Pathology makes up about 70 % of your USMLE Step 1 prep: If you're like most students, you're probably struggling to find the right approach that works when it comes to getting started, gaining the required knowledge, and applying what you've learned so that you're really ready for test day! This article will guide you through the entire process of Pathology board exam preparation. It takes a very structured and integrated 3-step approach. You can be fully prepped in about 40 days if you study for an average of 6 hours per day – Start now!


How to Get Started

A few words before you get started: in the Lecturio Medical School Survival Guide, renown Youtuber and MD DocOssareh offers advice on how to get through med school and explains strategies on how to be best prepared for boards and exams.

The foundation of his strategy is to develop a study schedule before you actually start studying. Creating such a study schedule typically requires you to:

  1. Understand what you need to study.
  2. Identify the resources you need to use.

Good news – you can check both boxes! We did the work for you and created a step-by-step study schedule, ready for use. It contains all you need to know about Pathology plus access to all the resources.

Before you get started, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the structure of this study schedule. It consists of three main steps: gain knowledge, review high-yield facts, and apply and test your knowledge. Lecturio’s Pathology Review Course will give you a fundamental understanding of the subject. First Aid® will provide the high-yield facts and Lecturio Qbank lets you apply and test your knowledge.

It’s highly recommended that you work through the schedule from left to right, topic by topic, in each and every Pathology unit (General Principles, Cardiovascular, Endocrine…).

Your 40-day Pathology Study Schedule

STEP 1:
Gain Knowledge
STEP 2:
Review High-Yield Facts
STEP 3:
Apply Knowledge
Total Days
General Principles
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book®
Lecturio Qbank  Days
General Principles
Duration 03:47
Quiz questions: 135
FA 16: 215-235
FA 17: 203-223
FA 18: 205-227
Subject: Pathology
Systems: General Principles
 2
    Cardiovascular
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank  Days
Cardiovascular Pathology
Duration 09:33
Quiz questions: 277
FA 16: 282-297
FA 17: 288-304
FA 18: 294-310
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Cardiovascular
 4
Endocrine
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank Days
Endocrine Pathology
Duration: 12:21
Quiz questions: 418
FA 16: 317-334
FA 17: 323-340
FA 18: 331-348
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Endocrine
 4
Gastrointestinal
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank  Days
Gastrointestinal Pathology
Duration: 08:43
Quiz questions: 446
FA 16: 353-374
FA 17: 359-381
FA 18: 370-392
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Gastrointestinal
 5
Hematology & Oncology
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank  Days
Hematology & Oncology – Pathology
Duration: 08:12
Quiz questions: 276
FA 16: 386-405
FA 17: 394-413
FA 18: 404-423
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Hematology & Oncology
 5
Musculoskeletal, Skin & Connective Tissue
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank Days
Musculoskeletal, Skin & CT – Pathology
Duration: 03:17
Quiz questions: 112
FA 16: 426-437
FA 17: 435-446
FA 18: 448-461
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Musculoskeletal, Skin & CT
2
Neurology
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank  Days
Neuropathology
Duration: 08:55
Quiz questions: 38
FA 16: 491-498
FA 17: 481-503
FA 18: 495-517
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Neurology
 3
Psychiatry
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank Days
Psychiatry
Duration: 09:34
Quiz questions: 373
FA 16: 510-524
FA 17: 526-542
FA 18: 540-556
Subject: Behavioral Science & Psychology
Systems: General Principles
2
Renal System
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank  Days
Renal Pathology
Duration: 14:12
Quiz questions: 479
FA 16: 544-556
FA 17: 562-574
FA 18: 578-589
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Renal System
3
Reproductive System
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank Days
Reproductive Pathology
Duration: 05:47
Quiz questions: 252
FA 16: 585-600
FA 17: 603-620
FA 18: 620-636
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Reproductive System
4
Respiratory System
Lecturio Video Lectures First Aid Book® Lecturio Qbank Days
Respiratory Pathology
Duration: 10:51
Quiz questions: 424
FA 16: 616-627
FA 17: 636-648
FA 18: 653-667
Subject: Pathology
Systems: Respiratory System
2,5
Total days you´ll need (incl. buffer)
20 days 6 days 14 days 40 days

Step 1: Gain Knowledge Using the Lecturio Pathology Review Course

qbank_new_curriculumBegin by logging in to your Lecturio curriculum. Select Organ Systems curriculum. If your knowledge of this subject is limited, it’s recommended you start with Principles of Pathology, which you can find in the General Principle section. Next, begin watching the lectures. Take notes while you watch, and answer the recall questions that pop-up during each lecture. Once you’re done with the General Principles, continue with the Organ Systems. After completing each Organ System, continue with Step 2.

💡 Time-saving Tip: If you’re already familiar with a topic, skip ahead to the Recall Questions and then watch the lecture. This will give you a sense of where you stand in terms of what you know. If you feel confident to do so, proceed to the next topic or lecture. If you’re getting too many recall questions wrong, that may indicate you have gaps in your knowledge. If so, go back to the video tab and watch the lectures.

💡 Player Speed: to zip through the content, simply adjust the player speed – you can play it at up to 1.5 times normal speed.

💡 Download Slides: if you learn better by writing, you can download each lecture slide series, print them out, put them in a binder, and refer to them as you take notes while watching the lecture. As a bonus, you’ll end up with a notebook full of slides, which you can refer to again and again.

Step 2: Review High-yield Facts with Your First Aid® Edition

Now, take your First Aid® book and work first through General Principles of Pathology and subsequently through Pathology of Organ Systems (General Principles, Cardiovascular, Endocrine…). Read the high-yield facts, check to make sure you really understood the content, and then review all the topics. The relevant First Aid® pages will be found in your study schedule. After completing each Organ System, continue with Step 3.

💡 Lecturio Bookmatcher: This essential app feature lets you connect First Aid® to the video lectures (those you’ve worked through previously). Use it in case you don’t understand something or if you desire more detailed explanations of the topic. Open Bookmatcher → select your First Aid® Edition → type in the page number → get explanatory video lectures. It’s that easy and it will help you save precious time. You’ll find Bookmatcher in your Lecturio iOS or Android app and also at our website (atop the top navigation bar).

💡 Markers, colors, post-it’s: Use whatever visualization aids help you remember the content and be able to mentally connect it to important points.

💡 Flashcards: Flashcards are a great way to continually review high-yield facts – facts you don’t ever want to forget. Self-made flashcards are the most advantageous because they greatly contribute to your learning process. Don’t wait to get started.

Step 3: Apply Your Knowledge with the Lecturio Question Bank

It’s time now to get a handle on how well you understand the topics. The schedule recommends 40 questions at the end of each block. Please note that it’ll take you 1 hour to answer 40 questions of one block, and another 3 hours afterward to review the correct and incorrect answers in Review Mode. After approximately 35 days of studying with video lectures, First Aid®, and the Qbank, you have an extra 5 days during which you can either review topics which you don’t feel you know well enough or use to do extra Qbank block sessions.

How to organize a Qbank Block Session

Follow these 7 tips to get the most benefit from practicing with USMLE-style Qbanks:

#1: Set the size of the question block to 40

40 is how many they give you on the USMLE Step 1 exam. Doing 40 questions accustoms you to working with that many in a single block. Never do fewer than 40, and practice only when you have time for the full block.

#2: Choose the options for timed mode and test mode

Timed mode means you will be shown an on-screen countdown timer. The clock will help you monitor your speed in answering each question. Test mode means you must finish all 40 questions before you get to see the answers.

#3: Read the last sentence or two of the question first

It’s at the end of the question where you’ll usually find the roadmap to help you efficiently navigate through the facts at the beginning of the question.

#4: Quickly check the answer choices before reading the entire vignette

This helps you more rapidly categorize the question.

#5: Carefully read the entire question and then carefully re-read the answer choices

This helps you to eliminate any choices that are obviously wrong or irrelevant. Often, you will be able to instantly eliminate at least one bad answer choice (usually it’s the one that strikes you as being dissimilar to the others).

How to review your Qbank results

#1: After completing a block, carefully read each question’s supplied answer choices

This will show you why the answer you chose was right or wrong and it will also show you where your knowledge is lacking. Supplement this review with your study materials and resources.

#2: Get good at spotting “test craft”

The test writers craft some incorrect answers to look like right answers. Watch out for these. They’re meant to trick you into choosing them.

Congratulations – you made it through! Be proud of your accomplishments. Now reward yourself with a day off! You would want to share some feedback? Feel free to get in touch!

 

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One thought on “How to Really Ace Pathology – The 40-day Study Schedule

  • yaniv itzigsohn

    There are few resources that put in the consistent effort to improve themselves, this is why lecturio stands out. When i first started it was only videos and questions, now it has a bookmatcher and a Qbank. I am very happy i found out about this service and will happily recommend it to anybody. Thanks for making medschool easier.