Student Affairs works with Academic Affairs to provide an added dimension of support to all medical students interested in improving their academic performance. The Medical School curriculum consistently provides increasingly challenging coursework, and students must continue to explore alternative study methods to meet these demands. Special workshops in response to student needs and interests are available.
Year 1 & 2 Support
Kathleen Moburg, M.S.
Learning Resource Specialist, Years 1-2
- Learning Basic Medical Sciences – This course is designed to give all students in their first year at the Medical School a core of learning strategies to prevent academic difficulty and to improve higher-order cognitive skills. Course topics surround discussions of learning styles, efficient study techniques and current basic science coursework.
- Basic Science Study Groups – Study groups are available in the core basic science courses of the school curriculum. The groups consist of three to five students and a group facilitator/tutor, meeting once or twice a week. Test performance has consistently been enhanced for students actively participating in these groups. Therefore, all medical students are encouraged to participate fully.
- Study-group leaders are selected on the basis of their own performance in the course, their abilities to communicate course content and the recommendations of course professors.
Years 3-6 Support
Stan Viebrock, M.P.A.
Learning Resource Specialist, Years 3-6
- Assistance with various study skills techniques
- Organizational instruction for required courses
- Content supplementation for various required courses
USMLE Support and Suggestions
Learn about the exam
- Content outline and general information on how to sign up, test information, question formats, policies, etc.
- For more information, go to: www.usmle.org
Gather your materials
- First Aid – Definitely include this, but don’t make this your primary/only source. You’ll need more understanding that it provides.
- Other top suggestions – BRS Series, Goljan Rapid Review, and High Yield Behavioral, Kaplan notes, Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, Lippincott- especially for basic pharmacokinetics and dynamics.
- KEY: These aren’t all the available options, only some of the most popular. Most importantly, pick resources that give you enough information to build your understanding, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. Then USE THEM.
- Be sure to refer to the USMLE Content Outline to see the overall project you are undertaking!
Make your schedule- Based on your own schedule, anticipated exam date, make your schedule
- Stay on top of your current coursework. There is no substitute for learning it well the first time! Ask yourself and your instructors how this information might be presented in a Step 1 question. What is the clinical application?
- Set a target date for Step 1. (This will likely include taking the CBSE. When you prepare for CBSE you are also preparing for Step 1.) You will be working backwards from your anticipated Step 1 test date.
- Make a master plan for what you will accomplish between now and the exam. Include what you’re going to study as well as your personal commitments (holidays, vacations, etc.) This is a long-range plan. Be sure to refer to the USMLE Content Outline to see the overall project you are undertaking!
- Mark off the last week or two before the exam to mostly do computer-based timed question sets to test your knowledge and keep it fresh and useable. You can brush up on a few weak areas, but don’t plan on very much new learning. Build endurance by doing multiple question sets during the time you will be testing, and get used to the pacing. This is an 8-hour day full of timed questions – prepare for the event!
- Mark off the day before the exam for relaxation, and get a good night’s sleep. Being rested for your exam is worth points.
- Find a study buddy and keep each other accountable. Stick to your plan.
- Example schedules – remember, these are just examples. You will need to determine your own needs and timeline and build a schedule accordingly.
Using practice questions [click here for How to Use Practice Questions.doc]
- USMLE Step 1 Tutorial & orientation, and practice questions available on www.usmle.org . Use this to learn about how the test will look and feel.
- Exam Master – Sign up at http://www.exammaster2.com/wdsentry/umkc.htm or go to the UMKC Media Center, Rm. M2-C04A. Many other review products are available here, too. This is a great FREE resource for UMKC students
- www.USMLEWorld Good source of online practice questions. Students are giving great feedback on this database.
- Q-Bank, Kaplan www.kaplanmedical.com . Good source of online practice questions.
- NBME Self-Assessment Services www.nbme.org Use this to test yourself. Has correlation to Step 1 scores.
- do a mock
- do a final self assessment
Day before exam
Additional study resources
• Administration of Diagnostic exams for the USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3
• Administration of Mock Board practice exams for the USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3