After multiple half-hearted attempts at writing this update, it looks like I’m kidding myself if I think it’s going to be coherent I give up. Just consider the lack of editing a testament to what studying is doing to me, please. I am bleary-eyed and anergic to caffeine.
1. My Step 2 CK score came in! And I got my goal score: 200-and-Not-Outrightly-Memorable-In-A-Bad-Way points.
Seriously, I was dead-average and thrilled about it. (Though – to be fair – I originally thought ~220 was average, which is why I was probably so thrilled to see that I got a 237. Took me a second to parse that 237 was written twice because it was also the current Step 2 average.)
(By the way, did I just make up the “220 = roughly average” thing? Was it ever true? Is it something a med student told me years ago that I just internalized as the gospel truth? Or are med students getting smarter?)
But, okay, DONE. Nothing more to say on the subject. No more speculation. Back to Step 1.
2. “The best step 1 prep is to study hard for the pre-clinical tests.” I can’t believe this saying actually turned out to be true. I mean, sure, it makes sense, but I still thought it was mostly just a clever way for M3s and M4s to sound haughty when asked for advice.
All I know is that as an M1, I literally studied myself into an injury during Microbiology – probably the hardest I’ve ever studied in my life – and.. holy crap, I retained that information! Even though it was all just random association. It was amazing.
And I’m not saying that having a near-mental-and-physical-breakdown was “worth it”, exactly, but – I scheduled myself 48 hours to review micro and only had to use 6. So, time-wise, I guess overstudying for M1 Microbiology was as “worth it” as a near-breakdown is ever gonna get.
I just wish I could say that about the rest of the Step 1 subjects. Looking at my QBank breakdowns, it’s patently obvious that I barely passed M1 Embryology. At the time, I just didn’t feel motivated to learn, and now I’m paying for it.
Actually, not only did I not feel motivated to study Embryo, but I distinctly remember explaining to someone that “You know what? It doesn’t matter. The only people who need to learn Embryology are future pediatricians.” (Yeah, you tell them, M1 Action Potential! … those.. future.. pediatricians…)
But, too bad, I don’t have the time machine necessary to knock on my former self’s door and forcibly cancel her Netflix subscription, so instead I’m bitterly studying embryology 4-5 hours a day just to break even.
(Yes, I know it’s not “high-yield” for Step 1, but if I don’t learn about the embryonic origin of cleft palate anomalies now, when will I? I made my bed and now I have to lie in it, etc.) (Besides – for all I know, Future Pediatric Resident Me does have access to a time machine – and I really don’t want her to knock down my door to cancel my Netflix subscription.)
3. Immunology: is, however, still stupid.
4. Stuff That Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else:
- First Aid 2013 is a huge improvement from 2012.
- USMLERx “Flash Facts” has, by far, the worst interface and programming of anything I’ve ever regretted paid money for.
- That said, the USMLERx QBank is actually shockingly good – memorization-wise, it’s unbelievably helpful to have a picture from First Aid and page number for every answer explanation.
- I bought an extremely comfortable pillow and it was a major time-management mistake.
- Picmonic is new and brilliant. I bet it’ll catch on as fast as Pathoma did.
- I am forcing myself to limit my prep books to 2 per subject, and it’s a daily battle. This had better be good for me.
- I should have quit caffeine 3 weeks ago.