MedLaunch - College of Medicine and Life Sciences



General Insight
  • Determine your own goals for the first year of medical school
  • Make your mental health a priority
    • You are not alone! Developing meaningful relationships with fellow UTCOM students is an essential support system for students.
    • Reach out. Everyone from UToledo physicians to the AEC and fellow students are willing to help.
How to Study
  • Find what works for you. Just because someone else does it doesn't mean you have to as well.
    • Different content is amenable to different study techniques. It may be helpful to take a new approach when starting a new system or thread.
    • Explore the use of Anki (flashcards) or Quizlet for repetition of material
    • Use the AEC as needed to refine and develop study skills throughout the year
  • Begin to utilize First Aid early in the curriculum as a framework for high yield information relevant to the NBMEs and Step 1.
    • Other first line resources include Pathoma and Sketchy
  • Make sure not to neglect Anatomy Lab and Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM)
    • The best resource for PCM is Bates
  • Each thread ends with an NBME exam
    • Use question banks that have NBME style questions to get a feel for the style and help review material
    • Use Osmosis, provided by UToledo
    • Consider Medbullets, Kaplan, AMBOSS
    • Learn more about NBME exams here
research involvement
  • In order to get involved in research, explore the department websites and learn about the research interest UToledo physicians and professors. Be comfortable reaching out to them directly.
    • In addition, build connections with lecturing faculty, as they often have research opportunities for students.
    • Student organizations often have relationships with faculty members of the respective department. Contact the organization for potential principal investigators and opportunities.
  • If research is not your passion, but you understand the importance of building your CV, the amount of research needed depends on future specialty desired.
shadowing experiences
  • Typically departments have an administrative assistant that sets up shadowing opportunities. You can reach out directly to department administrative assistants or ask respective student organization leadership members for a contact person.
student clubs and organizations
  • Involvement is an important component of the medical school experience. The student organization fair occurs early in the year for students to get introduced to clubs and organizations
    • Monitor your email and Facebook for updates about student organizations
    • If there is an organization/interest group that interested you during your first year, consider running for a leadership position in the club.
General email etiquette
  • Visit Blackboard under First Year Experience for email etiquette and templates prepared by Mary Youngs.
professional mentorship
  • The Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) Program is designed to give first and second year medical students the opportunity to gain clinical experience. Students are assigned a preceptor for each Thread, and work with their assigned preceptor one afternoon, every other week. Many students have gained professional mentorship through this program.
    • Contact Dr. Bodi and Dr. Matus - they can pair you with a physician in the field of your interest for your ICE experience. If not, they can still give you a contact for shadowing/questions.
resident mentorship
  • If you seek resident mentorship explore department websites for resident contact information and reach out
    • Reach out to clubs/organizations, some have good relationships with residents
    • Do keep in mind that residents are very busy. If you don't get a quick response, just be patient and follow up if need be.
student mentorship
  • Student mentorship is available through the Rocket Launch program
  • An additional method of obtaining student mentorship is by being active in student clubs and organizations
  • Contact the AEC. Peer leaders function as mentors. The staff members in the AEC can connect you with students who have volunteered their time in other avenues and would be willing to mentor.
Summer internships
  • Start looking for possible internships in November-January to ensure applications are sent in on time
    • Explore internship and grant opportunities through national organizations. Research opportunities outside of your primary specialty of interest. Do not limit yourself at this stage.
    • The Office of Student Affairs runs a Summer Opportunities program which includes research opportunities, preceptorships in family medicine and pediatrics and community service projects.


General insight
  • Supplement the lecture material with First Aid, Pathoma and Sketchy.
    • Use a question bank to quiz yourself throughout the year.
    • Continue to study and learn the lecture material, the better you learn the material before dedicated study time the easier Step 1 studying will be.
  • You must find balance between your non-academic commitments and studying. Be comfortable saying no to new experiences or commitments.
Track Registration
  • In the late Winter/Spring you will be contacted by the Health Science Campus Registrar to register for your M3 track. This will be the sequence in which you will complete your required and elective M3 clerkships.


USMLE step 1
  • General Insight About Step 1
    • Don't let Step 1 interfere with keeping up with lectures and classwork during the preclinical years. You need to learn the material first in order for dedicated time to be beneficial.
  • Registration
    • The Department of Medical Education and Office of Student Affairs will hold a meeting in the Fall approximately 6-7 months prior to when you should be taking Step 1 examination and they will explain the registration process.
    • The curriculum will have a "dedicated time" period (approximately 5-6 weeks) during which you will be expected to study for and take Step 1. Dedicated study time will begin in late February and continue through early April. You will need to take Step 1 prior to the Bridge Week course that begins the M3 year in April/May.
  • When to Start UWorld
    • This will vary by individual, contact the AEC. It is beneficial, however, to have a question bank to utilize throughout the preclinical curriculum.
  • Structure of Dedicated Time
    • There are many different study plans that students use for dedicated study time, you will have to determine which schedule works best for your needs and study style. The Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) has a few study schedules on their Blackboard site (AEC College of Medicine→ USMLE Step 1→ Study Plan Resources) and they are available to meet with you to help build your study schedule for Step 1.
  • Resources
    • First Line Resources: UWorld QBank, First Aid, Pathoma, Sketchy Medical Videos, AMBOSS, USMLE Rx 
    • Supplemental Resources: Kaplan QBank, Goljan Audio, Medbullets, BRS, Osmosis 
      • Utilizing multiple QBanks is a matter of personal preference
Last Updated: 6/27/22