Step 1

Goodbye 2nd Year, Hello Step 1!

I am officially done with my 2nd year of medical school! Surreal! We had our last exam on Thursday and as soon as I clicked submit, it was like, “Whoaaa, this is really it!” Blessings!

yaaass betty.gif

And now it’s time for Step 1 studying.

We have exploration week this week (i.e. exploring/ shadowing different specialties) so my dedicated study schedule doesn’t start until Monday, Feb 19. As I mentioned in my last post though, I’ve been doing UWorld questions throughout 2nd year. I’m not quite done with my first pass yet, but I’m aiming to be done by this Sunday. I’m so close!

The main resources I’ll be using for Step studying are:

  • USMLE World (UWorld) question bank
  • First Aid 2018
  • Pathoma
  • Sketchy Pharm + Micro (to brush up/ as needed)
  • Goljan pathology audio (while doing cardio at the gym)

I also have the following resources as well but I’m not sure if I’ll use them during this study period (aka I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many resources): BRS Physiology, USMLE Secrets, Boards & Beyond, and Kaplan question bank (already subscribed, so if time permits).

We had a Step 1 Q&A session today with 3rd and 4th year medical students and hearing about their experiences definitely reinforced that these next couple of weeks are going be REAL! Prayers definitely needed. My goal is to stay consistent with my schedule, continue working out during this period, and reach my highest scoring potential for this board exam. It IS possible!

I also have some things going on during this study period as well – I’ll be presenting my research at a national conference, and going to my significant other’s residency MATCH week, so definitely tons to look forward to. So soooo excited and ready to THRIVE during this period!

12 hour days?!

This week has been a BLURRRR. As I mentioned in my last post, it’s exam season, and this week I’ll have my last exam of 2nd year (woot woot!). It has been the LONGEST block – 13 weeks! It’s also been the block with the most material – Immunology, Dermatology, Rheumatology, Microbiology/ Clinical infectious diseases, and Hematology/Oncology. A LOT! We were told it prepares us for Step 1 and according to the data my school has been collecting on our curriculum, there’s a strong correlation with how well you do on this block and how high you score on Step 1 – yea, no pressure. 

So alas, this week was buckle down and tunnel vision on these books. We were still learning new material up till Wednesday (#BecauseMedSchool) but I’ve been reviewing past material like crazy. Some stuff I learned back in November, I lowkey had forgotten (strugglessss). On the plus side, I developed a routine that I think I’m going to continue with during my dedicated Step 1 study time.

Everyday this week, I left my house at 6:30am, found decent parking on campus and was at my study desk by 7am, at the latest 7:15am. And then I would begin studying. Yes, it’s been that real. I made a daily To-do-list the day before, and would start the day tackling the items on the list. I typically work in 50-55 minute increments with a 5-10 minute break to stand up, stretch or walk around. Lunch time has been 30 – 45 minute breaks. Y’all it’s been so real that I’ve made my cubicle my second home. As in my little locker on top is stocked up with a large container of oatmeal for breakfast and cans of soup! Ps. I will gladly accept any food donations haha

Studygrind

Where the magic happens – in the quiet study room

But yea the countdown is real, the days have been long – usually 12+ hours day spent in school, but I’m balancing the stress by working out during the evenings. In the same school – I did mention it’s like my second home right? Haha. There’s a workout room with all the weights and cardio I need so, my routine is pretty much the same: study, eat, workout. Go home. 

Part of the reason my days have been super long is studying for my block exam but also working through UWORLD questions for Step 1/ relevant material for this block. The grind is real, but I’m trusting God that it’ll all pay off. And even though I missed a reaaaaally dope Super Bowl Party tonight (Yaaaaaasss Eagles!!!!), I take comfort in knowing I’ld rather have this exam behind me than live in regret – shoulda, woulda, coulda. Nah bro. 

Pray for your girl y’all! Looking forward to being D-O-N-E!