Man oh man, this semester is nuts. I guess you could probably guess that since I have barely blogged since school started again.
I knew that as we got closer to taking step one of boards things would get busier and more stressful, but I never knew how overwhelming it would be this soon.
We’re currently taking Endocrinology, which I actually find really fascinating, but I’m having trouble balancing my time between studying for class and studying for boards. (I just scheduled my test today, so I’m officially taking step one of boards on April 10th!) There is so much material to be covered for boards that I would love to create a schedule and dive in right now, so sometimes class just seems like it’s in the way. But then I remember that endocrinology is a big topic for boards, so I might as well spend my time learning it well!
We have had a couple of test taking strategy sessions as well as a panel of third year students that talked to us about how they studied for boards last year. One of the most confusing aspects is that everyone you talk to gives you different advice, so you start to second guess what you are doing. The panel was really helpful to see that there are lots of different successful methods. I think it helped me narrow down my plan:
- I’m going to focus on microbes and pharmacology right now and try to nail those down before our designated study period starts in March. They are a pain point for me. I’ll use mostly Sketchy.
- I have Doctor’s In Training and will do the microbe and pharm sections, as well as the sections that go along with my classes.
- I’ll keep using First Aid, Pathoma, and UWorld questions to study for my classes, and maybe some extra of those if I have the time.
- During my designated study period (6 weeks in March and April) I will get through all of UWorld and the rest of Doctor’s in Training.
Every time I try to make a plan it’s get ruined by all kinds of work and appointments and other studying that pop up, coupled with the fact that everything takes me way longer than I expect it to. I think the above is somewhat reasonable if I can stay focused!
On a different note, my pediatric preceptorship has been amazing so far. Every Tuesday afternoon, three classmates and I see patients with a pediatrician. We do the history and physical, then discuss how it went and what we could have done better. We also write up a SOAP note (the note for the patient’s chart) and submit it for feedback. It has been so fun and encouraging to actually see real patients, plus it’s great practice for upcoming clerkships. I love seeing kids!
Third year clerkships start in May after we take boards, and we are also starting to schedule them right now also. There are six required clerkships, and each is 8 weeks long:
- Family and Community Medicine (includes 2 week career exploration)
- Internal Medicine
- Psychology and Neurology
- OBGYN (includes 2 week career exploration)
There is some strategy to the order in which you complete rotations. It depends on what you think you’re interested in vs. not interested in, what else you’ve got going on throughout the year (weddings, etc), and the time commitment of the different clerkships. I have a million weddings this year (5 in April through June alone!) so I’m going to try to do one of the less busy clerkships first. Other than that it has been hard to decide how to arrange things since I still have pretty wide ranging interests. The schedules are chosen on a lottery system, so hopefully I get one of my top choices!
So that’s life lately! The dogs have started to sleep on my bed while we’re gone, and I love coming home to find them all cuddled up. So adorable! I’m still teaching yoga and spending time with friends when I can! We have a lot of charity events in January, but after that I’m sure the med school social scene will start to dwindle.
I’ll be back soon with a lot of Friday Favorites to catch up on! Have a great day!
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