1/4 MD Series (Part 4): How to Study Microbiology & Immunology

Some of our primeval years have been inquiring about in what state to prepare for the upcoming NBME ledge exams. I thought I would bestow my best to unrepress those memories and hopefully be at hand some quality advice on how to come these classes and the exams. Just continue in mind that what works since one person may not for one more. First up, microbiology and immunology.


This class was very enjoyable and I liked erudition about various pathogens and their role in poisoning disease. Our professor was a practicing polluting disease physician in Bloomington Hospital and had entertaining special accounts of almost every disease discussed. That afore~, while I had a lot of drollery sitting in class and learning almost bugs, I absolutely disliked studying them appropriate to the massive amount of memorization. Nonetheless, I managed to do wholly well and survived the class with minimal bitterness.


I mostly used reprimand notes and made up silly mnemonics and stories to support with the memorization.

I occasionally used Lippincott’s Microcards, what one. were good for review when sitting on the bus or cooking dinner. Some of the further minor pathogens covered in class were not in this variegate. Microcards are a bit too detailed in spite of first year, but are much more relevant for second year. Hold up~ the body to these for MSII.

I tried Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple, no more than I was not much of a reader in MSI, in such a manner it mostly sat on the bookshelf untried. The sections I did read were real helpful in explaining the pathogenesis of one and the other organism and had great goofy illustrations taken in the character of memory aids. This is a huge resource if you are willing to send to prison the time.

Changes I would go: If I were to redo my be nearly equal, I would have used First Aid ~ the sake of the USMLE Step 1 with rank. It does a great job of highlighting the greater points and provides useful mnemonics.

NBME Final:

By the close of the semester, I had forgotten a vast chunk of the earlier material and felt overwhelmed with the amount of review I would need. Using First Aid and doing constant exercise questions was a good approach.

Try to apprehend as much from the microbiology portion of First Aid (FA) as in posse, especially the buzzwords. Our NBME eventual had a couple questions with images undeviating from FA.

For practice questions, I did the sample NBME questions, BRS Microbiology & Immunology of great scope exams, and all 654 practice questions at the close of Review of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (Lange Medical Books). Doing 200-300 questions a set time was pretty tiring, but it was the solely way to hammer information into my resistant brain. This took me ready 3 days.

In the couple days in front of the exam, I reviewed questions I had remarkable and skimmed Microcards and First Aid.

The NBME had ~125 questions to be completed in ~2.25 hours (cannot recantation for certain). The bulk of the exam is from one side to the other bacteria and viruses. It is beneficial to know the Gram+/- charts, bacterial classifications, and poison structure. Familiarity with clinical signssymptoms and targeted a hundred years groups is important for identifying the organized existence. Know the major virulence factors; FA helps through this. Question stems often advance with a clinical scenario and lab values. 99% of the time, you be possible to ignore the lab values.

All those pursuit questions built up my stamina and I complete the exam in 45 minutes. I took one more 30-45 minutes to check answers, that time submitted my exam and bailed.

If you are aiming because a top score, study antimicrobials. There were additional drug questions (5-7 Q’s) than I had expected. Our class never emphasized drugs, so I did not pester studying them, putting them off on account of MSII pharmacology instead. 😛

Other Resources:

Need helper memorizing RNA virus classifications? I exceedingly recommend this visual mnemonic by the Creighton University School of Medicine.


Our campus combines micro and immuno into the same class taught by the infectious disorder physician. Immunology was often pushed laterally to allow more time for micro reprove. Then we would play catch up ~ dint of. cramming in half a block’s desert of immuno into one lecture. I was happy. to have taken an immunology round before medical school, so studying was mostly go over again of familiar material. This is a very small portion of the curriculum, in such a manner do not worry about spending a catalogue of time on this subject. However, immunology is hugely prominent in the real world (like in cancer growth and treatment), so it is worthwhile to be informed the basics.


I used lesson notes and occasionally First Aid to heal with memorizing cytokines.

NBME Final:

Using First Aid and rendering the one chapter on immunology in the BRS work was sufficient.

The practice questions I mentioned exceeding for microbiology also covered immunology.

If you are sensibility ambitious, the University of Utah School of Medicine has more good practice questions, although they may exist more appropriate for MSII.

The NBME conclusive was straightforward. Do not forget to study cytokines, chemokines, and immunologic disorders (autoimmune disease, immunodeficiencies, hypersensitivities).


Celebrate end of finals by Petri dish cookies! (Photo credit: Not So Humble Pie)

Together through regular cervical screening, it will repress protect girls for life.

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