My 5 low-tech study/work essentials

Today’s inane images of the day will be scattered within the post.

I absolutely love my laptop and iPhone but when it comes down to crunch time [e.g. exam-time, research-time, AMWA-time…] they prove to be more of a distraction than anything else. I mean, why would I want to review the Krebs cycle when I could be stalking people on Facebook or “Liking” everything on Instagram? Or, I’ll find that a great blog post idea strikes me and I just have to write it right now otherwise it will fall out of my head. Yeah. Right. [Excuses.]

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Advice on crafting your MS4 schedule

Today’s inane image of the day:

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The Boston Marathon finish line – a perfect photo to represent 4th year.

 

I hear from my panic-stricken MS3s that this weekend marks the beginning of the MS4 scheduling lottery. I also hear that they are running things a bit differently than last year [which, from what I’ve heard, sounds like an incremental improvement over the system we had last year]. Because I don’t quite know the details of how the different rounds of the lottery are organized this year, I’m not going to provide strategies on ranking courses, only ideas to consider when planning out what to do for the 10-months that constitute the best year of medical training.

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Selecting the best MS3 clerkship track order

Today’s inane image of the day:

M3 Clerkship Calendar and Tracks 2015_2016 (1)
The current 3rd year clerkship track offerings – it looks very similar to the options that the Class of 2016 had.

The problem that arises with writing blog entries is that sometimes you have to stretch the truth in the title to grab your prospective reader’s attention. Am I going to go over a couple of factors to consider when selecting your 3rd year clerkship track order? Absolutely. But is there some magic formula to picking the “best” or “perfect” one? No. Plus, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter all that much. Yup, I went ahead and shared the dirty little secret… clerkship track order really won’t make a substantial difference on your success as an MS4 – no, that’s up to your individual effort. So, even if you do not get your 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd choice, please, do not panic and make the best of it.

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Nervous about NRMP Match 2015/thoughts on rank order list

Today’s inane image of the day:

View from the Santa Monica Pier
View from the Santa Monica Pier – I needed something relaxing to look at when thinking about the Match…

Time has decided to take on a mind of it’s own and fly faster than I could ever imagine. Earlier this month I complained to anyone who would listen about having to wait almost 2 months to finally open an envelope containing the fate of my life for the next 4 years. But today, I’m not so sure I want March 20th to come any sooner.

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Preparing for the USMLE Step 1 [includes a study plan + tips for success]

Today’s [flashback] inane image of the day:

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Step 1 Necessities: Starbucks, First Aid, Laptop, Highlighter
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Taking notes on questions I got wrong in UWorld with different colored pens to enhance memorization.
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Back in my day [haha], I used one of the study rooms on a daily basis and would re-write things I needed to memorize on the whiteboard wall.

This past week I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a number of local AMWA at OUWB activities including a networking event and dinner with an Emergency Medicine doctor. Through these events, I’ve run into M2s that are in the midst of freaking out over the USMLE Step 1 exam. Since most of the entries on wrote with tips on studying for the exam were posted on Kaplan’s MedSchoolInsight, I decided to post an updated version that includes a study plan and tips for success.

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On networking, research and improvement [preparing for MS4]

Today’s inane images of the day:

BBQ Chicken pizza is a personal comfort food favorite. I had this one while exploring a new city while on the interview trail.
BBQ Chicken pizza is a personal comfort food favorite. I had this one while exploring a new city while on the interview trail.

 

The perks of being a Delta Medallion member! [It was a short flight... but I'll take it!]
The perks of being a Delta Medallion member! [It was a short flight… but I’ll take it!]
The view from one of my hotel rooms. Heh.
The view from one of my hotel rooms. Heh.

There are a number of current 3rd year medical students whom I’ve counseled in the last couple months about planning for 4th year – to all of you, this will probably be redundant information. But for those of you who are interested in how I prepared for my 4th year, this entry may contain a couple pearls to consider.

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Making the most of MS4

Today’s inane images of the day:

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Mike and I finally had an opportunity to spend 3 weeks together during my away rotation. Here we are at the Griffith Park Observatory (great views of the city and Hollywood sign).
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Reconnected with some of my lovely AMWA ladies at the Interim Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 
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Finally visited the “bean” for the first time while on an interview in Chicago! I also spent quality time with my best friend that weekend.

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On to the next chapter

Today’s inane image of the day:

Guess who now has a pager!
The last ~2 months have been a wonderful mix of traveling, catching-up and reflection. I don’t think it’s relavent to share all of my adventures here, but I encourage anyone entering their second year of medical school to leave time post-boards to do something memorable. After all, the exam will eventually fade into oblivion as you progress forward in your career, but those memories won’t.

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