Using Video Resources to Prepare for the USMLE Step 1

As said by the great Bob Dylan, “the times they are a changin’”. The question now isn’t if, but how you plan to use video resources as you get ready for the USMLE Step 1. Administrations often like to use the analogy that medical school is like trying to drink from a fire hose, and up until the last several years, they were probably right. Traditionally, medical school has been an antiquated experience, full of convoluted material, requiring students to not only find and excavate out any useful information, but also to figure out how to best apply it. Fortunately, however, memes and Netflix aren’t the only good things have come about with the advent of the internet.

So, why are video resources so great? What makes them so effective?

Here a few things:

  • Clear, concise and cohesive
    • Video resources give you the information you need, in a way that it can be efficiently synthesized, without any of the fluff
  • Highly visual
    • Video resources tend to extensively incorporate elements of visual learning, which is great, because over 60% of learners are visual
  • Do it your way
    • Video resources allow for extremely efficient and focused studying, on your terms and in an environment where you have complete control of the experience. Watch on 2x speed, pause, go back, watch it again, skip it, etc. Just like Chuck-A-Rama, the choice is yours

The great thing about good video resources is that they round up all of the most useful, pertinent, and, if you will, high-yield information available, and then present it to you in an easily distillable way so that you can focus on learning the material rather than looking for it.

Which video resources should I use?

Physeo. Just use Physeo. Joking aside, the best thing that you can do is simply test out a handful of resources and determine which one best suits you. As you do that, here are some questions that you can ask yourself:

  • How is the material presented?
  • Is it clear and cohesive without unnecessary material and/or wasted time?
  • Are there visual elements?
  • Do the videos simply lecture at you, or do they help you actually synthesize the material for understanding and application?
  • Are there review questions and/or activities for reinforcement?
  • Is everything presented in a user-friendly fashion?

There are any number of other things that you might want to watch for personally, but those should help you establish a good baseline.

Medical school is terrible, but this really is a golden age for education and it’s exciting to be a part of it. Indeed, the times they are a changin’, but in the case of video resources for medical school and the USMLE Step 1, we believe that it’s for the better.

Fire hose, meet regulator.

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