DOCTORSAIB

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I am utterly bored right now, so I thought I'd start a new thread. Lets post:

1) Ideal Step 1 score:
2) Realistic Step 1 score:
3) Field of interest:

I'll start:

1) Ideal Step 1 score: 250+
2) Realistic Step 1 score: 235+
3) Field of interest: Ophthalmology

It'll be somewhat interesting to look at this thread once we get our scores back....in 7 months.
 

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1) Ideal Step 1 score: Really High
2) Realistic Step 1 score: Somewhat High
3) Field of interest: Emergency Medicine + Primary Care Sports Medicine
 
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DOCTORSAIB

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surrender903 said:
SAIB you know what i want:

IDEAL : pass
REAL pass
Fair enough...but with a good effort, I'm sure you'll do better than just pass. G'luck.
 

HamOnWholeWheat

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I already took step I, so I just wanted to offer a piece of advice: aim as high as you possibly can. I know that seems obvious, but its really not. Convince yourself that anything less than a 250 is total failure. It seems harsh, I know, but its always worked for me.

I studied with that mindset for 3 months, and was sure the day before the exam that I was going to fail the thing (by "fail" I mean ~235-ish). Of course 235 is a great score, but I brainwashed myself into thinking otherwise, and that's where I drew my motivation from. This method works great if you're motivated by a fear of failure, as I'm sure many of us ultimately are.

Just my two cents. Good luck everyone!

HamOn
 

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HamOnWholeWheat said:
aim as high as you possibly can.
I´m sure that´s true! So to motivate myself, I´ll post my expectations:


1) Ideal Step 1 score: >140 So according to HamOn´s theory, this is what I aim for.

2) Realistic Step 1 score: >120? Hard to say, as I´m an IMG and all basic science is a while back. Plus, I have to do my internship to graduate in my home country parallel to studying for Step 1. But I do have clinical experience, that might help.

3) Field of interest: Anesthesiology at a top school, but already auditioned there and I know the program director wants me. Nevertheless I would rather not disappoint him with a bad score, he might change his mind.


Lots of endurance everyone, this is not a sprint but a marathon!
 

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1) Ideal Step 1 score: 235+
2) Realistic Step 1 score: 225+
3) Field of Interest: Emergency Medicine :D
 

DOCTORSAIB

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HamOnWholeWheat said:
Convince yourself that anything less than a 250 is total failure.
It's funny that you say this. When I first started thinking about Step 1 last year, I thought there is no way in hell I'll get anything close to a 250. After gathering advice and study strategies from SDN heavy-hitters like you, BF, Long Dong, Idiopathic, p53, etc, I think I've almost convinced myself that a 250 is certainly possible, but with LOTS of hard work, questions, and smart studying (yes, I said smart). To conquer, you must know thy enemy!

I guess I'll take this opportunity to publicly thank you guys for your invaluable advice. No matter how I end up doing, you guys have been instrumental in preparing the next group of test-takers. Your advice, your prompt responses to constant PM's, and your endless motivation to anxious 2nd years is greatly appreciated. (eyes fill with tears...) Thank you SDN. Thank you. (walks off the stage...)
 

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DOCTORSAIB said:
I am utterly bored right now, so I thought I'd start a new thread. Lets post:

1) Ideal Step 1 score:
2) Realistic Step 1 score:
3) Field of interest:
1) 250 or bust
2) 250 or bust
3) Neurosurgery

I'm gonna make a big sign that says 250 you worthless P.O.S. and have it looming over me while I study...you know, something to lighten the mood :D
 

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BlackNDecker said:
1) 250 or bust
2) 250 or bust
3) Neurosurgery

I'm gonna make a big sign that says 250 you worthless P.O.S. and have it looming over me while I study...you know, something to lighten the mood :D
That 250 will raise a few PD eye brows considering you'll be at least 15 points above the Step 1 average for neurosurgery. We can do it. Go team 2006!
 

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Speaking of team, I say we give our team a name....."Purple Cobras" anyone? (BTW, that movie is hilarious!)
 
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Hey,

I just starting going through this site recently. I must say, its a great source of motivation. Like desisaib, I also used to think 250+ was unthinkable, but this forum pushes you to expect more from yourself. I've written 260 on the top of my computer monitor. :D . A lot of the actual study advice doesn't apply too much to me. I'm an img and it's back to the drawing board for me, so I'm steeped in Kaplan and going through everything quite slowly. But as I said, this is a great place to pump urself up.
 

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I'm all about the group motivation... we have a loooong way to go before we actually take this baby... *sigh*.
 

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surrender903 said:
you got that from a scibes scribe notes! lol

im up for any team name that increases bonding
Hey, I saw that movie BEFORE the scribe notes came out...

Ok, so let's see who's part of the Purple Cobras so far:

1) Me
2) Surrender903
3) Quideam
4) BlackNDecker
5) Kurogoma
6) Dr.Pak
7) OSUDoc08

All MS-2's are welcome. Post a reply if you're interested in joining this elite group. (I know, this idea is really dorky but it helps to go through this hellish process together).
 

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So what does "studying smart" for step 1 mean (to you) exactly?

school ends in may, and you have what.... till August to take step 1?

How are you gonna study?
 

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YouDontKnowJack said:
So what does "studying smart" for step 1 mean (to you) exactly?

school ends in may, and you have what.... till August to take step 1?

How are you gonna study?
Studying smart, to me, means that you've ALREADY MADE IT THRU 1/2 of FA and 1/2 of Robbins Review of Path.

I also recently purchased the Kaplan Q review(with the extension cost me less than $200). Our school gives us this free in March, but the systems review is new and I think adds a substatial number of questions. Either way, I want to make it through all 2,500+ questions at least twice.

Also, a smart thing to do would be to look at the advice from the last 2 years heavy hitters. Look at people who scored in the range you want and do AT LEAST what they did.

I also quit buying textbooks...this has greatly facilitated my assimilation of 2nd year material. I wish I knew this first year!!

Purple Cobra sounds like a porn star name :laugh: Is this a reference the movie makes? I've never seen it...
 

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BlackNDecker said:
Studying smart, to me, means that you've ALREADY MADE IT THRU 1/2 of FA and 1/2 of Robbins Review of Path.

I also recently purchased the Kaplan Q review(with the extension cost me less than $200). Our school gives us this free in March, but the systems review is new and I think adds a substatial number of questions. Either way, I want to make it through all 2,500+ questions at least twice.

Also, a smart thing to do would be to look at the advice from the last 2 years heavy hitters. Look at people who scored in the range you want and do AT LEAST what they did.

I also quit buying textbooks...this has greatly facilitated my assimilation of 2nd year material. I wish I knew this first year!!

Purple Cobra sounds like a porn star name :laugh: Is this a reference the movie makes? I've never seen it...
It think having seen the movie should be a prerequisite to be a member. I own the DVD.
 

DOCTORSAIB

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BlackNDecker said:
Studying smart, to me, means that you've ALREADY MADE IT THRU 1/2 of FA and 1/2 of Robbins Review of Path.

I also recently purchased the Kaplan Q review(with the extension cost me less than $200). Our school gives us this free in March, but the systems review is new and I think adds a substatial number of questions. Either way, I want to make it through all 2,500+ questions at least twice.

Also, a smart thing to do would be to look at the advice from the last 2 years heavy hitters. Look at people who scored in the range you want and do AT LEAST what they did.

I also quit buying textbooks...this has greatly facilitated my assimilation of 2nd year material. I wish I knew this first year!!

Purple Cobra sounds like a porn star name :laugh: Is this a reference the movie makes? I've never seen it...
BlackNDecker pretty much hit the nail on the hit. Studying smart means setting the stage early on. This is done by:

1) Using FA as you progress through years 1-2. This way you know what is HY and what's minutiae that the prof expects you to know for the exam.
2) Using BRS path and physio almost on a daily basis. By the time you enter "official" boards studying, you've already underlined, highlighted, and/or annotated both books.
3) Using the right HY series books during respective classes (i.e neuro)
4) Doing as many questions as humanely possible (NMS, Appleton & Lange Q/A, Lange's Practice tests, Robbins Review of Path Qbook, Kaplan's Qbook, Qbank, IV Qbank, etc).
5) Pray

That's my interpretation of studying smart. :D

Purple Cobras comes from that Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn movie called "Dodgeball." Great movie!
 

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DOCTORSAIB said:
True dat... :thumbup:


DOCTORSAIB said:
Purple Cobras comes from that Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn movie called "Dodgeball." Great movie!
Oh yeah...forgotten all about that. Nowadays, I feel like the only way I can remember something is if I read it 3 times. Sucks for my movie trivia recall :(
 

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BlackNDecker said:
True dat... :thumbup:




Oh yeah...forgotten all about that. Nowadays, I feel like the only way I can remember something is if I read it 3 times. Sucks for my movie trivia recall :(

just 3? i need 4-5..... like once every 2 days, for 10 days.
 

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Hmmmm.... Purple Cobras. Do we get uniforms? Mebbe those crotch cushions that were in the movie?
 
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DOCTORSAIB said:
BlackNDecker pretty much hit the nail on the hit. Studying smart means setting the stage early on. This is done by:

1) Using FA as you progress through years 1-2. This way you know what is HY and what's minutiae that the prof expects you to know for the exam.
2) Using BRS path and physio almost on a daily basis. By the time you enter "official" boards studying, you've already underlined, highlighted, and/or annotated both books.
3) Using the right HY series books during respective classes (i.e neuro)
4) Doing as many questions as humanely possible (NMS, Appleton & Lange Q/A, Lange's Practice tests, Robbins Review of Path Qbook, Kaplan's Qbook, Qbank, IV Qbank, etc).
5) Pray

That's my interpretation of studying smart. :D

Purple Cobras comes from that Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn movie called "Dodgeball." Great movie!
def on the money with this one. using BRS phys instead of guyton is just alot easier. I use Robbins as my last resort, but as an "entry" way to the subject I will start and usually, end with BRS path. it complements Fogels notes rather nicely Saib. Robbins I will use for pictures and reference.

Im holding off on buying FA, until the 06 version comes out, right now my two purcchases that i need are HY Neuro, and Immuno.

anyone have a preference between Fadem's BRS text vs her HY text?

this week of is great to just relax and figure stuff out
 

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surrender903 said:
anyone have a preference between Fadem's BRS text vs her HY text?
I assume you're talking about Behavioral Sciences. I went with BRS behavioral just b/c it has questions at the end of every chapter, HY doesn't.
 

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DOCTORSAIB said:
I went with BRS behavioral just b/c it has questions at the end of every chapter, HY doesn't.
Same reason for me.
 

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DOCTORSAIB said:
I assume you're talking about Behavioral Sciences. I went with BRS behavioral just b/c it has questions at the end of every chapter, HY doesn't.
I got Rapid Review, since it's written by the professors at my school. The same for the Rapid Review pathology.
 

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fadem teaches at osu?
 

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YouDontKnowJack said:
fadem teaches at osu?
Sorry about that. I meant to say "Rapid Review." I have Rapid Review Pathology and Rapid Review Behavioral Sciences.
 

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It's intimidating to think about studying for this beast, but I feel like medical school's prepared all of us pretty well and it's just a matter of getting into a good study rhythm. Good luck to everyone.
 

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words of advice...

people will start studying really far in advance...+4 months ahead of time, some people need it, most people don't.

what i saw was that a lot of my classmates freaked out around this time last year and hit the books really hard. by april/may they had gone through the books (probably retained 20% of it because c'mon, studying for boards and memorizing FA is short term memory, it has to be). then when they were in the critical hour of 1 month out, they were burnt out and would just gloss over the books not really getting anything out of it.

the best way to study for the boards is to work hard right now. your clinical classes in your 2nd year help greatly for boards, don't miss out learning it well from your docs.

another note, don't spread yourself too thin with multiple study guides. i just memorized FA and did a LOT of Qbank. it's better to know one study guide really well vs. a lot minimally.

I guess in sum, it's good to have the urgency and fear going into the boards because you can use that energy to study hard. don't neglect your classes now and don't get burnt out by starting too early and getting a false sense of security.

then again, that's just how i did it and many people did very well doing otherwise.
 

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burn out?

i think if you want it badly enough, you'll keep at it......

i think if you squeeze 14 hours of studying per day for 6 weeks, you're more likely to burn out
 

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docpetey said:
words of advice...

people will start studying really far in advance...+4 months ahead of time, some people need it, most people don't.

what i saw was that a lot of my classmates freaked out around this time last year and hit the books really hard. by april/may they had gone through the books (probably retained 20% of it because c'mon, studying for boards and memorizing FA is short term memory, it has to be). then when they were in the critical hour of 1 month out, they were burnt out and would just gloss over the books not really getting anything out of it.

the best way to study for the boards is to work hard right now. your clinical classes in your 2nd year help greatly for boards, don't miss out learning it well from your docs.

another note, don't spread yourself too thin with multiple study guides. i just memorized FA and did a LOT of Qbank. it's better to know one study guide really well vs. a lot minimally.

I guess in sum, it's good to have the urgency and fear going into the boards because you can use that energy to study hard. don't neglect your classes now and don't get burnt out by starting too early and getting a false sense of security.

then again, that's just how i did it and many people did very well doing otherwise.
OK, I'm not thinking about studying now for the boards, but what about going over topics that you know you are weak in/have holes in your knowledge. For example, we don't have a formal biochem course and I know I am weak in anatomy (i know it's small percentage of the test but still) and probably behavioral sciences overall. I'm thinking of going over these come January so that when I hit the 4 week study period in May I won't be scrambling over these topics.

-b
 
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i guess i should rephrase...

when i said that most people don't need all that time, i'm talking about those who got a nice grasp on each topic during their first two years. let's not fool anyone, the best way to be prepared for step 1 is to work hard your first two years.

i completely agree that if you have a weak area you probably have to learn it well and that would take an extra week or two just in that area to understand it. all i'm saying is that 2-4 wks of 8 hrs a day is probably all you need to REFRESH your memory from years 1 & 2, memorize FA, and to cram in all the fine print.

and sure, some people are motivated enough to not get burnt out. but if you're like me and you have a test in two weeks, not matter how hard you try to study everyday for those two weeks...you don't really start to log it into your memory until a few days out when the sense of urgency is there (that's not everyone, but i know a lot of us are like that). to memorize FA probably should take around 3-4 wks and starting to memorize it 4+ months out would be hard to maintain that unless you are really structured and review constantly.

anyway, not saying that this is the ONLY way, but just a thought from someone who went through it before and saw what my other classmates did. really more of an observation and experience.

another thing that helps is, if you use your FA w/ your classes now and highlight/add notes while you're learning about it in class, that helps a lot come crunch time. example...if you're learning about cancer drugs in pharm, it's good review for your pharm exam to just go over the pharm drugs in FA and add little notes to it.

when all was said and done, my FA had a million highlights and tons of notes in the margins.

those are just my thoughts, everyone is in the same boat and you'll all get through it...good luck!
 

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I think FA is like memorizing SAT vocab words.
If you start early enough, and keep going over it, more of the crap will stick in the long term memory.... and ideally, that's what you want.

We all know how we cram right before a test, and yet we always miss that stupid thing we just read 2 hours ago.

Memorize FA for the long term is what I say. People say to 'know it cold'. Can you know something cold in a few weeks? I surely can't. So knowing myself, I need a lot more time than most people when it comes to memorizing.
 

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docpetey said:
then when they were in the critical hour of 1 month out, they were burnt out and would just gloss over the books not really getting anything out of it.
Wimps!

No seriously, your advice is good. You make a good point which is to learn the material well in class so when it's crunch time for boards, you're not spending hours trying to learn something you could have learned months ago. Using FA alongside class is a great thing to do. You won't believe how many little things I've learned to retain in long-term memory just b/c I see it in FA when studying for a class exam and know that it's HY for boards.

People often ask me "So are you studying for boards?" I tell them "Yes and no." Yes, in that I use my big 4 (FA, BRS path, BRS physio, and Goljan notes/audio) EVERYDAY when studying for class. No, in that I don't try to retain every detail in these books...not yet, at least.

The best approach that I've learned from high scorers is to set a REGIMENTED but REALISTIC schedule and stick to it. Start out 2-3 hours/day for boards but paying attention to concepts and doing questions to test yourself. Each month, kick it up a gear (3-4 hours, then 5-6, etc), incorporate HY series books, and study for understanding but start making ASSOCIATIONS and of course, do questions to test yourself. A month before the exam, you should have gone through BRS path, BRS physio, HY books, and FA and memorized most of what's in those books (especially FA and BRS path), and of course doing LOTS of questions at this point. The last 1-2 weeks is spent committing FA and BRS path to memory and doing MORE questions. The day before is ideally spent relaxing...or maybe looking over FA pharm one more time.

That's my game plan. Hopefully it'll translate into a good score. :)
 

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that is a great game plan you perfectly summed up what i tried to say. learning it well while in class gives you the foundation and doing FA alongside your classes helps you drive it into your memory.

with that said, what i was trying to say was...if you've done all that. 2-4 wks of going through and "reviewing" FA should be enough to finally log it all into your head.

those last 3 wks before boards i would do qbank and practice exams from 8-noon and then studied a different subject from FA from 1 - 6 everyday. i can't stress how important doing practice questions are. also, it REALLY helps to associate things while you're studying FA. if you're going over micro...think of which drugs would work on certain drugs and jot those in the margins, etc.

all in all, i went through FA 3 times for comlex and 1 more time for USMLE. once again, good luck and ENJOY your holiday!!!
 

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docpetey said:
that is a great game plan you perfectly summed up what i tried to say. learning it well while in class gives you the foundation and doing FA alongside your classes helps you drive it into your memory.

with that said, what i was trying to say was...if you've done all that. 2-4 wks of going through and "reviewing" FA should be enough to finally log it all into your head.

those last 3 wks before boards i would do qbank and practice exams from 8-noon and then studied a different subject from FA from 1 - 6 everyday. i can't stress how important doing practice questions are. also, it REALLY helps to associate things while you're studying FA. if you're going over micro...think of which drugs would work on certain drugs and jot those in the margins, etc.

all in all, i went through FA 3 times for comlex and 1 more time for USMLE. once again, good luck and ENJOY your holiday!!!
Bump. Any newbies dying to join the A-team?
 

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1) Ideal Step 1 score: 235-240
2) Realistic Step 1 score: 230
3) Field of interest: In order of interest: Pediatrics, anesthesia, internal medicine/endocrinology, emergency medicine (focus in wilderness medicine).

I don't even know what the possible score range for Step 1 is. I'm told that our school's average is 230, so I'm going to shoot for a little above that.
 

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Hey SarahGM, I glanced at your blog - Dr. Lemery is giving a talk at our school next week on the same thing :D. Didn't realize our seemingly *sole* Wilderness EM guy was in such demand!! :D. P&S and Cornell EM clubs should do a joint event sometime (just a thought)!

Q
 

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SarahGM said:
1) Ideal Step 1 score: 235-240
2) Realistic Step 1 score: 230
3) Field of interest: In order of interest: Pediatrics, anesthesia, internal medicine/endocrinology, emergency medicine (focus in wilderness medicine).

I don't even know what the possible score range for Step 1 is. I'm told that our school's average is 230, so I'm going to shoot for a little above that.
Here's the updated list:

1) Me
2) Surrender903
3) Quideam
4) BlackNDecker
5) Kurogoma
6) Dr.Pak
7) OSUDoc08
8) SarahGM

Come on people, there has got to be more 2nd years on here (that includes all you silent observers who take but don't give!).
 

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DOCTORSAIB said:
Here's the updated list:

1) Me
2) Surrender903
3) Quideam
4) BlackNDecker
5) Kurogoma
6) Dr.Pak
7) OSUDoc08
8) SarahGM

Come on people, there has got to be more 2nd years on here (that includes all you silent observers who take but don't give!).
1) Ideal step 1: 245+
2) Realistic step score: 230+
3) Field of interest: Surgery

Don't have too much more to add, but I am planning on starting my studies right now, mainly by a similar program described by doctorsaib. I am using Goljan audio for an hour a day while I am cycling. I read all of Robbins basic pathology with my course work and then review through highlighted materials once or twice before exams. In addition I am doing the corresponding questions with robbins qbook. I also go through BRS and Rapid review (which I just recently bought) path and BRS phys with lectures. I plan on spending more time memorizing pharm and micro out of first aid early on because it just doesn't stick as well as concepts. Other than that I go through the corresponding material from FA once or twice during each section. I have kaplan qbank and plan to get through that at least by the end of April for the first time. Over christmas I am going to set up a specific study plan. Sign me up. I will add to the list that I am a BYU English grad with a 3.7 science gpa; 30 on mcat (didn't feel like I reached my potential due to a chaotic schedule and my wife had our first baby four months prior – slightly distracted). First year average at med school ~ 90%, with my grades increasing throughout the year. I would be interested in knowing similar background information from you all. :thumbup:
1) Undergrad place/degree/science gpa
2) MCAT
3) First year grades
 

Tiki

Girl named after a Giant
15+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2004
957
16
East Coast
Status
Attending Physician
Ideal step one score = 240
Realistic step one score = 225
Field of Interest = Pediatrics or Emergency Medicine or Pathology. Actually, I should just say I have no clue. :)
 

YouDontKnowJack

I no something you don't
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2005
948
3
Status
Ideal = 280!
Realistic = paaaass
Field of interest- running some clinic and raking it in! I couldn't care less, cuz there's just too much competition.
 

box29

Keep on keepin' on Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 10, 2002
746
1
Status
Attending Physician
Ideal step one score = 245+
Realistic step one score = 225+
Field of Interest = Anesthesia, GI, GS, ...I don't know yet...
 

DOCTORSAIB

Ophtho or bust!
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2000
1,660
11
42
Baltimore, MD
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Alright, here's the updated list:

1) Me
2) Surrender903
3) Quideam
4) BlackNDecker
5) Kurogoma
6) Dr.Pak
7) OSUDoc08
8) SarahGM
9) Dark Horse
10) Tiki
11) Box 29
12) WestCoast (Pass is 182 on Step1 but you can do better!)

We have enough to be called the "dirty dozen" but it's probably not going to last long. Keep up the strong work people.
 

thekate

New Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2005
4
0
Status
Medical Student
Okay. I feel a little guilty about being accused of being a "silent observer" so I'd love to officially join the group.

MCAT: 36
College GPA: 3.95
Med School: usually about 1 SD above average
Ideal score: 245
Realistic score: Hopefully, 245

At my school we kind of condense the first and second year and so we take the boards early (by April 7) with 6 weeks given to us to study. While it does give us more clinical time, I am kind of feeling the crunch when it comes to step 1. So, I guess I'll probably be one of the first ones to take it. I'll be the guinea pig of the group. :) I'm planning on listening to Goljan audio/look over his book over Christmas. Then I'll buy FA and try to read through it 2, maybe 3 times before I start my official studying at the end of February. Then it's hard-core studying for about 5 weeks, and a week off to rest before the true test begins --- real patients.
 

DOCTORSAIB

Ophtho or bust!
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2000
1,660
11
42
Baltimore, MD
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
thekate said:
Okay. I feel a little guilty about being accused of being a "silent observer" so I'd love to officially join the group.

MCAT: 36
College GPA: 3.95
Med School: usually about 1 SD above average
Ideal score: 245
Realistic score: Hopefully, 245

At my school we kind of condense the first and second year and so we take the boards early (by April 7) with 6 weeks given to us to study. While it does give us more clinical time, I am kind of feeling the crunch when it comes to step 1. So, I guess I'll probably be one of the first ones to take it. I'll be the guinea pig of the group. :) I'm planning on listening to Goljan audio/look over his book over Christmas. Then I'll buy FA and try to read through it 2, maybe 3 times before I start my official studying at the end of February. Then it's hard-core studying for about 5 weeks, and a week off to rest before the true test begins --- real patients.
Kate, your stats are definitely impressive. Good job. I wish we had more time for our boards (COMLEX). It's becoming computerized for the 1st time this year and our curriculum hasn't really been adjusted yet, leaving us about 2 weeks of studying time. :mad: Anyways, enough venting.

Ok, here's the list (again):

1) Me
2) Surrender903
3) Quideam
4) BlackNDecker
5) Kurogoma
6) Dr.Pak
7) OSUDoc08
8) SarahGM
9) Dark Horse
10) Tiki
11) Box 29
12) WestCoast
13) thekate

I guess we'll have to change our name once again. How bout the "Dirty Baker's Dozen." (yes, I'm not that creative)

Anyways, welcome to SDN and thanks for coming out of your shell.
 
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