Learning Medicine

Learning Medicine
The Ultimate Guide to Study Skills in Medical School

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 1: Step 1 Preparation - Pathoma

Day 1: 8/27/12

Hey all,

So yesterday was Day 1 of my Step 1 study time. I got off to a slow start, waking up a little later than I would have liked, and then goofed off a bit on the next. But by around 10 am I got rolling.

I decided to wade into the whole study process and watch some Pathoma.

What I Did Today 

1. Chapter 1 of Pathoma: Growth Adaptations, Cellular Injury and Cell Death
Activity: Watched all the videos in this chapter at 1.7x speed. Took some notes.

2. Chapter 2 of Pathoma: Inflammation, Inflammatory Disorders and Wound Healing
Activity:Watched all the videos in this chapter at 1.7x speed. Took some notes.

I really like Dr. Sattar's videos. They are incredibly clear and filled with relevant, high-yield material. I look to them as exemplars of excellent teaching. As I was sitting with my buddy watching these videos, I thought about what we were doing. It's the middle of the day and we're in my office watching teaching videos. We stop when we want to. We pause and discuss. We go back and re-watch stuff that was unclear. We take notes at our own pace. We move quickly through things that we already know. This is the future of learning. One day we'll all be doing it like this, all the time.

The traditional lecture setting, where one lecturer gives one type of presentation to multiple individuals, all of whom have different needs and backgrounds, is really outmoded. There is no need for that anymore. All of us can have individualized, custom learning, and it can be fun, relaxed and highly effective. What we did yesterday with Pathoma was an example of that.

Anyway, I liked watching the vids, but I found that I already knew most of the stuff, and so I don't think I'm going to keep plowing through the videos as I had intended. Maybe I'll return here and there for specific topics, but I'm finding that right now, for where I'm at in my studies, doing questions is really the highest-yield use of my time.

I also fell off schedule yesterday. Day 1, I'm already off to a bad start with sticking to schedule.

Tomorrow's Agenda and Strategy

I need to review biostats and the behavior science section of First Aid. That is what I'm going to do tomorrow. Hopefully I can knock it all out.

Resources: First Aid for Step 1 (2012) Behavior Science Section, High-Yield Biostatistics (2nd edition), USMLERx, USMLEWorld
Method: Just going to read right through. No Anki card making for this one. I downloaded a behavioral  science deck for FA from quizlet. I made this into an Anki deck. I'll cram them after I read. Then I'll do qbank questions from USMLERx and UWorld (time permitting)

High-Yield Step 1 Fact Wiki

I've decided to compile a Wiki of high-yield facts that I pick up from my studies. My intention is to build a review sheet for me to use right before Step, and also for other people to peruse when they want  to learn some useful knowledge. I'd ideally be making more Anki cards from everything I study, but I don't think I want to be doing too many new cards right now, and the cards are not generally usable the way a Wiki is.

Until tomorrow.

Happy Studying


  1. Hi,

    I downloaded Anki at the beginning of last year (M1) and was thrilled to stumble across your blog and a fellow Anki fan. I am starting pathology now (using primarily Baby Robbins, Goljan rapid review book, FA) and thought I would check out your pathology deck. (Thank you for making these available!) Quick technical question -- when studying a deck in Anki, if I want to use only specific tags (i.e. the stuff I've covered up to this point), is there another way to do so besides each time going to "Cram" and entering the tags of interest?



    1. Hey,

      Glad to meet another Anki addict! :) I'm happy you like the Path deck. It's pretty comprehensive.

      What you're looking for is selective study. Open a deck. Click the clock icon on the top. Go to selective study and hit "change". You can then select tags for new cards, review cards, or both.

      Hope that helps.

  2. Aha! Got it -- right beneath my nose. Thanks for the prompt reply. :)

  3. hi iam from iraq i could finally get pathoma textbook ,but i cant get videos plzzzz can u help me ??!! :(