The Best USMLE Step 1 Videos Ranked

Our Top Recommended USMLE Step 1 Videos

#1 Pathoma

Total Videos: 112

Average Video Length: 20-25 minutes 

Pricing Options:

 

  • 3 Months: $84.95
  • 12 Months: $99.95
  • 21 Months: $119.95

 

Promotional Behavior: Pathoma can easily be obtained at a discount if purchased as a group. Consider contacting them for details regarding group orders. 

 
 
Average Time to Complete:
  •  2-3 Videos/Day: 2-3 Months
  •  4-5 Videos/Day: 1-2 Months
  •  5-6 Video/Day: 3-4 Weeks
Final Recomenndation:

We give this resource our highest level of recommendation. Pathoma is one of the most recognizable names in Step 1 preparation and for good reason. The technique of taking hard topics and simplifying them to simple and easy to understand concepts is one of the reasons why this resource is so popular amongst medical students. Aside from that, Pathoma covers a large amount of content (all of pre-clinical organ systems pathology) into a small easy to watch package that can be completed in a single month. The subscription also comes with a written text which you can use to review and take notes with. We believe that this resource should be an essential part of any Step 1 study agenda. With this tool you can easily cover a year’s worth of pathology material in a single month.  

Learning Value

Pathoma makes learning a year’s worth of Pathology material possible in a single month or two. Pathoma covers essential pathology concepts such as principles of Pathology and all major organ systems pathology. Pathoma is equivalent two the pathology learned in the first two years of medical school (pre-clinical years). 

Scope

While some topics are overly simplified, Pathoma does a good job at covering most if not all the major pathology concepts commonly tested in the USMLE Step 1. Some areas could benefit from a more detailed explanation but these details that are left out can easily be learned by complementing Pathoma with another study resource such as UWorld or First Aid Step 1. 

Stamina Requirement

Pathoma videos are extremely easy to watch and understand. The ability to make hard concepts easy is where Pathoma truly shines. It is not overly difficult to watch 4-5 videos in a single day. 

Med-Ace Tips for Using Pathoma:  

  • In order to get the most from Pathoma, you should complement it with another good study resource. UWorld Step 1 and First Aid Step 1 pair excellent with Pathoma.
  • Try to take a lot of notes of Pathoma as Pathoma has a tendency to leave out important details from the text and only mentioning them during the video lecture.  
  • Pay close attention to the drawings in the video, these are very high yield concepts. 
  • Consider reviewing the previous day’s video using only the Pathoma book and your notes. The Pathoma book is extremely easy to read and is full of high yield information. Doing this can help you improve your ability to recall important information. 
  • Do not watch more than 6 Pathoma videos in a single day as this  requires a lot of mental stamina. 
  • The ideal time to watch Pathoma is in the weeks immediately before your exam. Having all the high yield topics from Pathoma fresh in your head is extremely useful during exam day. 

#2 Sketchy Micro

Total Videos: 101

Average Video Length: 8-12 minutes 

Pricing Options:
  • 6 Months: $99.99
  • 12 Months: $159.99
  • 24 Months: $239.99
 
Promotional Behavior: 
  • Promotions are rare, however, Sketchy Medical offers a discount if you are interested in purchasing all of their Step 1 products (Sketchy Micro, Sketchy Pharm & Sketchy Path)
Average Time to Complete:
  • 2-3 Videos/Day: 2-3 Months
  •  4-5 Videos/Day: 1-2 Months
  •  5-6 Video/Day: 3-4 Weeks
Final Recomenndation:

Sketchy Micro is another extremely popular Step 1 video series. Sketchy Micro which is developed by Sketchy Medical comes in various flavors, however the Sketchy Micro and Sketchy Pharm variations are the most popular. Sketchy Micro and the entire Sketchy series are praised by medical students for their unique and extremely effective method of using comic book style drawings to commit high yield information to memory. Sketchy micro is perhaps one of the most effective resources for learning pre-clinical level microbiology. We recommend this video series for Step 1 preparation, especially if you are a good visual learner and struggle with microbiology. 

Learning Value

Like Pathoma, Sketchy Micro is extremely effective at compressing 2 years worth of pre-clinical microbiology into a single month of studying. With this video series you will cover all of the principals of microbiology as well as organ systems microbiology. 

Scope

Sketchy Micro is extremely effective at covering the full breadth microbiology of topics required for the USMLE Step 1. There is very little which is not covered in Sketchy Micro and liable to appear in a USMLE Step 1 exam.  

Stamina Requirement

Sketchy Micro is extremely easy to watch and understand. The comic book style and short duration of the videos makes them very enjoyable to watch. You can easily watch more than 6 Sketchy Micro videos in a single day.

Med-Ace Tips for Using Sketchy Micro:  

  • In order to get the most from Sketchy Micro, you should make sure you annotate the videos or take notes of the different elements being described in the video and then review these notes several times after watching the video.
  • A Sketchy Micro workbook similar to the Pathoma text is also sold by Sketchy Medical to accompany to the videos. This workbook is extremely useful because it brings all the images and figures from the videos. With this text you can easily take notes while watching the videos and review them after. 
  • If you plan to use Sketchy Micro to study for Step 1, it is recommended that you start this resource very early on, at least 2 or 3 months before exam date. You want to reserve your highest intensity studying for the time before the exam. 
  • If using Sketchy Micro for Step studying, try to finish it is as soon as possible. Sketchy Micro is extremely easy to watch and a relatively short video series. Do not spend more than a month on Sketchy Micro. 
  • Avoid watching the videos multiples times. Instead, review your notes or the Sketchy Medical book. 

 

#3 Sketchy Pharm

Total Videos: 94

Average Video Length: 20-25 minutes 

Pricing Options:
  • 6 Months: $99.99
  • 12 Months: $159.99
  • 24 Months: $239.99
 
Promotional Behavior: 
  • Promotions are rare, however, Sketchy Medical offers a discount if you are interested in purchasing all of their Step 1 products (Sketchy Micro, Sketchy Pharm & Sketchy Path)
Average Time to Complete:
  • 2-3 Videos/Day: 2-3 Months
  •  4-5 Videos/Day: 1-2 Months
  •  5-6 Video/Day: 3-4 Weeks
Final Recomenndation:

Like Sketchy Micro, Sketchy Pharm is another excellent video resource which follows the same formate as Sketchy Micro, but instead, covers pharmacology concepts. Most people who enjoy Sketchy Micro will certainly enjoy Sketchy Pharm. The only thing to keep in mind regarding Sketchy Pharm is that the videos on average are much longer (about twice as long) than in Sketchy Micro and for some medical students, this can be an issue, especially when studying for the Step. Overall, we do not recommend you do a full pass of Sketchy Pharm when studying for Step, but instead review your Sketchy Pharm notes if you used it during your pre-clinical years. 

Learning Value

Like Sketchy Micro, Sketchy Pharm does a great job at providing you with all the knowledge you need to succeed in your pre-clinical years and Step 1. With this series you will cover all of organ systems pharmacology. 

Scope

While the series does a great a job with organ systems pharmacology, the series does not cover the principles of pharmacology. We recommend you combine this resource with another resource that does cover the principles of pharmacology such as UWorld or First Aid. 

Stamina Requirement

While the Sketchy Medical Series as a whole are generally easy to watch, this is perhaps one of the more stamina consuming video series that they have. We do not recommend watching more than 4 videos per day as this can be very mentally demanding. 

Med-Ace Tips for Using Sketchy Pharm:  

  • Our tips for using Sketchy Pharm are generally the same as those for Sketchy Pharm with the following exceptions. 
  • Avoid using this resource during your Step 1 study period unless you have a lot of time to study (3+ months) or are an exceptionally good learner with Sketchy products. 
  • If using Sketchy Pharm for Step 1 studying, try to couple it with another resource such as First Aid. For example, after completing a video, read the relevant First Aid chapter. Or conversely, after reading a First Aid chapter, watch the relevant Sketchy Pharm Video. This is a great strategy for covering a lot of material quick. 

#4 Boards & Beyond

Total Videos: 427

Average Video Length: 20-25 minutes 

Pricing Options:
  • 1 Month: $49.00
  • 3 Months: $129.00
  • 6 Months: $149.00
  • 12 Months: $199.00
  • 18 Months: $249.00
  • 24 Months: $399.00
Average Time to Complete:
  •  4 Videos/Day: 5-6 months
Final Recomenndation:

Boards & Beyond is a long and comprehensive video series which is popular amongst medical students during their pre-clinical years. Boards & Beyond basically covers all of the pre-clinical medical school material. While this is an excellent resource to use during your pre-clinical years to compliment your regular course-work, we do not recommend a full pass of Board & Beyond for Step 1 simply because it would take too long finish. Instead we recommend you use this product in an “as needed” basis. If you feel like you need extra review in a particular area you are weak such as biochemistry, genetics or cardiology, it is an excellent idea to consult this series. 

Learning Value

Overall, excellent videos and content. Some of the best biochemistry and genetics lectures can be found in this series. The videos are generally easy to understand and cover very high yield material. 

Scope

With this video series you will go over both basic science and organ systems material. Basically, if it was in your first two years of med school, you will probably find a video about it here. Although the series does tend to oversimplify some topics, in general, these videos cover most of what you need to know for the Step 1. Combine it with another high quality resource such as UWorld or First Aid and you will have all your bases covered. 

Stamina Requirement

Generally, these video are easy to watch and understand. You can easily watch 4-5 daily videos. 

Med-Ace Tips for Using Pathoma:  

  • It is important to realize that Boards & Beyond is a very long and comprehensive video resource and for this reason, it may not be ideal to plan to watch all of their videos during your Step studying period, unless you have a very long period of time available. 
  • The best strategy for Board & Beyond is to watch the videos on topics you are weak at. You can easily watch all the biochemistry Board & Beyond videos in a week. 
  • Boards & Beyond videos tend to oversimplify topics a bit so try to combine it with another resource such as UWorld or First Aid. 
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