ESP Block 3: Step 1 Prep
USMLE Step 1 Prep is a course relevant, time efficient system for producing better and faster analytical thinking. This will be needed for best decision making on USMLE Step 1 (and beyond). The goals below address the design features of this program that make it workable under conditions that apply to first and second year medical students. Additional explanation and examples can be found in the video, Developing a Step 1 Brain (NEOMED website).
Step 1 Prep Goals
- All Step 1 Prep activities coordinated with previous week’s study topics
- Time spent in sessions is study time toward course exams.
- Carry-over of thinking to individual study – improves study efficiency
- Thinking requires both memory recall and decision making.
- Most learning experience in MS1 and MS2 is memory recall.
- Weekly practice in group decision making balances thinking skills.
- Analytic skills come from step-by-step methods to simplify cases and focus on important information.
- Analysis requires knowing "why not" in addition to knowing "why".
- Individuals unconsciously utilize Deliberate Practice for skilled thinking.
Step 1 Prep VS. Step 1 "Review" Courses
- Comprehensive coverage of essential concepts
- Most effective immediately preceding examination
- Ineffective in developing analytical skills
- ESP is a regular, focused analysis of key concepts
- Only effective with regular “workouts” over a long period of time
- Permits whole-brain dendritic growth
- Facilitates review time immediately prior to Step 1
- Printable template for side-to-side mapping method described in the instructions for year 2. It can only be used effectively for case vignette questions that are reasonably well integrated.
Developing a Step 1 Brain video (NEOMED website)