Friday, December 26, 2008

GI block redux, USMLE for fun?

We got to learn a bit about the science advisory board in DC for the next four years. I am not going to write anything about it. I don’t feel like it.

GI block (gastrointestinal disease, endocrinology, and dermatology plus their respective pathology sections) was MUCH harder than CPR block. CPR, in hindsight, wasn’t that bad. More concepts, fewer factoids were to be had in CPR block. Be forewarned, incoming students.

Really, it took me until GI block (and halfway through, at that) to understand how I need to study. I tackled pharm block like a first year that worked a little harder (wrong idea). I took on CPR block like a study-shotgun being fired at a course-load wall (wrong idea). Halfway through GI block, I took a few hours and constructed an elaborate workbook that tracked, graphed, and summarized my study activities, confidence with various lecture subjects, pace vs. lecture schedule, and many other things. It updated automatically when I input various parameters and gave me a constant overview of where I was and where I needed to be. Anal-retentive organization, it turns out, was what I needed. Too bad this is completely against my nature and took me 3 months or so to learn…

On another note, I started studying for step 1. I am not crazy, I am not gunner, and I am not a perfectionist. The reason I started studying is because
- Reviewing medicine is actually interesting. Reading about science is a zen activity for me, and since I have no deadlines or pressure at the moment, it’s actually entertaining.
- It doesn’t stress me out right now (see above) and I figure more is always better if you can handle it.
I have also decided where I am going to study when it comes down to the 3 weeks pre-exam. I was thinking about coming to stay with my parents (up north) for free food/laundry service while I studied. I figured that I could study in peace.
When I took a diagnostic exam for shits the other night, I posted a note on the door of my study reading:
“Taking an exam until 7:00 or 7:30. Please do not interrupt me unless it is something REALLY important. Leave a note on the door and I will get it when I am done.”

About 1 hour, 10 mins into my test, I get a knock on the door.
“Dinner’s ready.”

That settles it. I am staying in St. Louis.

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