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Basic Sciences

Basic sciences are two years of courses for medical school which include: Anatomy & Physiology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM), Mind, Brain and Behavior (Psychology), Biostatistics, Immunology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Pathology.


In our school, the first two semesters take the following classes: Anatomy, Physiology, ICM, Biostatistics, Biochemistry and Cell Biology. The last two semesters take Immunology, Microbiology, Biostatistics, ICM, Mind, Brain, and Behavior , Pharmacology and Pathology. We have different med numbers depending on the semester: Med 1, Med 2, Med 3, Med 4, and Med 5.

Meds 1 and 3 had morning lecture with labs in the afternoon while Meds 2 and 4 had afternoon class with labs in the morning.


Med 5 students are those taking the Kaplan class (now Becker review after 2016) for the CBSE and USMLE Step 1 Exam. A new policy was placed during my Med 5 where this semester is graded with 50% participation and the other 50% included 2 Kaplan exams as well as the CBSE exam. Those who failed the CBSE and the semester would have to repeat Med 5. 


Each semester had 3 exams with multiple choice questions from each subject randomized into one exam.  Anatomy labs exams were usually 1 week before the big exams and also were multiple choice on an ipad. Besides these exams, we also had ICM/OSCE/CS exams which included 2 rooms where you were required to perform complete history taking and a physical exam with knowledge questions administered by the proctor at the end. 


Our school policy allowed Med 4 students who passed the CBSE (which was a part of our Med 4 grades) with a 72 or higher to either skip Med 5 (but take an additional elective later on) or continue to Med 5, take the Kaplan course, retake NBME comp and score over a 72. Our school requires us to pass the CBSE before being able to register and take the USMLE Step 1 exam (maximum 2 months after passing comp).


We must take and pass the USMLE Step 1 before being able to start clinical rotations.

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Kandria Ledesma, MD

Emergency Medicine resident

NJ -> Antigua -> NY -> CA

Medicine, Running, Birds, Plants, Food, Dinos 


These are my resources, tips, and tricks (T/T) for each of the Basic Science Courses that helped me. I also became a Medical Scholar during my 2 years of Basic Sciences and TA'd/Tutored a few subjects which really helped solidify my knowledge

*As a disclaimer, I'm not saying this will 100% work for you since everyone learns things differently, but these are merely other resources you can use to incorporate into your current study schedule! 


Dino of the Month: Carnotaurus

Plant of the Month: Nepenthes Attenboroughii

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