Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kaplan vs. Pass Program

1) PASS program is less expensive and less time. ($3K vs $7K+...4 weeks vs 6 weeks from what I've heard)

2) Kaplan course sits you down 8 hours a day in lectures and gives you huge notebooks of things to memorize. PASS is also about 8 hours a day with decent breaks but then has individual tutoring and teaches you how to systematically learn all the material instead of just giving you thousands of pages of material and saying "memorize this!"

3) PASS program has a VERY high pass rate with students who are retaking the boards (which speaks well if you haven't already had the experience of failing...) Dr. Francis was actually investigated by the USMLE people for cheating at some point because he had so many students passing (he was cleared).

4) The PASS program still highly recommends that you do the qbank and works with you in individual tutoring sessions to develop a style of answering questions quickly and accurately.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Factors that correlate with the U.S. Medical Licensure Examination Step-2 scores in a diverse medical student population

To assess factors that correlate with performance on U.S. Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Step-2 examination. Our hypothesis was that demographic factors, faculty assessments and other standardized test scores will correlate with students' performance on USMLE Step 2. Study


A comparison of standardized examinations and demographic factors with USMLE Step-2 scores as the outcome varoble was accomplished using the educational records of 171 medical students.

Mean USMIE Step 2. USMLE Step 1, NBME-OB/GYN and MCAT scores, respectively, were 190.63, 1943.53, 67.47 and 24.03.

Positive correlations of USMLE Step 2 were:
  • USMLE Step-1 scores (r=0.681, p=0. 000);
  • MCAT scores (r=0.524, p=0.000)
  • NBME-OB/GYN scores (r=0.614, p=0.000);
  • year of OB/GYN rotation (r=0.432, p=0.000);
  • faculty grades (r=0.400, p=0.000);
  • undergraduate GPA (r=0.287, p=0.000);
  • and science GPA (r=0.255, p=0.002).
Negative correlations of USMLE Step 2 were
  • students increasing age (r=0.405, p=0.000),
  • increasing number of MGAI attempts (r=-0.182, p=0.000)
  • and increasing number of NBME-OB/GYN attempte (r=-0.310, p=0.000).
There was no correiction with gender or race. Logistic regression analysis showed that a failing NBME-OB/GYN score (p-0.008), failing USMLE Step-1 score (p=0.01), failing faculty grade (p=0.029) and muttiple MCAT attempts (p=0.033) independently increased the risk of failing USMLE Step 2.

Premedical test-taking abilities (MCAT scores), results of preclinical standardized tests (USMLE Step 1) and performance on clinical rotations (MBME-OB/GYN score and findings may assist educators in selecting medical students at risk of performing poorly on the USMLE Step-2 examinations.