Remember to Re-Subscribe!


text to mailing listAs we transition the First Aid Team blog to bigger and better things, we need to inform you that our current system of daily digests as distributed by Feedburner will be discontinued by the end of this month. Our new daily digests will contain more information and present First Aid Team.com posts in a more pleasing way.

If you have not done so already, please re-subscribe to the First Aid Team blog before June 30, 2015. The new daily digest emails will begin on July 1, 2015!

You will find the sign up box on the First Aid Team home page (upper left of the page under “Sign Up To Stay In Touch.” Simply enter your email address, and you’re good to go!

You may also sign up via text message. Simply text “FIRSTAIDTEAM” to 22828 to get started.

We look forward to more exciting and informative communications with you!

Last Day to Get $100.00 Off a Till You Pass Triple Play Subscription!


Hurry! Today is the last day to save $100.00 on a Till You Pass subscription to Step 1 Triple Play!

For a limited time, you can get 12 months of USMLE-Rx Step 1 Qmax, First Aid Flash Facts, and First Aid Express, our Triple Play bundle, for only $299 (that’s a savings of $100 off the regular subscription price of $399)!
Get it now at http://bit.ly/JuneTriplePlay2015
2015 June Promo
Here’s the fine print…
*For more information on product subscriptions, go to www.usmlerx.com.
** Cannot be combined with any other offer. Discount applies only to those qualifying new subscriptions purchased 6/26-6/30/2015.
***Promotion ends 6/30/2015.

Military Medical School Made Simple


By Tim Durso, 2D LT, USAF

Military Medical School Made SimpleI get a lot of questions about what exactly it means to be a medical student on military scholarship. There are plenty of official resources that you can find (just google Health Professions Scholarship Program), but I thought it might be a good idea to give a brief overview as a student currently in the process.

First of all, you might be wondering when and how to start the application process. I started early in my second semester of senior year of college by contacting a recruiter directly. This allowed me to gather the necessary paperwork and schedule training before medical school started. If I’ve learned anything from being a government employee so far, it never hurts to get a head start on a paperwork process. That’s not to say you can’t start later, or even after you’ve started medical school, because you definitely can. Remember, though, that a four-year HPSP scholarship carries with it a signing bonus that a shorter scholarship wouldn’t.

If you’re thinking about contacting a recruiter but don’t know what to expect, here’s a quick run-down of what you’re getting yourself into. The nuts and bolts: The military (in my case, the Air Force) pays for tuition, required books, and testing fees. In addition to the signing bonus for a four-year scholarship mentioned earlier, I receive a monthly stipend for living expenses. In return, after my residency, I will serve in the Air Force as a physician for four years of active duty and four years of reserve duty (with a whole bunch of caveats which are beyond the scope of a blog post). (more…)

Let’s Crash Course the Ebola Virus: Medical Student Edition


By Joe Savarese

Lets Crash Course the Ebola Virus - Medical Student EditionUnless you truly have been living in a hole studying for exams, you have probably noticed that the media has run daily headlines about Ebola scares and fears of future epidemics. So I thought, as a medical student, what should I know about Ebola if a friend, relative, or patient asked for information? (or what if it showed on an USMLE exam?)

Here’s the crash course..

The Ebola Virus is part of the Filoviridae family, meaning it’s a helical single-stranded negative-sense RNA strand. (Remember a negative-stranded virus must carry with it a RNA-dependent RNA polymerase for infectivity).

Marburg virus is in the same class and is very similar to Ebola since both present as fatal hemorrhagic fevers. The Marburg virus has a natural reservoir in monkeys, while unknown in the Ebola virus, it is believed to be in bats. Most outbreaks of Ebola thus far have occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa such as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (more…)

A Message from the Editor


I am pleased to fill some impressive shoes. Dr. Walter Wiggins had an amazing tenure as editor of the USMLE-Rx Web Team, and I encourage readers to check out some of his work (use the search box, and search by “Walter Wiggins”). His leadership as a student, author, and father has inspired everyone with the First Aid Team as well as readers from around the world. I also thank Dr. Tao Le for his mentorship and reminder that medicine is a profession encompassing all aspects of patient care, including equipping future generations to succeed.

The First Aid team has produced material on almost every subject ranging from the Basic Sciences to specialty boards like Orthopedics (a personal favorite). And of course, the ubiquitous and ever-evolving First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 (that’s the newest edition, keep an eye out for it!). This blog has enjoyed the opportunity of discussing equally broad subjects from app reviews to odes just begging for an acoustic overlay. We’ve discussed finances, depression and burnout, and the general work-life balance. (more…)

An Ode to Step 1 and New Things


Ode smallBy Patrick Sylvester

In the final stages of Step 1 studying, and not sure what to do?
How will you fill the last few days?
Question bank? Flashcards?
Or perhaps one more pass through First Aid?

You could do that.

You could also go for a run, or a short nap.
Maybe go out for an extravagant dinner.
Or you could eat that frozen pizza in your freezer
(You know, the one you picked up from the convenient store on the way back form the library)

You could do any, all, or none of those things.
Who am I to tell you what you ought to do on your last day or two before Step 1?
What’s that? You’re already done?
Take a moment and celebrate how far you’ve come.

You’ve worked hard these past few weeks (right?).
And guess what?
It paid off—you rocked it.
You gave it your all and did the best you can do.

And what’s that ahead of you?
Third-year clerkships. Residency programs?
Soon, a new challenge.
You’ve excelled so far, why would these things be any different?

Become a First Aid/USMLE-Rx Student Ambassador at UC San Francisco, Washington University, University of Washington, and Pritzker



Do you attend one of the following universities? Do you know someone who is a med student at one of these universities?

We need Student Ambassadors at:

University of California, San Francisco SOM

Washington University in St Louis SOM

University of Washington SOM

Pritzker SOM at the University of Chicago


Click Here to Apply Now!

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