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Customer Review

39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2012 without the errata -- not many other changes, January 2, 2013
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2013 (First Aid USMLE) (Paperback)
1. If you are a first or second year medical student and do not own a copy of First Aid, buy this.

2. If you are using the 2012 edition of First Aid, here are some differences to consider:

1. As far as I can tell, all of the errata from 2012 have been corrected (there were a ton of errors in 2012); but if you have went through and annotated your edition of 2012 this shouldn't matter very much
2. As one of the other reviewers mentioned, embryology has been moved to be contained with organ systems.
3. There are, as far as I can tell, no major changes in text content
a. There are additional pictures that have been added to 2013 that are not present in 2012.
b. Some of the diagrams have been redrawn with different colors and now seem to be a little more straightforward

The cover to the book also now seems to have some type of lamination so it appears that it will be more resistant to spills. There aren't any substantial changes, but if you're the type of person that likes to have the newest edition of everything (as I am) then I would go ahead and buy it.


The firstaidteam website ( released a list of all the changes in 2013. I found them to be useful so I'll post my paraphrasing of them here:

Structural Changes
Embryology has been incorporated into relevant sections
Many entries have been merged or consolidated
The dermatology section includes 59 new color images
The Rapid Review section is better "synchronized" with underlying high-yield material
The index has been fully redone
The test preparation material in Section I is updated and expanded

Design and Layout Changes
Entry formats are extensively redesigned
Mnemonics are colorized and bolded to clarify associations
Entries requiring more than 1 page are on a 2-page spread
Selected illustrations were redesigned and colorized


As SMH mentioned in his review, USMLE Step 1 2013 on Kindle does not run well--at least on Mac OS X Lion. I am not familiar with the performance of Kindle on Mac in general, but it takes 10-15 seconds on my 2011 Macbook Pro to do a search through the book. At times, when I am flipping through pages on Mac Kindle in FA, Kindle ends up using 100% of my CPU and my computer locks up for a few seconds. Tried de-activating/activating my registration, reinstalling kindle, rebooting, and re-downloading the book to no avail.

As a point of comparison, I have VitalSource for some of my other textbooks and it is able to do similar searches in textbooks in 1 to 2 seconds. Being able to search quickly and go to different pages in the book is one of the main reasons I bought the Kindle version--I'm really disappointed. I don't know whether this is the fault of the publisher or the Kindle Mac developers.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 6, 2013 12:50:08 PM PST
Lio-NJ says:
thanks James.

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 6:34:28 AM PST
Thank you James for your review. I wanted to see what you think I have the 2012 filled with MY notes but have not corrected the errata and as I see it It will take me really long. Do you think I should buy it and just read my notes from the 2012 and study/memorize 2013? Thanx!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2013 6:49:37 AM PST
At this point if you haven't corrected the errata I would buy 2013. If you aren't taking the Step exam soon, I would also recommend that you copy your notes from your 2012 to the 2013. This may take some time to do, but I think it will be helpful not to have to switch back and forth between books, and copying your notes will also be a good review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2013 8:15:48 AM PST
Well I got sick that is why I couldn't take it on summer so I am already behind on my rotations I was planning on taking it at the beginning of march :-/. That is why I don't know what to do :-(

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 3:50:43 AM PST
Well, in that case, I would take a look at the quantity of notes you need to transfer.

And then take a look at the errata list ( If you don't have very many notes, then I would buy 2013 and transfer them. If you have a ton of notes, then it may just be worth it to annotate 2012 with the errata. If you have roughly the same amount of notes as there are errata, I would recommend buying 2013 and transferring your notes, because this would be a more useful exercise than annotating errata. Good luck!
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