Doctors in Training, Pathoma, and Kaplan Courses
The Doctors in Training (DIT), Pathoma and Kaplan course material can be useful and all definitely have their place. However, the vast majority of students do not require their services. The type of student that benefits from these structured review course falls into one of three categories: (1) Students that are put “at ease” knowing that they’ve done everything that they can do, (2) Students that struggled with material the first time through, and (3) the student that has an extremely hard time going through a book (First Aid) in a reasonable length of time and to a reasonable depth. Students that need a pathology refresher should check out our Pathoma, RR and Goljan Audio post.
If you don’t fall into one of the above categories, use The Method on this website (or from one of The Alternative choices) and you should be able to make an outstanding personal study schedule and should end up with your target score.
Specifics regarding each program
Doctors in Training: DIT takes a different approach than Kaplan to reviewing material. DIT uses First Aid and other ancillary resources with a workbook and online lectures based on these resources to provide a review course.
Kaplan: Kaplan also has online review courses but also has put together their own review sources. Kaplan also has a question bank that goes with their resources (depending on the program that you select when making your purchase) that links to pages of First Aid. Their question bank is one of the top three available. See our article on question banks.
Pathoma: Pathophysiology of disease is very highly tested (and thus “high-yield” subject) on Step 1. This review course is not a comprehensive class like Kaplan and DIT but is instead focused on pathology. This article explains best pathology review methods. Like any other review course (Kaplan, DIT), they will make sure you are exposed to material that is highly tested. Pathoma may be very useful to you if you struggle with pathology and pathophysiology of disease "in general.” To determine where your weaknesses are, you can take a NBME self-assessment exam or use UWorld to see where you might benefit.