Is First Aid Alone Enough For USMLE Step 1 Review?

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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.


Related Posts:

 •  How to Score 99′s in the USMLE 

•   Why You Need to Master the USMLE Step 1

•   How to Master the USMLE Step 1 – an Introduction

•    NBME Self Assessment Tests and USMLE Review

•   What to Study for the USMLE – Part I

•   Using Q Banks effectively for USMLE Review

•   Is Kaplan enough for Step 1 Review?


3 thoughts on “Is First Aid Alone Enough For USMLE Step 1 Review?

  • August 9, 2011 at 3:18 am

    very usefull information..thanx a lot..along with first aid,can i use kaplan lecture notes? n what else? plz help me out to get the good scores

  • September 3, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Hi maria.m,
    Actually what you need to study depends on a lot of factors. Are you a fresh grad or an old grad. An IMG or AMG? What score are you aiming for? Easier to answer with all the facts.

  • November 30, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Hi askdoc,
    I realise maria never responded. My question is actually very similar to hers. I am an IMG who graduated in 2010. I plan to do Step one within the first half of next year and am currently gathering study resources. It seems that so many people have varying opinions and i feel i have really spent quite a lot of time reading forums but havent decided quite yet and time is being wasted. I have the first aid step one and am getting the usmle world q bank today.
    What other resource do you recommend. The kaplan books offer more detailed reading but maybe too much? or should i just use them for reference and use the first aid and qbanks as my primary source.

    Help me soon please.
    Thank you in advance.

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