Content For Medical Trainees

USMLE Content OutlineThis concept was the reason that Stepwards began. This portion of the site is dedicated to using the official USMLE content outline as a template for organizing information that is tested on all of the step exams. A great example of a more developed page of this outline is the Blood & Lymphoreticular System page. From here one can see that each specific topic/disease has a dedicated page.

Disease Specific Pages: Each entry within the USMLE Content Outline has its own dedicated page, and most of these are disease specific pages that contain a standardized format (aimed at organizing the information in the most intuitive manner possible). Each page contains all of the relevant information that is found in many of the standard USMLE prep books. The advantage of these pages are that the information is centralized and organized in a clinically relevant fashion. Students who read these pages will learn all the “facts” they need to do well on the boards, but also will actually understand the clinical course as well. A good example of this is the page on diabetes insipidus  (which contains a CONCEPT VIDEO as well!)

Supplementary Pages: Throughout the USMLE content outline we try to incorporate supplementary documents geared towards improving student comprehension of difficult topics. These are added to what is written in the official outline, and are organized in the appropriate section of the document. One great example is the page for the coagulation cascade.

MicrobiologyThere are not many places one can go to find information on pathogens that is this clear and to the point. We have made sure to include the information that all of the step prep books stress, while making the actual clinically relevant points memorable. The page on Staphylococcus aureus is a great example.

PharmacologyWhile these pages don’t include EVERYTHING one could know about a medication, they are very to the point and make the most relevant information (for boards/wards) accessible to you immediately. They also are linked to specific disease pages for easy cross referencing (why learn a medication without learning about the disease it treats?) The page dedicated to Hydrochlorothiazide demonstrates this (and contains an original ANIMATION as well!)

Nerves Of The Body: This portion of the site is focused on tracing nerve paths, and also making sure the clinical consequence of damage to specific nerves is made clear to students. The common peroneal nerve is a great example of how we hope to teach this element of anatomy to students.

Arteries Of The Body: These are very similar to the nerve pages that we have created….except it is for arteries! Check out the page on the middle cerebral artery (MCA) to see an example.

Topic Specific Guides: These don’t necessarily fit into just one type of category, however they all are geared towards synthesizing difficult to understand information (and often incorporate many different disease specific pages into one easy to understand guide). A perfect example is the Guide To Anemia that covers this challenging topic in a clear manner.

Interpreting Clinical Data: Scared of reading an EKG? Don’t be! This section is geared towards giving students a foothold into the realm of interpreting clinical data (that they can leverage during their clerkships). Per our previous question, our EKG guide will have you covered!

Physical Exam Guides: It is difficult to remember all the steps of the physical exam (especially if you don’t know why you are doing certain steps!) This section is dedicated to reinforcing the most essential core aspects of the exam, while making sure students know what they are actually looking for when doing certain tests. The Cranial Nerve Exam does a good job showing students examples of the clinical presentation of relevant conditions.

Surgical Directory: This portion of the website is designed to give you pertinent information on important surgical procedures. The page on carpal tunnel release is a good example.

Clinical Skills: Nervous about the fact you keep forgetting how to suture….despite going to workshops every few months? No need! This portion of the site is dedicated to taking point of view (POV) recordings of different clinical skills you might be expected to do someday. Check out our Suturing Tutorial to see what we are talking about!

Approach To The Patient: In working closely with attending physicians we have been able to compile comprehensive approaches to different type of clinical patients (leveraging the years of experience physician’s within he field possess). A page that typifies this is the Approach to The Neurological Patient which very comprehensively helps the reader characterize neurological symptoms within an presenting patient.

Clinical Pearls Of Wisdom: It can be tough work out there for a student who is looking to find those ever elusive clinical pearls. Most lectures/texts/and discussions can be saturated with irrelevant material that can “hide” the information that could make a large difference clinically. We have tried to work closely with experienced physicians in order to ask them what pearls they want other students to know (that likely won’t show up in any textbook). As an example, check out the relevant page specific to Prostate Cancer.

Lab ValuesThese are the official lab values that you will be given during the USMLE exam (and they have been taken directly from the practice software released by the test makers). We believe all students should be familiar with these and have easy access to them!

FormulasForgot what the alveolar gas equation is? Don’t worry about remembering formulas with Stepwards handy! We are able to add online calculators that you can use to solve clinically relevant math problems (such as…the alveolar gas equation).

Epidemiology: Having difficulty remembering the difference between sensitivity and specificity? This page is dedicated to compiling all the most relevant (and clinically pertinent) epidemiological content that is useful for the USMLE and beyond.


Page Updated: 03.12.2016