best resources for medical school

Best Resources To Use For Medical School

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Do you want to know the best resources for medical school?

Well, in this post, I’m going to tell you about the resources that I used in medical school that really made a big difference in my long-term knowledge.

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Resources For Board Exams And Initial Medical Knowledge

person holding pencil near laptop computer


Let’s get into resource number one, which is the most commonly used resource in medical school. And yes, I’m talking about Anki.

Now, most students in medical school, or about to go into medical school, are very familiar with Anki.  The beauty of Anki is it gets you into that review and testing phase as soon as you’re done making your flashcards.

It also forces you to learn weak topics more than your strong ones. And with the sheer amount of information in medical school, you really want to make sure that your weaknesses are where you focus the majority of your time.

The other main benefit of Anki for medical students on a budget is that it’s free unless you’re using the iOS app.

It’s definitely worth it! Here are advanced strategies that I use to make Anki really work for me. If you find the video below helpful, you can consider subscribing to our YouTube channel for more tips!

If you’re enjoying this content and want more Step 1 advice that can take your Step 1 score to another level then click here to join our FREE masterclass!



Resource number two is USMLE-Rx. I think it’s really important that medical students have practice exams. Some institutions will give you access to either their own set of practice questions or to some other cubing.

But I truly enjoy USMLE-Rx, mainly for the fact that it came from the same creators who made First Aid.

First Aid USMLE Step 1 2024

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And because First Aid is such a commonly used resource for students who are studying for USMLE Step 1, having a question bank made by those same creators to learn those high-yield facts is just such a win-win.

You might be asking, how about other question banks out there?

I think practice questions are amazing. But if you don’t have one right now, the USMLE-Rx would be THE question bank I would recommend, mainly because the questions aren’t super difficult.

First, it is focused on making sure you understand the high-yield materials inside First Aid. And second, there’s still that very nice clinical vignette style that all of the USMLE tests have.

And so if I was a brand new medical student, one of the things I’d surely do is to find some time that wasn’t as busy and spend about 20 to 30 minutes doing some practice questions and keeping a list of all the things I was missing.

If you want to know all the resources that I love using for Step 1, check out my Best Step 1 Resources video below!

Sketchy Medical & Picmonic

Resource number three is more about the style of the resource and less about the company making them. And so I’m going to talk about Sketchy Medical as well as Picmonic.

When you have as much information that medical school throws at you, you want to make sure that you build long-term retention as quickly as possible. And one of the best ways to apply long-term retention to medical topics is to have very concrete images that can be related to the topics.

Two companies that do this very, very well are both Sketchy Medical and Picmonic. They break down any topic from bacteria, pharmaceuticals, to an overall disease process, and give you very nice images, then that can help you learn those materials long term.

And personally, I don’t think one resource is necessarily better than the other. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Here is a video where I talk about How To Use Picmonic to Study for USMLE Step 1.

Regardless of what resource or company you ultimately choose to go with, I think it’s more important that you have time on your weekday or weekend to use these resources and make sure that long-term retention is actually being built.


Resources For Actual Medical Practice


orthopedic surgeon salary


Now, I want to transition from resources that help you do well on your board exams and your initial medical knowledge to a set of resources that are truly designed to help you become a really good doctor, which is our ultimate goal.

The Curbsiders Podcast

So resource number four, which I absolutely love and I’ve used more in residency, is The Curbsiders Podcast.

If you wish you could be that fly on the wall and understand exactly how professionals and future professionals go about solving and treating patients, then the Curbsiders Podcast is perfect for you!

On most of my drives to the hospital, this is exactly what I listen to. It’s great to be able to test my current medical knowledge and also be able to understand how doctors think about one small pit of somebody’s history, somebody’s lab, and being able to extrapolate what other possibilities and differentials may be included.

Being a great doctor is truly founded on your ability to do critical thinking. And one of the best ways to do this is to see how other great physicians are able to take some small piece of information and extrapolate it to all the possibilities.

And so if you’re in medical school, you’re pre-med, or even if you’re in residency already, I definitely recommend checking out this podcast!

Are you a fan of podcasts? Here is a collection of the Best Medical Podcasts To Listen To In 2021!

HumanDX App

HumanDX app

And finally resource number five, in case you’re not a fan of podcasts, is the HumanDX App.

One of the resources that I absolutely love as a medical resident that actually inspires a lot of the cases that are talked about in The Curbsiders Podcast is the HumanDX App.

It’s so similar to The Curbsiders Podcast where you’re getting bits of information at a time to get your differential diagnosis. The HumanDX app is basically a community of doctors and healthcare professionals who are taking some of their most interesting cases and putting them into bits of information.

For example, I have an 81-year-old female with spontaneous bruising and I’m given just three bits of information. I have to put in some basic differentials of what I think she may have, and then I can click for the next piece of information.

So it’s a nice way for you to think and learn the same way as if you have a new patient.

When I admit somebody new, I have some initial pieces of information about them — who they are and what medications they may take. And then I take their labs, their vitals, and their other complaints, and try to put them together to the diagnosis.

becoming an orthopedic surgeon

And so the very cool thing about the HumanDX App is that you’ll be able to test yourself to see if you remember the things that you’re learning in medical school.

And personally, for me, it’s not really about getting the keys right or wrong. About 80% of the time, I’m wrong. But the actual knowledge comes from learning what the right answer is and how somebody was to think about this case in a step-by-step manner.

And so if you’re on your medical journey and you’re tired of just being in the books, you might want to spend just a few minutes every day doing this.

I simply do this as I’m going up and down the elevator in the hospital. Doing one or two cases every half-day really helps me build my critical thinking muscle, which is what this career is all about.

what is a passing shelf score

Those are some of my top resources for medical school.

Now, if you’re learning about anatomy, here is an article on the best resource that can actually help you dominate in your anatomy exams.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Med School Handbook:  Join thousands of other students who have taken advantage of the hundreds of FREE tips & strategies I wish I were given on the first day of medical school to crush it with less stress. 

2. The Med School BlueprintJoin the hundreds of students who have used our A-Z blueprint and playbook for EVERY phase of the medical journey so you can start to see grades like these. 

3. Med Ignite Study ProgramGet personalized help to create the perfect study system for yourself so you can see better grades ASAP on your medical journey & see results like these. 

4. Learn the one study strategy that saved my grades in medical school here (viewed by more than a million students like you). 

Thank you so much for making it to the end!

If you have enjoyed this post, how about checking out some of our other blog posts for more great content?

Until the next one my friend…


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