Rules for Step 1

I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been in a hole these last couple weeks studying for Step 1, or “the boards” as it is colloquially known. Step 1 is the first of three licensing exams you have to take to become a doctor.

Which, of course, means that Step 1 has almost nothing to do with doctoring. It’s not that bad a test, actually, it’s just incredibly challenging to assess medical knowledge. Step 1, for instance, focuses on the basic science – the science underpinnings to how the body works and what goes wrong in disease. Future exams, like Step 2 and 3, focus on the bigger picture of diagnosis and treatment. Continue reading

Big Pimpin’

Yesterday I told you about the move to a pass-fail system. Regrettably, the change does nothing to ameliorate the other major stressor of being on the wards – pimping.

Pimping is an old method of Socratic-teaching-gone-wrong where a senior doctor instills his or her worldly knowledge in you by asking question after question until you can no longer answer, then humiliates you by either explaining the answer like you are a toddler or by requiring you to look it up and present the topic the next day. Or hour, if life really sucks. Continue reading