First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2011 by Tao Le is the best way to study for the step 1, and an absolute essential for every single medical student. It provides the basis for your studies and covers about 85% of what will be on the boards, to be complemented by other books and question programs such as USMLE World. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 starts by overviewing boards logistics and planning, right down to approximate timelines and test taking strategies. The bulk of the book however is dedicated to individual topic overviews, broken down by medical system. The first half of the book have General Principle chapters that are specifically dedicated to Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry, Embryology, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, and Pharmacology. The second half is organ system based, and covers: Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Gastrointestinal, Hematology and Oncology, Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue, Neurology and Psychiatry, Renal, Reproductive, and Respiratory systems. The end of the book also has sections on Rapid Review of helpful terminology and buzz words on the boards, High-Yield pathology images that are likely to pop up, and a review of other good boards resources.
The best way to utilize First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 is to annotate the margins or notes sections with high yield points or topics that should be further explained. Many students actually prefer to take the book to a printer to have the binding cut off and have holes punched into the pages so that everything can be added to a binder. With that setup, additional pages can be easily added, and specific sections can be removed as needed, making the book more portable.
A cheap copy of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 can usually be found on Amazon. This is unfortunately one of those books you should get New or Like New, as you will want all the margin spaces clean for your own annotation.