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Best Practices for Using USMLE-Rx

On what drives USMLE-Rx

Hundreds, if not thousands, of students by now have provided some of their wisdom, their experiences, and what they learned the hard way about doing well on the boards. They’re passing it on to the next generations of students.

On what not to do when using USMLE-Rx

The one thing that you shouldn’t do is skip the explanations to the wrong answers, even if you got that question right. Let’s say it’s a question about somebody who presents with some sort of dyspnea issue. There are a lot of things that can cause shortness of breath. Maybe the answer is asthma, but it could have been COPD or a restrictive lung disease or some sort of interstitial lung disease. You still want to take time to read through why the other answer wasn’t the correct answer. We go into a lot of detail about why asthma was correct but why interstitial lung disease or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was incorrect. Because, on the board, they may give you a question where asthma is a distractor but IPF is the correct answer. Now you know in what situations IPF is the correct answer. There’s a lot of learning in USMLE-Rx in the explanations. So don’t skip those. Those are all learning nuggets for you.

Final thoughts

Obviously, you know that medical school is a tough thing. There’s a lot of learning to be done. Whether you use First Aid or USMLE-Rx or any other resources, try to integrate everything you’re doing. Because on the boards, they are trying to integrate all of those concepts. The better you can integrate the pathology, the physiology, the clinical presentation, the diagnosis, the clinical management, the better you’re going to do on the exam and the better type of physician you will be. 

To read the full transcript, head here.

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