The new 2020 edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 has published! And while each edition of First Aid is significant, this one is particularly special to us, since it’s the 30th anniversary edition. As Dr. Tao Le and Dr. Vikas Bhushan note in their foreword, quite a bit has changed since the early days of First Aid:
We lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles during medical school and residency. It was before the Web, and before med students could afford cell phones and laptops, so we relied on AOL e-mail and bulky desktops. One of us would drive down to the other person’s place for multiple weekends of frenetic revisions fueled by triple-Swiss white chocolate lattes from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, with R.E.M. and the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan playing in the background. Everything was marked up on 11- by 17-inch “tearsheets,” and at the end of the marathon weekend we would converge at the local 24-hour Kinko’s followed by the FedEx box near LAX (10 years before these two great institutions merged).
What hasn’t changed over the past 30 years?
Like the very first edition, the team is always led by student authors who live and breathe (and fear) the exam, not professors years away from that reality.
Why is it revised every year? To make sure that you are getting the content that reflects the current exam. We have lots of help from students who have aced the exam so that all content is relevant and high yield.
With the 30th edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, we continue our commitment to providing students with the most useful and up-to-date preparation guide for the USMLE Step 1. This edition represents an outstanding revision in many ways, including:
- 50 entirely new or heavily revised high-yield topics reflecting evolving trends in the USMLE Step 1.
- Reorganization of high-yield topics in Pharmacology, Endocrine, and Reproductive chapters for improved study.
- Extensive text revisions, new mnemonics, clarifications, and corrections curated by a team of more than 30 medical student and resident physician authors (who excelled on their Step 1 examinations) and verified by a team of expert faculty advisors and nationally recognized USMLE instructors. We invite you to take a look at some of these sample revisions.
- Updated with 178 new and revised diagrams and illustrations as part of our ongoing collaboration with USMLE-Rx and ScholarRx (MedIQ Learning, LLC).
- Updated with 75 new and revised photos to help visualize various disorders, descriptive findings, and basic science concepts. Additionally, revised imaging photos have been labeled and optimized to show both normal anatomy and pathologic findings.
- Updated study tips on the opening page of each chapter.
- Improved integration of clinical images and illustrations to better reinforce and learn key anatomic concepts.
- Improved organization and integration of text, illustrations, clinical images, and tables throughout for focused review of high-yield topics.
- Revised and expanded ratings of current, high-yield review resources, with clear explanations of their relevance to USMLE review.
- Real-time Step 1 updates and corrections can be found exclusively here, www.firstaidteam.com.
We invite students and faculty to share their thoughts and ideas to help us continually improve First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 here on our blog and through our collaborative editorial platform.