Sep 30, 2014
388
105
Hey everyone, I am an IMG originally born in the U.S. I recently took my Step 1 exam for the first time on December 18th 2014 and passed with a score of a 244. It was around 10 points lower than my NBMEs and self assessments probably due to exam day stress and silly mistakes, but I am very thankful for the score.

I had originally made a thread here and studied for about 7 months, it says a bit more about me:
http://www.prep4usmle.com/forum/thread/119013/

Obecalp was a huge inspiration to me on prep4usmle forums, and pholston has been a huge inspiration for me from sdn.

I wanted to make a Step CK journal because my last journal helped me tremendously in making sure I was doing a lot of work everyday.

I started my Step CK studying on December 19th 2014. (That's right, I was so depressed walking out of the Step 1 exam that I decided to start studying for CK right away. lol)

I finished MTB 2 by the end of december and bought the Rx Qbank in the beginning of january.
The first block I scored 87% all mixed, but it was downhill from there where I would score 54% or even lower.

Most of January I got distracted from studying and was doing minimal work everyday. Sadly I was unable to finish Rx qbank, and was still scoring in the 70% zone.

I just recently started my family med rotations being my first set of rotations on Jan 26th, so I do not have much clinical experience when it comes to answering CK questions.

I am 300 qs away from finishing Rx qbank and I have a current overall of 69%. Unlike my previous step studying, for step 2 ck prep I just read through the wrong answers and did not make notes on my mistakes. I think this was a mistake because I am tending to get the same things wrong twice from Rx qbank. However for Kaplan qbank and UW I will go back to what I know works for me and make notes on anything I don't know from the qbanks.

I also am watching the Kaplan CK videos, and I do feel they are helping since I lack the clinical experience, but they are taking up way too much time even at 1.5 speed.

I took a 4 block Rx simulation yesterday and scored 65% or Rx Predicted USMLE of 219. From experience Rx overpredicted my USMLE score of 82% overall in Step 1 by 22 points. It said I would get a 266, so I know that I am probably sitting around a 200 USMLE scale if not a tad lower for Step 2 CK. So I was really disappointed about that, but I know I am capable and will do much better.

I plan to write my CK exam by the middle or end of April, and my goal is to score a 260+.

Materials to use
1.) MTB 2 (Read once, on second read now)
2.) Rx Qbank (Almost completed)
3.) Kaplan Qbank (Yet to complete)
4.) UW (Yet to complete)
5.) NBMEs (Yet to complete)
6.) UWSAs (Yet to complete)


Have yet to purchase MTB 3, FA CK, and uptodate.

obecalp from prep4usmle is the person whos template I used to study for Step 1, and he recommended FA CK for step 2. So I am considering buying it along with MTB 3. I have read pholston's pdf for step 2 ck and will definitely look into up to date. For step 1 all qbank notes went straight into FA, along with print outs of nbme mistakes and what not.

So as of right now I am making MTB 2 the main book where all my qbank notes, kaplan video notes, and management notes are going in.

Today I am going to read the FA CK pdf for peds, and then do all remaining peds questions in Rx to see how I score with FA CK information. Most of my recent block scores have been 68%-77%, but I know with the next qbanks I will do better.

Will update later, it is an honor to finally post here after lurking for over a year.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read Pediatrics section in FA CK PDF.

- Did qs of Rx Peds mixed 67/93 = 72%

I know it's not a great score, but it's a major relief compared to the 50% & 60% I was scoring for the longest time.
Will try to push to do well in the remaining questions I have left.

There were around 15 qs I knew strictly from reading FA CK, that I would've otherwise gotten wrong if I had only read MTB 2.

Therefore, I am going to give FA CK a thorough read or two before my exam. Every point counts.

EDIT:

- Completed a total of 196 Rx qs today.

Will spend the rest of the day making notes and reading explanations for
1.) The questions I got wrong.
2.) Marked questions

196 Qs left in Rx Qbank.

Percentages are still hovering around 65%-74%, I am confident this will get better with the next qbank I decide to do. I will most likely go for UW next.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read FA CK PDF for Obstetrics.

- Did 30 mixed Rx qs for Ob/Gyn.
Got annhilated by the questions, I will definitely have to read the KLN for Ob/Gyn.

- Did another 44 mixed Rx qs and scored ~65%.
I should have definitely made notes on this qbank using tutor mode.
However, I know that when I start UW and start making notes, like I did
for my step 1 prep. I will improve my percentages.

Will update later, 121 Rx Qs left to go.

EDIT:

- Did Rx mixed blocks with the following scores:
42/44 = 95%
29/33 = 88%
19/22 = 86%
19/22 = 86%


Although it was the remaining questions in the blocks, I am thankful that my percentages did improve somewhat.

USMLE Step 2 Rx Overall: 69%

Not particularly happy with this performance, but I do realize this is the result of me going through nearly 1600 qs without taking any notes.

For my step 1 prep I recalled many things without writing them down and just from reading. So I thought I can read it once and remember it for a long while, but it is certainly safer to make notes.

I am confident I will do better in my next qbanks.

Will review the mistakes and marked questions and call it a night.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
Had a day of clinicals, got caught up errands and was not able to get much done.

- Read 30 pgs MTB 2.

268 pgs away from completing second pass.

- Did 1 MedU case for FamMed Rotation

Will def try to get more work done tomorrow.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 26 pgs MTB 2.

- Did 1 MedU Case for FamMed Rotation

- 3 hours of Kaplan Gyn videos. Taking notes directly in MTB 2.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 29 pgs MTB 2.

- Did pt logs for past clinical dates.

- Did 1 MedU Case for FamMedRotation.

- Did 1 hr of Kaplan Gyn videos.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did 6 hrs of Gyn videos, and finished all videos for that section.
Will try to do more videos later on if time permits.

- Read 20 pgs MTB 3
Reading everything besides IM sections. Started with Preventative medicine.

-Read 20 pgs MTB 2.
Luckily enough, my second read is side by side with the Chapter in MTB 3.

Will finish MTB 3 along with second read of MTB 2 and see how I feel.
Will take an NBME to see where I stand after I do.

Will update later.

EDIT:
- Did FA CK Q&A Gyn Qs
25/30 = 83%

- Did 1 MedU Case for FamMed rotations

- Did first 30 questions of Pretest Family Medicine
Found these to be really difficult, will review them tomorrow.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Started and finished Emergency Medicine videos today, worth ~5.5 hrs.

- Read 21 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 15 pgs MTB2.

- Did 1 MedU Case for FamMed rotations.

*NOTE TO SELF*
Start of Step 2 CK Prep: Dec 19, 2014.
Presumed date of Step 2 CK exam: Mid-Late April


Updated list of Materials:
1.) MTB 2 (On 2nd pass now)
2.) MTB 3 (Reading 1st pass now)
3.) Kaplan Step 2 CK videos
4.) FA Step 2 CK (Yet to read)
5.) USMLE Rx Qbank (Completed 1st pass 69% Overall)
6.) FA Step 2 CK Q&A (About ~50% done)
7.) UW Step 2 CK (Yet to complete)
8.) Kaplan Qbank Step 2 CK (Yet to complete)


Will look into uptodate as soon as I can in this coming week.

Will update later after I complete more work.

EDIT:
- Reviewed mistakes, made notes, and read the notes from the 30 Pretest Family Medicine questions, took nearly two hours doing so.

I will try to get more questions in tomorrow. Will probably be going to bed now.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did ~7.5 hrs of Obstetrics Kaplan videos.
I know many say these videos are redundant and unnecessary, but I find them to be helpful. Still learning things from them.

- Read 21 pgs MTB 3.
Beginning to notice bits and pieces of info that are missing in MTB2, glad I'm reading this book.

- Read 15 pgs MTB2.

- Did 1 MedU Case for Family Medicine Rotation.

- Did 22 Pretest Family Medicine Questions.
Scored horribly again, but I know if I keep pushing I'll do better.
Reviewed mistakes and made notes.

I will get more questions tomorrow.
Felt really sick earlier on in the day, and got caught up with some unnecessary things later on at night.
 
OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did 7.8 hrs of Obstetrics Kaplan videos, and completed Obstetrics section.
These videos are very time consuming, but they are helpful imo.

- Electronic Patient Encounter logs (EPEL) 9 out 12 for Family Med Rotations.

- Read 21 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 15 pgs MTB 2.

Did my best to do questions today, but took the entire day to do the work I did today.
Will wake up early tomorrow morning and do questions before I get to clinicals.

Trying to really push through things here, once I am done with FA Q&A, I am going to buy the UW Qbank as soon as I can.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Completed remaining 3 logs for the 12 Electronic Patient Encounter logs (EPEL) for Family Med Rotations.

- Read 21 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 16 pgs MTB 2.

- Did 43 Pretest Fam Medicine Questions, made notes, and reviewed them.
Still scoring horrible here, but I know with the notes that I make, I will start scoring better.

- Did 40 Ob FA Q&A qs, it is morning time now. Reviewing the few mistakes before I go to clinicals.
31/40 = 77%
I am confident that my overall grades will improve, pushing as hard as I can.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 21 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 16 pgs MTB 2.

- Did 50 GI FA Q&A qs.
33/50 = 66%
I use my questions mistakes as motivation to do better. I will keep trying to push for a 75%+ in my upcoming practice sets.

Will update later after I complete more questions.

EDIT:
- Did 40 pretest Family Medicine questions
Although still getting destroyed, made much less mistakes on this set then the last previous sets, so I see this as a step in the right direction.

Will try to finish reviewing all of these Pretest qs mistakes before I go to sleep tonight.

My clinical hours run on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8am to nearly 6pm everyday, its tough sometimes, but I try to get as much done as I can.

- Complete 1 of 4 SOAP notes for Family medicine rotation.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 27 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 20 pgs MTB2.

Spend around 4 hrs playing basketball and getting dinner with a few friends, so staying up an extra 4 hrs tonight to complete tonight's work.

- Did 50 Psych FA Step 2 CK Q&A
42/50=84%
Although could've scored higher, I am very thankful for this grade. I would like to think that I will score even better in future sets of mixed questions.
Going to review these mistakes and confusing questions now.

Will start Step UW as soon as I finish the FA Step 2 CK chapter questions.
I will save the mock exam in the Step 2 CK FA Q&A book for a later date.

Will update later.

EDIT:
Finished reviewing mistakes and confusing questions.
Answer keys was labeled wrong for two questions, so I actually scored even better than an 80%. Every point counts.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did 6.5 hrs of Endocrine Step 2 CK videos and finished the sections.

- Read 7 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 10 pgs MTB2.

- Did 60 Hematology FA Step 2 CK Q&A qs
37/60 = 61%
Really disappointed with this score, will review the mistakes tomorrow and learn from my mistakes as strongly as I can.

Was not able to get much reading done today or get to pretest because I woke up about two hours later than usual, but will push for more work to be done tomorrow.

Will try to wake up at normal time tomorrow, it's past 1:00am near me.

Sleeping schedule is from 12:30am-1:00am till about 6:00am. (About 5-6 hrs of sleep every night.)

2/23/15
***

Reviewed the 60 qs, there were apparently 5 answer key mistakes I made while checking, so I actually got higher than 61%.

-Hematology Step 2 CK FA Q&A
42/60 = 70%

Will update later.

**/.

..**..

- Haphazardly completed ~7 hours of Pulmonology Step 2 CK videos. ..**.

- Read 15 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 15 pgs MTB 2.

- Did 40 Family medicine Pretest questions and reviewed them, made notes.
Not scoring so well on these, it's a bit demotivating. Doing these to expand my knowledge in my current rotation. I will keep pushing and do the best that I can.

***/

.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
2/24/15

- Started and completed Psych section worth of ~8hrs of Kaplan Step 2 CK videos.
Taking notes directly into MTB 2.

- Read 18 pgs MTB 3.
Radiology section in this book actually has pictures while the Radiology Section in MTB 2 doesn't!

- Read 20 pgs MTB 2.

Trying to wake up earlier tomorrow and will get more work done.

Will take an NBME this coming Sunday to see where I stand.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Started Kaplan Step 2 CK Surgery videos. Completed ~7.5 hrs of video.
Only have these pediatrics videos left, then will get started on UW.

- Read 15 pgs MTB 3.

- Read 15 pgs MTB 2.

- Completed and reviewed 40 pulmonology questions from FA Step 2 CK Q&A
29/40 = 72%

Thankful for the mistakes, learned a lot here. I will push so my grades can continually head forward in the right direction.

EDIT:
Will go to sleep now and wake up early to do pretest questions.

EDIT2:
Was staring at my computer for a little bit then had a second wind all of a sudden, and completed 40 pretest questions.
32/40= 82%!
My grades have skyrocketed from 40%-55% to 82%, maybe because these sets of questions
were more pathology and step 1 oriented. Either way glad I pulled through these questions.

Now I will go to sleep.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished 2nd Pass MTB 2. ;);)

- Finished 1st Pass MTB 3 (excluding IM sections). ;)

Will update later after I complete more work.

EDIT:
- Did 81 Pretest Family Medicine questions
43/81 = 53%
Not happy with this grade, as I feel this is not a reflection of my capabilities.
However, I am very thankful for every mistake that I get to learn from.
Hopefully the remaining 160 qs go much better.

Have to work on a presentation that is due tomorrow, if time permits will try to get in some FA Step 2 CK Q&As as well.

EDIT 2:
Just finished the presentation, took nearly 5 hours unfortunately.
Will push myself to my limits to get more Step studying done tomorrow.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 20 pgs FA Step 2 CK

- Did 80 qs Pretest Family Medicine
50/80 = 62%
These questions were hit and miss, but felt I learned a lot from them.
79 questions left in pretest.

- Did 2 of 4 Soap Notes for Family Medicine Rotation

Will update later.

EDIT:
- Did 30 qs Musculoskeletal section FA Step 2 CK Q&A
24/30 = 80%
Thankful my grades are increasing here, will try to keep pushing for even better scores.

3 sections left Infectious Diseases, Neurology, and Renal/Genitourinary in the FA Step 2 CK Q&A book.

EDIT2:
- Did 20 qs from Pretest Fam Medicine
10/20= 50%
All silly mistakes at this point but making notes for anything I get wrong, or am unsure of.
Less than 60 qs in Pretest left, will finish these tomorrow.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- On pg 78 of FA Step 2 CK

- Began 3rd pass for MTB2.
Contemplating between MTB2 and Step 2 CK for my main book of putting UW and Uptodate notes in.

- Finished 1st pass of Pretest Family Medicine. ;)
Overall ~53%

Not content with overall performance, but was using this mostly as a learning tool for my current rotations.

- Finished 40 qs of Renal & GenitoUrinary in FA Step 2 CK Q&A book.
30/40= 75%
Still have to review these.

Will update later.

EDIT:
- Finished and reviewed 50qs of Neurology in FA Step 2 CK Q&A book.
44/50 = 88%
Very thankful for this score, I feel things falling into place now.

Will review Renal&Genitourinary mistakes and then call it a night.

I will take an NBME tomorrow to see where I stand with my studying thus far.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
-Took NBME 4 with expanded Feedback.
Didn't do well at all, got 47 wrong and scored around 202 on USMLE Scale.
Noticed a ton of step 1 stuff, that I know still in my mind somewhere.
I can't even imagine what I would've scored if I hadn't done all of these Step 2CK Kaplan videos and Rx Qbank, which definitely helped a little.

This reminds me exactly how I felt when I took my first NBME for Step 1. Really disappointed about it.
But I am very thankful for this super hard kick in the balls. I know things will get much better once I start USMLE World Step 2 Qbank.

General Plan for the month of March:
1.) Finish USMLE World along with uptodate Put all notes into MTB 2.
2.) Finish 3rd read of MTB2
3.) Finish 2nd read of MTB3
4.) Finish 1st read FA Step 2 CK (I will probably drop this book completely if I feel I am on a time crunch.)


Will get started on USMLE world tomorrow.

Plan for today is to review NBME 4 mistakes and finish and review Infectious Diseases Section from FA Step 2 CK Q&A book.

Will update later.

EDIT:
Took me around 4 hours to pick myself up after earning the score I did today. But I am confident I am capable of doing better. Will keep pushing.

- Completed 70 q of Infectious diseases in Step 2 CK FA Q&A book.
62/70% = 88%

Overall FA Step 2 CK Q&A Book Score
(Except Mock Full Length Exam at the end of the book.)
476/605 = 78%


Will now go review the NBME questions.

EDIT2:
Reviewed most of the NBME questions will review the rest tomorrow.
Silly silly mistakes, and many of the info I seem to have gotten wrong is blatantly written in MTB 2.

Thankful to make these mistakes now. Will push as hard as humanly possibly.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
Had a meeting with a senior student and have come to a more organized study plan.
He and I were both concerned with my current performances and felt I was trying to do way too much at once and
not letting things sink in.

So as much as I wanted to read FA Step 2 CK for the sake of turning over every stone, I've decided to drop the book.
Will only use the high yield section at the end of FA Step 2 CK if anything.


Current Plan:
1.) Read MTB2 & MTB 3 Subject Wise
2.) Do USMLEWorld2 on tutor mode For that subject.
3.) Do Clinical Mastery Series for that subject.
4.) Make notes of any important concepts and facts along with uptodate


I have yet to register for the CK exam, but so far my heart is set on taking the exam latest by April 30th, 2015.

Goal is 260+, just as it was for when I was studying for step 1.
Will take another NBME at the end of this month to see what else I can do to make it possible.


I remember my first Step 1 NBME 7 was a 202 USMLE scale and 4 months later I scored 260 USMLE scale on my medical school comprehensive NBME. Even though the time is much shorter, I've done it once before , I believe I can do something similar again.

Time to make a difference.

Will update later.

- Finished 3rd read of infectious diseases from MTB2.

- Finished 44 qs of UW on tutor mode. Will just post my cumulative once I am
done with the qbank sections or what not.

But so far, I can say that I am learning a lot and they are going good so far.

Will go eat now, going to update again later.

- Finished 4 out of 4 Soap Notes for family medicine rotations.

- Finished another 44 qs of infectious diseases on UW Tutor mode.
Scored right on average for this one, made a lot of silly mistakes. Will stay more alert while I am doing questions, and I know things will fall into place nicely.

Will hold off on reviewing NBME mistakes until tomorrow or the day after.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Completed and reviewed remaining 47 IM Infectious UW questions

-Finished reading IM Allergy.

- Completed and reviewed 5 IM Allergy UW questions.

- Finished Reading IM Cardiology.

- Completed and reviewed 44 IM Cardiology questions

Will update later.

- Reviewed Part of NBME. Will try to review remaining NBME tomorrow.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Spent a few hours reviewing NBME 4 mistakes.
Thankful to have completed this review, was painful finding the right answers. But very much worth it.

Will update later.

- Completed and reviewed 94 IM Cardiology qs.
I read a little bit of emergency medicine about 50 qs in from MTB2 with my ongoing UW notes. They were hammering the different ECG findings, and this read helped a bit.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished 2 of 2 Case reports for family med rotations.
I have rotations days on thursdays, fridays, and saturdays, but still will try to get as much done as I can.

- Finished reading Emergency Medicine, Ethics, and Radiology sections in MTB 3.
Finished this readings during my spare time in rotations when there were not any patients around to attend to.

Going to do UW qs now, will update later.

- Finished remaining 25 IM Cardiac qs.

- Finished reading IM Endocrine from MTB 2.

- Finished and reviewed 25 IM Endocrine qs.
Was skimming my FA for step 1, and I was shocked with the amount of questions that can be answered with Step 1 knowledge. In fact, I think I would have scored higher on these questions if I read my FA Step 1 rather than MTB 2 before doing them.

Will actually sit down and properly read my FA for step 1 endocrine tomorrow and do more endocrine UW Qs.

Doing all questions on UNUSED TUTOR MODE btw. Will do this for my first time through, then will reset and do mixed timed for my second run of UW.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished reading Preventative Med in MTB 3.

Going to rotations now, will update later.

EDIT:

- Finished reading Endocrine in FA Step 1.

Best decision I've ever made was to drop Step 2 CK, and go back to my Step 1 book.
It contains notes from Rx, Kaplan, UW, DIT, wiki facts, graphs and charts, all NBME concept mistakes explanations, all UWSA mistakes concept explanations, all Kaplan diagnostic mistakes concept explanations, all Kaplan self simulated exams concept explanations, and many mechanisms from Big Robbins.

Reading this my FA Step 1 today helped me just answer 10-12 more questions right on the block I just did.

All of the Step 1 information is in my mind somewhere, but since it's been a few months since my Step 1 exam. Reading it was very helpful to me as a refresher.


Hypothetically, after reading MTB 2 and 3, if I added UW Step 2 qbank notes into my Step 1 book. I would've probably been scoring much higher than I have been since the beginning of UW.

However plan is still as follows, all notes going into MTB 2 book.

I originally wasn't going to do this, but have decided to put my daily grades. So I can track my progress.

Up until now I have been sitting at around ~67%, will try to push this overall well into the 75%+ by the time I am done with this qbank.

Will push with all of my might, I have a feeling things are going to get better.

- Finished and reviewed 31 IM Endocrine UW
24/31 = 77%

- Finished and reviewed 32 Im Endocrine UW
21/32 = 66%
Made 3-4 super silly mistakes during this block on concepts I otherwise know very well. But I take full responsibility for this grade.

Will get started on Pulmonology IM tomorrow. Will do my best to minimize these mistakes in the future.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished reading Pulmonology FA Step 1.

- Finished reading Pulmonary section in MTB 2.

- Did and reviewed 44 IM Pulm qs.
24/44 = 55%
Really disappointed how I blew it today with these questions, made 5-6 silly mistakes again of concepts I can explain in exquisite detail.

I will read my UW notes in MTB 2 again tomorrow, and will finish remaining Pulmonary questions.
I am going to push for a 75%+ on these remaining IM pulmonary questions, I know I can do it.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read UW notes in Pulmonary section of MTB2.

- Read FA Step 2 CK Pulmonary section.
Really didn't want to do this, but I was trying to do everything at this point to score better after yesterday.

- Read Pulmonary section in USMLE Step 2 secrets.
Helped me answer 3-4 questions right, great book.

- Did and reviewed 44 IM pulm qs.
31/44 = 70%
Although, I am slightly disappointed that I did miss my goal by a few qs that were more or less a 50/50, I am going to do my best to score higher on these remaining 43 pulm IM qs.
Nonetheless, very thankful for the improvement from yesterdays score.

EDIT:
- Did and reviewed 43 remaining IM pulm qs.
33/43 = 77%
I did it, I am so thankful that I am able to see this increase in my scores.
Reading all UW explanations and making notes has been the greatest thing since Step1.
USMLE Step 2 secrets still helped for a couple of qs here and there.
FA step 2 ck, not so much.

My goal on Step 2 is a 260+, I know I can do it. Will keep pushing forward with all that I have.


Will update later.

- Finished reading Rheumatology MTB 2.

- Finished reading Rheumatology USMLE Step 2 secrets.

- Did and reviewed 15 IM Rheumatology questions
11/15 = 73%

2:00 am now, going to sleep, have new rotation days.
My second rotation starts is for Pediatrics. Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did 1 out of 6 CD lecture for Peds rotation.

- Read 15 pgs USMLE Step 2 secrets.

- Did and reviewed 38 IM Rheumatology qs
25/38 = 65%
A bit disappointed still hovering around 67% overall. Have 38 IM Rheumatology qs left, will finish reading musculoskeletal FA Step 1 now, and will try to attempt to do well on these qs tomorrow.

New rotation site is pretty busy and does not have as much down time, will have a 5 minute lunch from now on and spend the rest of my lunch break reading.
Sleep schedule for next 6 weeks is going to be from 2 am to 7 am.

Will update before I go to sleep.

EDIT:
Finished reading FA Step 1 Musculoskeletal.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished reading a couple of chapters in USMLE Step 2 secrets.

- Finished 1/2 Case reports Peds.

Will update later.

EDIT:
- Finished remaining IM rheumatology qs in UW.
28/39 = 72%
Things are coming together nicely now. Will give it my all for the remaining UW qs.

I will update after I complete more work.

EDIT:

Did some work for rotations.

- Finished CD Peds lecture 2/6.

- Finished 55 Pretest Peds questions.
34/55=61%

I have a good feeling about my next couple of days of step studying.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read a few chapters of USMLE Step 2 secrets.

- Finished reading Hematology from FA Step 1.

- Did and reviewed 44 IM Hematology & Oncology qs.
29/44 = 65%
Just like step 1, Step 2 uses these synonyms I have not come across before for describing disease processes that I can other wise explain very well. I caught on to a bunch of it.
I will read my MTB 2 notes of hematology tomorrow and try to kill the remaining questions.

Goal is still to get 75%+ on these remaining qs per block. I know I can do it.

EDIT:

- Did and reviewed 55 pretest Peds questions.
44/50 = 80%
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished reading MTB 2 hematology.

- Did and reviewed remaining IM Hematology qs, along with 2 general principles qs.
14/26 = 54%
Disappointed by this, was continuously getting simple straightforward diseases questions wrong.
20/27 = 74%
Fixed my mindset a little bit and did better on this block, but it could have gone better overall. Either way, very thankful for all the mistakes I get to learn from before my exam.

Will update later.

EDIT:
- Finished reading MTB 2 Gastroenterology.
I made very brief notes on a single piece of paper for about 3/4 of the MTB 2 chapter, something I've rarely done before in step studying.

I was tired of getting, "1st line treatment doesn't work, what drug do you give next?" type of questions wrong because those type of questions are not a test of my understanding but rather silly easy points that I should not be getting wrong.

I never used flashcards or anything in my entire life. But doing this short summary today helped.

These notes on that single sheet helped compartmentalize the information in my mind so I would not confuse two diseases or two treatments or two tests amongst the diseases.

- Finished and reviewed 44 IM GI & Nutrition qs.
34/44 = 77 %

I have the file attached below if anyone is interested, it's not the greatest summary, but it prevented me from making mistakes on the easier questions.

Will update later.
 

Attachments

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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did and reviewed 37 qs IM GI&Nutrition.
25/37 = 68%

Will update later.

EDIT:

I did something really unusual just now, that I have not done much during my step 2 studying before.

I started thinking!

I realized that after reading FA 7 times, with all banks completed in step 1, I should be hovering way over 67% overall on step 2qbank.

I am a person that likes to memorize everything. Memorize all possible scenarios and recall them at the tip of my fingers. But I have already done so much memorizing before so I wondered what would happen if instead of cramming 50-70 pgs of reading in a day, I would just think.

So I told myself that I am going to think for my next block.
1.) What diagnosis does this person have? MOST important question I asked myself while going throgh a question. imo
2.) Person has painless bleeding? Thinking to myself it cannot be ischemic colitis, telling myself that I will not pick ischemic colitis as an answer for this pt.
3.) Person started vomiting continously for past hour? Thinking to myself differentials are mallory weiss and Boerhaaves. Although possible, thinking this is less likely to be peptic ulcer disease.
4.) Person has nonspecific mild symptoms, next best test? Thinking to myself first probable thing to do is NOT cut open the patient, avoid all choices with invasive procedures.

Result of this?

- Did and reviewed 36 IM GI&Nutrition qs.
29/36 = 81%

Instead of patient on a tea and toast diet with pallor and fatigue, etc., etc.--> Mind going BOOM! Vit C deficiency.
While the answer could be something completely different yet simple such as vit B9 deficiency causing anemia.

Just giving an example, straight recall has worked for me considerably in the past and more 60% of these step 2ck questions. But step 2ck is a tad different ballgame.

I can only imagine how much better I would've done on step 1 if I realized the common sense behind the importance of thinking while doing questions.

What is the patient having?
Why are they having it?
Did they recently get started on a new drug?
Does their disease have a related family history?
Are they symptomatic?
Is an invasive test really necessary right now in this patient?
Is the patient going to die if fluids are not given immediately?
Patient is not medications. Do not choose medication side effect as an answer no matter how close of a presenting side effect it may seem to be.
Can there be a such thing as a false negative test in a classic case of certain diseases?
Everything that has urticaria is NOT anaphylaxis..

It's time to start thinking now.

Will update later.

EDIT 2:

Finished and reviewed remaining IM GI&Nutrition qs.
30/37 = 81%

I know I am capable of being a 260+ student. I will keep pushing forward like I am now, I know good things will come.

- Did and reviewed 110 Pretest Peds questions.
Averaging ~60%

***/.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Completed 12/12 pt logs for Peds.
- Completed 2/6 CD lectures for Peds.
- Completed 2/2 Case reports for Peds.

Yet to complete 6 MedU cases, 5 Write ups, and 4 SOAP course work notes for Peds rotations.

EDIT:
- Finished reading Neurology MTB 2.

- Finished doing and reviewing an all mixed block that I started by mistake.
22/40 = 55%
Really disappointed to see this. My head wasn't in the right place here, but I can say that I definitely learned a lot. I am thankful for that. Will be more careful when I create tests.

- Finished doing and reviewing 44 IM Neuro qs.
33/44 = 75%

I am going to shoot for 80%+ on these upcoming blocks now. Let's see how this goes.

EDIT 2:
- Completed lecture CD 3/6 for Peds.
- Completed 1/6 MedU cases.
- Did 100 Pretest Pediatric questions
~55%

This rotation coursework is taking up a lot of time. Will try to balance it out better so I can get more UW questions done tomorrow.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did and reviewed 44 IM questions neuro.
34/44 = 77%

- Did and reviewed 41 IM questions neuro. Marks completion of neuro qs.
31/41 = 76%

- Completed 4/4 SOAP notes for Peds rotations.

Will update later.

EDIT:
- Finished reading MTB IM Nephrology.

- Finished 2/6 MedU Cases.

A SDN member messaged me and mentioned it was unclear if I was in rotations or not, so just figure I'd add a little info.

-I am a 3rd year medical student a few months into rotations.
-Currently my Pediatric rotations days are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 8am-6pm. Have a ton of course work, I mark it in my journal and power through as much as possible, because I am trying to put all focus into Step 2 CK exam studying.
-Sleep schedule is from 2 am-7am.

-After watching that video a few days ago, I added a 30 minute timer on my days off when I work out with dumbbells and calisthenics in my room. I use to do bodybuilding before I got accepted to medical school and I want to get back to the 185-193 lbs of muscle that I once was a few years back. If I am able to balance things better will try to find 30 minutes to workout everyday. Will probably do body weight squats or pushups every morning depending on how things go. I am 168 lbs now slim and cut up, but I know I can get back to the muscular physique that I envision myself as walking this earth in due time.

Currently doing:
Thursdays- Shoulders
Fridays- Legs & abs
Saturdays- Chest, Triceps, & abs
Sundays- Back & biceps

I am going to work as hard as I can for the things that are important to me, and keep going at my goals with all of my might.

Will updated later.

EDIT2:
- Finished 50 qs Pretest Peds.
~%50
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read a few chps of USMLE Step 2 Secrets.

- Did and reviewed 44 qs for IM Renal.
35/44 = 80%

If I keep this up, and if the USMLE Step 2 Qbank has any percent correlations like step 1 qbank. I believe it is possible that I can achieve a 260+ on this exam.

Going at it this studying with every drop of effort and focus that I have.


Also diet plan to gain weight:
Current weight 166 lbs.
Total calories daily required to put on muscle. (Just multiply current weight by 20 generally has worked for me.)

GOAL for DAILY CALORIES: 3,320 calories.


Current calorie intake = 2,365

Didn't realize I was eating so little. Will figure a way to bump this up soon.
EDIT: Also will decrease the oatmeal intake by half and will find another source of carbs, as it's too much fiber for me.
Meal 1: Protein Shake = 640 cals
1 cup quaker oatmeal = 300 cals
1 cup milk = 150 cals
1 banana = 100 cals
2 tbsp peanut butter =190 cals
Meal 2: Two whole wheat tuna sandwiches = 500 cals
-2 pieces bread 160 cals, 1 can tuna 90 cals
- 2 pieces bread 160 cals, 1 can tuna 90 cals
Meal 3: Protein shake = 495 cals
1/2 cup quaker oatmeal 150 cals
1 cup milk = 150 cals
1 banana = 100 cals
1 tbsp peanut butter = 95 cals
Meal 4: Two potatos + 4 egg whites = 280 cals
Two potatoes = 2oo cals
4 egg whites = 80 cals
Meal 5: Kashi cereal + Milk = 450 cals
Kashi cereal 1 cup = 300 cals
1 cup milk = 150 cals

In other news, I have been very inspired by Henry Lau for the longest time. I will buy a violin and learn how to play it soon. Already working on the dance moves for months.


Currently 2:37 am, will stay up another hour or two to study then call it a night.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read a few chapters in USMLE secrets.

- Did and reviewed 36 IM Renal questions.
26/36 =72%
Made a few silly mistakes, will make up for it as best as I can.

My eyes were closing nonstop while trying to do these questions, so took me much much longer than usual to do these questions today.
Probably something I ate that was making me tired.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read a few chapters in USMLE secrets.
- Did and finished remaining IM Renal qs UW.
21/36 = 58%
Really disappointed here, was having an off day today.

Since I now have 4 days off from clinicals starting tomorrow, will hit the books hard tomorrow, and try to pick myself up as best as I can.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished reading MTB 2 Ethics.

- Finished the 33 ethics qs in UW.
23/33 = 70%

Will update later.

EDIT1:
- Finished reading Opthalmology MTB 2.

- Finished all uw opthalology qs.
24/39= 62%
A lot of things they asked that I have not read in any source before. Will keep pushing to do well.

- Finished reading Psych MTB 2 & MTB 3.

- Did and reviewed 44 Psych UW qs
31/44 =70%

EDIT2:

Currently 2:32 am, I am going to keep on going for today. Keeping pushing through as best as I can. No sleep just yet.

- Did and reviewed 31 Psych UW qs.
25/31 = 81%

EDIT3:
Currently 4:27 am
- Did and reviewed remaining 31 Psych UW qs.
25/31 = 81%

I don't drink coffee or anything to stay awake. I believe strength from within is stronger than anything you can put into your body from the outside to stay up.

Just figured I share some videos that speak to me and keep me going.


Will go to sleep now, till next time.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Finished reading Radiology, Preventative Medicine, and Surgery in MTB 2.

Will update later.

- Finished reading surgery in MTB 3.

- Sent online application for Step 2 CK, will set a date when I get my permit.

- Did and reviewed mixed surgery qs.
26/44= 59%
Got annihilated, feel pretty bad about this. But I am confident in the notes I have taken. I will go strong through the remaining surgery questions.

- Did and reviewedd mixed surgery qs.
21/31 = 71%

- Did and reviewed mixed surgery qs.
21/30 = 70%

Currently 5:16am, going to call it a night, wanted to finish all surgery uw qs in one day. But I feel my brain isn't processing the questions as efficiently anymore at this moment.

Will wake up around 9:00am and get back to the studying.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read a few chapters from USMLE 2 Secrets.

-Finished surgery questions.
17/30 = 57%
Thought these would have went a lot better than they did. But I am confident that if I can learn from the mistakes I have made I can do really well.

I realized that when I was reading surgery sections, I did not make brief notes like I did during the GI section. And my grades seem to be really indicative of that. I think compartmentalizing the facts in my mind so two procedures or treatments or exams are not confused is really important here.

I am going to read Ob/Gyn today, I will make brief notes and see how the next set of questions go.

I am sitting at ~69% overall right now. Goal is to hit an overall of as close to 75%+ as possible for this qbank. I still have 760 questions, I know I can make the difference.

EDIT:
- Finished reading MTB 2 Ob/Gyn. Made brief notes.

- Finished read MTB 3 Ob/Gyn. Tried to connect the reading to my notes, did not take any notes here.

- Did and reviewed 23 mixed UW Ob/Gyn qs.
16/23 = 70%
Doing my best to hold on here, making those brief notes helped me answer a few questions right so very thankful for that.

Will spend all of tomorrow doing the remaining Ob/Gyn qs. Off to bed now.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did and reviewed the following blocks thus far for Ob/Gyn all mixed, unused, tutor mode.
31/44 =70%

32/44 = 73%

28/44 = 64%

68 qs to go, trying to hold on as best as I can here. A little demotivated by that last block. Will give it my very best to change things in the remaining qs.

EDIT1:
20/34 = 59%
Really disappointed to get this score, I don't believe these poor percentages are an indicator of my capabilities and knowledge. I know I will do well, trying learning as strongly as I can.

34 more qs to go.

EDIT2:
24/34 = 71%
Thought I would've done better, but I am thankful if I have to go through the hardships and struggles now so when the day of the exam comes I will be prepared. This marks completion of Ob/Gyn questions.

537 qs left. I want to climb over 70% overall for the UW qbank, I will push through as much as I can.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read Derm MTB 3.

- Read Derm MTB 2.

- Read Derm MTB 2 sections of treatments again.

- Did 50 qs of all IM Derm qs today.
20/25 = 80%

20/25 = 80%

Most of my ability to answer these questions was from step 1 studying and medical school memories.

Thankful for a good day today.
 
OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
3/24/15

- Read MTB 2 Emergency medicine.

Felt very sickly, and got literally nothing done.

3/25/15

Just got back from clinicals, will try to pick thing up again today.

-Finished reading few chapters from USMLE Step 2 Secrets.

- Did and reviewed 40 mixed IM qs.
28/40= 70%

447 qs to go, will finish this in the next couple of days.


- Did and reviewed 20 mixed IM qs.
16/20 = 80%
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
-Finished reading MTB 2 Peds. Marks 3rd pass completion. ;););)

- Finished reading MTB 3 Peds. Marks 2nd pass completion. ;);)

Plan to read 34 pages a day for MTB from tomorrow, which will help me complete my 4th and 3rd pass respectively.
Trying to read MTB 2 & UW notes around 5 times before I go take my exam.
Will go through UW twice or three times in total before I take my exam.

General idea for now, will update later.

EDIT1:
-Did and reviewed mixed Peds UW qs.
31/44 =70%

EDIT2:
- Did and reviewed mixed Peds UW qs.
31/44 = 70%
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Did and reviewed mixed Peds UW.
30/44 = 68%

Really stressed with the lack of progress, trying not to doubt myself. Many of the questions I am getting wrong I know I am very much capable of understanding or have understood before. Just pushing for a more relaxed mindset for these remaining questions.

236 Peds qs left, I will make a difference. Things will be good. I've worked very hard up to this point, I know I am capable of getting at least 70% overall on uw. Still hovering at 69%.

Will update later.

EDIT1:
- Read 34 pgs MTB 2, marks beginning of 4th pass.

- Did and reviewed mixed Peds UW
32/44 = 73%
Going to keep pushing, shooting for 75%+ on the remaining blocks.

EDIT2:
- Did and reviewed mixed Peds qs
34/44 = 77%

Working so hard that it eventually feels effortless like breathing afterwards, pushing with all that I can. Will try to get 80%+ on the next upcoming blocks. I believe I can do this.

EDIT3:
- Did and reviewed mixed Peds qs
31/44 = 70%
Will keep on pushing, I know I can do well.

EDIT 4:
- Did and reviewed mixed Peds qs.
30/44 = 68%

5:16am now, going to sleep it's been a long day.

119 UW qs left, will do my best.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 34 pgs MTB 2.

- Did and reviewed 40 Peds mixed.
29/40 = 73%

- Did and reviewed 20 Peds mixed.
15/20 = 75%

59 UW qs left Biostats in IM, will update later.

EDIT1:

- Read FA Step 1 with all of my qbank notes, nbme notes Behavioral Science section.

- Did and reviewed 39 Biostat qs
29/39 = 73%
Could have scored better, but I can safely say that I was able to answer 70%+ because these questions were conceptual repeats from Step 1 and all of the qbanks I encountered during my Step 1 studying.


The drug ads seem daunting, I've been searching around. An advise that helped me was to read the last line of the drug ad question, and then look through the ad for the answer.

Aside from the drug ads, I read every question from top to bottom while highlighting just once. I try to avoid going back to the question, although sometimes I do go back a second time just to double check if it seems like a give away or a trap question.

Will update later.

EDIT2:
- Did and reviewed 20 Biostats UW qs.
13/20 = 65%

This marks my completion of my first pass of Usmle World. ;)
OVERALL: 70%
PERCENTILE: 65%


I would have like a higher overall as I do feel I am more capable, but I am thankful that I have at least hit 70%.

So far I have completed:

1.) MTB 2 three reads. ;););)
2.) MTB 3 two reads (Except IM sections). ;);)
3.) USMLE Rx qbank: 1st pass Overall: 69%. ;)
4.) USMLE World qbank: 1st pass Overall: 70%. ;)

Will do the mastery series questions these next few days and then will also take an NBME to where I stand.

Goal is 260+, I know I can do it.


-Completed 6/6 MEDU Cases.

EDIT3:
Eligibility period Step 2 CK set: Apr 01, 2015 - Jun 30, 2015

Still waiting on permit, will book a specific date as soon as I get the Scheduling Permit email.


PLAN FOR LAST MONTH OR SO OF PREP.

1.) RESET UW. Finish & review 132 UW qs a day, mixed, timed, unused. REVIEW ALL EXPLANATIONS add any remaining gaps in notes.
2.) Finish 4th & 5th read MTB 2.
3.) Finish 3rd read MTB 3.
4.) Finish all Clinical Mastery Series questions.
5.) Finish UWSA, NBMEs, and Free 150.


I plan on sleeping 8 hours a day the last 18 days before my exam. But until then sticking to ~5 hours of sleep.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 34 pgs MTB 2.

- Completed WU 2/5 for Peds.

- Completed 137 qs. reviewed wrong and confusing questions ONLY for Pretest Peds.
98/137 = 71%

Taking care of the course work for today, will start up with UW and Clinical Mastery Series questions soon.

Will update later.

EDIT1:
- Ended up watching 3+ hrs of Kaplan Videos for surgery last night since hadn't completed them earlier.

At this point of my studying I don't think it was a good use of my time. I will probably stick to just doing UW and Clinical Mastery Series questions at this point.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 32 pgs MTB 3 Surgery.

Reset UW and from this point forward, will starting doing 44 Question blocks, Timed, Mixed, Unused.

- Finished and reviewed 1 block
Reviewing ALL explanations, will just put my overall percentage for second time through since I've already seen the UW questions once before.

- Finished and reviewed another 44 q block.

Will watch another hour of Kaplan surgery videos before I go to sleep and see if it helps, it was my lowest section in UW, and just want to give it one more shot.

Will take my next NBME on saturday.
 
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OP
I
Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 30 pgs MTB 3 finished Surgery, started Peds section.

Will update later.

- Did and reviewed 1 block of 44 questions.

Will push with all of my might to get more done tomorrow.
 
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OP
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Sep 30, 2014
388
105
- Read 20 pgs MTB 3 Pediatrics section.

Booked a date, for May 3rd, 2015. Hope all will be good for that day.

Will update later.

- Read 17 pgs MTB 2.

Getting very little done, don't know maybe not feeling well lately. Have to push through this slump. I will keep pressing forward.
 
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