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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Being mortal – what it means to live at the end of life

Today’s inane image of the day:

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When I was in my Senior year of college, I subscribed to the New Yorker in an effort to stay up-to-date with current events as well as prepare for the verbal section of the MCAT. Consistently, my favorite articles were by the surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande. The piece, Letting Go, really left me feeling unsettled and uncomfortable. Reading Sara Monopoli’s story of her journey from being a healthy, expectant mother, to a Stage IV lung cancer patient, forced me to consider the reality of being mortal.

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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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