Posted tagged ‘USMLE’

Things of Epic Importance

July 31, 2011

Never let it be said that I don’t keep my promises. I vowed in January to update once per month (and twice per rotation) and by God, I’ll stick to it! Well, last month’s updates didn’t really touch upon how awesome my MFM elective at Maimonides was (I’ll get to that) and at this point, I’m 2/3rds of the way through my peds core but the awesome stories will have to wait because on August 17th, I will be taking an exam of epic importance – the USMLE Step 2 CK. It’s taken me a while to really get into extreme study mode but as the fateful date approaches, I am getting more nervous diligent and trying to really study until my eyes bleed. The other epic thing on the horizon is the NRMP which goes live on September 1st – I’ve been trying to get my things together on ERAS but I’ve still got a lot of work to do. Hopefully once the CK is done, I’ll be able to take some time and really check in. Until then, please enjoy this fun game and this cautionary tale. And wish me luck – this is serious business from here on in.

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Evidence-Based Test Prep

April 21, 2011

Since considering the pros and cons of trying to match in 2012, I’ve begun to freak out a bit about one of the factors over which I do have some power, namely, Step 2 CK. In order to maximize my chances at success, I have to pretty much annihilate CK and score a 99 (or whatever the three-digit equivalent of that is, say somewhere around 250?). The question is then, what do I need to do to get that 99? Which books do I need to read, how many times do I need to go through USMLEWorld, what should I avoid, etc. I know there’s no exact formula (e.g., Kaplan Live Course + UW + First Aid CK = 99 :?) but there’s got to be some consensus out there about what works when it comes to test prep and what doesn’t, right? (more…)

Decision 2012

April 13, 2011

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I recently had a stroke of good luck with the clinical department. After getting a head’s up from a fellow 7th semester that her number had finally come up in the mysterious calculus by which they decide these things, I decided to give them a call and see if maybe I might be able to beg for my last two cores to be put on my schedule. Since I’d been unsuccessful in this endeavor twice before, I didn’t have much hope for this third try but I guess I got an extra blessing that day because not only did they schedule me for surgery in August (I’d have sworn they were going to say that there was no availability until next year) but they also gave me psych at a hospital of my choosing (however, that one will be next year, at the end of January). I almost thought they were going to yell ‘psych!’ at the end of the call but when I checked online, my schedule had indeed been updated. With this unexpected boon, a previously blocked pathway within the realm of possibility began to clear – the road to the 2012 Match. (more…)

A Medical Student’s Favorite Word [UPDATE]

January 4, 2011

Aaaand it’s free again! Hurry up and get to iBooks and download it before it’s gone. I’ll post info about more free eBooks (not just for iPhones soon.

There are few things that can bring a smile to the face of any medical student. Perhaps praise from an attending or a cancelled lecture might instantly inspire delight but in my experience, there’s one word that always does the trick:

Free.

Med students love free food. We crave free time. We are secretly thrilled by free reign. And if you’re a med student who is equipped with a fancy pocket essential known as the iPhone, I can practically guarantee you’ll turn cartwheels when you follow the following instructions:

1. Go to the app store and download iBooks

2. Go to Store and Search for Kaplan Medical USMLE Step 2 CK Qbook

3. Download.

Surprise! It’s free.

Victory!

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…)