When I first started my prep for the USMLE, it seems everyone else was using First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 and swearing it’s the best book ever written for the USMLE. Of course, now that I have finished my own examination and have time to reflect not only on my experience but on the experiences of countless people I have talked to in my blog, the various forums and in my courses, my own take is that although it is a very important book for the USMLE, it falls far short of the acclaim people seem to heap on it.
First Aid for the USMLE contains a listing of high yield concepts that will be tested in the USMLE. The problem is, it does not contain enough details for you to really do well in the exam. If you are a third year medical student and already know those details, then First Aid as a quick high yield review, together with an online Q Bank may be enough to pass. And depending on the quality of your medical school and how much prep they have given you for this exam, that may be even enough to get a high score.
First Aid is a good starting point in learning what the USMLE is about. It provides a good introduction to the USMLE. A good list of topics tested in the USMLE and a list of books and courses for the USMLE. Therefore, it is worth going through it just for that. Just don’t use it alone in prepping for the USMLE.