Step 2 Or March Madness…?

This past Wednesday, one of my closest friends, C., took Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). You may remember me writing about and taking the 9-hour Step 2 Clinical Knowledge test (CK) back in December… but did you know there was another half to that exam?

Clinical Skills is another lengthy exam, but it’s hands-on. During the test, you “see” twelve standardized patients – actors – who simulate a variety of medical conditions. Your job is to connect with the patient, wash your hands, speak English, and figure out what’s wrong with the actor. Continue reading

Up and Away

I only have one month of research left! Thank god. I can’t wait to get back to clinical medicine.

Medical school is a fascinating place. It’s bound to be; you’re taking 100 or so of the highest-stress, maximum type A personalities that exist and forcing them to attend class, scrap for grades (sometimes), and cohabitate for four years. If we had time for lives and drama, it would make a fantastic reality TV show. Continue reading

Rules for Step 2

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, medical school is actually three different curricula in one.

There’s the Learn To Be A Doctor Curriculum, which is where you haphazardly learn to take care of people mostly by screwing up over and over again. This has almost zero connection to the rest of medical school, as the bulk of the Learn To Be A Doctor Curriculum is taught in residency. Not incidentally this is why medical students are often not allowed to Do Things, which as you’ll recall is practically the only thing I want to do. Things. Continue reading

Taking a (Practice) Step 1 Exam

When I started my embarrassingly long trek toward medical school three years ago, I studied for and took the MCAT. That exam was hands down the worst testing experience I’ve ever had – a six-hour MonsterTest covering basic science. I wrote about the studying process while cloistered in isolation in my Charlottesville apartment, where I didn’t see the sun for three or four days at a time. It was often hard to stay focused, which I covered.

Periodically I would take a practice test, a soul-sucking exercise in self-flagellation that I, of course, also wrote aboutContinue reading