First Aid for the USMLE Step 1- 2021 Thirty First Edition Medicine is an ever-changing science. As new research and clinical experience broaden our knowledge, changes in treatment and drug therapy are required. The authors and the publisher of this work have checked with sources believed to be reliable in their efforts to provide information that is complete and generally in accord with the
Foreword First Aid for the USMLE Step 1- 2021
First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 began over 30 years ago as a resource to prepare aspiring physicians for their first medical board exam. Since then, it has become one of the most well-known textbooks used by medical students worldwide. While we closely follow the USMLE’s lead in most respects, the widespread use of our book also provides an opportunity for us to be leaders in medical education.
In prior editions, there has been an unfortunate absence of diversity in both the text and images. This year, we strongly affirm that representing a broad spectrum of patients is essential for preparing for a successful medical career. The practice of medicine is inextricably intertwined with social determinants of health, and sociocultural understanding complements scientific knowledge for the future physician. Failing to provide representation of a diversity of people limits the educational experience and is to the detriment of future patients.
Preface First Aid for the USMLE Step 1- 2021
With the 31st edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, we continue our commitment to providing students with
the most useful and up-to-date preparation guide for the USMLE Step 1. This edition represents an outstanding
revision in many ways, including:
- 104 entirely new or heavily revised high-yield topics reflecting evolving trends in the USMLE Step 1.
- Updated ethics section and introduction of new communications skills section to reflect the recently changed
- Step 1 exam.
- Extensive text revisions, new mnemonics, clarifications, and corrections curated by a team of 25 medical student
- and resident physician authors who excelled on their Step 1 examinations and verified by a team of expert faculty
- advisors and nationally recognized USMLE instructors.
- Updated with 179 new and revised diagrams and illustrations as part of our ongoing collaboration with
- USMLE-Rx and ScholarRx (MedIQ Learning, LLC).
- Updated with 62 new and revised photos to help visualize various disorders, descriptive findings, and basic
- science concepts. Additionally, revised imaging photos have been labeled and optimized to show both normal
- anatomy and pathologic findings.
- Updated exam preparation advice for USMLE Step 1 pass/fail, Step 1 blueprint changes, and COVID-19
- Revised language to support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Updated study tips on the opening page of each chapter.
- Improved organization and integration of text, illustrations, clinical images, and tables throughout for focused
- review of high-yield topics.
- Revised and expanded ratings of current, high-yield review resources, with clear explanations of their relevance
- to USMLE review.
How to Contribute
This edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 incorporates thousands of contributions and improvements suggested
by student and faculty advisors. We invite you to participate in this process. Please send us your suggestions for:
Study and test-taking strategies for the USMLE Step 1
New facts, mnemonics, diagrams, and clinical images
High-yield topics that may appear on future Step 1 exams
Personal ratings and comments on review books, question banks, apps, videos, and courses
For each new entry incorporated into the next edition, you will receive up to a $20 Amazon.com gift card as well as
personal acknowledgment in the next edition. Significant contributions will be compensated at the discretion of the
authors. Also, let us know about material in this edition that you feel is low yield and should be deleted.
All submissions including potential errata should ideally be supported with hyperlinks to a dynamically updated Web
resource such as UpToDate, AccessMedicine, and ClinicalKey.
We welcome potential errata on grammar and style if the change improves readability. Please note that First Aid style
is somewhat unique; for example, we have fully adopted the AMA Manual of Style recommendations on eponyms
(“We recommend that the possessive form be omitted in eponymous terms”) and on abbreviations (no periods with
eg, ie, etc). We also avoid periods in tables unless required for full sentences. Kindly refrain from submitting “style
errata” unless you find specific inconsistencies with the AMA Manual of Style or our diversity initiative as discussed
in the Foreword.