Saturday, July 31, 2010


Almost done with my last exam of med school. Well, not technically the last since I do have an Ob/gyn shelf coming up in a few weekends. But, tomorrow is Step 2 CK, and the last exam of med school that I will study for or care about. I know I haven't blogged in a while (again), but I think that studying for step 2 is a good reason to not blog every day!

I really don't know how I feel about the exam and my readiness for it. I do know that my averages in USMLEWorld have been improving lately, but I'd probably always feel like I could do better, if I just had another week. Eventually though, I'd probably just get to the point where I'd be learning new things, but forgetting old things. I'm hoping that right now, I'm sitting in the sweet spot of knowing just the right amount without forgetting anything. Today, I'll probably do a few more questions, but spend most of the day reviewing what I hope will wind up being high yield little facts. Mostly, that will consist of the notes I've made from USMLEWorld, as I've gone along.

For now, time for me to get to it. Last day of studying for a very long time....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dear Asian dude

Whoever you are, I do appreciate that you read my blog and comment regularly. However, you'll notice that all of my blogs are written in English. It's not because I don't care about other languages, but because I just don't know any. I know a little Spanish, but not enough to write a blog post. I can write my name in Japanese, but that's definitely not enough to write a blog post. So, if you'd like to continue commenting, that's great, but can you please do so in English?


Saturday, July 17, 2010

preparing for the step 2 CK

Of course, I don't have the results for Step 2 CS yet, but I've really put that out of my mind for the time being. For now, i'm focusing most of my energy on CK (the 9-hour multiple choice exam). I've been studying almost exclusively with USMLEWorld, and then using StepUp to Medicine to go over the topics I'm not doing as well in. I think I'm on pace to complete the Q-bank in the next week or so, and then I'll have time to go through all the questions I get wrong again. I'm also taking notes as I go through the Q-bank, and I go through them pretty much every day. Everyone I talk to always says the most important thing you can do is questions, and I'm trying to do more than I've done for any exam in the past, so I'm really hoping this strategy pays off for me.

Yesterday, I took the day off to go out on a boat with the family, my mom's friend from college (I think), and her kids. Being out on the water was definitely a nice break from sitting at my desk doing questions. But, now I'm paying for it by sitting inside on a beautiful Saturday. The one thing getting me through it is knowing that this is the last exam sitting between me and graduating med school!

So, a few more hours of studying today, and then crabs for dinner tonight!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Post Step 2 CS

Well, I hope that I can say that this is post step 2. Unfortunately, scores don't come for about 6 weeks since our 12 patient encounters have to be read and graded by physicians. I'm very hesitant to give any impression of the exam before knowing that I passed, but I'd like to think that I did. And, if I do pass, then I'll be saying that it really wasn't that bad.

For now, I'll attempt to give as much info as I can, without breaking any USMLE rules. I took the test in Philly. If you stay the night, I'd highly recommend the Sheraton, which is about 2 blocks from the test site. The room was surprisingly nice, and very comfortable. I hardly slept, but that was not the hotel's fault. Of course, I was very nervous going into the test site in the morning, but the proctors were all very friendly, and did a great job keeping the mood as light as possible. Standing at the first patient door, waiting for the announcement to enter, I got even more nervous. But, the nervousness subsided fairly quickly. The standardized patients were very good at their job, and until you heard the announcement that 5 minutes remain in the encounter, you could almost forget that the encounter wasn't real.

I usually finished with about a minute to spare, although I did come very close to running out of time on two out of the twelve. The same was true for the patient note...I generally had a minute or so to spare. You have to move relatively quickly, but I didn't feel particularly rushed, or that I didn't have time to think.

Of course, I'm not allowed to give out any specifics about any of the scenarios that I got. However, I will say that if you've read all of First Aid, you should be very comfortable with the exam. It really is an excellent book to prepare, and covers just about everything you'll want/need to know. Everyone told me this, and it's true, so I'll repeat it...First Aid is all you need for the exam. Buy the book and read the whole thing. Practice with other people if you can. Once I know how I did, I'll write some detailed advice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Step 2 CS time!

I'm about to get packed and head for Philly for Step 2 CS! I actually made it through all of First Aid last night, which was where I wanted to be. So today, I'm going to get to Philly, find a cheesesteak, and the try to go through as much of the book as possible again tonight. Hopefully, that will be enough to prepare me for tomorrow. It's gonna be a long day, but it's got to be better than sitting at a computer for 8 hrs, which is what I'll be doing in another couple of weeks.


food porn

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Same old design

Blogger added some new choices to spruce up the blog, so I've taken advantage. The blog's appearance may be in a state of flux, but everything else should remain the same.

Shanny's Wedding pics!

First off, Congrats to Shannon and Jason Askinasi! Shannon asked me to take some pictures for them, so I was glad to do so. Unfortunately, since I hadn't taken pictures in a while, I forgot some pretty basic things. First off, I took a whole ton of pics at a VERY high ISO, which I forgot to change back after playing around earlier. This meant that I had to do a lot of noise reduction after the fact, and I didn't get quite the pictures I should have. I also took a bunch of pics in auto mode, which I always complain about when other people do it with an SLR. Fortunately, their photographer noticed this and set me straight quickly! Despite all that, I still think I got a bunch of decent pics. If you want to check them out, they're on my flickr site, as usual. Here are a few:

Monday, July 5, 2010

And so it begins...again

I take Step 2 CS this Friday, and then Step 2 CK on July 27. That means that until the 27th, I'll be doing basically nothing but studying...something I have been not looking forward to since I finished studying for Step 1! But, like everything else, this time will probably fly by way too quickly, and then I'll be on to electives. I don't know how much I'll be blogging for the next while, because really, who wants to read about my studying? It's not exciting for me, so probably less so for you. However, I'll try to update my progress anyway. But, for now, it's time to get started...