Monthly Archives: March 2014

Post-D&T “Bootcamp” Update

Bootcamp week went well. We learned a little bit about laboratory testing in the hospital–where it’s done at Vandy, what tests are commonly done for common presentations, etc. It ended up being a lot more laid back than most of us were expecting; at times I felt as if the professor didn’t know we’d just taken Step 1!

Our production of The Vagina Monologues went well. About 60 people showed up, which means that we made around $300 for our chosen beneficiaries. Everyone seemed thoroughly impressed at what we were able to accomplish in such limited time.

We have orientation for our clerkships today. I’ve been in orientation for surgery since about 7:30 this morning, and I’ll be going until 5 this evening. So far, we’ve been introduced to our (rather gnarly) schedule, seen standardized patients, and practiced tying knots and suturing. We have a discussion for the standardized patient case in a few minutes.

This was a relatively quick update–I’m at the end of my lunch break and should be getting back upstairs–but I thought I’d say something about how I’m doing before I officially start my plastic surgery subspecialty tomorrow. I will say that excitement has more or less won out over fear. God is always with me, and he will see me through anything; I hope to hold onto that for as long as I can.


Post USMLE Step 1 (January/February) Recap

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This is the status I posted after finishing Step 1 on February 21.  After ~2 months of studying and about 7 hours of actual test-taking, I am so glad to be over that hurdle.  There were definitely some rough patches along the way–late nights, long stretches of reading/falling asleep on my books, unnecessary edits to my study schedule that ended up being setbacks–but now I’m past all of them.  Thankfully I scheduled my exam such that I’d have about a week of vacation before starting school again.

Looking back over the past 2 months, I feel like I accomplished quite a bit.  As part of my study plan, I went through First Aid for Step 1  twice, listened to Dr. Edward Goljan’s lectures, made flashcards, and went through the USMLE World Qbank.  I’m especially proud of my work with the latter, as I ended up getting 2 weeks behind with UWorld but was still able to finish all 2000+ questions before taking my test.  In the midst of this, I was still able to exercise (I started following the Blogilates workout calendars again and only got a little bit behind despite how intense they are), attend church functions, read some books, and eat meals with my family.

People have been asking me how I think I did, and I don’t have an answer.  When I walked out of that Prometric center, my performance was the last thing on my mind (and sleep might have been the first thing).  I’ve never been the type of person to set number goals for myself on exams; preparing for the test is stressful enough, if you ask me.   I’ll find out my score within the next couple of months; I don’t plan to really think about it until then.

On March 3, I’ll be starting  what the upperclassmen have called “bootcamp” before transitioning to clerkships.  I’m a bit nervous about this transition.  It will be exciting to do something other than try to stay awake in lecture, but as yet I know nothing about what our daily schedules will look like, how much time I’ll have to sleep/work out/cook outside of school, how I’ll hold up to being “pimped” on the wards.  There’s a lot of uncertainty, but I know I need to stay optimistic about what’s to come; I’m getting to do and see things that most people only get a glimpse of on television.*

That’s about all for now.  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep with the pretty much monthly posting schedule; if so, next month you should expect to hear about the first few weeks of my surgery clerkship, VMS’ 2014 production of The Vagina Monologues, Cadaver Ball 2014, and anything else that happens along the way.

*I started watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix recently.  Love it.  Wondering how similar it is to real life…real doctor-life.