The following review books and resources are the ones I found most helpful throughout medical school and are kept up to date (last revision January 2020). Reading these can help you learn the topics most likely to be tested on the USMLE Step 2 and 3 exams.
If you are looking for review books for Step 1 you can find them here.
Third and Fourth Years of Medical School – Clinicals and USMLE Step 2 and 3 Prep
After you have completed USMLE Step 1 successfully, Step 2 and 3 are not as difficult and do not typically require as much preparation. As always, I would focus primarily on practice questions in your preparation for the second and final USMLE exams. But, you will need something to study as you go through your clinicals, and the following books are great for that purpose.
Case Files Emergency Medicine – The Case Files review books I like because all concepts are taught in the context of a medical case – the patient and their symptoms, signs, labs, and imaging are presented in the beginning just as you will see on the board exams.
Internal Medicine & Primary Care:
Internal medicine is the most heavily tested subject on Step 2. Internal Medicine Essentials Questions is a fairly comprehensive overview and should be studied in conjunction with the question book, MKSAP for Students, to test your knowledge. These questions are cover many of the important topics frequently seen on Step 2 and 3.
Although I would recommend doing the MKSAP no matter what, if you learn better through cases, Case Files Internal Medicine is not as comprehensive as Internal Medicine Essentials, but does go over the most important cases you will need to know.
For your clinicals in Internal Medicine, the reference book, Pocket Medicine is a must-have – just ask any first year resident, they will all have a copy 🙂
Case Files OB/GYN – clinical cases for your OB/GYN rotation.
Case Files Neurology – clinical cases for your neurology rotation.
Case Files Pediatrics – clinical cases for your pediatrics rotation.
Surgical Recall is an excellent reference. You will undoubtedly get asked questions regarding the content in this book. Before scrubbing into a surgery or seeing a surgical patient, review the patient’s surgical problem in this book.
For general USMLE studying, Case Files Surgery is my recommendation.
General USMLE Step 2 Board Review:
USMLE Step 2 Secrets is a great little book that reviews many of the most common USMLE Step 2 questions and concepts.
The clinical skills exam is extremely easy for most US Medical Students, but it won’t hurt to read through First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS before you go to do your exam.