By Walter Wiggins
I have had the great pleasure of serving as the Editor of FirstAidTeam.com for the past two years. In this time, I have worked with an amazing team of authors and editorial staff. I’ve seen my authors (who were already very good writers at baseline) develop into great writers. I’ve even been a first-hand beneficiary of their outstanding advice, and I’ve learned much from the experiences they’ve shared on this blog.
I like to think I’ve made a positive impact on the blog and our social media presence during my tenure. However, I’m certain that working in this capacity has had a major impact on me. In fact, one of the things that came up most often during my residency interviews this past winter was not my Step 1 score or my clinical grades or my class rank or even my doctoral work in neuroscience, but rather the faculty at some of the top academic institutions in the US were interested in my experience as the Editor of FirstAidTeam.com.
As I leave to start my internship and residency, I know this website, the blog, and our social media outlets will be in good hands. USMLERx and First Aid remain on the cutting edge of medical education and study tools. New authors and editors will come along and provide a different perspective. They’ll shape this organization with their own vision and the next wave of medical students will benefit greatly from their efforts.
If I had to leave you with just one piece of advice, it would be this:
Do what you need to do to take care of the “checklist” items in your life (Step 1, clinical rotations, landing a great residency in the specialty of your choice), but make sure that you leave time for the people and things you love and enjoy. Often you’ll find that taking care of yourself and nurturing your relationships will help you perform at a higher level and work more efficiently. But more importantly, life just isn’t any fun when you’re singularly focused on your “checklist.”
Cheers and best wishes for a satisfying career in medicine,
USMLE Step 2 CS Updates: Recent Changes to the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information Booklet10
This informative booklet contains important information about the Step 2 CS exam. Recent updates, effective January 2014, include:
- Expanded language on expectations for interacting with standardized patients in the Description of the Examination section
- Additional information on scoring in the Scoring the Step 2 CS Examination section
- New sample patient notes with scoring information in Appendix B
By Patrick Sylvester
A few months back, I wrote a post outlining some of the changes that were coming in the 2014 edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 (which, by the way, is currently available online and at major retailers). One of our blog followers commented on that post, and I think that comment deserves some special attention. The comment was: “how does First Aid continue to match the changes of the major tests it helps student prepare for?”
In case you weren’t aware, the USMLE is a rather dynamic test that is constantly evolving. Changes are made frequently to reflect updates in medical knowledge, to optimize the style of questions, or to shift the focus of content assessed. From a review of the announcements page on the USMLE website, here are a couple important changes that those taking this test in 2014 should be aware of:
There are a couple of important changes to the USMLE Step 1 exam that you will need to consider as you study.
DSM-5 Criteria and Terminology
The USMLE has begun to incorporate new information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) into the USMLE exams. The transition to the new material will begin this year and may take several years to fully implement.
Immediate changes include the removal of diagnoses that no longer appear in the DSM. Exams will no longer include these diagnoses.
Scoring Changes for the USMLE Step 1 Exam
The USMLE Step 1 Committee has raised the recommended Step 1 minimun passing score from 188 to 192. This change affects anyone taking the exam after January 1, 2014.
For more information on changes to the USMLE Step 1 exam, visit their website at www.usmle.org.
We’re thrilled you like us! We’re working hard behind the scenes to give you more to like!
If you haven’t already, check out the new 2014 edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, take a peek at our new Step 1 errata submission process (including a list of errata that other students have already submitted, follow us on Twitter for twice daily Step 1 and Step 2 facts tweets, and like us on Facebook to get daily challenge Q&A, links to our First Aid Team blog posts, updates on news relevant to you as a med student, and much, much more!
Want more? Tell us in the comments below what you’d like to see from First Aid / USMLE-Rx!
Do you love to teach, lecture, or tutor? Do you have a background in public speaking, acting, or debate? The First Aid Team is looking for creative, high-yield speakers, teaching assistants, and tutors to join us. If you have a passion for medical education, please submit your CV, a letter of interest, links to any available video work (eg, Youtube link), and/or small video files via our submission form.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The First Aid Team
We’re thrilled you like us! We’re working hard behind the scenes to give you more to like! If you haven’t already, check out the 2013 edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, take a peek at our new Step 1 errata submission process (including a list of errata that other students have already submitted, and like us on Facebook to get daily challenge Q&A, links to our First Aid Team blog posts, updates on news relevant to you as a med student, and much, much more!
Want more? Tell us in the comments below what you’d like to see from First Aid / USMLE-Rx this year!