Sunday, June 6, 2010

UWorld, Uworld and more UWorld

I'm in the midst of studying for step 2 of my medical licensing boards. When I studied for step 1, at the completion of my 2nd year of medical school, I had a month to devote purely to studying. Now, I have to balance studying for step 2 along with my other course work and research endeavors. On the other hand, my score on step 2 is not nearly as important as my step 1 score for residency applications. The step 1 score is used as an initial screening tool at a lot of programs in deciding if they even want to read the rest of your application. For certain competitive specialties, the step 1 score essentially determines if you will even have a chance of matching into that field. Aside from the stressing about the enormous weight the score of one test, that you take on one day of your life, holds, I actually thought studying for step 1 was fun. It's a cumulative exam of everything learned during the first two years of med school. Reviewing all of that material, now that I finally had all of the puzzle pieces to fully understand what I was reading, was actually awesome. I realized how much I had learned in only two years - all of the basic principles of medicine. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Step 2 tests the diagnosis and treatment, rather than the basic science and pathophysiology of disease. Again, as I go through Usmleworld questions*, I surprise myself with the knowledge I've accumulated in three short years. Specifically, my ability to see a patient, have an idea of what is going to with them, know what diagnostic tests need to be ordered and know how to treat them - kinda like a real doctor! It's scary that I'll have MD after my name in less than a year but I'm starting to think I might be able to handle it.

Usmleworld is a giant question bank of questions that are very similar to those appearing on the official medical board exams. It's amazing and a must-have for step 1. An upper year passed along this tidbit: buy the step 2 Qbank early in 2nd year and use it to study for all the shelf exams. I thought that was great advice. So now at this point, I'm doing all the questions (>2,000) for the second time. I highly recommend using the UW step 2 Qbank all of 2nd year.   

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