Resources and Recommendations

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Scroll down or click the appropriate link(s) below to see our recommendations.

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What’s Your Level of Training?

How to Prepare for the Medical Boards

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You can get a free audiobook, like friend of ITB, Adeleke Adesina’s, How to Prepare for the Medical Boards, by clicking here to sign up for your free trial—all while helping support the ITB podcast.


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“Certified Smarter” Picks

Check our periodically updated “Certified Smarter” resource. Current pick: Master the Boards: Step 3. We love Conrad, he’s animated, witty, and gets things to stick. You should also follow him on twitter.

Master The Boards Step 3 Conrad Fischer

Preclinical Books

It can’t all be just UWorld and rainbows in med school. Check out these essential picks for first and second year.

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1
Pharmacology Board Review
Microbiology and Immunology Rapid Review
Microbiology made ridiculously simple

Rapid Review Biochem
High Yield Neuro

BRS physiology
Rapid Review PAthology

These are the books we used (or which our high scoring friends picked) through first and second year. Okay, maybe some of the editions were a little older. But these books still deserve their reputation for being high yield and easy to understand. I mean, you can’t go wrong with Goljan, right?

What do you like for Step 1?

Prep Companies


 We’ve worked with (or for!) each of these companies and know they care about your education. They can be trusted with your USMLE or COMLEX prep, and they’re good at what they do. Use Osmosis during first and second year to integrate your exam prep with your coursework, reach out to MedSchoolCoach for virtual tutoring from an expert teacher, use Memorang’s Anatomy Flashcards or Step 1 flash cards to shore up weak areas, and buy a subscription to USMLE-Rx’s Qbank to practice even more questions prior to your dedicated prep time (we know you’re gonna get UWorld a couple months before Step 1 or Level 1… and we agree 🙂

Learn on the Go

Scrub Wars

Anki brosencephalon

 Get Picmonic to breakdown difficult concepts into easy to remember chunks, play the Scrub Wars game for some lighthearted learning, download Anki and make sure to download Brosencephalon’s “the Bros” deck, and of course join Figure1 for a visual and social-based learning experience unlike any other.

USMLE Step 2 & COMLEX Level 2 Prep

Pick one of these books…maybe two and use throughout third year as part of your study on the wards and annotate the high yield facts so you can more easily review them prior to your exam.

Best Step 2 Resource Master the Boards Step 2
Boards and Wards
Best USMLE Step 2 Book

We think you should ABSOLUTELY use OnlineMedEd’s lectures (they’re free) and probably their Qbank too.

Memorang offers a really good set of flashcards for on-the-go Step 2/clerkship study, so you can study throughout the year, while watching your attendings and residents write their notes…

Memorang Step 2
Picmonic for Step 2

Picmonic makes learning fun. And don’t abandon them after first and second year. Their Step 2/Level 2 content is growing all the time. Plus, their platform is uniquely suited for mobile on-the-go learning—an essential skill you’ll need to learn to do well on your shelf exams.

For each rotation, if I could only pick one book to stuff in my white coat pocket…
Best surgery shelf book NMS Surgery
Best psychiatry shelf book Case Files psych
Best obgyn shelf book Blueprints ObGyn
Best neuro shelf book Pretest neuro

Best family med shelf book Case Files Family Medicine
Best pediatrics shelf book Pretest peds
best IM shelf book Step up to medicine
Best EM shelf book Emergency Medicine baby Tintinalli

What about other stuff?

Well we really like our Audio Qbank too… Just Saying.