Graduation Year


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)


Medical Education

First Advisor

Cheryl Melovitz-Vasan

Second Advisor

Nagaswami Vasan


Education, Medical


The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 is the first of three medical licensing examinations that medical students must take in the process of becoming a physician. Because of its increased importance to residencies, there has subsequent increased stress placed on medical students to perform well on USMLE Step 1. Students have become more proactive and efficient in their studying, starting to gear their studies towards this exam earlier in their education and also focusing on what is tested by using commercial resources that are not provided by their institution. These resources condense the monstrous amount of information needed for board exams into manageable quantities that are easier to digest. The available resources range from question banks and video series to review books and flashcards. This has resulted in increased use of commercial resources to prepare for the Step 1 examination. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that influence medical students’ decisions to use commercially available Step 1 resources.



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