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Preparation for Usmle and AICM

By Med stu - Friday, October 21, 2011 9 Comments
This is a continuation from my previous post: AICM/5th Semester

I am just going to discuss how to be better prepared after Bonaire, so I am going to be honest students are not prepared and reality hits them when they come to Chicago, and then this semester ends up wasting more time so i am going to discuss ways to be better prepared.

I like to begin by emphasizing please don't start buying your first Aid in MD 1 cause unless you know the material it wont help you, then its pure memorization and lets be honest USMLE test your ability to apply information not just memorization as we are told.

So first you have to decide whether you want want to take a Organ system approach or Subject Approach; In organ system you take each system like cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory etc and study everything relating to that, while in a subject approach you take each subject like anatomy, physiology, pathology etc and study using that. First i'm posting subject based books and later near the end I will mention book that are Organ system based.

Lets start with one of the best book series out there KAPLAN LECTURE NOTES (Subject Approach)

The latest one being the 2011 and their previous version 2010, I would recommend 2010 because you can find the videos easily from any student in SJSM, but if you want the latest book then you would have to find 2011 videos that correlate with the book which can be bought through Kaplan.
The reason these books are the greatest cause they have high yield what you need to know and most medical student who study from this do really well. I highly recommend getting these books while on bonaire and trying you best to cover as much as possible while you are studying the subject, they would help you so much cause then you would have everything in these books with your own notes and would make it so much easy to recall things.

All the subjects are covered really well in Kaplan, but Rapid Review for Pathology is considered the best book in market for Pathology for Me and many other people highly recommend Rapid Review for pathology. And for neuroscience, Neuroscience High Yield is recommended, but use it if having hard time with kaplan lecture notes, also BRS physiology if you want something that gives more explanation.

         (Brs physiology older version can also be used, alot less $$)

If you do Kaplan and these books it should be more than enough, you will have good information to get through but if you think you can do more then feel free to get First Aid and correlate what you have learned in Kaplan and school to First Aid  (Organ system based review) cause ultimately that is going to be your final study guide.


If you want to focus on learning based on a organ system approach then there are some great options for that as well that KAPLAN HOME STUDY PROGRAM (ORGAN SYTEM)
NO Videos required

This one is by the FIRST AID: Basic Principles and Organ systems

both of them are needed, Please verify more information about these books I haven't heard many things about them I think they are fairly new but are from a well known publisher

Some other high yield review books that other students are using, im going to list them below incase the books mentioned above are too many these book serve as very useful books as well


After finishing Bonaire, If you study hard in bonaire and have alot covered from Kaplan lecture notes then there is no need to take some time off, otherwise it would be beneficial to take couple of months off, so you can take advantage of the review course.

I hope this post helps everyone and best wishes.

Med Stu Life

9 comments to ''Preparation for Usmle and AICM"

  1. So would you recommend studying after 4th semester before coming to AICM? And for how long?

  2. I totally forgot to mention that thx for reminding, well if you study hard in bonaire and have alot covered from Kaplan lecture notes then there is no need to take some time off, otherwise it would be beneficial to take couple of months off.
    *ill add this to the post too*

  3. So after Bonaire do you recommend studying the First Aid book couple times or should we do the Kaplan Lecture notes? At AICM do they use kaplan notes/follow them or have their own material?

  4. at AICM they have their own material, I recommend First AId after Kaplan cuz they have no explanation in First Aid it just tells you what you need to know so if you want understand the material its best u do kaplan before u start AICM then come here do the program which will give you all the high yield information take that and you should be in good standing for step 1

  5. Thanks for all the information.

    Doing the Kaplan lecture notes will take sometime, which subjects are high yeild and you would recommend cuz I will only have a month in between. Thanks

    Do you need to buy a stethoscope or do they provide you with one? If yes, which one is a good one?

  6. thx for reading, i know it takes time at that point you shouldn't be just focusing on high yield you need to get your concept clear, the course itself will help you know what is high yield but you have to realize you cant have a building without a strong foundation so thats why kaplan lecture will develop that. but if you just want to focus on high yield i would say read the step up to usmle /med essential

    and haven't heard anything about being provided by a stethoscope , and i already bough mine, littmann is a well known company those are the one i have.

  7. excellent post! i was told that we were required to bring in the newest version of first aid for aicm, as they reference the book regularly in the course. fact? also, does the course actually take place in the hospital or off-site?

    thank you very much for your postings!

  8. Honestly speaking so far there has been almost no reference to first aid, not even Goljan rapid review although they recommended both of the books in the syllabus.
    and the 1st two months which is the review course its on a site right beside the hospital (still considered a building of JPH) but its not where the real hospital is its just classes, and the other is within the hospital.

  9. thanks! you've saved me a few bucks! i have my 2010 first aid which was pretty marked up, but filled with notes i picked up along the way. would've hated to pick up a brand new book and start all over. also, thanks for familiarizing me with JPH---much appreciated! again, super awesome job with the whole process and for providing clarifications (..a TAD bit more than our school provided ;) lol