This post is part of a series called “Med School Done Right,” which will look at not just succeeding in medical school in the narrow terms of “getting good grades,” but at shaping the kind of experiences you want to have during these (usually) four very important years of your life.
In my last post, we talked about the importance of answering the question: “What do you want?” and “Why do you want it?”
We discussed the difficulty and importance of answering the “Why?” question, and I said that it’s important to do this in every area of your life. What I didn’t clarify was to what extent this was healthy and effective. For an answer to that, I want to turn to a story you’ve probably heard before, about a professor giving a brand new class of students a lecture about goal setting and time management. I then will proceed to tell you how the advice implied by this well-worn story doesn’t work. Here’s the story, adapted from this version.
One of the best resources to prepare for the boards is a question bank. Question banks let you review commonly tested material in a format similar to what you will see on test day. But, for osteopathic students preparing to take the boards, question banks can be a little tricky. Many students feel they can get away with using USMLE banks like USMLEWorld to prepare for the COMLEX exam. However, this kind of prep may end in major disappointment when scores are released. While USMLE banks are a great resource, osteopathic students should really consider purchasing a COMLEX bank to help prepare for COMLEX-style questions.
The sub-internship (sub-I) is a 3-4 week period during which final-year medical students work as unpaid interns, often with a much lighter patient load but with all the responsibilities and tasks of an intern. Many competitive residency institutions require that IMG applicant have completed a minimum of 1-2 sub-Is in the U.S. in order to be considered for a spot. Some applicants will have the finances and time to complete many more than the required number of sub-Is, and you should specifically research the requirements on the websites of the programs and specialties you are interested in.
By Molly Lewis
In your Step 1 prep, you’ll most likely run across questions similar to this: “A mother brings her 4-year-old son into the pediatrician for a well-child visit. The boy is able to hop on one foot, has imaginary friends, can speak with prepositions, and can copy a circle. How is his development in terms of fine motor, gross motor, social, and verbal skills?
If you don’t know where your money is going, you can’t make it work for you. There is no more important financial advice I could give you as you traverse through medical school. I remember when I received my first loan check at the beginning of medical school, it was by far the most money I ever had in my hand at one time. But even though it has your name on it, it is not your money…it’s the government’s money, and they will want it back sooner than you think. Therefore, the less you borrow the better, and the better you manage your money, the less you will need to borrow.
For most newly minted medical students, the loan money they received for living expenses may possibly be the most money they’ve ever managed at one time. As the popular saying goes, “more money equals more problems,” and this could not be truer than for a MS-1 with a $2,000 loan check. So how do you keep track of where your money is going? How do you use your money wisely? Below I will answer those questions based on my experiences.
Of the three USMLEs, the Step 1 is perhaps the most intimidating. The Step 1 exam requires a revisiting of basic anatomy, physiology, embryology, pharmacology, and biochemistry. For a medical student attending an institution where the majority of others are not taking the Steps, it can be difficult to juggle your home institution’s exams with the USMLE tests. Moreover, for an IMG who is already out of medical school and working, it can be difficult to find the time to relearn everything. Here are a few tips for success: