Miscellaneous Announcements

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!

Become a First Aid/USMLE-Rx Student Ambassador at Campbell, Sophie Davis, Columbia, or Michigan State



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:

  • Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • CCNY/CUNY Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education
  • College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University
  • Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

Click Here to Apply Now!

New Beginnings: Farewell from the Editor


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 Booklet


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


Head over to the USMLE website to download the Booklet and to get more information.


Changes to the USMLE Step 1


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:


USMLE Step 1 Updates: Changes in Scoring and DSM-5 Inclusion


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.

30,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook!


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!



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