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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James Benjamin Robbins, M4(University of Iowa College of Medicine)
Description: This book is a nice source of practice questions in preparation for the USMLE Step 1. Although it should not be used as a primary source for review of basic medical knowledge, it does fulfill its purpose as a pool of practice questions. This is an update of the fifth edition, published in 2005.
Purpose: The author states that "all the subjects, types of questions, and techniques that will be encountered on the USMLE Step 1 are presented in this book." If he would substitute "a majority of" for the word "all" in his statement, I could agree. There are several types of questions and subjects on the test that are certainly not addressed in this brief collection. Having practice questions such as those in this book are of tremendous value for medical students as they prepare for Step 1.
Audience: Junior medical students preparing for the USMLE Step 1 are the intended audience, and the material is presented at an appropriate level for this group. As a current medical student, I do feel that the material is more credible and thus applicable if the majority of the contributors are MDs. This especially applies to the current setup for Step 1, since most of the questions are in a clinical format.
Features: The book presents practice questions in the basic sciences that should be covered in the first two years of medical school and are thus fair game on Step 1. I particularly appreciate the depth of questions presented in anatomy since many Step 1 prep books fail to address this topic effectively. The pictures are also of exceptional quality, which can not be said of most other Step 1 review books.
Assessment: Again, this book can only serve as a resource for practice questions and not as a primary source for review since it is not set up as a true review book, like First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2008: A Student to Student Guide, Le et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2008).