Study Smarter Series: Step 1

Patrick C. Beeman, MD

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Registered users.
Course Language: English
Price:  FREE
Patrick C. Beeman, MD
Patrick C. Beeman, MD
Patrick C. Beeman, MD is an Ob/Gyn and writer. He has worked on the Case Files series and written questions for the USMLERx question bank. He has served as the Director of Content for a leading boards preparation question bank, and has helped a number of students achieve admission to medical school as an advisor for He started InsideTheBoards ...
Study Smarter Series: Step 1

About this course

Study Smarter Series: Step 1 

What is it?

Our special ITB podcast series dedicated to the USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1. It's “Pre-Preparation” for the first medical licensing (USMLE Step 1 or COMLEX Level 1) exam. Board prep is a marathon, not a sprint.

Start training now, identify your weaknesses and strengths, learn what you need to understand prior to your dedicated 4-6 weeks study preparation time, so you can use this time to review (and only review).

When is it? 

Roughly mid-March to early June 2017.

Who is doing this?

Who isn't is the better question? We've lined up friends from Osmosis, medQuest, Physeo, MedSchoolTutors, authors of board review books like Ken Rosenthal (Rapid Review: Microbiology and Immunology), Conrad Fischer and Niket Sonpal (Master the Boards series), other meded podcasters like Emily Tan from WhiteCoatCoaching. It's a who's who of USMLE & COMLEX preparation.

Is Goljan going to be there? 

Most definitely. I mean, that is, if we can get him to agree to come on. Does anyone have Goljan's email? 😉

Why are you doing this? Don't you have better things to do?

We ask ourselves this too around 2am some nights. But we (everyone involved in the project) also and always settles on one answer: we want to help medical students with one of the most stressful periods in their lives.

Plus, side note: I (Patrick) can't really afford to buy a Playstation VR right now, and no one wants to publish my poetry,  so... I'll keep doing this for now.

What are you going to cover? 
We’re going to cover something high-yield in all the main subjects from the first two years of med school. We've organized the episodes like this: 

Is this going to be like a PBL small group?

What about bioethics? 
Maybe. But we sort of did an episode on ethics earlier. 

How are you going to cover these subjects? 
Well, for the organ systems and preclinical subjects in the above graphic, we're going to stick to the usual format of our shows (~30minute show with a guest) but really focus on teaching the material via Socratic method and question dissections. Some of the episodes we're just going to dedicate to doing a bunch of a question dissections from the Open Osmosis database along with an expert guest. Expect about 2-3 new, full-length episodes every week.

For Pharmacology and Micro, we're going to be providing additional "mini-episodes" each week focused on teasing out the high yield points from 1-2 practice questions. The first half of the Study Smarter Series these will be focused on Micro, and during the second half of the series, we'll be focusing on Pharm.

Aw man...I'm a third-year (or fourth year, or resident or attending), I've really enjoyed the ITB podcast thus far, but I already took Step 1... 
Never fear. Our interview-based episodes are still the "regular scheduled programming." We're just focusing more on Step 1 for a time. You'll still learn some pearls; get some advice on how to study for the other USMLE & COMLEX exams, shelfs, or residency in-service exams; and learn about what's going on in the world of meded. 

How much it cost? 
It's a podcast, brah, it's free. That's the beauty of it.  

Advice from all these great folks with expertise in USMLE and COMLEX prep for free? 
Yeah. We're big believers in free, open access medical education (like the people helping us produce the series). 

What's the Catch? 
No catch. But it would be cool if you would consider: 

1) Helping spread the word about the ITB podcast.   

2) Be cool with us having advertisers on the ITB podcast and supporting our sponsors.

3) Use the affiliate links included in our show notes' and on our resources' page before buying anything on Amazon (like board prep resources or even gifts/household items). We get a small commission when you do. With affiliate marketing, if you buy anything on Amazon after clicking one of our Amazon links, you pay nothing more, but Jeff Bezos will pay us a commission of roughly 1-5% of the total. So if you buy a new copy of First Aid, that puts like 75 cents into the ITB coffers, which we could use toward improving the show, but full disclosure: we have every intention of saving the ~$30 we made since launching InsideTheBoards and any other affiliate commissions we earn during the Study Smarter series to buy a Playstation VR. 

4) Donating a small "thank you" via Patreon. We've earmarked any of these donations for our contests and developing the podcast, but mostly so we can send honoraria to the emerging bands/artists who've provided us music for the show.

5) Send us suggestions to improve our show (, volunteer your own time if you can provide some practical test-taking tips for listeners, record a question about a boards prep for us to include on the show, write an article for our blog, or help us develop the website (if you got the skeelz, of course).  

So all these prep companies aren't paying you to be included in the ITB podcast Study Smarter series? 
Nope. Sure, they have to generate revenue to keep producing their content and helping students succeed. But like us, their principal motivation is not profit but helping students do well on their exams and become good doctors. That's why we think they're so cool for agreeing to give up their time to provide high-quality material for your Step prep success and offering freebies from or discounts on their platforms. We reached out to EVERYONE about the Study Smarter series, so if a person or group participates in the project, you can be sure they are wholeheartedly devoted to helping you with your boards. So, we'd totally appreciate it if you'd consider promoting their platforms and signing up for their platforms/purchasing their creations.    

We might offer a special Study Smarter Step 1 Bundle from some of the participants within the series. And this would be an affiliate type of thing for InsideTheBoards. But our main purpose would be to get you access to high-yield and complementary resources to go along with our free podcast series. On. The. Cheap. Huge discount. We'll let you know. We've got like 15 more episodes to record, edit, and mix. Webpages to create. Tweets to compose. Babies to deliver. Patients to see. But we'll try.

Are you giving away anything for Study Smarter Series? 

Is the Pope Catholic? (answer: Yes. cf. This Wiki page). 

Besides some giveaways tied to specific episodes, we're giving away a $50 dollar Amazon gift card at the end of the series.

Share the show and tag ITB on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or leave us a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast listening service and send the screenshot to to enter. 

Do you really own a bunch of Converse Chuck Taylors? 


Nuff said. 


Course Structure

  • Overview