Posted tagged ‘Step 1’

How to Survive Med School

June 10, 2012

During my final rotation, I had an awesome attending who would introduce me to his patients and proudly inform them that I was about to “walk the line.” On Friday June 8th, I walked it, and even though my diploma is dated April 30th, I don’t think I really felt like I’d made it through med school until that ceremony. It was often fun and fascinating but med school was never easy. If anyone were to ask me what my advice would be to the students just donning their waist-length white coats, I’d tell them these three things: (more…)


August 18, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have passed Step 1!

I’d like to thank God, my parents and USMLEWorld ::sniff sniff:: (more…)

Brains in a Bottle

August 11, 2010

The waiting is the hardest part. Apparently, ECFMG sends out scores on Wednesdays, and, as it has only been two Wednesdays since that gargantuan exam, I guess they haven’t gotten around to scoring mine yet. On one hand, I’m extremely eager to receive my results so I can set the balls in motion for scheduling my cores, especially since surgery cores are few and far between. Once my schedule is finally set, I can have some sort of idea of what the next 48 weeks are going to look like for me. On the other hand, even though my feeling after the exam wasn’t one of dread, I have these little panicked moments during which the terrible thought of failure seeps in and saturates my mind. What if I failed? What if my passing score is so pitiful that it’s almost as if I failed anyway? It’s tough to banish those thoughts sometimes. However, for now, I will enjoy the relative freedom of being in limbo and try to patiently wait for that email to come.

In the meantime, I figured I’d post a little review of all the energy drinks I consumed while in hardcore study isolation. I’m not really a big fan of caffeine (too much of it makes me ill) but desperate times call for desperate measures. Back on the island when exam time rolled around, I’d stock up on Rumba, my energy drink of choice. Although I was unable to find Rumba stateside, I discovered a whole new realm of beverages promising to keep me alert, clear my mind, enhance my focus and all manner of impressive-sounding claims. Whether any of them actually delivered on those promises, well… (more…)

One Step Forward

July 27, 2010

On the morning of the examination, my brother said possibly the sweetest thing ever to me. As I checked my purse with shaking hands to make sure that I had my passport and my scheduling permit, he yelled down the stairs, “Don’t worry, Crys. You’re going to get enough for dermatology*!” (more…)

Step Up (the reprise)

July 12, 2010

The fateful day approaches.

On July 25th (yup, a Sunday), I will finally be sitting for Step 1 of the USMLE. I am currently in study isolation and let me tell, you, the eyes are really bleeding. This is the final stretch, the last attempt to prepare myself for one of the most important examinations of my career. Wish me luck!

p.s. if anyone knows of any resources that have free full-length exams, please let me know!

p.p.s. seriously, this is my theme song.

Exam Stamina

June 22, 2010

It’s been a while since I updated, and while I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been feverishly and diligently preparing for the REAL battle, the USMLE Step 1, really, I’ve been indulging in non-school distractions (my birthday, fluff fiction, my cousin’s new baby, etc.). I did do the administrative stuff – complete my application for the ECFMG, drive down to NJ to personally drop off my Form 186 at Ross headquarters – so now, I’m awaiting the acceptance of my application and the go-ahead to schedule my exam date. It will likely be the third Friday in July.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only just gotten back into hardcore study mode (because I am hard-headed and don’t learn my lessons) and am now facing a peculiar problem – mid-block grogginess. Recently, I’ve been getting up at 7 am and sitting down to do questions at 8 (in an effort to simulate the actual exam experience) but by the middle of my second question block, my eyelids are heavy and I’m practically swaying in my seat. My performance suffers from these little zone-outs. If I can’t get through 3 blocks of questions without nodding off, how on Earth will I make it through an 8 hour exam?? (more…)

Final Distance

May 10, 2010

It’s almost the day of destiny and although I’ve scored 198 on my last two NBME practice exams, I am not without anxiety. I suppose I should feel somewhat comforted that even my lowest NBME self assessment score is enough to pass the COMP but I’d feel even better if I weren’t skating on the underside of 200. Oh well. For this trial, all I need is to pass. Given the time it takes for ECFMG processing of the application to sit for Step 1, I’ll have a pretty nice chunk of time to bring my score up by 20 points (let’s hope) so I can have something nice to show to the residency admissions committees.

Thanks to everyone who’s been wishing me well, praying, encouraging and otherwise supporting me during this preparation. Let’s hope the third time’s a charm and that my next post will be one of triumph and jubilation. Wish me luck on Friday. I’ll check back in on the other side of the COMP.