Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Officially a 3rd Year Medical Student and 4 Days until USMLE Step 1!

The smile of a 3rd year medical student :-)

My brain has decided it can't take any more studying for the rest of the night, so I figured I would type up a quick update post. As of today, I can officially say that I am a third year medical student, but I take USMLE Step 1 in 4 days (and COMLEX Level 1 in 10 days), so I still have that hanging over my head. I am just so ready to get these board exams over with and start rotations!

I don't think I'll ever feel ready to take these exams, but I've been told that no one ever does. At this point, I probably won't learn huge amounts of new information in the next few days, so I'm just trying to focus on the little mistakes I make, so that it doesn't happen on exam day. Today I headed to campus bright and early to take an 8 hour assessment exam, and while it wasn't too bad, not being given a score when I completed it was a bit frustrating. I heard it might take a week or so to get the results, so I pretty much feel like I could have spent the time doing practice questions at home and using the feedback to work on my weaknesses a little more since I'll have taken my exams by the time the results come in. Oh well! The good news is my stamina is pretty strong because I didn't even start to get tired until maybe the last 50 questions (it was a 400 question exam), so that's assuring.

In other news, my daughter finished school last week and I was so grateful to have my dad drive in from out of state to pick her up for the summer. I'm thankful to have uninterrupted study time, and I know my daughter is happy to have animals to play with and people who constantly interact with her because for the past few weeks I've been in a deep exam mode. But even when she's away she still brightens my day, and the text she sent me the other day was the best (pic at the end of this post). My family also has a huge Disney World and Universal Studios trip planned, so I'm sure she won't even miss me that much.    

But anyway, that's about it for now. I just bought a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and I plan on completely zoning out and relaxing for the next hour. My next post will probably be a post-exam update, so hopefully it will be a happy one. Until next time!  

My daughter sends the best texts! :-)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Board Exam Study Update

My daughter is really into Pathoma! LOL

Hi all! I decided to resurface for a bit to give a quick update on how the board studying is going. Right now, I am 19 days away from taking USMLE Step 1 and I'm definitely feeling the pressure! It feels like there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I want, but I'm slowly working my way through it all. The good news is that my NBME assessment scores continue to improve by a lot each week, so even though I am nowhere near the score range that I want to be right now, knowing that I haven't hit my plateau gives me hope. 

In case you're wondering about my daily schedule, today pretty much went like this:

4:30-7:00am - Four sets of 40 UWorld Questions in random, timed-mode back-to-back (I usually finish each block with 15-20min to spare)

7-7:30am - Made sure the little one got dressed and ate breakfast, did her hair, and then headed out to the bus stop

7:30-12pm - Reviewed all of the morning's UWorld questions (even though I'm on my second official pass, this still takes me forever!)

12-1pm - Took a break to eat lunch and caught up on last night's episode of Fear the Walking Dead

1-4pm - Did two 40 question sets of USMLERX questions on tutor mode in the subjects of MSS and Embryo since my latest NBME listed those as my weak spots. I also took a break when my daughter got home to help her with her homework/discuss her day and I had a little extra time, so I did 10 Combank questions on the USMLE side.

4-5pm - Watched a chapter of Pathoma (had to speed it up a bit because 1x is too slow for me)

5-6pm - Dinner with the little one (I cooked last night and had leftovers, so it didn't take the entire hour) and then finished up some outside business

6-7:30pm - More Pathoma and got the little one ready for and tucked in bed.

At this point, I've pretty much covered everything on my list for the day with the exception of reading a chapter out of First Aid, and it equals a little under 11 hours of study time with all the breaks subtracted (I literally calculate and write down how much time I spend on every individual thing). Not sure if reading that chapter is going to happen tonight though, because I have an 8:30pm conference call that will most likely go until 10pm, and then I'm calling it a night!

My schedule is super exhausting, but since it seems to be working for me, I don't want to change it too much. I do need to get to a point where I am doing more questions per day since the COMLEX will be 400 questions (compared to only 280 with the USMLE), but I'll just have to slowly increase the amount over the next 3 weeks. Tomorrow I also have my very last written exam of medical school (yay!) for my Primary Care Skills course, so I'll have to put an hour towards my schedule in the morning towards studying for it and another hour towards taking it.

Anyway, this post pretty much sums up my life nowadays in a nutshell. I'm about take a quick shower before my call begins, so I hope everyone has an amazing week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Little Board Exam Study Motivation :-)

Super short post tonight as I just finished with my studying for the day, but I started at 4:30 this morning, so I'm exhausted! I came across this picture though and just had to share. Seeing this gave me a little extra fire to keep going with the board studying, and I'll definitely be looking at this whenever I need a little inspiration or an extra push to keep going over the next month. For those of you on the board study grind with me, hang in there! Nothing great ever comes easy, and anything worth having is worth working hard for. Wishing everyone a productive week! 

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