Could not take the boards, any advice

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by brodaiga, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member

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    After finishing second year, we had about 5 weeks to study for the boards. I have to take the comlex and usmle. I had some personal problems with the fiancee (we live together) and just felt burnt out after second year and just could not study. I probably got 3-4 days of study time in. My rotations start on the 23rd of June. My first rotation is light, ie peds, and then ob, med, and surgery. each one is six weeks long. Right now I am scheduled to take the exam in the first week of my ob rotation. I also have the option of taking them in December where I have a light rad rotation for 2 weeks followed by a 2 week vacation.

    I'm just really scared 3rd year will be so busy I won't be able to study well. I want to do well in the rotations as well and not neglect. I just picked some 3rd year rotation advice books to get a feel about the rotations are all about.

    Any general advice out there?
     
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  3. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III

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    Does your school let you take Step 1 anytime you want? I've read somewhere (unsure of source, so take with a grain of salt) that there is an inverse relationship of score the later in 3rd year people take it - and was suggested to take it earlier if possible. I think achill 6 week peds rotation will give plenty of time to prepare.
     
  4. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member

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    yeah, anytime
     
  5. If you're going to delay Step 1 until after Peds, make sure the rotation is indeed "light" - some school's Peds rotations can be call-intensive.
     
  6. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    A few things:
    * Does your school make you take a shelf exam after peds? Trying to study for Step 1 AND the pediatric final exam will be tricky, and will require a lot of planning on your part.

    * I've read in previous posts that you go to UMDNJ? Where does your school make you rotate for peds? (I go to med school in Philadelphia.) I've seen some UMDNJ students at DuPont in Delaware...and in that case, that commute is really going to eat up a lot of your study time. If they keep you in one place for the entire 6 weeks, either find someplace nearby to stay, or....find some way that you can study during the commute. Maybe listen to Goljan or something.

    And put some thought into taking it in December, after your two weeks of vacation.

    Good luck! :luck:
     
  7. DragonWell

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I think something to consider is how prepared you are coming into this: strong foundation, maybe listened to Goljan during second year and just need to refresh some details or, haven't used any board prep yet and feel like you have some significant gaps in your knowledge. If it's the former, it might be realistic to prepare during the rotation, but if it's the later, it might be considerably more difficult.

    Do you have any vacation rotations or any time off at all in the next year?

    IMHO, the optimal thing would be to try to move your schedule around any way you can to get a chunk of time (3-4 weeks) off to study, even if it means giving up your vacation next year, etc.

    I guess it depends, but I'm not sure any rotations are really light enough to give you as much time as you'd like to study, esp if you have to take a shelf at the end. I'm new to 3rd year, but from what I've seen so far, there's not a lot of free time, and what little there is, you will probably want to use to read about your rotation so you can at least have some idea of what's happening.
     
  8. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    If you can push back one of your rotations until 4th year (maybe peds or OB), I would suggest doing that. The sooner you get step 1 over with, the better you'll feel, and if you start studying now you'll have a good 7-8 weeks of study time. A few people in my class have pushed back a rotation, and it's usually not a problem. It does cut into your vacation time 4th year and it does push back your sub-I, but step 1 is important and you want to do as well as possible.

    If you can't do this, then I would suggest taking it in December when you have 4 weeks of good study time (radi-holiday included), though this isn't ideal since you have med and surg right beforehand and can't really review step 1 stuff during these rotations.
     
  9. I agree.
     
  10. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    I agree. I would suggest either postponing your peds rotation or having a month after that and taking step 1 then. I can even begin to describe how many details of micro, molecular etc have gone out of my head when you do not see them in the clinics.
     
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agree. Try to take it right after something "outpatient" (clinic) oriented. Those tend to be more 9-5 and should give you time to study.
     
  12. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member

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    thanks for the suggestions, no, I cannot push anything back, I either have August or December. Does a person have down time to study for the rotation while they are on rotation saving some time later to study for the boards?
     
  13. Taurus

    Taurus Paul Revere of Medicine

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    You need at least 1 month full-time studying.

    Doing a rotation + studying for step 1 = disaster waiting to happen
     
  14. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    There is usually some downtime during the day to study for the rotation, though on labor and delivery that wasn't the case. If you just want to pass the rotation, that will give you more time to study during the day, but if you want honors you'll probably be expected to do more on the floor.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Depends on the rotation and the school. But bear in mind that you are going to need to study for the shelf exam at the end of each rotation -- it's not like you can focus on the Step exam while on, say, Peds and expect to know what you need to know for the Peds shelf. In a lot of rotations you will be working long days, and at the end of the day you will have things you need to look up or read up on because you botched a pimp question or have to do a quickie presentation to your team, or because your patient has XYZ syndrome and you know your attending is going to ask you about it. On top of that you are trying to study for the shelf exam. And in a lot of rotations you don't get weekends off. So yeah, squeezing in time to study for the boards is going to be a challenge. The biggest challenge however is going to be your personal/fiancee problems. Because if you are going to try to study effectively for the boards on top of a rotation, you are going to have to be able to bump everything else off your plate.
     
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  17. McSnappy

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    Can't do this, can't do that, only can do it during... this time, excuse for this, excuse for that.

    Sounds to me like you are, even possibly unknowingly, sabotaging your opportunity. Are you unconfident or wanting to give yourself a good excuse when you don't score what you "should/would have" if "the powers that be" would have allowed you to do _____. Maybe not, but the tone of your post(s)...

    Or, If you want to go into family or peds, you can do it the way you want. And this is not a knock on those going into family or peds. All you need to do is pass Step 1 to get in. If that is what you want, keep doing what you are doing. If not, you may want to consider pushing off 3rd year a month and putting that month in your 4th year. Now, I know that that can be done. There are several at our school who did that b/c they thought they needed to blast step 1 to become a _____________ (you fill in the spectacular specialty). Some even did a sophmore fellow and worked in pathology or within a research field for a year.

    There are options, just make up your mind, stop the excuses and make a decision.

    Just start telling yourself the truth and not putting the onus on someone else to get it done.
     
  18. Taurus

    Taurus Paul Revere of Medicine

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    Giving yourself that month to study is not just about doing well but to pass the damn test. There are many people who have to bust their butts for a month just to barely pass the test.
     
  19. blz

    blz Senior Member

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    damn dude, if you feel burnt out after 2nd year you have no idea what you're in for 3rd year. there is no way possible I could have done step 1 during ANY of my rotations third year. if i were you, I would finish 3rd year and aim for all honors, then worry about step 1 the end of 3rd year or beginning of 4th year when you can get a good 4week elective block to use to study. this is an important test, don't half ass it.
     
  20. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan

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    I'm in a similar boat.

    I studied for 6 weeks and took NBME 2 and got a 232.

    I want a 240 or greater, and didnt feel comfortable taking the exam, so I decided to put it off for my next 6 weeks of available free time, which happens to be in november/december after a couple clerkships.

    I would schedule in another block of 6 weeks as soon as possible, and study for it then. I agree that the sooner you can take it, the better, but also clearing your head and doing something else and regrouping can be of value also.
     
  21. SOUNDMAN

    SOUNDMAN Senior Member

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    WTF are you serious?? I seriously hope not, you postponed after getting a 232 on the NBME b/c you want a 240...I SO hope this is a troll and I fell for it...

    If it is not a troll and you are serious...well I can't...i'm seriously at a loss of words...wow...pretty ridiculous and...I don't even know if your post deserves a response and if I was a friend of yours I would probably smack you upside the head and physically escortyou down to the center..:rolleyes:
     
  22. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan

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    LOL... Yes, I am serious. Going into week 6 I was still making progress and I dont want to shut any options out. You can kiss my a** if you think that you have any idea what my situation or options are, or what might be best for me. Oh and if you wanna smack me, you better bring it!
     
  23. blz

    blz Senior Member

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    you need to simmer down kid. you have no ideas what his goals are or his background. if he wanted to do plastics/derm/ent then he's gotta do what he's gotta do.
     
  24. SOUNDMAN

    SOUNDMAN Senior Member

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    I don't have to simmer down at all, and don't call me a kid blz.

    I think he's being ridiculous, and I would tell anyone else that as well. Putting off the Step I for another 6 months when you have already studied for 6 weeks is a poor decision, and I'm sure more people will agree with me than disagree. You are obviously at no risk of failing (NBME of 232, a very good score I might add) and your knowledge you have of the basic sciences is near it's peak after this studying. Trying to rev up again to do this is plain foolishness, especially if you are studying for shelves etc, and trying to do well on rotations. Even with another 6 week block of free time do you really think you are going to be able to improve that much?

    Now I think you will be sorely disappointed with yourself come november or december, and then you have to turn around and take Step 2 etc. If you could postpone for two weeks this would be a better thing for you, b/c then you wouldn't lose all that you've gained in this 6 week period and still solidify details to put you over the 240 edge.

    FWIW I was at 232 four weeks out and took STEP I, and I was studying during class (took it early before school was out) and scored where you wanted to score. Basically I'm saying that I didn't have to study a lot (and was unable to) to put my score into that range, the last week or two was truly the key.

    And trust me I'd bring it to any of my friends and they know it, and I'd expect them to do the same thing to me...good luck with your choice, it'll be interesting to see if it pans out for you.
     
  25. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan

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    I'll definitely update you guys how it pans out. You'll here back from me in 6 months.

    :cool:
     
  26. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon

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    The OP needs to prioritize Step1 and take it as early as possible. They mentioned August -- go for that.

    Your Step1 score is a vitally important part of your residency application -- esp since it sounds like you are a DO. If you want to do a competitive specialty and don't get a competitive score you are going to have to start maneuvering ASAP to buff your application.
     
  27. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan

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    LOL. So I'm back. Starting in on studying for this beast, with 5 weeks allotted to study. I took UWorld assesment, and am gonna do an organ based review starting with my worst subjects. I plan to do an NBME every week or so, possibly sooner, to continually re-evaluate my weaknesses.

    Previous assesment:
    6/17/08 NBME 2: 232

    Currently:
    11/17/08 UWorld Assesment 1: 219
     
  28. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    good luck. I don't envy you at all.
     
  29. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan

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    A quick update:

    Previous assesment:
    4/28/08 NBME 1: 410/195 (Never reviewed questions)
    6/13/08 NBME 2: 560/232 (Never reviewed questions)

    Currently:
    Plan of attack:
    Take assesment tests to determine my weakest subjects, and study the Phys, Pharm, and Path for the three worst organ subjects, then repeat. Once no organ system is in boderline performance I will begin with a subject based review.


    11/17/08 UWorld Assesment 1: 500/219
    Reviewed worst organ based subjects: GI (Excluding Liver and Nutrition), Cardio, and Renal
    Lost some days because I was sick and b/c I had a friend in town.

    11/24/08 NBME 1: NBME 540/228 (79.5%)
    Worst sections include:
    Musculo/Skeletal, Heme, Nervous

    Test date: 12/23/08
     
    #27 laxman310, Nov 24, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  30. Wait, without studying you're already at a 219-228? :confused:
     
  31. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan

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    Well kinda.

    I have completed Medicine, OB/Gyn, and psych, and obviously took those shelves, which makes the first step of most questions (what is the diagnosis) a joke.

    I had reviewed Immuno, the first 3 chapters or robbins, and some behavioral before the 219.

    Then I reviewed the Phys, Pharm, and Path of GI, Cardio, and Renal for a week, putting me at 228.
     
    #29 laxman310, Nov 25, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008

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