Day 14+15: Re-evaluating plans

Yes that’s exactly what happened during those two days. I’ve pretty much just been playing out different “USMLE scenarios” in my head, changing my schedule as a result of those horrible “scenarios” and repeating step 1 and 2 over and over. I seriously need to go a little faster. I can’t afford to take a whole freaking week to finish one section of FA! Ha! I haven’t even finished Cardio and its been more than a week already.

I feel like I need to switch gears. I might just memorize stuff in the mornings and use the afternoons to go over new material and then the evenings for questions. Memorizing is taking FOREVER! I don’t know how people do it in such a short period of time. I’m so aggravated, anything can tick me off at this point. Its not healthy.


Day 13: Questions

I’ve been feeling down lately. Today was supposed to be a productive day. I was planning to get through 200 questions but I could barely get through 75 and my performance on them wasn’t so great either, I used a qbank called exam-master since my qbanks don’t have anymore cardio anatomy or physio questions left. The plan was to start DIT today too but that didn’t happen. I hate how I can’t help but get involved in stuff thats happening at home. It’s really not good for my mental well-being.

Today I seriously thought about going back to the states to have a peaceful month of studying before the USMLE but I feel like that might actually end up wasting my time. First I have to find an apartment, then I have to find furniture and get situated etc. It’ll take at least two weeks and I don’t have that much time…I just have to suck it up and deal with it.

I’m also very frustrated with ECFMG. ALL of my friends (including the ones I’ve helped with their USMLE applications) have heard back from ECFMG. It’s very worrying and I’m not receiving any satisfactory answers from either my school or ECFMG. Not sure why I have to receive 3 freaking emails, 3 weeks apart, telling me the same exact thing. It’s so frustrating….I mean its not like I’m ready and just sitting there and waiting for that permit so I can book my test today and write it tomorrow, but having a date would hopefully get things going a little faster

I really did not intend for this to be a depressing entry. I guess this blog is becoming more like my ‘wailing wall’. I hope it doesn’t depress anyone who’s reading it but anyone who’s currently going through the USMLE journey realizes how stressful it can be. Okay, I’m going to end this blog with an inspiring quote I found online:


Day 11: Cardiology IV

I finally finished murmurs and the physio part but I am still not very confident answering questions on this section…I did some Uworld questions and although I don’t think it was terrible, I literally had to squeeze my brains out while I was doing the questions. Not to mention that I took forever to read and digest what they were asking. I also read too much into some questions so I don’t feel like I am very comfortable with this section yet but I have to move on. I have to say the average performance on the test I selected today (cardio physio only) was very impressive. People know their cardio! Some questions actually took me a good 10 minutes to think about and when I clicked to check the answer I saw that 75%+ got the answer correct. Now I wouldn’t be very upset if this was a question that took me a few seconds to answer but like I said some of these questions took forever to process. Image

Tomorrow I’m going to give physio one final look to tie all the loose ends and also to go over all the notes I made from Uworld. I really don’t like this section and if it weren’t for the fact that I spent >3hrs this afternoon “thinking” about these questions I don’t think I would have even scored average. If this was a “timed” test, I would have messed up big time! I plan to do more questions on physio. I’ll try some Kaplan maybe tonight before I go to sleep which is normally soon but about half way through the block I felt like I was going to fall asleep so I fixed myself a big cup of coffee so tonight should be interesting!

Anyways, I’m excited about starting pathology tomorrow although I doubt I’ll get very far.

I’m also expecting to hear from ECFMG pretty soon. Possibly tomorrow *SCARY*


Edit: Kaplan


Day 10: Cardiology III


Today was not very productive. I feel so blah and burned out. I managed to get about 5 hours of studying but they weren’t very productive.  I haven’t done any questions to test my performance yet, I still don’t feel like I have a good grasp of the material but I should just start doing questions regardless.

I normally talk to myself when I study but today I couldn’t  talk without running out of breath. I don’t know why but I feel so weak. Maybe its the weather? The view from room isn’t very exciting, it was pretty gloomy and snowy today.

Well, I can’t keep blaming it on the weather for too long. The sun was finally out at around 6’ish and tomorrow should be nice and bright most of the day.


Don’t they just look so peaceful? So lucky. No USMLE to worry about. Makes me wish I was one of them…

I really have to pick up the pace tomorrow. I can’t be doing Cardio forever! I guess it’ll just have to be one of my weakest areas forever…

Good night.

Day 8+ Day 9: Cardiology II

The weather has been pretty bad for the past few days. Very gloomy and depressing and on top of that, we’re expecting 5cm of snow tonight! Just when we thought winter was over…

I didn’t blog yesterday. Partly because I was sick (I have IBS and it gets bad when I’m stressed out so yesterday was pretty much spent in the bathroom) and partly because there was really nothing to blog about, I didn’t accomplish much. Today, I was slowly recovering all the fluids I lost yesterday. I was dizzy and tired when I woke up this morning so it took me a while to regain my strength and get the ball rolling. I still didn’t accomplish much. I barely got through half of Cardio physiology. Still haven’t touched murmurs (murmurs give me nightmares). I am so behind and Cardio is giving me a hard time. I haven’t done any Cardio questions yet beside the 9 anatomy questions from last week. I am pretty nervous to try physio questions but its gotta happen.


Day 7: Review

I couldn’t fall asleep last night, my brain kept thinking about all kinds of  “medically related and non-medically related” things. I kept imaging what it would be like when this is all over…I don’t really have any specific plans although I think that might actually be helpful motivation wise, but I just want it to be over. Just to be able to wake up in the morning, make my coffee and breakfast, sit outside in my backyard which pretty much overlooks a whole lotta flat land and nothingness and just read the newspaper or something without being in a rush, without having to worry about starting Rx questions at exactly 7:30am. I miss that. Now don’t get me wrong, I do take some breaks every now and then and my Saturday’s breakfast is usually longer than normal days but I still can’t “enjoy” myself. I’m still constantly thinking about how behind I am or how much I have to get through in the morning and what the afternoon’s schedule is going to look like.

So I couldn’t fall asleep but as usual (for a Sunday anyways), I woke up at 7am. I’m one of those people that just cannot sleep in…I guess for the most part it’s a blessing that every medical school student wishes to have but not when you only got 3 hours of sleep the night before. Anyways, I got up feeling like “this was going to be a very lazy day”, fixed myself an egg, made some coffee and turned on my laptop to check my e-mail and when I couldn’t find anything (everyone is way too busy studying eh!), I went to check my Junk mail where my daily “horoscope” goes. I don’t really read those, just send them straight to junk mail but since I was bored and desperately looking for any excuse to not study, I clicked on today’s e-mail:

You have a chance as the day progresses to reevaluate your career goals with realism on your side, as well as to objectively decide what kinds of responsibilities you truly feel capable of, and want to, take on. The day can be quite productive simply because you are very much in the “here and now” and take special pride in what you do – and how well you do it.”

For some reason, this completely random quote gave me that motivation or that pat on the shoulder that I’ve been longing for. Take pride in what you do and how you do it. So I got up and decided to go back and review some of the topics that I had studied last week (Upperclassmen have always emphasized on the importance of repetition) . I was actually pretty surprised with how efficient I was today. I managed to get through all of pharmacology, all of pathology and all of immunology (which was slowly slipping into my unconscious mind). I wanted to do some question at the end but I am way too tired right now and I don’t think I’ll learn much at this point anyways as I have a massive headache and I can’t wait to fall asleep.

That’s it.

Day 6: Goodbye Flat Stomach, Hello Rolls and Spare Tires + Questions

photoSo the weather was really nice today and I decided to go for a walk after being home since last Saturday I believe. It was nice, so I didn’t need a hoodie or a “big sweater” so I put on my size small henley shirt, gave myself a final look in the mirror before leaving  and saw this—>

Okay it’s not like I didn’t know that I was gaining weight, afterall I sit on my butt all day and study but I didn’t think it was this bad. But then again, what do I expect? I’ve been immobilized for a while and my left foot is still tender so I can’t work out. What’s even more worrying is that the more I do questions, the more I feel like I really NEED to eat. I feel like I loose my focus if I don’t eat every 2 hours.  I hate snacking, it ruins your body. But then again, I have to do questions, there’s no if or buts about that. I guess its just one of the many scarifies I had/have to make to be in medical school.

On a more academic note, I did manage to do 150 questions today and I also went over them (I don’t even wanna talk about how much I had to eat to get through all 150 questions+review them!).  The first timed test I took was ‘random’ on USMLE rx, my performance wasn’t very good.  I selected a bunch of topics that I had covered in the past (immuno, genetics, biochem, embryo) but unfornately, I have forgotten a lot of little details so I’m definitely gonna have to re-visit those topics. I also did about 30 micro questions which were pretty good (I guess I should stop doing micro for now?)

Screen shot 2013-04-27 at 11.53.10 AM

I also took a Kaplan test (trying to do as much of Kaplan as I can as I have until the beginning of June before my subscription expires).  It wasn’t bad at all, I only selected “General principles” minus biostatistics

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Finally, I did a block of  Uworld Questions which wasn’t bad either but as usual, it took exactly 3 hours to go over the answers. This time I tried not to annotate a lot into my FA. I feel like I can’t remember all the little details they talk about in their amazing explanations. So I’m just going to read and hope that I remember lol


I should start walking :/

Till next time,