Reviewing first two years of basic sciences

Hello group

Well, summer has barely started, and I’m already thinking about the return to school in late August when I will be entering 3rd year. I am turning to you for a textbook recommendation.

This fall, before actually starting clinical rotations, our class will spend 3 1/2 months working multi-disciplinary problems, applying the basic sciences we have studied during the first two years. I am looking for a good ‘review’ book, well illustrated, covering the usual basic sciences, that will optimize my review for what lies ahead. Would a Step 1 study guide do the trick? If so, which one(s)? Since we don’t have a Step 1 process in Canada, I have not looked at the texts written to help one prepare for this exam.

I am looking more for a review guide, rather than for a question data-base.

My summer break will last 8 weeks, and I would like to spend 2-3 days per week reviewing and getting ready for the fall.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.



I read your earlier post on completion of your 2nd year MS. Congrats!!

I don’t have a recommendation for a text book for you, but if you do not already, you might find it helpful to read NEJM’s weekly Case Records. I find it very interesting to read the case presentation, diff diag, and discussion.

Good luck and have a great break!

Congratulations on making through the first two years! Definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart…

Reviewing basic sciences makes me want to fill a large emesis tray but here goes —

If you want more detail than you’ll ever need on any board exam - try Kaplan MedEssentials. It’s supposedly their answer to First Aid but way, way too detailed to be useful, but because of that, it’s a good review text when you’re not trying to memorize only the high-yield essentials…

First Aid is usually a safe bet for medically relevant basic sciences.

As far as a good book for 3rd year - I would put my money on Step-Up to Medicine. Having a solid medicine foundation will really help out in the rest of rotations. Think of it as a Cecil’s or Harrison’s Cliff Notes - I really wish I had had it in 2nd year - could’ve saved the hundred bucks on Cecil’s and had much more time to review things rather than getting bogged down in Cecil’s readings…

I will piggy-back OMTDave’s post. Most students at my school used FirstAid, however, I did not like its setup as it is essentially just page after page of lists. However, I did use Kaplan’s MedEssentials and found it to be extremely useful. There is more detail than FirstAid, but I found that to be a good thing as memorizing lists doesn’t do a lot for me.

Congrats on finishing up your basic sciences!