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View Full Version : Would anyone have studied MP3 review books?



WJ Stark
01-05-2007, 02:03 PM
I am a PGY-3 who studied for all the Step exams by recording my favorite review books (First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 etc) and listening to them.

Would any of you be interested in the most popular review books if available on MP3 for your IPod? or is it just me?

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-05-2007, 02:08 PM
I am a PGY-3 who studied for all of the steps by recording my favorite review books (First Aid for the USMLE Step 1,2,3, UCV etc) and listening to them.

I am considering publishing these books as MP3 files for your IPod.

Would any of you have studied for your Steps this way? or is it just me?

Thanks,

Stark

drkinjaldesai
01-05-2007, 03:03 PM
hey, there
i think what you had done is really innovation in its very own name.
i am appearing for my step 1 soon.
could you please send it to me .
i would like to listen to it and surely raise my score.
thanks
kinjal

joy2005
01-07-2007, 12:07 AM
Will pay
email:[email protected]
thanks

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:35 AM
No MP3ís Now

At this moment, I don't have the books in audio. They were actuall cassette tapes (pretty cool, huh!).

But I have always thought this would help other people get through the boards.

I don't want to create any new text. I just want to put the best texts on MP3.

I'm just trying to find out if anyone would be interested or not, before I spend the time to put all these books on MP3.

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:36 AM
Some responses thus far:

Post 1:
great idea...interetingly a friend of mine made ORAL notes on a few sections in FA which was passed on to me...those sections of FA are the ones i know by heart!!
great idea..PLEASE go ahead with it..!!!!!

Post 2:
Thats a great idea.go ahead with it!

Post 3:
well, first of all u can't do it because FA is a copyrighted material! U can rewrite a similar book giving a different title that will include everything for one to prepare for step1. Not a bad idea... but think about that just only for pathology Goljan has more than 20 (50 min) mp3 files! So its definitely be gonna very big! I think that 'Gold standard' tried to come up with something similar but it was a big, big flop! One thing we need to keep in mind that the ILLUSTRATIONS in FA are the vital and insegregable components of the entire concept that help u to retain the contents in ur memory... a pure audio version of something like FA will definitely lack in the much needed visual elements!

Post 4:
Hi, it is a good idea. the only problem is that its not ur work. u can only do it for urself not on a commercial level i think cos of the copyright. i had thot of sthg like that. i'm not going ahead but will give u my idea if its different from urs and if u want to pursue it. i had thot of contacting first aid guys and telling them having the audio in CD. they can include it in the 1st aid book or sell it differently. it is really a very good idea. i believe it will work. u go ahead and suggest it to them. sell them the idea b4 anyone else does. Its their loss if they dont see the potential. All the best.

Reply:
Everyone has made really great points and thanks for the encouragement.

1. The audios cannot stand alone. The books are still essential for the diagrams and quick review. The audio would have to a suppliment to the text.
2. Copyright to the books will have to be purchased from the publisher (big expense).
3. The iPod exists and several people have said they like the audio for review thus far.

Any other comments?

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:39 AM
Here's my story and how I did it:

As a medical student, I studied for the first semester the usual way. I read the books, took notes and highlighted stuff. The problem for me was that I would always try to memorize things as I went along. Each topic and each line I thought was important. . . and usually it is. But this method of studying made everything go quite slowly and the first six months I averaged about an 80% overall and was in the 50th percentile of my class.

I knew I was smarter than that, so I decided to change my studying strategy. Our class scribed notes, so I would go to lecture, then take the scribed note and read them into my tape recorder rather than annotate, study and highlight. Before each set of block exams, I would listen to the notes on tape 3 times. I no longer read the books for class (my theory was that anything that a professor would test you on, he would mention at least once). I still did some practice questions with friends as well. This strategy paid off and I graduated in the top 10 of my class.

The approach worked so well, that I studied for the boards this way. I took First Aid for Steps 1,2, and 3 along the way, Step Up for the USMLE, and Underground Clinical Vignettes as well as a couple of other books and recorded all of them and listened to study. This resulted in top board scores for all three Step exams and an ophthalmology residency in New York.

When I graduated medical school, I threw most of the tapes away and had recorded over many of them.

As I began ophthalmology residency, I turned digital. Now I put all of the ophthalmology review books on computer as MP3 or MP4 and listen to them.


HOW I STUDIED AUDIO: I found the most effective way to study audio from a book such as First Aid is to sit down with the book open and put on my head phones. I would put the playback speed on fast, because your brain can usually think faster than a person can speak. I would look at the diagrams and flip the pages as I went along.

I didn't re-read the text while listening, just look at the diagrams, so I got the visual and the verbal portion of learning at once. I think it is essential to have both the book and the audio, one alone won't do for a lot of medicine. For example, all the path slides in the back of the book.

I would listen to the book three times through as fast as I could (my attention span was about 50 minutes at a time) with a five minute or so break. Retention of material is about 15% the first time through, 40% the third time through, and 85-90% the third time through. By the time of the exam, I was ready.


I will respond to a few other questions later,

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:40 AM
Third timeís a charm:

Whenever I would study for the board using audio, I would listen to the material three times.

The first time through, I would just become familiar with the material. I wouldn't actuall retain much but I would get through the ENTIRE book. The mistake a lot of people make is spending three days to memorize the first few pages and not getting through all the material.

The second time through, I would recognize a lot of the material and passages. Now I would begin to understand the diagrams and photos, and some of the data is sealed into memory.

The third time through, I would recognize almost all the material as I went. This is the point where I note the information that I DID NOT RECOGNIZE OR REMEMBER. I would put a note on these sections, this is the 10-15% of material you have to sit down and actually memorize from the book.

I would memorize as little as I could, and save the memorization for as late as I could.

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:41 AM
A Few Questions and Answers:

Q: Did you take time to learn it or just listen?

A: I would listen three times all the way through. Then just take time to memorize what I had to at the end. The learning builds as you go through the material, 15%, 40% then 85%, then memorize what's left.

Q: Are you giving it away for free?

A: For the past three years I have toyed around with the idea of publishing medical review books in audio to help students, but now I am considering it seriously. In order to publish these books, the copyright has to be purchased from the publisher. I roughly estimate this cost at $35,000. Therefore, I would make a legit business and sell the MP3 books for a "reasonable" price (maybe 30 to 45 dollars) over the internet. I would make it a realy business, but charge a more realistic price (not $1000 for a set of DVD lectures, or $350 for Step One review by another audio publisher).

Q: What did you get on the Step Exams?

A: Step 1 253:99, Step 2 255:99, Step 3 235:98

Q: Why not just post it on the internet?

A: I don't have the recordings available now. I would have to start over from scratch, but if it would help students, and enough would purchase the program to cover costs, I will get going. Piracy of the material will definately be an issue. For that reason, I would keep the cost of the program relatively low, so it wouldn't be prohibitively expensive to buy. I personally feel that the people who would pirate the MP3 material, would think that any price is too high. So I would keep it low for the people who would actually buy it.

Q: Do you have MP3ís now?

A: At this moment, I don't have the books in audio. They were actuall cassette tapes (pretty cool, huh!). But I have always thought this would help other people get through the boards. I don't want to create any new text. I just want to put the best texts on MP3.


Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Some responses thus far:

Post 1:
great idea...interetingly a friend of mine made ORAL notes on a few sections in FA which was passed on to me...those sections of FA are the ones i know by heart!!
great idea..PLEASE go ahead with it..!!!!!

Post 2:
Thats a great idea.go ahead with it!

Post 3:
well, first of all u can't do it because FA is a copyrighted material! U can rewrite a similar book giving a different title that will include everything for one to prepare for step1. Not a bad idea... but think about that just only for pathology Goljan has more than 20 (50 min) mp3 files! So its definitely be gonna very big! I think that 'Gold standard' tried to come up with something similar but it was a big, big flop! One thing we need to keep in mind that the ILLUSTRATIONS in FA are the vital and insegregable components of the entire concept that help u to retain the contents in ur memory... a pure audio version of something like FA will definitely lack in the much needed visual elements!

Post 4:
Hi, it is a good idea. the only problem is that its not ur work. u can only do it for urself not on a commercial level i think cos of the copyright. i had thot of sthg like that. i'm not going ahead but will give u my idea if its different from urs and if u want to pursue it. i had thot of contacting first aid guys and telling them having the audio in CD. they can include it in the 1st aid book or sell it differently. it is really a very good idea. i believe it will work. u go ahead and suggest it to them. sell them the idea b4 anyone else does. Its their loss if they dont see the potential. All the best.

Reply:
Everyone has made really great points and thanks for the encouragement.

1. The audios cannot stand alone. The books are still essential for the diagrams and quick review. The audio would have to a suppliment to the text.
2. Copyright to the books will have to be purchased from the publisher (big expense).
3. The iPod exists and several people have said they like the audio for review thus far.

Any other comments?

Thanks,

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:55 AM
Here's my story:

As a medical student, I studied for the first semester the usual way. I read the books, took notes and highlighted stuff. The problem for me was that I would always try to memorize things as I went along. Each topic and each line I thought was important. . . and usually it is. But this method of studying made everything go quite slowly and the first six months I averaged about an 80% overall and was in the 50th percentile of my class.

I knew I was smarter than that, so I decided to change my studying strategy. Our class scribed notes, so I would go to lecture, then take the scribed note and read them into my tape recorder rather than annotate, study and highlight. Before each set of block exams, I would listen to the notes on tape 3 times. I no longer read the books for class (my theory was that anything that a professor would test you on, he would mention at least once). I still did some practice questions with friends as well. This strategy paid off and I graduated in the top 10 of my class.

The approach worked so well, that I studied for the boards this way. I took First Aid for Steps 1,2, and 3 along the way, Step Up for the USMLE, and Underground Clinical Vignettes as well as a couple of other books and recorded all of them and listened to study. This resulted in top board scores for all three Step exams and an ophthalmology residency in New York.

When I graduated medical school, I threw most of the tapes away and had recorded over many of them.

As I began ophthalmology residency, I turned digital. Now I put all of the ophthalmology review books on computer as MP3 or MP4 and listen to them.


HOW I STUDIED AUDIO: I found the most effective way to study audio from a book such as First Aid is to sit down with the book open and put on my head phones. I would put the playback speed on fast, because your brain can usually think faster than a person can speak. I would look at the diagrams and flip the pages as I went along.

I didn't re-read the text while listening, just look at the diagrams, so I got the visual and the verbal portion of learning at once. I think it is essential to have both the book and the audio, one alone won't do for a lot of medicine. For example, all the path slides in the back of the book.

I would listen to the book three times through as fast as I could (my attention span was about 50 minutes at a time) with a five minute or so break. Retention of material is about 15% the first time through, 40% the third time through, and 85-90% the third time through. By the time of the exam, I was ready.


I will respond to a few other questions later,

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:56 AM
Listening to Audio Three Times for Retention:

Whenever I would study for the board using audio, I would listen to the material three times.

The first time through, I would just become familiar with the material. I wouldn't actuall retain much but I would get through the ENTIRE book. The mistake a lot of people make is spending three days to memorize the first few pages and not getting through all the material.

The second time through, I would recognize a lot of the material and passages. Now I would begin to understand the diagrams and photos, and some of the data is sealed into memory.

The third time through, I would recognize almost all the material as I went. This is the point where I note the information that I DID NOT RECOGNIZE OR REMEMBER. I would put a note on these sections, this is the 10-15% of material you have to sit down and actually memorize from the book.

I would memorize as little as I could, and save the memorization for as late as I could.

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:57 AM
A Few Questions and Answers:

Q: Did you take time to learn it or just listen?

A: I would listen three times all the way through. Then just take time to memorize what I had to at the end. The learning builds as you go through the material, 15%, 40% then 85%, then memorize what's left.

Q: Are you giving it away for free?

A: For the past three years I have toyed around with the idea of publishing medical review books in audio to help students, but now I am considering it seriously. In order to publish these books, the copyright has to be purchased from the publisher. I roughly estimate this cost at $35,000. Therefore, I would make a legit business and sell the MP3 books for a "reasonable" price (maybe 30 to 45 dollars) over the internet. I would make it a realy business, but charge a more realistic price (not $1000 for a set of DVD lectures, or $350 for Step One review by another audio publisher).

Q: What did you get on the Step Exams?

A: Step 1 253:99, Step 2 255:99, Step 3 235:98

Q: Why not just post it on the internet?

A: I don't have the recordings available now. I would have to start over from scratch, but if it would help students, and enough would purchase the program to cover costs, I will get going. Piracy of the material will definately be an issue. For that reason, I would keep the cost of the program relatively low, so it wouldn't be prohibitively expensive to buy. I personally feel that the people who would pirate the MP3 material, would think that any price is too high. So I would keep it low for the people who would actually buy it.

Q: Do you have MP3ís now?

A: At this moment, I don't have the books in audio. They were actuall cassette tapes (pretty cool, huh!). But I have always thought this would help other people get through the boards. I don't want to create any new text. I just want to put the best texts on MP3.


Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-07-2007, 11:58 AM
No MP3ís Now

At this moment, I don't have the books in audio. They were actual cassette tapes (pretty cool, huh!).

But I have always thought this would help other people get through the boards.

I don't want to create any new text. I just want to put the best texts on MP3.

I just want to know is anyone would be interested before I put the time into the project.

Thanks,

Stark

drkinjaldesai
01-07-2007, 12:51 PM
well , i am concerned with here is are you going to send it to me or not.
i know you got great scores and i would myself like to get good scores too.
so send it to me if you have it.
thanks
my email address is [email protected]

WJ Stark
01-11-2007, 09:03 PM
Dear drkinjaldesai,

Right now this whole project is just in the design phase. When I was in medical school, I recorded all of this stuff on cassette tapes! Pretty cool, huh!!!

But I got rid of all that stuff a couple of years ago. I don't have anything to sell you, I'm just trying to see if anyone would be interested.

From what I have heard from a lot of people, this project is something that definately should be done, and I am going to pursue it.

Thanks for your enthusiam and input,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-11-2007, 09:56 PM
WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR AUDIO STUDY

Several students have suggested that other books may be better to study in audio format.

What books would you suggest? Which books would be the most useful in audio?

I personally liked books with a lot of pictures, diagrams, and photos. This allowed me to listen to the text while looking at the figures (killing two birds with one stone). Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-11-2007, 10:00 PM
WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR AUDIO STUDY

Several students have suggested that other books may be better to study in audio format.

What books would you suggest? Which books would be the most useful in audio?

I personally liked books with a lot of pictures, diagrams, and photos. This allowed me to listen to the text while looking at the figures (killing two birds with one stone). Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Stark

GFLIP
01-13-2007, 01:22 PM
I just want to say that this is a great idea. As for suggestions, you should try sticking to Review books like BRS or FA. I would really stick to FA, but you have to add material b/c it's so superficial (unless you really know your stuff).

WJ Stark
01-15-2007, 08:53 PM
Dear GFLIP,

I think you are absolutely right. In looking at the most requested books from medical students, the whole First Aid Series is number one, and the BRS series is number two.

Another Series that people seem to like is the High-Yield Series.

When I was a student, I put the First Aid books, High Yield books, and Underground Clinical Vignettes, as wells as Step-Up on audio.

To me, it is a real eye-opener about how much people would like the BRS series on audio, but fewer people seem interested in UCV series.

Thanks so much for your input,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-15-2007, 09:00 PM
Hey everybody,

Thank you to everybody for responding to my online poll. The response and participation has been overwhelming throughout the web

As a compilation of votes from various sites, these are the statistics thus far,
53 total responses
40 total yes (75%)
13 total no (25%)

Thus far, it seems like people would really like to have board review books on tape.

Based upon your input, the titles you are most interested in are
The First Aid Series
The BRS Series
The High-Yield Series
Step-Up for Step 1
Lippincott Pharm and Biochemistry
And a few other individual titles

I would appreciate your vote either way, yes or no; and any suggested titles you think would be helpful.

Thanks,

Stark

WJ Stark
01-28-2007, 10:52 AM
Hey Guys,

This forum poll is about to come to a close. I just put it up for one month. If anyone wants to vote or give a some additional input, this is the last chance.

This is what everyone has said so far:

134 total responses
108 total yes (81%)
26 total no (19%)

Thanks for your input,

Stark

WJ Stark
02-07-2007, 01:40 AM
Thanks everybody,

This poll is about to close. I appreciate everybodyís feedback.

Stark







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