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USMLE World as a Learning Tool
by Syndromic 04-03-2012, 07:14 AM

It really amazes me to see thousands of students thinking that USMLE World is a learning tool.

They use it to learn facts and gain knowledge, they cherish it as if it's the best textbook of all times. They think that whatever is written in USMLE World has to be memorized by heart and that it would definitely come in the real exam. They think that USMLE world explanation to the answer is the supreme comprehensive database of information so that if you know it you will be fully ready for the test.

Guys ... Wake up

USMLE World is a question bank. Period.

It does not represent a review course. It does not have all the necessary information that you want. It explains the answer choices but it does not explain the disease in question.

USMLE World questions are not going to be seen the exam. The content (knowledge) will not be repeated as you might think. Yes, they'll ask you about the same high yield topic but it will never be the same question!

In fact, if USMLEWorld questions were to be repeated in the exam, then the NBME (using the FBI) would have put these 5 residents (UW founders) in jail long time ago!

USMLEWorld people themselves do not claim that they are providing review material. They have done that only for the biostats section here but not for any other topic or subject.

Dudes..

USMLE World is there to assess your performance and to help you practice for difficult questions and to help you integrate disciplines together but it's not there to teach you medicine.

Let's take an example:

A question is about a diabetic who need to be put on treatment. Metformin is the correct choice because it has less risk of hypoglycemia as that patient has history of hypoglycemia. UW explains to you why Metformin is the correct choice and it also explains to you why other choices (insulin, glyburide, acarbose) are not correct answers. But did they tell you how should we approach medical therapy in diabetics? did they tell you when should we add or switch treatments? did they talk about the principles of management of diabetes?

Some of you might say, "well, they may tell us in other questions". My answer is, it's not a good idea to build your knowledge in this fragmented style. You should build a solid background of important basic concepts and then upon which you can add some extra knowledge and fine tuning. You cannot start from the fourth floor and go down to the foundations.

I warned you and it's up to you if you want to continue this USMLE World mania
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Old 04-03-2012
 
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Hey syndromic ...chill
It's people's choice to take it as learning tool or assessment. It makes no harm if you take it as learning tool.
cheers
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Old 04-03-2012
 
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Old 04-03-2012
 
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my two cents

I have read this post out of pure curiosity as Iím hoping to be going through UW questions anytime soon. To me syndromicís point of view came as a bit extreme at first but simply maybe just because there are no people around me going through this bank and talking about it all the time. At the same time though this post is a valuable insight and a chance for me to re-think on how I see the UW qbank (I think itís good to know your expectations before the purchase . So hereís my opinion.


To me UWorld is a learning tool in terms of the formula of the exam itself. The last 2 years at my Med School all the exams were oral. Mostly because they were always combined with practical part with subsequent discussion over the case and whatever the examiner wanted to ask anything else in general. So believe me it can take a while to switch back to the test formula


Second of all, I expect UWorld to show me several ways (including the weirdest ones) of how they can ask me during the exam about things that seem so obvious, not so obvious and totally unobvious And with this in mind I expect UWolrd to be a tool that will help me stay more alert!


In terms of knowledge I do agree with syndromic that relaying mainly or solely on ANY question bank will turn us into doctors who are capable of solving all the detailed questions there are in the world but lost when it comes to dealing with a patient.
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Old 04-22-2012
 
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Great article Syndromic

I agree with Syndromic, UW shouldn't be anything than a qbank
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Old 06-08-2012
 
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The whole point of medical school is to build the foundation. If you haven't done that why are you taking the test?

But, c'mon, if you don't use UW or something what else are you going to use?? FA? Your reading the same thing. It's either a Qbank or a stupid book. And medicine IS learned in fragments, that's why it takes a decade to become a good doc--it's not chapter by chapter, or from Robbins.
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Old 09-14-2012
 
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why are you guys debating on u-world as a learning tool or not?i think the question bank speaks for itself.you can ask as many candidates of the usmle who used u-world if they learnt from it or not using members of this forum as sample size and see if you wouldn't be able to draw a conclusion from this.
As for me,being an IMG,diseases/diagnosis that are stressed on differ based on the common ailments seen by practising physicians in any given geograpical location and in the US,this is not different.
U-world just helps you to coin down on what is expected of you as a physician practising in the states whether its handling the patient or coming to a diagnosis,so as to pass the usmle exams.i think that should classify it as a learning tool.
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Old 05-19-2013
 
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an advice from long time doctor who is board certified in internal medicine
and pulmonary also :to all my children as you are read a good textbook understand the disease all of it from a to z you do well not just in the exam but during your residency and thereafter.good luck to everybody I thought
USMLE is easy .The difficult part will be when you are on your own taking care of your patients and you would like to be correct 100% of the time
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Old 07-08-2013
 
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USMLE World provides you oppurtunity to prepare hard

there is n harm to try it
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Old 07-10-2013
 
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I am stunned by this post. This is mind-numbingly, point-blank awful advice. Even if it was given a while ago, I have to respond, so people don't start following this awful advice.

1) I'm not going to get into argument with you, as you're clearly very passionate about this and this could get drawn out into a huge pissing match. I'm going to provide a different POV and let readers draw their own conclusions.

2) I'm an AMG. I realize, depending on where you do medical school, that different resources will work best for you. AMGs historically lean heavily on First Aid and UWorld (+/- Goljan) and that serves us well. Kaplan isn't used here quite as much. But I can share my experiences:

UWorld was a fantastic resource for Step 1. Provided you use it correctly and study and learn from the answers (not just using it as a self-assessment).

-As I took only 4 and a half weeks to prepare for the exam, with two days left, I still had almost 150 to get through. I flew through the remainders rapid-fire, and of those 150, I counted 4-5 questions on the real exam that mirrored actual UWorld questions. I was shocked at how accurate the prediction was. (This isn't even counting the learning points I used to answer other questions - the basic presentations in these questions was almost the exact same).

-The day I took my Step 1, I was so surprised by how many of my answers came from UWorld that after going home - before passing out - I actually signed up for a full year's worth of UWorld Step 2.

-More and more studies are showing that students retain material best through an active learning format - a Q&A format, rather than the rote memorization of textbooks used in the old days.

That's just 1 person's experience. After canvassing my classmates, however, just about everyone had a similar experience. Many considered UWorld even superior to First Aid, in terms of actual questions/topics that came on the exam. Reading the answers and studying them well made a huge difference.

It was such a popular resource that our medical school bought the full year's UWorld subscription for each of the 2nd year med students the year after mine, just to help them raise Step 1 scores from the beginning.

UWorld is a phenomenal learning tool. Following this poster's advice could do some serious damage to your Step 1 score potential.
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Old 02-19-2014
 
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World Q-Bank and Prep Courses

I agree, everyone that I've spoken to thinks that World Q-Bank is a must. But with regard to prep courses, has anyone had any experience with Wolfpacc Prep in St. Augustine Florida for Step 1? After speaking with Dr. Wolf I'm seriously considering taking his course over Kaplan in NYC this summer.
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Old 06-17-2015
 
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The candidates use USML differently.some uses as a learning tool the others as assessment.when there isn't any harm using it either ways of debating on it then whats the use of debating on it.
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Old 04-09-2016
 
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this is good advice
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Old 10-01-2016
 
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im not sure if i agree with this. there is no one way to study. what works for one may not work for the other but uw is time tested with numerous testimonials of its helpfulness provided you use it the right way.
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Old 10-01-2016
 
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interesting
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Old 10-29-2016
 
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Spot on. Thank you for this
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Old 01-10-2017
 
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Hmm, I'll keep that in mind...
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