The list author says: "These are the resources I am using for my USMLE step 1 review. My review schedule is spread across 7 weeks, with 5 weeks of comprehensive review and 2 weeks of rapid / high-yield review. These books are also being supplemented by questions (of course) from USMLERx and USMLEworld. See what you think of my choices!
UPDATE: To let you know how my study worked out...after about 2 weeks of study, I decided to compress my schedule down to 5 weeks and take a vacation after the exam. 5 weeks is considered a pretty tight schedule, and I wasn't studying more than 8-10 hours a day, so this is might not be a good fit for everyone. I focused on RR Pathology, Biochemistry and Microbiology; Road Map Pharmacology (which I read 2-3x); Robbins Review Pathology; HY Behavioral Science and Biostatistics; and many many questions, including USMLERx, USMLE Consult, and USMLE World; the questions that come with the RR books are okay but not nearly as useful as USMLE-style question banks. Each day started with 1-2 sets of 50 questions, ~3 hours of study, 1-2 more sets, ~2 hours of study, and 2-3 more sets, for a total of 200-300 questions per day (even more toward the end). I took off one day a week completely, i.e. NO studying, which helped. I also did NBME exams, 1-2 per week, to track my progress. My final step 1 score was 254, which I am satisfied with, particularly since I spent two weeks in Maine with my wife instead of being stuck at home studying.
P.S. I did not use First Aid...AT ALL...during my review time. I had spent much of my second year making notes in FA to make study easier, but I ended up going straight to the more heavy-duty RR books instead. Which is to say...First Aid is NOT NECESSARY to do well on the boards!"
"I've used a few different pharm books, and this is the best. Let me say directly, K&T's review book is MUCH BETTER than Lippincott Pharmacology: better organized, more and shorter chapters, FAR more questions...and so on. See my review of K&T for more details. Some other alternatives: Integrated Pharmacology, Brody's, etc."
"Basically a much-condensed version of K&T Exam & Board Review, above. Road Map Pharm covers most of the same drugs; it's also short enough that you can read it in a day. I would recommend using them together. Some alternatives: Rapid Review Pharm, High Yield Pharm, BRS Pharm...you get the idea."
"This new edition is much-expanded. Basically you have to make a choice between Rapid Review Path and BRS Path. In summary, RR is much longer and more detailed. Pathology is important (duh!) so you probably want to have a pretty good grip on it. My plan: read the relevant RR chapter(s) with each system, then move on to Robbins Review (see below)."
"I used this (well, the older edition) throughout my first two years, and came to a simple conclusion: if you master the practice questions in this book, you don't miss pathology questions on the exam. I can't think of a better endorsement."
"A good, concise physiology review. Costanzo's full-size textbook is more detailed (obviously!) but who uses textbooks to study for the boards? I've not seen it but I understand there is a companion book of cases and problems, which I might invest in as well."
"This book isn't great-- there are a lot of questions, sure, but very few are clinical vignettes (which is, of course, the most common format of questions on the USMLE). Still, questions are the way to learn, and these are good, tough physiology questions."
"I'm not sure who recommended this to me, but this is an excellent book for histopathology. Emphasis on "atlas"-- the text is pretty slim. Histopathology has always been tough for me, and the review books don't have images of everything, so this book can be a lifesaver."
"This is the best source of histology / histopathology image questions I've found. The book is pretty short so it's not a comprehensive review, but makes a good histopathology supplement to Robbins Review."
"My favorite embryology book, and short enough that I hope to read most of it during my study time. Embryology is tough for me, so having a prose-format book helps a lot. Alternatives: Langman's, High Yield Embryology, BRS Embryology, etc."
"Should be called "Gray's Embryology Review". Anatomy is generally described as low-yield for step 1, so I'm not planning on doing all of these questions (compared to Robbins Review, which I intend to do from start to finish)...but I've used this occasionally in coursework, and it's a good source of tough, clinically oriented anatomy / embryology questions."
"My microbiology book of choice. My school used Lippincott's, which I did not care for; RR has an outline format and lots of online practice questions. Microbes has always been a strength for me, so I will probably spend most of my three days of microbiology doing practice questions. (Cross-reference to K&T Pharmacology to learn anti-microbials.)"
"Read my review for more details, but I think these cases are a good way to review immunology, since I don't feel the need to spend hours reading about the basics. This book is also good for making cross-disciplinary connections (e.g. learning about MS from both an immunology and neurology standpoint). Alternatives: pretty much any immuno review book."
"Mastering biochem for step 1 is probably worthwhile. RR biochem is short and readable; there's also lots of free online resources (my favorite is here: http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org ). Like the other RR books, it also has online practice questions. Alternatives: BRS Biochem, High Yield Biochemistry, Lippincott's Biochemistry."
"This is half of one of my "easy days" (the other half is behavioral science). The only challenge with biostatistics is definitions-- the math itself is pretty elementary. This is the book that my course director recommended and it's worked fine for me."
"The other half of my "easy day"-- yeah, there are lots of disorders, but they come up again in neuroscience. Again, this is the book that was recommended, and it is working just fine. (As a side note, I've been told that FA is adequate for biostats and behavioral science...I just don't like using FA as my sole source.)"
"Seems like every step 1 list out there has to have First Aid at the top. I don't love it, but it's the classic "central text" for boards study, soÂ there you go. I had the binding cut off a while back and put it into a 3-ring binder, and have been writing notes in it during coursework. Honestly, I'm hoping to minimize my use of FA in favor of RR Path, K&T Pharm, and BRS Physiology."
"I also put this in my binder, with the cases for each section behind the same FA section. I have an easier time learning from cases than from the classic FA factoid format...and naturally cases are more representative of what's on the exam. Other sources of cases: Step-Up to the Bedside, Underground Clinical Vignettes (a lot of people love these...I'm not crazy about them)."
"A book of questions: 17 blocks of about 50 questions each (i.e. blocks the same size as those on the exam). Not organized by system, BUT the explanations are good. I'm told that these are pretty representative of actual step 1 questions. My plan: 2 question blocks per week for the first 5 weeks, then 3 blocks in week 6 and 4 blocks in week 7."
"More vignette-type questions. Like the NMS review book, the question blocks are not organized by system, so they can't be used for focused review. 7 blocks of 50 questions, i.e., basically like an entire USMLE exam; also has explanations. I'm not sure where I will integrate these questions into my schedule."
"I'm using an older edition of this book. Anatomy is not generally considered "high-yield" for Step 1, but there's still things that are definitely tested (i.e. rotator cuff, nerves of the upper and lower limbs, etc.). I probably won't read the whole thing."