant and important), others might find it a flaw.

Edit:...
Published on December 29, 2011 by Will J

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157 of 162 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, full of mistakes, but now in color
It is incomprehensible that a review book that simply summarizes other books, that changes so very little of its material every year, can have SO many mistakes. Seriously, do a search for First Aid Errata and you'll see the pdf with all the errors. It's put out by the same folks; they offer $10 for writing in with an error. It's 10 pages long, about 20 errors listed...
Published on April 3, 2012 by medschool2014


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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic first aid, but now with colored diagrams, December 29, 2011
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
Edit: 1/9/12
Changing my review to 4 stars. I just tried to highlighting as another review mentioned and it does indeed smear the ink a bit. But using a bit higher quality sharpie highlighters, it didn't really smear much, if at all. While I don't really highlight first aid (b/c everything's relevant and important), others might find it a flaw.

Edit: 1/6/12

After using for a week, I really have to say this update is MUCH better than previous updates. Is it perfect? No. Definitely not. But did they make a lot of changes for the better?

in the 2010 => 2011: the book came out almost identical, except for a changing the cover

in the 2011 => 2012: there are multiple changes, which in my personal opinion, is for the better. They took the colored platelets at the end and incorporated them into the text itself. Why is this beneficial? Well, it allows you to make faster associations. There've been many studies on memory that have shown pictures/diagrams etc will improve recall.

also, people complain about errors. All books have errors! But what makes First Aid so great is that they have an errata that is CONSTANTLY being updated. You'll be hard pressed to find any resource that does this as frequently.

----------

I received my copy in the mail this morning. I've looked through it for a few hours and here are my thoughts...

First Aid will always be amazing for the boards. This edition, in my opinion, far exceeds their usual yearly updates. They got rid of the individual colored images and integrated the diagrams/pictures into the text itself--NEXT to the related topic. The good thing is that they didn't over-do the pictures. First aid has always been, and always should be, a review/outline of the most pertinent material for step 1. They have not abandoned that purpose.

In summary, I believe this is a great updated edition of first aid. Must better than previous editions in which the only thing they updated was 2010 => 2011 on the cover. It's definitely a great buy!!

I'll try to update this with any errors or other thoughts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boycott FIRST AID, August 22, 2012
This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
Tao Le, Vikas Bhushan and Jeffrey Hofmann are putting shame to their name by displaying such lack of quality control in their recent first AID editions. I realize that this is intentional; it drives the consumer to buy the next "best" edition. When the 2013 edition is published, I will examine it for errata already identified in the 2012 edition, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, I suggest you borrow your friends old edition or better yet use the Kaplan series. Boycott First Aid until they get their act together.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Error-ridden (17 pages worth [May 31, 2012]), June 10, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
I, an entering 3rd year medical student who has just taken the Step 1 exam this month (June 2012), was really excited to order the newest edition of First Aid (FA 2012). I mean, it's the only "comprehensive" review book for Step One "in full color."

But to my demise, I found that the errata list was ~10 pages long before I started actually studying for Step 1 (mid-April 2012). As I read through the book and the errata list, I found more errors--one error was actually an error in the errata! How about that!?! Now, if you're curious, the errata list is currently (June 10, 2012) 17 pages long <[...]>. At this rate, it may break 20 pages at the final revision, if there is one.

How can a book have 17 pages worth of errors? Poor editing may explain it. But, this is not a good excuse--especially for medical students pressed for time, stressed to the max, desperately wanting and needing a good resource that is ACCURATE, above all. Not many medical students have the time to fact-check every little detail; those that do have that time may not have the time to submit it to the list, leaving a shroud of uncertainty regarding the accuracy other material that awaits to be assimilated as knowledge.

So this brings up a question: if there is a growing errata list of 17 pages, how can one be so sure that the the next statement a student reads from FA 2012 is accurate? The answer is, obviously, the student cannot--and should not!

If a student fact checks everything that he or she reads from a book (that is supposed to save him or her time by consolidating ACCURATE material), the student would waste MORE precious time and potentially jeopardize his or her score by not studying efficiently.

Suppose the student does not diligently fact check. He or she may internalize incorrect information and secondarily lower his or her score by answering incorrectly based on wrong knowledge.

I, personally, cannot trust this edition of the book. I would refer you to books like Kaplan MedEssentials or Step Up to Step 1. These books, compared to FA 2012, are as well--if not better--organized. (Some prefer the organization of FA; others, like me, prefer Step Up or Kaplan. This is purely preference). You can probably even study by just doing USMLEWorld questions and using the internet to expand on topics you don't understand after reading through the USMLEWorld explanations. If you just do questions, it is IMPERATIVE that you review ALL of the answers and answer choices (correct AND incorrect) and really UNDERSTAND the Q&A topics AND the incorrect answer topics (contrasted with simply memorizing question stems and answers).

In any case, I truly hope the editors step up their game in FA 2013 and correct everything--and more--that is on the errata list. Otherwise, I foresee a quick downfall of a potentially great study aid.

But to the book's credit, they DID juxtapose the histology/histopathology with the relevant microbes and diseases. This has proven extremely helpful for a number of fellow students with whom I have interacted.

FA 2012 seems like a very good WORK IN PROGRESS. But to sell this book at 40 dollars, supposedly edited by at least 3 professionals (Le, Bushan, Hofmann), ultimately, is a scam.

To the FA team: I really appreciate the effort in actualizing a process where the public can edit and improve upon a published book. Please take FA 2012 as a lesson to thoroughly edit your work BEFORE publishing and making money off of the public. I look forward to seeing a better edited, and substantially more accurate, FA 2013.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 20 pages of corrections?? You've got to be kidding me., October 10, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
This book is full of errors that I now have to go through and correct. The publisher released 20 pages' worth of corrections and revisions. Seriously? What the hell was the editor of this book doing? I should not have to pay full price for this book AND do the editor's job.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, February 4, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
I was going off the 2010 version and got this version. There are some GREAT changes to the book. It is better organized, and the color is so helpful! There is no longer a section for photos which makes you flip back and forth, they're in the section along with the disease/process that is being discussed.

Well worth the upgrade to 2012!
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Aid 2012, December 29, 2011
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
I've looked through both the 2010 and 2011 editions of the book, and my pre-order of this 2012 edition came in today. The full color makes you actually want to keep reading it, while the 2010/11 editions it was easy to get sick of after a few pages because, although it was a lot of useful info, it just appeared bland and dry after a while. The few extra bucks for this full color edition with better placement of diagrams and pictures makes the understanding a little bit better. As the gold standard of Step 1 review books, I can't recommend this series enough, including this newest edition. As I go through the book I'll add more to this review if I notice anything.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FirstAid step 1- Your new best friend, December 12, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
First Aid is your medschool bible.. even if you are done with step 1.

First just to make this relevant and have validity I'm a medical student that scored a 244 on step 1. Not the best score out there but 240+ is really what you should be aiming for to keep your options open. If you are like me you only attend the mandatory things which accumulates to ~8hrs of class a WEEK (beware because that goes to 10+hrs a DAY in 3rd year... the year when medical school really starts...) and living the dream of being in your 20s and were not aware what step 1 was until midway through 2nd year. So you want only the high yield materials.

You need 2 things and BRS as a reference:
1) USMLEworld Qbank (I'd recommend all random questions in 46q blocks. Mix between timed and read answer after question mode) This is the best resource for your score PERIOD. I went with the 3 month trial which is what I would recommend.
2) FirstAid - This is a must. Make sure to get the color version which started in 2012. Dedicate a week to read once in the beginning/midway of 2rd year so your familiar with all the terms and reread 1 or 2 more times.
3) BRS PATH - In retrospect, I wish i would have read more of this. I read it for the more confusing path sections like repro. A section takes ~1-1.5 hr to complete and you are an expert. I looked through Goljan because people in my program wouldn't STFU about it but after glancing at it for a couple minutes I realized I just wasted ~$40.... LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE. I have an old edition of robbin's which pathologists love. It is a very solid book but very low yield. IMO Harrison's has a better more relevant path section. Again, grab color edition of BRS... black and white just makes you fall asleep for some reason.

After you finished 1 and 2 references and supplemented with BRS take a NBME exam... my program provided us with one exam. Take the newest one. If you go to bed at 10pm stay up until 3am when you think you would perform worst from being sleep deprived incase that happens on test day (which apparently it does to everyone because I've never heard of someone not giving this as an excuse even if they performed well on this exam). That score is very indicative in my experience. No need to take 5... if your like me in max student loans and have a balance on 4 credit cards you can spend your $$$ on something more useful like the new World of Warcraft expansion.

This was my strategy. There's no magic study strategy. You reap you sow. Since the first two years of medschool are like college undergrad,if you are doing it right, you are probably bored the majority of your time. So just put in 3-4 hours a day on weekdays to complete a block of qbank.

Good luck. Pick a test date and keep it.

*Remember there will be a lot of peers using performance enhancing stimulants. Do you need to take those to keep up? Of course NOT. You don't need 'em. And remember - leave the excuses/whining at home.

*There are also many students whining/crying on here over ~20 minor errors that are mostly irrelevant and will not impact your score/fund of knowledge. Med students are going to be med students. Be glad such a resource like this exists. Just with this book alone you can hit the national avg score of 226. Supplementing Qbank should pull you past 240.

Other references to keep around:
Harrison's(Sacred text... better than any resource out there. You read this cover to cover and I want you as my personal physician. 10/10 stars)
emedicine.medscape.net (IMO best online source... uptodate is 2nd)
wikipedia (no explanation needed)
Micro made ridiculously simple
First aid 2 CK
If any physician talks.... listen... especially an internal med doc of 10+ years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overall brand a saving grace, srongly consider buying last year's off a senior!, August 15, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
I don't want to take up much time except to mention anyone considering the 2012 book owes it to themselves to download and read the latest errata of July 30, 2012 covering all the mistakes that have been uncovered till now. This is available on the First Aid Team's site for free and be sure to get the latest one. In fact, why not try doing just one sheet for a friend who may have just bought the book. See how enjoyable it is and keep in mind the latest errata is 20 pages long out which many pages have 15-20 mistakes per page or more.

Also for comic relief in between all the suffering, be sure to read about the authors. I find it highly curious that with such a completely poor piece of work produced, one of the founding authors has gone out of his way in the personal information to present all sorts of personal ventures (producing music videos, writing pop culture books) which truthfully have nothing whatsoever to do with the scope of the book, or inspire confidence in the reader as a result of knowing about it. He mentions in a trite manner that he tries to avoid having a day job and uses the word entrepreneur in his info like it was going out of style. While this would be great for me to read about if I were trying to become an entrepreneur like him, the truth is I'm hoping he isn't doing a hundred other things and as a founding author maybe overseeing the quality of a book I'm about to bank a large part of my future on.

Sadly, it is too late for him to retract all the superfluous details that now, in light of all the errors, makes him look every bit the entrepreneur he was trying to project in his information. I don't know about you but I'd rather have a dedicated doctor writing my exam prep books and this incident has definitely made me think very hard about trusting the FA team with the rest of my board exams in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Worst, May 30, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
Bought it because there was no better alternative but that does not mean it is a good product.
Numerous typos.
Poor paper quality.
Completely useless index that makes studying much more difficult.
Of course you will buy it anyway since you don't really have a choice, but be forewarned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The same complaints as other low star reviews, August 19, 2012
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
There are a few truths in med school. One of those is to pick up a copy of First Aid and use that as your bible for the Board exams. Unfortunately, using this edition would be like reading stories about Jesus being killed by Brutus instead of being sentenced by Pontius Pilate. As of this post, there are 20 pages worth of errata - errata that even corrects itself!

I appreciate that this book is in color - I really do. However, it's scary to see how many errors exist in this book. While it is too late to change things now, I would hope the FirstAid Team takes note of these errors and makes the correction themselves for the 2013 edition. It's taken hours of my time to correct these errors and now I'm no longer sure I'm able to trust the Gold Standard for Board review. Seeing other reviewers write the same things makes me think I'm not alone.
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First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE)
First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2012 (First Aid USMLE) by Vikas Bhushan (Paperback - December 19, 2011)
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