Could you give my friend and I some advice on this, world?

Me:  See, my problem is I don’t know how legitimately nervous I should be about the clinical year starting in January.  And I have a feeling the upperclassmen would be like “You shouldn’t be nervous AT ALL”

Jill: – well, that’s their response to everything

Me: – right, but… I’m not being unreasonable, am I?  The thought that we start clinical rotations in 5 months is scary, right?


Me:  Oh, wow, that was vehement.  Thank you. The problem is most schools take Step 1 before going on the wards – and we take Step 1 after.  So we’ll have no preparation for this at all.

Jill:  No, the problem is that the “Step 1 first vs. 3rd year first” thing is a paradox.

Me:  … A paradox?

Jill:  Other med students always say “The whole point of taking Step 1 before 3rd year is to make sure you’re ready for the wards!”

Me:  Right.

Jill:  But then they also say “Plus, doing 3rd year first isn’t going to improve your eventual Step 1 score. That’s a lie your school tells you – Step 1’s totally different from 3rd year.”  But both statements can’t be true.

Me:  … You are a wise person.

Jill:  I wish there was some way to ask med students at other schools about this.

13 thoughts on “Could you give my friend and I some advice on this, world?

  1. I’m not even in medical school yet, but I’m going to vote a bunch of times just to screw up your poll. j/k j/k, I’m actually too busy watching Shark Week.

  2. A lot of step 1 was really basic clinical stuff that you’d just seen on your medicine rotation. Plus you’ll have just taken 6 shelf exams (at least) so you’ll be familiar with the pacing and the nature of the questions. I didn’t remember any of the molecular stuff by the end of 1st year anyway, so I would have had to cram that again no matter when I took it.

  3. I dunno. I can see positives to both sides. I definitely feel like having just studied for and taken Step 1 helps me with pimp questions a lot, but I don’t know that it helps me as far as the real point of third year goes.

    I do feel like I’d forget a lot of the little details by the end of this year, but I also think I only remember them right now cuz I just studied. Like…I think I didn’t remember them before I studied for Step anyway…so I don’t really think it matters. I definitely didn’t remember bio from first year, just from re-studying it for Step.

    They wouldn’t do it this way if it was hurting their Step averages. 🙂 Pros and cons to both.

    But for SURE don’t be nervous for 3rd year. It’s fun and for the most part people are friendly. 🙂 At least here they are.

    And lastly…

    I am so happy that’s over lol.

  4. I took Step 1 after 3rd year, and I (and everyone at my school) did really well. No sweat. Sure, there’s some trivia on Step 1 that might help you a bit with clinicals, but it’s more important to have a good Step 1 score.

  5. I am glad to have finished Step I before clinicals, if only because it’s out of the way. Having just studied for Step I has helped me on the wards but not in any really indispensable ways. Either way is probably fine in the end.

  6. I’ve literally heard it both ways multiple times– so I’m going to conclude that knowing things helps with exams that involve knowing those things. (I.e. Step helps with shelf and vis versa, even though the exact content isn’t the same). People at my school after taking Step 1 after 3rd year said that the shelf exams and the “pimp” questions helped them prepare, and my adviser said that the step helped with the shelf exams when he was in med school. I think we need to do well on both… and that we’ll study for each individually… so I’m not going to worry about it!

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