Whats the best pathology resource: Pathoma, Rapid Review or Goljan?
So you’re ready to get down to business studying for the USMLE Step 1 exam. You’ve got your shiny new copy of First Aid, your Pharm flash cards are calling out your name and your computer is fired up to USMLE World. But, there is one problem – you need a serious refresher for pathology. At this point, there are a few courses of action that you could take: (1) you could realize that the majority of First Aid is actually the pathological basis of disease in disguise and take your chances with First Aid as your primary pathology resource, (2) you could (wisely) add Rapid Review Pathology to your book collection, (3) you could (illegally) obtain Goljan Audio (do at your own risk), or (4) you could (wisely) purchase online review lectures from Pathoma.
Pathoma is an online USMLE Step 1 video lecture review series given by Dr. Husain A. Sattar, a pathologist at the University of Chicago. His videos are seriously high-yield. If you’re a visual learner, enjoy lectures or are generally sick of reviewing book material, this resource may be right for you. If you're not sure if Pathoma is for you - take a look at the YouTube video posted along with this article. If you’re more of a book-learner, Rapid Review pathology may be the best pathology review source for you. Both of these resources provide a comprehensive review of pathology that appears on the USMLE Step 1 exam. Pathoma centers more on drawings and visual aids that are explained by Dr. Sattar during the lecture series while Rapid Review pathology is a bullet format text that explains high-yield concepts in detail – almost like really detailed course notes.
If you’re set with pathology either by taking advanced pathology courses in medical school or you’re just generally feeling good regarding path, Goljan audio provides a nice little review of select high-yield topics. Goljan can be listened to while you’re getting stacked (i.e. gym), in the car or while walking home from the library. Most students that listen to Goljan like him because he interjects some humor into the lectures but others find this distracting and, in a time crunch can get annoyed. Further, because Goljan wrote RR pathology, some of his lecture material from the illegally obtained audio correlate to sections in the Rapid Review book.
Pathoma is an excellent resource for the student that struggled with pathology the first time around, is uncomfortable with pathology or is shooting for a score greater than 260 that benefits from material that is presented in a lecture format. Rapid Review pathology is a good resource for the student that is also looking for a comprehensive pathology review for the USMLE Step 1 exam but does better learning in a book format. Both of these resources can be used in conjunction with Goljan audio, but should not be replaced with Goljan Audio as these audio files are often an incomplete review of Step 1 pathology.