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USMLE - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
ayradyss
ayradyss
USMLE
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jays_princess From: jays_princess Date: May 24th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
ah, yes. step 1. how scared am i? i've basically taken to first aid (which i love), and i read the kaplan anatomy book that i borrowed from a friend because i really didn't put any of that into long-term memory. other than that, i'm hitting up QBank pretty hard. i manage about 5-6 hours a day, and i take the exam on the 3rd of june. as far as QBank goes, i'm averaging about a 78 or 80...is that even close to being good enough? i'm asking your advice because i don't know anyone close to me that's been through this before (like, family or close-friends-wise). am i grossly underestimating the difficulty of this test, or am i doing okay?

teach me, oh revered teacher! :) i'm so proud of you!
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: May 24th, 2005 03:00 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
You're -fine-. I ran about a 70-75 on Kaplan's free practice tests. The Kaplan ones, IMHO, were harder than the exam itself.

Anatomy's really pretty light, focus on your second-year stuff. If you had a decent pathology/pharmacology program at your institution that'll prepare you better than you think.
Some sections of the exam are easier than others; they come in random order as far as I know - they keep talking about scaling but I don't think it's happened yet.

PLEASE don't forget to take breaks whenever you need them. It's a wicked long exam. Also don't stress over any one question. You never know - the one you're freaking out about might not even count :P
I took my First Aid with me to the exam, did some quick review between sections of the stuff I was shaky on (for me, all the cardioactive drugs) and that helped keep me calm.
jays_princess From: jays_princess Date: May 24th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
you're amazing...thank you! thankfully, i had dr's emerson and davis for pathology here in indy, and dr. dimicco for pharm...both courses were relatively rigorous so i'm glad for that. i feel pretty strong when it comes to those things. i hear that pathology is a big deal, just because it really involves most everything from embryology disorders to neoplasia.

and i heard that kaplan's QBank was tougher than the actual USMLE, so that makes me smile a little, because maybe i'll do better than i think on this dang test. it is just tough, because i keep hearing that this is the exam that residencies really look at...not that i'm trying to head into something real competitive (i'm looking at ob-gyn, not anesthesia), but still.

sometimes i wish i could learn this stuff matrix-style...they could just plug me into a machine for five minutes and i could learn (and retain!) all of the info i need. i agree, though. it feels a lot like rote memorization and regurgitation right now. i'm guessing maybe it'll get better on the wards.

thank you for your excellent guidance. it's so wonderful! :)
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: May 24th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
I completely forgot you were in Indy :P You'll be fine. Path is a huge deal, that and Medicine (which up here in FW was a mess of a course, I don't know about you).

It never gets easier, but it's going to get better. You pick out third-year courses yet?
jays_princess From: jays_princess Date: May 24th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
i start with family medicine in fort wayne, which i'm hoping is with my old family doctor for a couple of reasons...1)he is excellent and i've worked with him before, in college, and 2)his practice is like 30 seconds from my dad's house. even if i don't get to work with him, i'm thankful they didn't send me to south bend where i don't know anything or anybody. i'm from close to fort wayne (monroeville), so at least i'll know my way around.

then i have vacation for a month. i debated taking an elective, but i think at that point i'll be ready for a break, both for myself as a social butterfly and for my sanity. ;) i have ob during the autumn months, and i have surgery in the winter, which is how i wanted it. i figured, i'm not going to see the light of day anyway, so why take it when the weather is nice? i finish up with internal medicine, psych, and neuro. i'm actually pretty excited about neuro, i think that will be very interesting, even if it is kind of depressing.

my surg sub-speciality is in there somewhere, but i don't have my schedule in front of me so i'm not sure when it is exactly. i'm hoping for either cardio-thoracic or plastics, just because i think it would be interesting and the surgical field would be big enough that maybe i'd get to see something. i had thought about doing neuro-surg or opthalmic, but the surgical field is so small i doubt i'd get much enjoyment out of it.

i've heard that good books for all these rotations are the pre-test books, because they prepare you for the exams you'll have to take. are these all NBME exams? any suggestions?

medicine was actually a pretty good course for us in indy. it was VERY comprehensive, but many times we focused on clinical skills, which isn't something that will show up on this Step exam. however, they really coordinated things so that when we were studying pulm in Medicine, we were covering it in path, too. it was nice the way they did it. did you guys have any coordination like that in FW?
ayradyss From: ayradyss Date: May 24th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
Coordination only by accident, mostly, it seemed. :P
Path was awesome in FW though.

Rotations are a lot of shelf exams. Don't let the FM one get you down, it's a miserable miserable exam, one of the hardest there is. You've got the same schedule I did almost, block-wise. I found surgery in the winter worked out for me well.
Neuro is super easy, in a lot of cases. So's Psych. Great finisher courses. They just changed the OB exam last year, which is good. Neuro is an easy exam, study the materials they give you.
12 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word