Anki: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck (Update 3)

This is the third update of my Step 1 Anki deck. If this is your first time reading or hearing about my deck, I suggest checking out my original post in which I explain the deck – Anki: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck(It’s different than the Zanki/Bros style).

Also, I feel that it’s important to point out that this deck should be used as a review and companion to your studying. I think I leave out a lot of the basic or foundational stuff. This deck is best used as a supplement to watching Boards and Beyond videos or as a review of the heavy-hitting topics emphasized by Dr. Ryan after you’ve completed his video course. I highly recommend Boards and Beyond to all med students, including first years. You can read my full review on it here – Boards & Beyond: A Review of Medical School’s Best Kept Secret

Here’s the link: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck (V3)


Anki: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck (Update 2)

I’m really glad (and a little surprised) that many have found my Step 1 Anki deck useful. Due to the way I constructed many of the cards, which at times require recollection of long lists of symptoms and side effects, I figured most people would get frustrated with the deck and swiftly kick it to their computer’s trash bin.

The deck is pretty different from Bros/Zanki at times, so before downloading I’d recommend reading my “guide” and explanation of the deck here: Anki: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck. I find that I understand and retain topics better from quizzing myself with in-depth (harder) questions compared to more cards with one fact per card. Some cards will be difficult (and frustrating) at first, but this helps me compartmentalize disease presentations, side effects, mechanisms, etc. And from the responses I’ve received, it seems that a good amount of people feel the same way, so I’m happy that I have helped in some capacity.

As I stated in that original post, I created the deck without any idea that I’d be sharing it at some point, so I didn’t make cards for every fact or every video I watched. For example, if I watched a video on cardiovascular physiology and understood the principles, I probably didn’t make many cards for that video. Anyone who uses the deck should fill in the gaps and add cards as they see fit. Also, sometimes when I’ve been studying all day, I’m prone to making a messy card here and there, so I have been periodically going through the cards to “clean them up” a bit.

Anyways, here’s what’s new:

  1. Subdecks – Again, the deck was originally created without knowing I’d be sharing it, so as I went through each system, every card and subject was located in one massive deck. (In my first update, I had added subdecks for Hematology and Reproductive systems, so it may have appeared to some users that only Heme and Repro were downloaded).
  2. Musculoskeletal – Musculoskeletal section has been completed. I wanted to add one thing – for many of the anatomy videos, I selectively made cards based on what I presumed would be “high yield”. For example, I wouldn’t ask “list all the muscles innervated by the radial nerve”, but rather “what are the presenting symptoms of radial nerve lesions?” Hope that makes sense.

Next, I’ll be tackling Neuro then Derm. Afterwards I’ll hit the “general” subjects like Genetics, Immunology, etc. So stay tuned and check back for updates if you like the deck.

Also, remember that this deck is not a substitute for learning and topics like physiology do not lend themselves well to Anki cards. I highly recommend purchasing a subscription to Dr. Ryan’s Boards and Beyond (read my review here) and supplementing the videos with the Anki deck of your choice. In my opinion, no Anki deck can replace spoken and visual explanation, so use a pre-made Anki deck (mine, Zanki, Bros) or create your own to use as a companion to your learning; not as your main source.

Here’s the link to my updated deck:

Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck (Update 2)


Follow me on Twitter for updates: @JordanSoze

Advice from 10 Students Who Scored 250+ on USMLE Step 1

It’s officially springtime, and you know what that means – it’s board season (for us Vitamin D deprived second year medical students).

First Aid is our bible. UWorld blocks will (or should) take the place of Fortnite. We’ll watch Sketchy in favor of Netflix. And Dr. Sattar will become our new best friend. (This is hyperbole… you should still make time for leisure).

Anyways, as the famous saying goes: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. I believe that was from Michael Scott. When formulating a plan of any sort, it is always wise to seek the advice of elders – people who have “been there and done that”. Throughout the past year, I have enjoyed reading posts about peoples’ Step 1 experiences in which they share a comprehensive breakdown of how they achieved a certain score on the UMSLE Step 1 exam. I find these posts extremely insightful, and at times, inspiring. I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

So, I thought it might be a cool idea to “interview” a handful of medical students who have conquered and destroyed Step 1, scoring a 250 or above. How did they do it? What resources did they use? How did they use them? And what advice would these students impart to someone currently preparing for the big test?

(Click here to read my personal Step 1 Experience and how I scored > 250)

One last, but very important, comment before reading: a 250 is an awesome score, yeah. But that does not mean you have to hold yourself to the standard of 250. It is an arbitrary number. Each and every person has different goals. Take pride in your work, do the best you can, and don’t compare yourself to others.

Scroll down below to read the experiences, study strategies, and advice of 10 students who have scored over 250 on the USMLE Step 1 exam. I have received more than 10 submissions, but for the sake of brevity, I will post a Part 2 (and perhaps Part 3) with more submissions in the near future.


Anki: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck Update 1

In my original post on my Step 1 Anki deck, I claimed that I’d upload a new version of the deck every week or so when I finished a new system. I totally lied because that was over a month ago and this is my first update. I’ve been busy and stuff. My bad.

This updated version of the deck includes cards on the Reproductive and Hematology systems, minus cancer pharmacology. Also importantly – I “cleaned up”, edited and revised many of the cards.

In the original version of the deck, all cards were in one giant deck, which wasn’t stratified by subject. I prefer studying like this (reviewing everything randomly compared to studying system by system), but I understand many others may not. So, I decided I’d begin the laborious process of sorting 2000+ cards into sub-decks by system or subject. Yeah that didn’t happen. BUT, I have begun working on this, and the subjects I’ve recently covered (Heme & Repro) have their own sub-decks.

Link: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck (Update 1)

Up next will be Musculoskeletal, Neuro, and Dermatology.

For a “guide” to using my deck and my methodology behind my card making (it’s a little different from Bros/Zanki), check out my original post on the deck here.

This stuff gets exhausting, but keep working hard and remember the purpose of all of this. A 4th year friend of mine texted me today saying that he matched into his #1 program, a top tier academic program recognized across the globe. He reached the light at the end of the tunnel and now he’s celebrating with joy and pride. What we’re doing now is preparing us to experience the same euphoria on that day in two years when our fates our decided by a computer algorithm. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

Ok, motivational spiel over. Have a good weekend. Drink green beer. Kiss someone. Do something that makes you happy.

Anki: Soze’s Step 1 Master Deck

It is February of my second year in medical school. Just over four months remain between me and the USMLE Step 1 exam. As such, my Step 1 preparation is well under way. Like many of you, figuring out how and what to study was half the battle. My tentative plan is in place.

To sum it up – I’m using Boards and Beyond as my primary starting resource to build a foundation, before transitioning into my UFAP regimen. And I’m using Anki to solidify and retain the information that Dr. Ryan teaches me. (If you are unfamiliar with Anki, just google it or something. Its great. If you’re unfamiliar with Boards and Beyond, read my review and breakdown here.)

After mentioning this Anki deck in past posts as well as Reddit threads, I’ve received several emails, Twitter DMs, and Reddit messages about sharing the deck. So, due to popular demand, I will share the link to my Step 1 Master Deck in this post for anyone who would like to use it to study.


Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism: The Curse of Fuller Albright


During my fledgling medical career, I’ve come across a variety of diseases and drug names that make no damn sense. Half the battle in learning pharmacology is being able to repeat drug names that sound more like the title of a D-movie playing at 3 a.m. on the sci-fi channel than comprehensible english (Seriously, you try to pronounce Levetiracetam or Eculizumab).

However, no drug or disease or anatomical structure with a ridiculous name has truly bothered me like pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism. When I first laid eyes on this asinine collection of letters on page 331 of my 2017 edition of First Aid, I was immediately taken aback. I read it to myself several times over, trying to see if my mind or eyes were playing tricks on me. To my dismay and disappointment, there truly exists a disease named pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism.


Five Months Out: USMLE Step 1 Study Plan

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably like me – someone who neurotically spends far too much time on the internet trying to figure out the best strategy and plan to achieve a dream score on the USMLE Step 1 exam.

Early in M2, I heavily researched the topic to ensure that I was doing everything possible to set myself up for success on boards. I read countless reviews of study resources and question banks, as well as when to implement them into my board prep. I’ve scoured over dozens of Step 1 success stories from posters on Reddit, Student Doctor Network, and elsewhere on the web, in hopes to replicate their success. As such, I formulated my plan this past fall, and I’ve been doing everything I can to execute the plan to perfection.


Once Again, Someone Great is Gone

You were lying there in the grass under the cold rain on that November night.

It was a chilly Saturday morning after my first night home for Thanksgiving break. I was hungover, surrounded by college friends, slap-happy with the remnants of last night’s buzz. My phone was across the room where it was charging during the night. When I checked it for the first time that morning around noon, I had dozens of missed calls from family and friends. An ominous black cloud that would soon enslave my mind for the forthcoming week. When I finally called back, that cloud turned to rain. With a racing heart and shaking hands, I walked onto the patio away from all the smiling faces. I turned my back to the glass door so that nobody could see me. And I started crying like a baby.


What Has Happened & What Is To Come

Happy new year to all who have found their way to Soze Media.

As you may have noticed, I have been on a temporary hiatus and I have not posted to the site in nearly two months. During the month of November, one of my closest friends passed away in a very heinous and suspicious tragedy. This marked the second death of a friend this fall. I wrote about the first here – When Someone Great is Gone. Losing two friends at such a young age in a short span of time has taken a toll on my psyche. Consequently, I have not had the motivation to write since the second tragedy.

I know that I cannot write anything else (medical school, board studying, random musings, music, or movies) until I write about my friend. Personally, I write for fun, I write to give advice, I write to give my take on music & movies, but writing is also a therapeutic release for me. In times of anguish and despair, writing is my metaphorical way of punching a wall. While many not care about personal tribulations (understandably), I must write about him. And I have. The post has been sitting in my drafts since Thanksgiving break. It has been deleted and re-written no less than five times. I simply want to do justice to the situation and properly honor my departed friend.

However, it is the new year, and it’s time to move on. I will be posting the murky story behind my friends death later tonight or tomorrow.

After that post is behind me, I’ll be back to writing the stuff that you good people actually care about. Here are a few posts to look forward to from Soze Media in the following days/weeks:

  • My personal picks for best movies, albums, and songs of the year
  • My Step 1 study plan (lets hope this pans out)
  • How to Fight the Loneliness – surving medical school when you feel alone

Because I will be taking Step 1 in June, expect many posts on my board-studying odyssey.

Let’s make 2018 a better year than 2017. See you soon.

Are You Smart Enough For Medical School?

“Am I smart enough to be a doctor” and “am I smart enough for medical school” are two questions nearly everyone with aspirations of donning the white coat will ask themselves at some point in their journey.

Growing up, we constantly hear about how smart you have to be to become a doctor. We hear about how hard medical school is. We hear about how much dedication is required to pursuing this career path.

Often, the ones who take the premed route are the high school superstars – they take AP & honors classes, they rock their ACTs and SATs, they’re the valedictorians, and they’re the students who did their homework every night, never received a detention, and have followed a perfect trajectory towards medical school since day one of kindergarten.

If these are the future doctors of the world, does the average student stand a chance?

I am here to tell you, from personal experience, the truth about how intelligent one must be to succeed in medical school and become a physician. If you’re a high schooler debating pursuing premed in college, a current college student on the premed track second-guessing if you have what it takes, or a first year medical student dismayed with your lack of early success – you need to read this post.