Friday, November 18, 2016

Dave Chappelle Stand-Up Monologue - SNL

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Last day to get this FREE USMLE step 1 QBANK!!


I found this on facebook today. It seems like a new product, I've never heard of this company before. But it's worth trying out. Here's the link:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mistakes to avoid when preparing for the USMLE

Here's a list of things I wish I did differently for all the steps.

USMLE Step 1
1) I would have started the uworld qbank in the last semester of Basic Sciences.
In my last Basic sciences semester, I was mostly using Kaplan videos for Pharmacology and the First Aid book generally. I also used Pathoma videos in the previous term for Pathology.
I started doing uworld questions only after completing my fifth term exams. I underestimated the importance of a question bank in preparing for the USMLE, so I did a lot of reading and not as much of the question bank as I should have done. Well, not as thoroughly as I did for the subsequent exams. I had two months to study after my Basic sciences before clinical rotations started. In hindsight, it would have been more beneficial for me use the qbank for more than 50% of my preparations for this 8-hour exam. Instead I focused more on retaining knowledge with the use of DIT and Kaplan videos.

1) I would have scheduled my elective rotations with either a gap to study or scheduled a lighter rotation during my preparations. In the month of my exam was a tedious Pediatric rotation, and those are hard to come by in NYC, so I stuck with it.
2) I would have cut down on the note-taking from uworld. So I may have gone overboard on this while trying to get every detail from the qbank. This surely took away from the limited amount of time I had to prepare. On the bright side, I used the notes to review certain topics while preparing for step 3.

USMLE Step 3
1) I would have had at least a morning or afternoon free after the first day. I had some time after the first day on my initial schedule. But the only schedule available when I moved my exam forward was two consecutive days (the first in the afternoon and second, the next morning). This was terrible, especially since I already find it hard to fall asleep on a regular day. It was worse because of all the caffeine I had that evening. Thank God I found the second day easier and the CCS cases were super short, because I was so sleep-deprived, I was trying really hard to stay awake.
2) I maybe would have gotten another qbank in addition to uworld. I say this because I dropped about 20 points from my step 1 and 2 scores despite doing the best on uworld for all of them. But passing is the most important thing for step 3.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Preparing For The USMLE Step 3

How I prepared for and passed the USMLE step 3

I found this to be the hardest of all the USMLE tests. I say this because I performed the best on the uworld bank but my test score was about 20 points lower than my step 1 and CK scores. This is a two-day exam, with 6 blocks of about 44 questions each on the first day. Then 6 blocks of 33 questions on the second day, followed by 13 CCS cases. In total, this took me three months of uninterrupted studying. For graduates who have some time before residency or applications start, that seems like a perfect time to prepare. 

Here's the link to the page showing an overview of the exam:

For this test, I only stuck to two books and one question bank. Here are all the tools I used:

Master the Boards: from Amazon. This, I reviewed once while going through uworld the first time, subject by subject.

Step 3 secrets: also from Amazon. This covers general principles in the first chapter and systems in the other chapters. The book also contains 96 CCS cases.

Uworld question bank with CCS cases: I went through this bank about 3 times and took the single, 4-block assessment exactly a month to my exam. By the third time, I was scoring in the 80's and 90% and I felt confident and satisfied with my performance. Some people may prefer not to repeat the question bank so many times, but I wanted to make sure that I understood the concepts behind the questions. At the time I took the assessment, I was scoring 60s and 70s on my mixed blocks (second round of uworld), and I wasn't satisfied with this performance,so I moved my exam dates to a month from that time. 
I got the qbank with CCS cases, so I was studying both parts concurrently. Uworld comes with some live cases and others which are the "read-out" cases. For the read-out cases, you'll have to login to uworld not through the app but on the actual uworld site online. There are about 41 of these.
I didn't do NBME assessments or any other assessment. I ended up with one point higher than my uworld assessment score. However, I have seen several people getting scores way different from the uworld assessment, so honestly, I wouldn't say it's an accurate estimation of one's performance on the real test.

Uworld Biostats Bank: I did all the questions in this bank. 

Free FRED practice test: This has a few blocks of questions and sample CCS cases. I'm glad I did this because there were some questions repeated in the test, word for word. A few, but it only takes one point to fail, right?

The last and best tool I used was my notebook. I took notes from uworld, but only when I found myself missing questions more than once. However, I did make detailed Biostatistics notes with the formulas and definitions I needed. I still had my notebook from studying step 2 CK, which contained notes from my uworld CK qbank, so that came in handy.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ECFMG, NBME, NRMP links for medical students and medical graduates

If you're just starting this journey and you need to know the basics, here are the websites to familiarize yourself with. Examination and assessment information All the information required for IMGs can be found here. USMLE exam fees, etc.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Short Guide To USMLE step 2 CK

Step 2 CK Resources I Used For My Exam

-Uworld question bank (with 4-block assessment). This was very vital to my preparation and I used this for the whole duration of studying. I started subject by subject during my third year rotations. I then started the Kaplan qbank after the first round of uworld questions. My goal was to go through uworld completely twice. I did the uworld assessment some months to my exam. I didn't do any NBMEs.

-Kaplan question bank (with a 3-block assessment & two full simulation tests). I did the assessment first, then began the question bank, starting with my weakest subjects. I went back to uworld after going through Kaplan once. Kaplan questions took me longer to review than uworld questions because of their longer stems and explanations. I decided to stick with uworld as my exam date got closer, just so that I could go through all the questions a second time.. However, I did one of the full simulations half way through studying and the second one a week before my exam.

-USMLE Step 2CK Secrets. This was my favorite book to study. It covers all the subjects and contains high yield questions and answers. I was able to use this during my rotations because it fit into my white coat pocket. I loved that I could study whenever I had free time on the floors or in the subway on my way to the hospital and back home. I went through the book twice.

-Master The Boards Step 2. I used this along with uworld, annotating as I went through each subject. I went over it again a few days to my exam, just as a general review, especially with any troublesome topics.
-Step-Up to Medicine. This is a great textbook to use as a reference. It covers almost all topics in Internal Medicine in detail.

-Kaplan comprehensive cases (20 Internal Medicine topics covered here by Dr.Conrad Fischer). These were amazing high yield videos covering topics from Mitral stenosis to management of hypertension. They were definitely worth the time for me.

-Uworld Biostatistics bank. I found this to be a great asset to my preparation. It didn't have those long pharmaceutical questions, but it seemed to have everything else.