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Trucking along through my third year of medical school, my next clerkship rotation was Psychiatry.


-Logistics-
Timeline: 6 weeks

During this clerkship, we were allowed to request being at our local state hospital, the university hospital, VA consult team, or another local VA hospital that had a larger and more intensive psychiatric program. I requested to complete this rotation at the later VA location. Here, our rotation schedule was divided between 3 weeks of outpatient clinic and 3 weeks on the inpatient service.

Other: weekly lecture/case based study with quiz; NBME at the end of the clerkship

Hours:

Every day, we started at 7:45am with a morning lecture on different psychiatry topics. After this lecture, we went off either to outpatient clinics or to the inpatient service. On outpatient, the attending or resident we worked with varied from day to day and this influenced when we finished in the afternoons. Typically, we were done by 3:00-4:00pm. On inpatient, rounds were usually finished before lunch and then we worked on notes and usually were done for the day by 2:00-3:00pm. Some days, depending on what we were doing and the number of patients that were seen, we were able to finish earlier than this. This location was much more laid back, being separated from the larger systems we had a choice of rotating through, so we generally had more time off than students had at other locations.

-Responsibilities-

Due to the delicate nature of the mental health issues that we often saw, there was a lot of shadowing during this rotation. This occurred more on outpatient. Sometimes, we were allowed to see patients by ourselves, but usually we just observed the resident or attending doing the interview. On inpatient, we rounded with the entire team all at once (attending, resident, students, social worker, APRN). While seeing each patient, it was our responsibility to conduct the interview, with other members of the team chiming in as needed. After rounds, we completed the notes on the patients we each personally interviewed.

-Study Resources-

First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship: This was a good summary review of the psychiatric conditions we needed to know, along with their diagnostic criteria and treatment options.

UWorld questions: UWorld questions are always great to help grasp the types and format of questions that will be asked on board exams.

-Atmosphere-

My Psychiatry experience was very relaxed and stress free. The residents and attendings really enjoyed teaching and often took time during the day to go over frequently tested topics. While there wasn’t a whole lot we could do on our own, we did learn a lot from both these lectures and from observing the interactions between the resident or attending and the patients.

Have you done a Psychiatry clerkship? What was your experience like? Do you have any other questions about what my time on Psych was like? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

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Started back after Winter Break with Ob/Gyn.

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My face after our labor simulation…

-Logistics-
Timeline: 6 weeks

During this clerkship, we rotated for 3 weeks on different Gyn teams (1 week Benign Gyn clinic, 1 week Benign Gyn OR, and 1 week Gyn Onc) and 3 weeks on L&D (1 week L&D day shift, 1 week L&D night shift, and 1 week on Antepartum).

Other: weekly lecture/case based study with quiz; NBME at the end of the clerkship

We also had one labor simulation lab, as well as attended Gyn Grand Rounds and High-Risk Ob conferences each week.

Hours:

The hours greatly varied from week to week depending on what service we were on. Approximately the hours were: Benign Gyn clinic: 8am-5pm; Benign Gyn OR: 5:30am-4pm; Gyn Onc 5:30am-4pm; L&D days 7am-3pm; L&D nights either 3pm-11pm or 11pm-7am; Antepartum 6am-5pm.

-Responsibilities-

During clinic, we would typically interview patients on our own, present to a resident, and then do the physical exam together. We were taught how to do speculum exams and Pap smears on our own and observed endometrial biopsies and LEEPs. On the surgery services, we were responsible for following 2-3 patients to present to the team and then attend all the surgeries for the day. Surgeries included everything from hysterectomies and cold knife cones to D&Cs and excision of tumors. On L&D service, we spent time in triage, which was like an ED to evaluate acute problems in pregnant patients after 24weeks, and attended vaginal deliveries and C-sections.

-Study Resources-

Blueprints for Ob/Gyn: This book was a detailed but concise summary of Ob/Gyn. The chapters were pretty easy to read through but did not lack on the important information.

UWorld questions: UWorld questions are always great to help grasp the types and format of questions that will be asked on board exams.

-Atmosphere-

Ob/Gyn was definitely a busy 6 weeks. There was so much variation covering both Obstetrics and Gynecology and going between so many different services, including both clinic and the OR. Doing so, however, meant that we got to see so many different things and learn a ton!

Have you done an Ob/Gyn clerkship? What was your experience like? Do you have any other questions about what my time on Ob/Gyn was like? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

My third clerkship of M3 year and last rotation of the fall semester was Internal Medicine.

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-Logistics-
Timeline: 8 weeks

During this clerkship, we rotated on 4 different medicine teams for 2 weeks each. The teams were split between the VA and the University hospital.

Other: weekly lecture/case based study with quiz; NBME at the end of the clerkship

Each week, we also had simulated encounters. These were where we walked through critical cases, like hypertensive emergency, pulmonary embolism, and others, with a simulation mannequin. We were allowed to go through the whole case in our teams of 5 students. Each student had a different responsibility, from taking the history, doing the physical exam, monitoring vitals, and pushing meds. After the simulation was over, we would discuss what happened with an attending and talk about why we made the decisions we did and what we could have done differently.

Hours:

We usually arrived around 6:30-7:00am in order to pre-round on the patients we were following. Rounds usually started around 8:00-8:30 and lasted until about 11:00, depending on how big the census was.  In the afternoon, we would usually have lectures or conferences until about 3:00.

-Responsibilities-

Each day, we were responsible for following 2-3 patients, which included pre-rounding, writing progress notes, and sometimes putting in orders and calling consults.

-Study Resources-

Step Up to Medicine: This book is super helpful during medicine! The helpful hints and key points are easy to go through to help refresh your memory on the important facts of certain topics. It is very concise, however, so might need some supplementation on topics that are less familiar.

UWorld questions: UWorld questions are always great to help grasp the types and format of questions that will be asked on board exams.

Emma Holliday Ramahi’s Review: This video review, which can be found on the UT San Antonio COM website, is a great study alternative to just reading a textbook. It is a quick, high-yield review that is great to watch the day before a final.

-Atmosphere-

It might have been due to being at an academic institution, but our Internal Medicine clerkship was very “intellectual” (for lack of a better word) with lots of conferences discussing research papers and the latest journal articles. While these were sometimes interesting and I understand the importance of staying up to date on the latest recommendations, I would have enjoyed more time to spend with patients. I always find myself learning the most just from talking with patients and finding out direct from them about their symptoms and any potential complications. In all, however, I definitely did learn a ton during my Internal Medicine rotation.

Have you done an Internal Medicine clerkship? What was your experience like? Do you have any other questions about what my time on Medicine was like? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

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My second clerkship during third year was Surgery. This was a big change from Pediatrics, but with more responsibilities, it also helped me feel more and more like I was becoming a doctor.

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-Logistics-
Timeline: 8 weeks

At my school, we were on two different surgery teams for 4 weeks each. We were allowed to submit our preferences and then were divided up by a lottery system. I was on the General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery teams. A few services that other students rotated through were colorectal, surgical oncology, cardiothoracic, and trauma.

Other: weekly lecture/case based study with quiz; NBME at the end of the clerkship

Hours:

The hours varied depending on how many surgeries were scheduled for each day and whether we had lectures/quiz. In general, though, we got to the hospital between 4:30-5:00am for rounds at 6:00 since the first case in the OR was typically at 7:00. We were usually done by 4:00-5:00 in the afternoon. The hours also greatly depended on what service you were on.

-Responsibilities-

Each day, we were expected to show up with enough time before rounds to make the list (basically a master list of all of the patients with the most recent vital signs and lab results) and pre-round on 3-4 patients. During rounds, we presented to the chief resident or fellow. Then, when the cases started going in the OR, one student was always expected to be in every case. There were also 2-3 days of clinic per week where we saw post-op patients and new patients for OR scheduling. More so than in other clerkships, Surgery was very hands on. We were allowed to sew, staple, take out stitches and staples, place NG tubes and Foleys, and assist in the OR.

-Study Resources-

Surgical Recall: This book is a MUST for Surgery! I would recommend getting an ebook format to put on your phone. Then, you can pull it out to read a little in between OR cases. This book came in very handy when I used it to read about a specific surgery before attending it in the OR. I definitely got a few “pimping” questions right because of this book!

UWorld questions: UWorld questions are always great to help grasp the types and format of questions that will be asked on board exams.

Emma Holliday Ramahi’s Review: This video review, which can be found on the UT San Antonio COM website, is a great study alternative to just reading a textbook. It is a quick, high-yield review that is great to watch the day before a final.

-Atmosphere-

Surgery is definitely a unique beast. It is a very fast paced and active medical specialty. Even though it felt like I never left the hospital and didn’t have time for much else besides eating and sleeping, I enjoyed surgery more than I expected. I loved being able to have more responsibilities and do more procedures. While being in the OR with certain attendings was a bit intimidating, I found that the more time I spent in the OR, the more comfortable I felt (mostly being less nervous about doing something wrong and breaking sterile field 😳).

Have you done a Surgery clerkship? What was your experience like? Do you have any other questions about what my time on Surgery was like? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

I am so excited today to have Dr. Majestic, an Emergency Medicine physician out of Orange County, California, talk about what her life is like in the ED. Be sure to follow her on Instagram, @dr.majestic_md, and Periscope, @DrMajestic, where she posts about different health topics and has some wonderful tips on how to integrate more healthy habits into our busy routines.

EM Guest Post


 

Each medical student will ask themselves a hundred times in medical school, “what field is the best fit for me?” This can be one of the hardest decisions in your lives! I know; I’ve been there.

I chose Emergency Medicine at the last minute, when I thought I was choosing Plastic Surgery. These fields could NOT be more different! In the end, my younger self knew what she was doing and who she really was. She knew that my personality would fit perfectly into Emergency Medicine.

My week starts like this. What day is it? Is this even the beginning of the week? Well, it doesn’t really matter because I’m probably working nights and weekends. I need some coffee.

You know you are an Emergency Medicine physician when you are testing a patient’s orientation and you, yourself are non-oriented to date and time. I always have to look at my watch.

So the truth of Emergency Medicine is, we work day shifts, night shifts, weekends, holidays; typically switching from days to nights on a whim. It was a brutal transition. But once the body is trained to expect this kind of change, it’s doable. I have my very specific sleep mask, earplugs, black out curtains, and noise machine so that no matter what time of day I am sleeping, my brain thinks it’s time to sleep! Ha! Got you Emergency Medicine, so there.

Working in the Emergency Department is like an art, an art like no other. It really is different than any other field. It combines a business and efficiency model with a mixture of really tough, high acuity medicine. I am required to provide good medical care. I am also required to provide fast medical care. Contradicting, to say the least. Hence, the art form.

My typical day consists of seeing many different patients; we don’t turn away anyone in the ED, so depending on who decides to waltz through that door, will determine my fate.

Sometimes I feel like an actor, because it’s physically impossible to feel all the emotions I see in a day. I have to turn on my happy for the patient that gets good news, and then turn on my sad for the patient’s family that receives the worst news they will ever be given.

I care for children, adults, and elderly, dead, alive, I’ve even had a patient try to persuade me to care for their animal. That’s where I have to draw the line.

On a daily basis I see very sick patients and very healthy patients. I run to take care of a trauma patient between delivering news of cancer to another patient. I pull things out of orifices you probably didn’t know existed. I have had the most astound conversations with people, all the while trying to hold back my laughter, smile, or tears. One minute I am suturing a laceration from a beer bottle to the face, the next I am reducing a shoulder dislocation. I counsel patients on drug use, alcohol, and diet recommendations, right before pulling a roach out of a child’s ear. Yep, it’s a dirty job. It is NOT for the faint of heart.

I have learned to live off of protein bars (there are some great ones out there), little water, and infrequent bathroom breaks. I am a master at juggling phone calls, while signing prescriptions, and doing squats at the same time. I have to take advantage of a free minute whenever I can!

The ED pace is set to fast, faster, or lightning fast, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

If you aren’t comfortable with vomit, blood, poop, other bodily fluids, and gore like you could never imagine, perhaps the ED isn’t for you. If you like taking care of large volumes of patients and not having to see them back (except for the regulars), you may prefer the ED. We do a lot of procedures on a regular basis while taking care of some seriously complicated medical cases at the same time. We know all the consultants, as we are the ones they never want to hear from. That is generally because we are taking them from some important family event to see a patient. We typically take the brunt of everyone else’s frustration. Sometimes the patients have been waiting for hours, or are in pain, or just having a bad day. Thick skin is a definite requirement in the ED, and it definitely has made me a stronger individual.

Some say we emergency physicians are jacks-of-all-trades, masters of none. In reality, we are required to be masters of all, and make no mistakes. There is great liability in Emergency Medicine, to make the right decisions and make them quickly. When my shift is over I am physically and mentally drained. But when I go home, I know that I can relax. There is no ‘call pager’ going off to call me back in. On a daily basis, I am reminded of why I should be grateful with my life, and just how precious life is. Emergency Medicine is no walk through the park, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


 

Have you ever considered the field of Emergency Medicine? What do you think you would enjoy about life in the ED? What other specialties are you interested in? As always, leave any questions or comments below.

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

 

Setting up a Smart Book

With the massive amounts of information that has to be learned in medical school, I have found it difficult to keep track of everything. The best way I have discovered to help me learn more efficiently is by using a smart book. I started implementing a smart book into my study routine while studying for Step 1 and have continued using it throughout third year so far.

Smart books especially come in handy when working through practice problems. I tend to use my book mostly when doing UWorld question blocks. The idea behind a smart book is to learn from the questions you have missed and actively work towards getting similar questions right in the future. Using this strategy is one way to help incrementally improve your score on standardized tests and board exams.

While there are a variety of ways to set up a smart book, I set mine up in a question and answer format. By setting it up this way, I found it much easier to quiz myself and keep myself accountable for learning the information.

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To start your smart book, all you need is a notebook. Super easy, right? Then as you are answering practice questions from Uworld or any other question bank, whenever you miss a question, add an entry to your smart book with just the information that you needed to have remembered in order to answer the question correctly. Your entries should be short, concise, and bulleted to only include the key information from the question.

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Of course, I had to color code everything! (I honestly think I have a problem.) The point of a smart book is for your entries to be random. This way, going through your book is more similar to an actual board exam where all of the subjects are mixed together. However, sometimes, I want to go over just the subjects that I know I struggle more in. This way, I would more easily be able to find those particular subjects based on their color.

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The key to successfully using your smart book is repetition. The entries are the condensed information that you didn’t remember while answering practice questions, so it is vital to ingrain these points into your long term memory. Therefore, it is important to read through your smart book often so you are training your brain to start answering the questions correctly. While studying for Step 1, I would read through my smart book every evening as the last thing I did during my study routine. Slowly, I found myself remembering key points I wrote down in my smart book while doing UWorld question blocks and was able to answer more and more questions correctly.

Do you have a smart book? How is yours set up? Are there any other study tips/ideas that you just can’t live without? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

My third year of medical school and first time being in the hospital and actually dealing with real patients began with Pediatrics. Here is a breakdown of what that clerkship was like for me.

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-Logistics-
Timeline: 8 weeks

4 weeks inpatient- 2 weeks on a general peds team, 2 weeks on a specialty team (I was on the pulmonary team)

4 weeks outpatient- 1 week in the general peds clinic, 1 week in various specialty clinics, 1 week nursery, 1 week night float

Other: weekly lecture/case based study with quiz; NBME at the end of the clerkship

Hours:

Inpatient- ~6:30-4:00 everyday and every other weekend

Outpatient- ~8:00-4:00 with no weekends; except for nursery and night float

-Study Resources-

First Aid for Pediatric Clerkship: As always, the First Aid series of books are great. This book gave a great overview of the most common pediatric points to know for boards and was an easy and quick read.

UWorld questions: UWorld questions are always great to help grasp the types and format of questions that will be asked on board exams.

Emma Holliday Ramahi’s Review: This video review, which can be found on the UT San Antonio COM website, is a great study alternative to just reading a textbook. It is a quick, high-yield review that is great to watch the day before a final.

-Atmosphere-

The atmosphere in a children’s hospital is unlike anywhere else. One of my brothers is special needs and therefore has spent lots of time in various children’s hospitals. Even though there are sad times and one would think everyone would be depressed from being around so many sick kids, all of the workers, from doctors and nurses to housekeeping and cafeteria workers, are so cheerful. Kids are the best, always being so optimistic and joyful, and it is hard to not be happy while being around them.

I loved my time on pediatrics!! I had been thinking about it for a while, but after completing this clerkship, I know without a doubt that I want to pursue a career in pediatrics. I loved my time on inpatient and can totally see myself being a hospitalist in a children’s hospital one day!

Have you spent any time in a children’s hospital? What was your experience like? Do you have any other questions about pediatrics? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

 

 

Surviving Step 1

It’s over!! I am officially done with Step 1 and…I passed! I am so thrilled to have that huge hurdle behind me. So, today, I wanted to share a few tips I learned from scaling this monstrous mountain, in the hopes that it will help some of you who might be facing it at some point in the future.

I am sure you’ve heard this many times before, but one cannot really talk about Step 1 without mentioning it. This test is a beast! 7 blocks, over 300 questions, 8 hours. It is the culmination of all the hard work you’ve put into the first two years of med school and is what is standing between you and starting third year, being in the hospital, seeing real patients, and feeling like an actual doctor. Your score on Step 1 is also one of the most important factors residency programs look at in determining whether you’d be a good match for their program. I believe the key to doing well is learning how you are going to study best. For me, I took 5 weeks after the end of second year for intensive Step study time. The amount of time you dedicate to this depends on when you finish second year, start third year, and when you actually want to take the test. Generally, it is recommended to take 4-7 weeks for dedicated Step study time, but this greatly varies from person to person and school to school.

With all that’s riding on this one exam, there are so many resources out there to help students study for Step. So many in fact, that I quickly found myself overwhelmed when trying to decide how I was going to study. Finally, I just had to pick what I thought would work best for me and stick to it. Here are the resources I ended up using:

First Aid: Of course with the number of posts I have written about these books, I had to use them. I read through all of First Aid 2015 about 1.5 times. For the second pass, I mostly focused on subjects that I knew I was weak in and tried to learn as much about these that I could.

UWorld: With over 2000 questions, I probably spent most of my time doing UWorld questions. Obviously, you have to know the material, but another huge part of doing well on Step 1 is being able to dissect through the questions. With huge vignette question stems, lab values, and sometimes 10 or more answer choices, this is not an easy task. Doing several blocks of UWorld questions every day was key to learning how to pick out the important information in the questions and get used to managing my time.

Mock Tests: I took a total of 4 mock tests during my 5 weeks of intensive study. I took the 2 UWorld Self Assessments and 2 NBMEs. These are extremely helpful in knowing where you stand score-wise and what you need to keep working on. To get the most out of these tests, try to simulate the actual test day as much as possible. Bring the same snacks you are planning on bringing on the real test day and time your breaks to what it will be like at the real thing. This way, the actual test day will go much smoother because you know more of what to expect. Anything that helps reduce stress or unexpected surprises is key to being able to put more of your attention and energy on the test itself. I found the UWorld Self Assessments and the NBMEs (at least the two I took) to be very different from each other. I would recommend using both to be able to get a better variety of what to expect on the real thing.

Other Resources: In addition to what’s mentioned above, I used Sketchy Micro and Pathoma. I wanted to keep my resources simple to avoid being overwhelmed with so many ways to study. I picked these two because I knew micro and pathology were two areas I needed help with. I also loved being able to mix up my study routine with these two video resources instead of having to read another book. It helped things stay interesting and keep me on task. I highly recommend them both!!

(See the previous post for my full Step 1 Study Schedule.)

Other Tips:

-Probably the biggest tip I have is to be ok with changing the way you’re studying if you know whatever you’re doing truly isn’t working. The only thing I regret from this experience was basically wasting a whole week of study time because I didn’t want to admit that what I was doing wasn’t working for me. For the first week, I started out by just reading First Aid and doing UWorld questions. I thought I was doing well because I was getting through First Aid so quickly. I didn’t even realize that I was not retaining the information at all. I took my first NBME at the end of that first week and was brought back to reality with a score that was not what I expected at all. I realized right then that something needed to change. So, I decided to bring out my trusty white board. Throughout first and second year, I used my white board to study, but with so much information, I thought it would take too much time to study this way for Step. I had to accept, though, that this was the only way I was going to be able to retain what I was reading. So, I started reading a section in First Aid then going over to my white board and trying to write down everything I remembered about that section. It really helped me solidify the information and realize what I wasn’t actually understanding. I only wish I had started using this method from the beginning.

Smart book: There is so much I can say about my smart book that I’m going to write another blog post about it. But basically, a smart book becomes your own personal First Aid. It’s just a notebook where you write down any piece of information that you need to remember. Mine included equations that I keep forgetting, mnemonics, and key points that I needed to know in order to answer a UWorld question correctly. Then, every night, I would read through my smart book. Repetition was key! Eventually, I found myself remembering points from my smart book and was able to get more and more questions correct. Be on the lookout for another post about how I set up my smart book, what I included in it, and pictures!

 

Overall, Step 1 was rough but not the impossible feat that I was expecting. The key was dedication, effective study time, and periods of stepping back and taking a few moments for myself. Surviving those 5 weeks would not have been possible without support from friends and family. Sometimes, a good rant session with friends from my class while walking around the outside track was necessary to let out all the built up frustration. Then, I was able to feel much better and get back to the study grind.

Have you taken Step 1? What did you use to study? Any reflections or tips for others? If you haven’t taken it yet, do you have any questions for me? There are several other things I wanted to mention but felt this post was already getting way too long. If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask! Leave it all in the comments below.

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

It’s coming! It is hard to believe that in a little over two months I will be taking the test that has been talked about over and over for the past two years…the USMLE Step 1. In order to get ready for the study marathon that is to come, I’ve created a study schedule for myself and have decided to share it with all of you. This schedule is mostly for the 5 weeks of intensive studying I will have after my school ends for the semester until my test date. Until then, I will just be trying to do as many practice questions and review that I can while still keeping up with the class work.

Please keep in mind that I have not yet taken Step 1, so I cannot guarantee any certain score or even general success if you decide to use this schedule. Also, I am not saying that the resources I used are the only ones to use. I have just created this schedule based on research on other study schedules online, from talking with students who have already taken Step 1, as well as those in my own class. Please just use this as a guideline for your own studies and I encourage you to tweak and change anything about the schedule in order to better fit your own needs and goals for studying. The best study schedule is one where you feel you are learning as much as you can and one that you will be able to follow through to completion. It should be completely personalized to your own learning style and timeline.

Step1 Study Plan

Do you have any tips for Step 1 studying? Any further questions about how I am going to study? Please leave any questions or comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Being a pre-medical student automatically means a hectic life.  Luckily, following Doctors of Tomorrow is easy!  Sign up to get alerts of new posts sent directly to your email.  You can also follow Doctors of Tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Look for all of these links on the right hand side of the homepage.

We all know that being a pre-med or med student means little time for anything else.  Because of this, it is important to have a plan to make sure everything gets done.  While I have always been a technology geek, I recently have moved over into the realm of paper planners.  Shocker, I know!  I haven’t given up technology, though, and still use the calendar on my phone to keep track of classes and appointments.  Still, I have found that a paper planner has made it much easier to plan things that don’t necessarily have to be done at a specific time, like study goals, errands, etc.  The paper planner I have been using is the Erin Condren Life Planner.  I have only had my planner a couple of weeks, but have absolutely loved using it.  Keep reading if you’d like to see how I am specifically using my planner and for a referral link for $10 off if you’d like to get an Erin Condren Life Planner for yourself.

Erin-Condren-Life-Planner

The first reason why I love the Erin Condren Life Planner is the design.  The colors and patterns are so cute!  I believe I am more motivated to stay organized by all the happy, fun colors and motivational quotes.  The covers can also be personalized with your own colors, text, and even pictures.  My cover is the fleur feliz pattern in the colors plum and pool.

Planner-1 Planner-5

The planner has both monthly and weekly layouts, with each month having its own color scheme.  The weekly layouts have vertical columns for each day that is divided into morning, day, and night sections.  Each week also has note sections on both the side and bottom of the layout which is great for to-do lists or keeping track of meal planning, exercise, or other thoughts.  The back of the planner includes a section of both lined and blank pages for taking notes and several pages of stickers.

Like I mentioned earlier, I mostly use my planner for things that do not have to be done at a specific time, which in my life is mostly studying. I usually plan ahead exactly what topics I want to cover that day, including the resources I am wanting to use for those topics. I also include the set classes and appointments so that I can know what times are busy and how much extra time I have that day to get my goals completed.

Erin Condren Planner Layout

I also try to be sure to schedule out errands and other to-dos to be sure that they get done. With so much studying and school work to do, it’s easy to get caught up and forget to do simple things like send that email or pack tomorrow’s lunch. By having everything planned out, nothing gets put off or forgotten. Also, by having planned my time, I have found that I am able to be more efficient and even have found more time for fun.

Erin Condren Planner Layout

If you are interested in getting your own Life Planner, by using this referral link, you can receive $10 off of your order. The $10 off is good for all new accounts.

How do you plan out your days? Are you a paper planner, a tech planner, or a mix of both?

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