Original Publication
Open Access

Peer-to-Peer Step 1 Board Prep Program

Published: September 12, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9536

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Manual Submission.doc
  • Peer to Peer Case Book Submission.doc
  • Program Overview for M2.ppt
  • Program Overview for M3.ppt
  • Teaching Styles.ppt

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


The United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 exam is a critical component to a student’s progression through medical training and licensing. Successful preparation for this exam is crucial, but the study strategies and skills needed for comprehensive, integrated exams such as Step 1 often differ from those needed for more focused, course-specific exams, as evidenced by the detail of questions asked. Medical students typically begin preparing for the Step 1 exam 4-6 months before the test. However, not all programs offer organized guidance in preparation for these comprehensive exams. Faculty-led review programs require a significant investment of faculty time and may not include specific test-preparation strategies and skills. In the absence of institution-sponsored programs, students often turn to commercial review books and programs or form study groups to review content. To address this gap, third- and fourth-year medical students at the Medical College of Wisconsin, with support from faculty, developed a student-led peer mentor program to support second-year students’ preparation for Step 1. This student-designed and -delivered peer-to-peer mentor program draws on natural strengths such as student camaraderie, junior students’ eagerness to interact with more advanced students, senior students’ experience with board review/test prep books, and test-taking strategies. Experienced medical students can draw on their clinical experiences to incorporate level-appropriate clinical correlations that strengthen the context for the Step 1 clinically oriented exam questions. Preparation in this manner has been shown to be beneficial to students, as evidenced by improvement in test scores.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this program, learners will be able to:

  1. Review/discuss key concepts highly emphasized on board exams.
  2. Dissect a question stem to focus on relevant information.
  3. Work through clinical scenarios in a rounds setting.
  4. Lead small groups with various learning styles.

Author Information

  • Gennadiy Busel, MD: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
  • Erin Preloger: Denver Health
  • Nora Shumway: University of Missouri

None to report.

None to report.


Busel G, Preloger E, Shumway N. Peer-to-peer step 1 board prep program. MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9536. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9536