Doctors In Training (DIT)

September 14, 2017


I used Doctors in Training (DIT) during my dedicated study period for Step 1/Level 1 board exams and I wanted to share some honest thoughts about my experience with it. I have had many questions about the program so I thought it may be helpful for other people to read more about my thoughts about DIT. If you have any other questions about DIT after reading this post, please feel free to reach out to me at tatedoesthings (at) gmail (dot) com.

When did you get DIT?
I bought DIT in the fall of my second year of medical school.

How is DIT organized and how did you use it for board prep?

  • Primer Series: high yield videos available immediately after purchase. 
    • over 50 high yield videos and multiple choice quizzes (I never did use the quizzes)
    • I used the videos to supplement my classroom learning throughout my second year. It helped me focus on some of the high yield information and it was nice to have a taste of what DIT videos were like (the high yield videos are often pulled from the actual lecture videos used during dedicated study time in Part 2 of DIT)
  • Part 1: Questions & video answers available in January 
    • 34 question sets. Mostly free response to challenge your thought process. Video explanations to guide your understanding of the question sets. 
    • I did the question sets as they were released to me (they were released several times a week). I tried to answer the questions on my own, then I watched the video explanation. I took notes in my First Aid to help me start making connections throughout the year. 
  • Part 2: Study guide shipped in the spring and lecture videos released in March. 
    • Once you begin Part 2 of DIT, you have 60 days of access to the online videos. I began Part 2 in the beginning of May and opted to take 21 days to finish DIT. 

Did you get the OPP aspect of DIT?
No, I did not. I used OMT Review by Robert Savarese as well as the COMBANK question bank for my osteopathic review for COMLEX. I did have friends who really liked the OPP portion of DIT, but I didn't purchase it.

When did you start/end DIT for board prep? 
I started used Part 2 of DIT the first week of May and completed right around the beginning of June. While I gave myself 21 days to finish DIT, I know many other people who took longer or shorter amounts of time to complete it. It really depends on how you learn. I liked to annotate and write in my First Aid for USMLE because physically writing things down helps me retain the information. Classmates who were auditory learners could breeze through the video lectures faster than me.

My idea was to finish DIT and still have 3 weeks to focus on my weaker areas before taking my board exams. DIT recommends that you finish the course relatively close to your test date - but that gave me too much anxiety. I really wanted to get through all the information once and still have plenty of time to feel like I could focus my attention on topics that were more difficult for me.

What didn't you like about DIT? 

  • It takes an awfully long time to stay committed to and complete the program. I tend to think that in order to benefit from the program, it's important to take the time to do the quizzes before and after each video lecture. Repetition is key! It will take you longer than you think to get through all of it, and the closer you get to boards, the easier it is to feel like you are stuck in a program that takes a long time to complete. There will be moments of sheer panic - and I definitely wanted to quit because other classmates would spend the entire day doing practice questions. I struggled with feeling like I was wasting my time in comparison to my peers, but ultimately, I'm really happy I stuck with the program. 
  • Piggybacking off my last comment, I think DIT is something you need to commit to or avoid altogether. It's not a good resource for cherry-picking. This isn't a "reference resource." If you're on the fence with whether or not you're happy to stick to a strict program - - really reconsider if DIT is right for you. It really isn't for everyone. 
  • It's expensive. I certainly didn't love that. 

What did you like about DIT? 

  • DIT appealed to me as a visual learner. I liked all the charts, diagrams, and animations. 
  • I absolutely hate reading from a text and teaching myself. I knew I wanted to have more structure during the beginning of my board prep and DIT provided that for me. Additionally, I appreciated that on the video lectures, you could see the person while they were lecturing. I'm not the type to stare at slides with voices talking over it. I immediately get bored and distracted. For whatever reason, I like being able to see the person teaching (which is also why I preferred to go to live lectures in medical school!)
  • I had things I could do throughout the year to help me feel like I was gradually preparing for my board exams, without feeling super overwhelmed. I chose to watch the primer videos and complete the question sets because it made me feel better - - but it's just an option. You can do just fine without the extra work as well. 
  • It helped me become familiar with First Aid for USMLE Step 1. The book is huge. and intimidating. DIT follows First Aid and provides page numbers for reference to go along with each video. I loved being able to annotate and follow along with First Aid while completing DIT. That way, I was very familiar with First Aid and knew where to find information throughout the next three weeks before my exam. 
  • It broke up the monotonous study time. Once I finished DIT, I did tons of UWORLD questions and Sketchy Micro/Pharm. My days had a little bit more variety when I had DIT in addition to my other daily studies. When I was first thinking of my board prep study period, I knew I would go crazy if I tried to just do question sets on my own for weeks on end. The videos were a good, structured introduction to all the material and after completing the program, I felt confident approaching the rest of my studying. 
* * * * * 

I hope some of those answers will help! That's a quick overview, so feel free to reach out if you have other questions that I did not already address. 

I have absolutely no regrets about using DIT for my Step 1/Level 1 board prep. 

Now that I'm more confident in my ability to structure time studying for board exams, I am not planning on using DIT for Step 2. I am very happy with my decision to use it for Step 1 - - but keep your own learning style in mind as you start to build your own study plan. 

Best of luck! 



Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© Tate Does Things. Design by FCD.