Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Step 1" Towards Becoming A Licensed Doctor

   Tomorrow, on April 4th, I will take what is arguably the most important test of my career - USMLE (US Medical Licensing Exam) Step 1.  The test is 8 hours long, and basically tests everything you learn in the first two years of medical school, so it's no easy feat.  For a moment, I briefly considered moving my test date later to give myself an extra week of studying, but ultimately, I decided to stick with my original plan and take it April 4th.  I'm glad I decided to stick with my original plan, because I have reached my "peak" of studying, and don't think I could mentally do this for much longer.  There is SO much material covered on this test, that you are NEVER going to feel "ready", so it's more important to take the test at the "peak" of your studying, before you burn out.

    In less than 24 hours, I will be completely done, and if I pass, I will officially be an MS3.  I can't wait to show this test what I've got.  I've been working my ass off studying for this, and I've sacrificed a lot in the last five weeks, so I really hope it pays off in my score.  I have never studied this hard in my life!  Not even close... For the past five weeks, I have spent 8-12 hours per day - everyday - hardcore studying, with only three days off.  I am really proud of myself.  If you know me, you know I'm usually  more on the lazy end of the "slacker-gunner spectrum".  I never would have thought I could be as disciplined as I have been.  I've worked harder than I ever have before, so I really hope I can show that tomorrow on the test.

   That said, this study period study hibernation for boards has been a lot better than the times (yes, timeS) I studied for the MCAT.  I HATED the MCAT.  I hated the material on it.  I had no idea how to study for it.  I hated the fact that my actual test scores, both times I took it, were a lot lower than all the practice tests I took for it.  I hated the fact that I had to isolate myself from everyone during it, that no one understood exactly what I was going through.  But this is so different!  This time, I have an entire class of people doing the same thing I am, and it's been amazing having such a great support system.  It helps so much just having someone sitting next to me at the coffee shop that I know is going through the exact same thing I am.  And this time, I can actually see a point to all the things we are being tested on (well most of them...)!  This is the real "doctor stuff"!

   On that same note, I am so lucky to have had BF as my study buddy.  I swear, he has been one of the only things that has been keeping me sane during this draining time.  He even put up with me and made me feel better when I had my little emotional break down the week before my test... (Hey, everyone cracks at one point or another before test day!)  BF's test isn't for another week, so I hope I can be there for him and support him in his last few stressful days like he has been there for me.
   I'm excited to finally get on with my life after tomorrow.  Like I said, I've made a lot of sacrifices in the last five weeks, and I've put a lot of things on hold.  I have a running list of things that is titled "To Do After Boards" that just keeps getting longer and longer.  It's going to be so weird coming out of hibernation.  Everyone says the first couple of days are weird, that you experience a sort of "re-immersion syndrome", getting reacquainted again with real life.

The things I am most looking forward to being able to do again:

  • Hanging out with friends/BF, and doing ANYTHING BUT STUDYING
  • Catching up on tv
  • Taking my time to cook and enjoy the process
Well, wish me luck... I'll take all I can get! 


  1. good luck! You'll do great- anyone who puts in that kind of time does :) And, from what I hear, step 2 studying is no where near as painful.

  2. Best of Luck. I'll be glad to hear that it is over and that it went well...

  3. Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!

  4. congrats on being done with that monster! enjoy your time off before third year :)

  5. Woman. YOU ARE DONE!! How AWESOME is that!!

    I felt like two weeks before the test I felt great and then the week before i felt like I'd forgotten everything...so glad to hear that wasn't just me!

    I hope you're doing something amazing right now!