Preparing for the USMLE Step 2 CK [includes a study plan + tips for success]

Today’s inane image of the day:

After I took Step 2 CS, I rewarded myself with a relaxing vacation up in the Bay Area. This is the view from our hotel room.
After I took Step 2 CK/CS, I rewarded myself with a relaxing vacation up in the Bay Area. This was the view from our hotel room.

After I found out my clerkship order for third year, I knew that I would be taking the USMLE Step 2 CK and CS before the start of 4th year. I scored above average on Step 1, but I knew that if I wanted a shot at top-tier residency programs, I needed to improve on Step 2 [I think it all worked out in the end].

Read more

OUWB Match 2015 results are in!

Today’s [not so] inane images of the day:

IMG_2950
After almost 4 years of medical school and 4 agonizing days of waiting during Match Week, I was rewarded with my #1 rank – Henry Ford Transitional Year + Massachusetts General Anesthesiology!

 

IMG_2955
The obligatory “I Matched” photo!

 

My match result still hasn’t settled in. Despite having an entire weekend to wrap my mind around the fact that I matched at my #1 Transitional Year and Anesthesiology Residency programs, I cannot help but wonder when someone will wake me up from this pleasant dream.

Read more

How to upgrade your 2011 or 2012 Macbook Pro RAM (with Step-by-Step photos)

Today’s inane images of the day will be scattered throughout the entry.

Sometime in late 2014, I was complaining to a current 3rd year about how slow my Macbook Pro [13-inch, Early 2011 model] had become. I like running ten to twenty Chrome browser tabs along with the whole Microsoft Office suite and FaceTime [so I can chat with Mike, of course] all at once. It doesn’t take a degree in computer science to know that this will inevitably slow down the performance of my laptop. Anyway, that genius 3rd year suggested that I look into upgrading my RAM and even went as far as to send me a link to the memory he purchased to upgrade his own laptop. After some hesitation [I really didn’t want to screw anything up!], I decided one frustrated evening when my laptop was operating at snail’s pace to just do it.

Read more

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.]

Read more

Advice on crafting your MS4 schedule

Today’s inane image of the day:

IMG_2647
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.

Read more

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.

Read more