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Customer Review

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, does not stand up to FA for the USMLE Step 1, January 25, 2013
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This review is from: First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK, Eighth Edition (First Aid for the USMLE Step 2: Clinical Knowledge) (Paperback)
Almost all med students know of the importance of "First Aid for the Step 1" in their board preparation; it's almost a rite of passage to buy, read, and annotate in it until it's dog-eared and the spine breaks. So, when I began my Step 2 preparation, I naturally purchased this book as it seemed the intuitive choice. However, for those expecting the ease and terseness of the Step 1 book, you will surely be disappointed. This would make for a two-star review, however, after a review of the other main options, I'd give it three stars, because it certainly isn't much worse than the competitors.

For starters, the format is not the mnemonic and diagram-driven format of the Step 1 book, but is written in paragraph and bullet point format. It's something I actually prefer to the outline format of "Step Up to Step 2", but some may find it dense.

The second thing--and my main dig on this book--is that it doesn't say much more about diagnosis and treatment than the Step 1 book! I expected it to be more focused on management of disease, but was underwhelmed. Unlike "Step Up to Medicine" and the Kaplan High Yield course, which tell you exactly what the "best initial diagnostic test" or "most accurate test" or "best initial therapy" is, First Aid for the Step 2 really...doesn't tell you that much at all. In many cases, it merely lists a bunch of diagnostic tests that "may be useful" or "may show (insert finding here)" but does not tell you in what order to do them. With treatment, it is equally as vague for many conditions.

It also surprisingly omits many conditions I've ran into in my question banks, such as every other type of aphasia except Broca's and Wernicke's. The section on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is a very diverse group of diseases, is condensed into a 1-2 page section that doesn't distinguish well between say, follicular B cell lymphoma, and Burkitt's.

There are some good things about this book; as I previously alluded to, the paragraph form is something I actually prefer. The writing style is very conversational compared to, say, Cecils' Essentials and it is in a very accessible format. This is an OK book if you plan on annotating heavily into it from question banks, reference books, journal articles, etc. However, if you don't plan on doing that (or if you are starting late in your preparation), I would suggest either reading this along with Step Up to Medicine to avoid missing out on the finer points of diagnosis and treatment or using a different book entirely like Step Up or MTB.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 18, 2015 10:29:42 AM PDT
NICE REVIEW
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