because perhaps if i write a post about it, i'll actually be able to follow my own advice!
it's no secret that a medical career requires a lot of studying. there are tests (big ones!) blocking nearly every intersection on the crowded road towards becoming an all-powerful attending physician.
the medical testing ladder
✔ of course, it all begins with the SAT! how can you get into medical school without making it into a great college?
✔ then, there are approximately 1 zillion tests to take during college itself. orgo final, anyone?
✔ and then comes the MCAT. looking back, i would probably consider this the most stressful, pain-in-the-ass exam that there was.
✔ oh, so you got into medical school? get ready for tests, tests, and more tests those first couple of years -- sometimes as frequently as every week!
✔ and then there are the shelf exams. the clinical years just wouldn't be the same if you didn't have tests to cram for when you are hours behind on sleep.
✔ and then the ante is upped: HERE COME THE USMLE exams (ie, med school BOARDS!) all the sudden, test fees climb from the hundreds to the thousands. whaa? first, there's the minutia-filled basic-science focused step 1 (in my opinion, the hardest). then step 2 CK (better) and the 'live-action' CS. and finally (easiest!) step 3.
✔ and finally, when you thought you were through, there are specialty boards (like my general peds boards on october 18th -- yeah, as in about a month) -- and even sub-specialty boards (uh, sometime in 2013 or so).
✔ and for all that, you get the privilege of having to take (and pay a pretty penny for) recertification exams every 7-10 years.
i suppose it's a good thing that there are a few sizeable barriers standing between high school geometry class and, say, a cardiothoracic OR (or writing prescriptions for narcotics). but it does tend to get old. i admit i'm finding it hard to muster the zeal that i had for step 1 (or even step 2).
but i at least have this blog as proof that i used to be a good student and test-prep master! plus, working for kaplan for several years (i taught MCAT and then did teacher training for a while during med school) must have left me with something.
so why am i having so much trouble now?
■ just not feeling the urgency. well, this one is about to get thrown out the window! i now have approximately 5 weeks (and work-filled weeks, mind-you) before test day. if there was ever a time to focus, it is now.
■ too many distractions, with #1 by FAR (though i hate to admit it) being my google reader. i am about to make a bold statement: aside from 20 minutes in the AM while eating breakfast, planned study breaks, and during weekends, i am going to leave my much-loved reader alone for the next few weeks. promise.
■ i don't have a plan. see, i did, but then i got behind, and instead of making a new one i just kind of ignored it. THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE, TODAY.
■ i just haven't been feeling very productive lately. i think it's a little bit of mental backlash from adjusting to the first two months of fellowship. i finally feel more comfortable at work, so it's time to put the effort back into the other areas of life.
well. it's now time to conclude this post, and i have yet to get to any tips. i promise, i do have some! i think i will just make this 'part 1' and tackle the actual tips later this week. any master test-takers have any tips of their own to share? i will include some of them (with credit, of course!) in the upcoming post.
and because a pictureless-post would just be sad
here are some $#(* gorgeous coats.
workout: rest day
cooking: uh, rest day
studying: FINE, i did nothing yesterday other than go to work. so sue me. (kidding :) ).