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  1. #1
    jackets5 is offline Senior Member 682 points
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    SMU basic science

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    Hi, im a former SMU student who did my basic sciences at SMU and then transferred out for clinicals. After going through Step 1 and scoring better than the national average for US students. I wanted to write a little summary of my opinion of the basic sciences at SMU and some tips for Step 1 prep.
    Im going to start with class that i felt were taught very well at SMU.

    Outstanding:
    1. Pharm: Dr. K is the best teacher at the school hands down, pharm was my strongest shelf, strongest through all prep and very strong on actual board exam.

    2. Anatomy: Done very well, especially by the Russian profs. There was more anatomy than i expected on my exam but did very well and during studying was more than enough prepared by the course at SMU

    3. Physio: Had prof. who left to go to SGU and he was outstanding, felt very good with my physio knowledge and physio is VERY important for you exam.

    Average:

    1. Micro: Prof does a good job but gives away a bit to much in reviews and makes it easy to slack off and "catch up" after her pre-test review. I was one of the slackers who fell into this and had to spend way to much time learning micro for my boards. Do fall into this trap, hold yourself to a higher standard.

    2. Biochem: Its boring, its dry, alot of it is unnecessary but all of it is taught fairly well. Concentrate on missing enzymes etc.

    3. Neuro: Dr. S was a bit confusing and bogs you down in his details and stories but its decent. Supplement his class with HY Neuro and you will be happy.

    4. Psych: Drugs are pretty high yield for exam, so is ethics, get the HY or BRS Fadem book and your set.

    Below Average:

    1. Path: Is taught way to much to simply memorize and not to think through the pathophys. You must use either Big or Baby Robbins and use Goljan either the Book or audio. This is your most important subject spend time on it learning far beyond your class notes, it will be worth your time.

    2. Immuno: Not much emphasis was put on it when we were in 4 semester, so had to learn it all on my own during board studying. Again, got lazy and slacked. Had close to 15 immuno questions on my step, so learn it

    3. Cell/molecular bio: Unless things have changed you need to learn this one on your own.

    Step 1 Advice: Kaplan is CRAP. Do not depend on Kaplan to teach you anything. Kaplan is for people with poor bases and is completely unnecessary if you have been doing your work during basic sciences and reading the proper texts, review books etc. I know plenty of people who thought they could breeze by basic and Kaplan would teach them what they needed for boards. First, you can learn and be able to apply 2 years of work in 7 weeks. Second, many of the people who had that mentality have either failed their exam or have scores BELOW 200.

    Tip # 1: Your main resources for your Step 1 should be First Aid, Goljan and USMLE World Qbank (So much better than kaplan its not funny). If you do a search for Taus Method it gives a great guide to studying for Step 1.

    Well, thats just a bit of what i can think of now.

  2. #2
    Stardust777 is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    Path: Read Rapid Review Pathology +/- Rapid Review Laboratory Testing in Clinical Medicine (Goljan's lecture notes are much more detailed than the audio lectures which likely means you will comprehend & retain the material better).

    5th Semester: I agree with using UWORLD rather than Kaplan...if you are short on time and $$...if you have time and money why not do both!!! For more info on this check out the following article
    blogs.askdoc-usmle. com/ usmle-qbank-vs-kaplan-qbank/
    (just remove the spaces in the address above).

    Other:
    To speed things up in getting a spot for Clinical Rotations I recommend getting your Hep B vaccinations & checking on your Measels, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella titers during your 3rd or 4th semester break (you will be shadowing Physicians in Cayman for PD 3 & 4 anyways...so having immunity ahead of time will not hurt).

    If you have some time try and get involved in Student groups or volunteer while on the Island or during breaks (it will give you something to put on your Resume and CV).

  3. #3
    Stardust777 is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    P.S.
    Joining professional associations
    [such as:
    AMSA (you can join the SMU branch)
    American Medical Association
    Your State Medical Association]
    while you are still a student will give more info about becoming a physician, not to mention more things to add to your CV and Resume.

  4. #4
    Banker794 is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    Great!

    Finishing up my 3rd yr of residency in NYC and still remember much of what I learned in the basic sciences. I am sure the teachers have changed but the curriculum has not. Good luck to you all !

  5. #5
    ssaj86 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    purchasing books?

    do you recommend purchasing books from 3rd party site or straight through the smu website?

  6. #6
    sotto87 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    thanks for the good info, much appreciated!

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