Stepping To The Finish Line

Boooyyy am I glad to be on my last week of my Step Study Block.

Red Dress Look Up GIF by truTV

My motivation to study is reaching all-time lows. I’ve been having to force myself to stay focused during question blocks as of late, and I’m sick of having to review the answer explanations to the questions. The only reason I’ve still been able to miraculously wake up around 7:30 AM each morning is because it has become a routine drilled into me these past few weeks. My circadian rhythm is very stubborn, to say the least.

Although my motivation to study has been declining recently, I’ve been able to maintain my performance on my question blocks. My scores have even improved a bit from the week before, and I’ve been consistently scoring within a specific score range that I’m comfortable with. Of course I’ve been trying to improve even more because the sky’s the limit and all, but at this point I’m just so ready to get this test over with so I can move on with my life. I feel like I definitely got pretty much all of the major concepts down and the questions that I’ve been getting wrong mostly have to do with minute details that I have either never heard of or had already forgotten because I had reviewed it briefly eariler on in my study block. Reviewing these details is only going to help me as I prepare for Friday’s exam, so I’m glad that I’m encountering them now as opposed to on test day. At the same time though, I know I’ve been studying too long when I start to forget things that I know that I reviewed weeks ago. So I just gotta go on and take this test, especially because I’m SO ready to start my vacation week that I had moved from the end of third year to the end of my study block. Don’t worry though, best believe I’m still gonna keep my head straight and blaze through this final week of preparation, regardless of how much I don’t feel like studying anymore.

Tv Land Lol GIF by #Impastor

In other unrelated news, I found out recently that I’ve been accepted to two scholarship away rotations at Children’s National Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia! I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to rotate at these hospitals and I’m looking forward to my experiences in these month-long rotations, which I’ll be completing this fall. It’ll be awesome to meet the physicians at those institutions and to learn about how things operate at hospitals outside of the one that I regularly train at. It’ll also be wonderful to learn how to go about treating patient populations that are different from the populations that I’ve grown accustomed to treating at Wake. These experiences will definitely diversify my medical training, which will in turn make me an even stronger medical student who will be able to carry the important lessons learned in my experiences into residency and beyond.

Speaking of residency, I recently attended a group session hosted by the Pediatrics Department at Wake that brought together those in my class who are interesed in this field of medicine. We talked primarily about ways to go about applying to programs, getting letters of recommendation, drafting our personal statements, and other related topics regarding our not-too-distant futures. I can’t believe that the time to begin applying to residency programs is finally here. For the longest time, applying to residency programs was something that I knew was coming but could also brush off as something that I’ll complete later in the future. Well, now that “later” is now. I’m going to be working on my application for the next phase in my life, just like I was working on my application to medical school around this time four years ago. Lol now that I think about it, I was actually studying for my MCAT at that time. My, my, how much things have changed. (Not gonna lie, I still got some ill will towards that test…I bet it still sucks just like it did all those years ago.) I’ve heard that applying to residency programs is an overall better experience than applying to medical school, which is really good news to me. It’s definitely going to be a busy summer though and an even busier fall semester, but I’m sure that the end result is going to be worth all the hustle. Till then, I’m just going to enjoy the process that I’ve grown to trust.

Make sure to have a fantastic week! Too bad the NBA season has come to an anticlimatic end…good thing we have the World Cup to tide us over! Even though neither America nor Cameroon made it. Jeez.

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Ingrid Bergman

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S.Grandma, it’s been exactly a year since you left this Earth to be with our Father. We miss you, and I hope that you’re resting peacefully in Paradise!¬†ūüôŹūüŹŅ

Gaining Ground

Well, I’m still studying for Step 2 CK. Nothing much has changed regarding that aspect of my life. My question block scores have been pretty stable this past week, with many more highs than lows. I also took a diagnostic test on Thursday and according to my results, I’m at a much better level of preparation than I had anticipated! I wasn’t feeling too confident while I was answering those questions, but after I got my score back I felt like I could just go on ahead and take Step 2 the next day just to get it over with lol. I have a little less than two weeks to finish preparing for this exam, which is both good and annoying. It’s good because I can only get better from where I’m at, and I have the potential to have a high peak performance on test day. On the other hand, it’s annoying because I’m starting to lose patience with these study days and this endless cycle of answering questions and reviewing them is actively draining my desire to study. Plus, I don’t want to end up performing at my peak before test day. That would really, really, reeeally suck. But alas, the grind must never stop. I’ll continue to chug along with this study process and ensure that all this hard work brings about a fruitful result.

In other news, I took some time off last Wednesday to participate in patient advocacy at the state capital! The event, White Coat Wednesday, is an annual event hosted by the North Carolina Pediatric Society that is focused on meeting with state legislators in order to discuss pertinent issues relating to the health of children and families in NC. My whole morning was spent having important discussions with various legistators alongside Wake Forest faculty members, residents and fellow classmates who are also interested in a career in Pediatrics. It was a pretty neat experience, because it allowed me to witness firsthand what engaging in patient advocacy on a legislative level was like. It’s really not as intimidating as you would think it is. Before meeting with the legislator, you come up with a few talking points that you want to emphasize during your conversation. Ideally, they would be topics that you believe would be most likely for both you and the legislator to agree upon, because you want to ensure that the meeting will be a productive one. Once you have those set talking points, you literally walk up to your legislator’s office and attempt to talk with him/her for a few minutes. Of course this part is easier if you have already scheduled a meeting with them beforehand. You hit on your talking points during the conversation and hope to inspire the legislator to act upon at least one of your suggestions. Then the meeting is over and you both go your separate ways as you work to locate the next lawmaker that you want to influence.

It’s actually a pretty simple process once you get the hang of it. But then again, the lead Pediatrician we were with has been doing this type of work for a while now, so I’m sure that this is all second-nature to her. She really made the whole process look so easy! As a future Pediatrician, I know that I’ll certainly be drawn to advocate for my patients on many levels, especially the legislative level. With that said, I really am glad that I decided to participate in this event because not only did it make the whole process less intimidating than it initially seemed, but it also proved to me that I could really help make a difference in the lives of others on a larger scale just by talking to the very people who help create the laws we live by.

All done here! Now go on and have a sensational first week of June!

“Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.” – Anne Frank

– Black Man, M.D.

Stepping Back Into Step

Well I must say, I like being a fourth-year so far.

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Yeah I know it’s only been a week and all, but man has it been chill. It has actually been one of the most relaxing weeks I’ve had in a while. I mean, I did have to go through my Procedures OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), my final CPX (Clinical Practice Examination), and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) training over the course of the week, but even with those things in place, it’s been a chill week overall. I haven’t had to study for another looming Shelf exam nor have I had to prepare myself for a shift in the ED/clinic/OR/wards. I literally have been able to calm all my nerves down and relax for a little while….sort of. I may not have another Shelf exam coming up, but I do have this little thing called Step 2 CK that I’m gonna have to pounce on in less than a month. With that said, I’ve had to mix my relaxation with the initial phase of my preparation for the exam. This means that I’ve been forcing myself to complete UWorld question blocks for the past few days while reviewing material that I’ve learned all throughout the year, just like I was doing for Step 1.

frustrated fainting GIF

In addition to beginning my Step Study Block, I’ve been having to make time to fulfill my duties as the External Affairs Committee Co-Chair for the SNMA. There’s quite a bit of work that goes into this position and I’m still grappling on how to be as efficient and effective in this role as possible while continuing to put forth my best efforts in my studies. I’m sure that as time passes, I’ll grow even more into this new role and I’ll also figure out ways to complete the things I need to do in a more efficient manner. There’s just so much paperwork that I need to keep straight but as long as I keep my organization game A1, I should be good. Plus with a Co-Chair as good as mine, I’m confident that our committee will be strong and healthy well before our quarterly National Leadership Institute, which is where the Board of Directors of the SNMA meet. This first one will be taking place at the end of June in Minnesota. I ain’t never been to Minnesota, nor did I think I would ever have to travel there. But then again, never in a million years did I think I would ever be blogging. Yet here I am. Just ty-ping my thoughts away.

So yeah, gist of this post is that I’m liking my final year of school so far, I’m still busy even when I’m not, I’m glad to be done with the testing I had to do this week (OSCE and ACLS went fine. This CPX was definitely my best performance yet, but even with that said I definitely screwed up a few things…and it wasn’t that easy of a test. I’m pretty sure I did alright on it overall…but I’m still gonna pray on it¬†ūüôŹūüŹŅ) and I’m starting to crack down on this Step 2 studying. I’m so not looking forward to four straight weeks of question blocks and review…but whatever, it’s gotta be done. Plus, I’m going to be with my girlfriend most of the time so that should already make these next few weeks better than last year’s Step Study Block!

Alright, back to studying I go. I have a couple hours to get some in before I attend Wake Forest’s annual SNMA graudation banquet tonight. Wow! I’ll be a graduate in that banquet next year! ūüėÜūüėÜūüėÜ

Be sure to have an awesome week!

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” – Mae Jemison

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – Okay this is really random, but I got a professional massage for the first time in my life a couple days ago. Maaannn have I been missing out! And I also watched Deadpool 2; it’s freakin’ hilarious. You definitely gotta check it out. But be warned, there’s a lot of gruesome action scenes. And very crude humor. Lots of it.¬†ūüėā

Stepping Into The Light

THIS IS IT! 

It has ALL come down to this!!

Liberation Day is finally upon us!!! (Well, upon me that is.)

My performance on tomorrow’s 8-hour long, 280 question exam will be the result of all the endless studying I’ve committed damn near all of my waking hours to these past five weeks. Even more so, it’ll be a reflection of all the knowledge that I’ve gained ever since I first stepped foot into medical school almost two years ago. I sincerely hope that¬†my performance tomorrow accurately depicts¬†just how hard I’ve worked for this exam…I haven’t studied this intensely for any other test in my entire life. When I tell you I’ve sacrificed almost every waking hour these past five weeks for this test, I literally mean it. I’m talking about waking up at around 7:15 AM each morning, doing practice questions and reviewing answers until lunchtime, then studying whatever material I needed to get through for the day up until like 10:30 PM. Then I would be asleep a little after 11 PM. Granted, I definitely took breaks here and there for various things like the gym, grocery shopping, running errands, etc. But for the most part, I’ve been grinding. There were times where I didn’t even know what day it was, because I was literally doing the same thing every single day. It was like I was in my own little world…I would sometimes forget that life was happening all around me as I continued to study the endless droves of material in front of me. I even got pranked on April Fools’ Day because I forgot it was April Fools’ Day! And I’m never one to fall so hard for a prank. SMH. Hell, a¬†season literally changed while I was in my study block! I didn’t realize it was officially Spring until like a week ago. It’s crazy how fast time can move when you’re intensely focused on one thing.

But alas, my Step Study Block is officially coming to an end! It honestly wasn’t horrible or anything overall, but I sure am glad that I’ll be able to move on with my life very soon! And I couldn’t be more excited! Okay I’m lying. I’m not even excited right now. I actually have a stale face on as I’m typing this sentence. I’m not allowing myself to come even close to excitement until I leave the testing center tomorrow afternoon. Right now, I’m fiercely focused on the mission, which is to give it my all plus some¬†on Step 1. As I’ve said before, I’m going to attack the exam with 110% effort and as long as I know I’ve done my absolute best, I’ll be comfortable knowing¬†that the score I’ll eventually receive is the score I was meant to have. Only after I walk out of the Prometric Center tomorrow will I do heel-clicks and screams of praise and all that. But until then, concentration is key.

With that said, I’m going to end this post and relax for the rest of the day. I spent all morning reviewing the last-minute material that I believed was relevant, so I’m now at peace with resting my mind for tomorrow. Trying to continue studying at this point would be futile, because¬†then I would just go on a never-ending cycle of trying to review things I’ve already reviewed 156 times. I have complete faith that I’ve learned everything that I need to know at this point. If, by any chance, I come across something tomorrow that I’m not too familiar with, I’m confident that the test-taking skills I’ve been¬†sharpening throughout this study period will help guide me towards the best answer choice. I’m also glad that I took the time a couple days ago to actually drive¬†over to the testing center in order to get a feel for the place. Knowing exactly what to expect when I arrive at the center tomorrow morning has helped put me at even greater ease¬†about taking this exam.

Okay, I’m actually ending this post now. Wish me luck!

And thank you for all of your prayers, I GREATLY appreciate each of you!!

Have a spectacular week! Lord knows I’m about to have one!

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Dr. Benjamin Spock

– Black Man, M.D.

Stepping Up To The Pressure

I’m about eight days out from taking my Step exam…

And I’m just about over this insanely repetitive¬†lifestyle of intense daily¬†studying. To be real, I highkey¬†just want to take this test and move on with my life. It’s cool and all to be able to synthesize everything I’ve ever learned plus more and to think through various mechanisms, but there’s only so much of this that I can take. Although I know I’ll learn even more useful information during this final week of preparation, I’m honestly real glad that the test is finally coming up soon lol. I’m¬†just going to keep¬†putting 110% effort into preparing for this exam and leave the rest up to God.¬†As long as I know that I’m working harder for this exam than I’ve ever worked for any other test in my life and know that I’m giving it my all plus more, I’ll graciously accept the score that I produce next Monday and continue moving forward with my life. There’s only so much you can do before you begin to feel like you’re burning out. The pressure is definitely building up, but the worst thing that you can do whenever it does build up is lose your cool. So I’m keeping my cool like I usually do. Matter of fact, I’m stepping right up to the pressure face-to-face. Kinda like that picture with 50 Cent and Kanye back in ’07 when they dropped their albums on the same day. I’m Kanye and “The Pressure” is 50 Cent. And we ALL know how that panned out.

Life after Step still seems like a distant realm in the future to me, but it’s literally starting next week. It’s hard to believe that I’ll be mingling with other medical students from around the nation at the SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference in Atlanta starting next Wednesday and that I’ll be kickin’ it in Canc√ļn in a little over two weeks! Just thinking about it all is getting me excited!

But first, I gotta go Beast Mode in these final days leading up to Step.

Then I gotta go Triple Beast Mode while I take the actual exam.

I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. TO. BE. DONE. WITH. STEP. 

Y’all have a great week!

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

– Black Man, M.D.

Appreciating the Steps to Step

Liberation Day (Test Day -April 10th) is sneaking up on me faster than I expected it to…which just means that I’ll be free even sooner than I expected to be! I’m only two weeks away from taking Step and to tell the truth, I’m much more calmer about it than I ever thought I would be. Granted, I’m not ready to take it tomorrow or anything…but after taking a practice exam last Monday and enduring this past week of intense studying, I actually sincerely believe that I’ll be 100% ready for this Step exam on Monday, April 10th. Speaking of, I actually performed better than I thought I would on that practice exam! I’ve also continued to witness an overall improvement in my performance on these UWorld practice questions. I’m taking another practice exam tomorrow and I pray that I continue this trend of ascension as I continue to double-down on preparing for Liberation Day.

It’s honestly been pretty cool to be able to synthesize and apply all of the information I’ve learned this past year-and-a-half. Sometimes, dare I say, it’s even fun! Well, it’s only fun once I finally understand a concept. I legit feel 10x smarter than I did¬†just 3 weeks ago lol. But even when I feel like I’m¬†finally starting to get the hang of everything, these practice questions have this uncanny ability to humble the hell outta¬†me by instantly getting like 50x harder. It’s soooo annoying, but very necessary because it gives me the opportunity to learn and harmonize new sets of information that I wouldn’t have learned or harmonized otherwise. All in all though, I haven’t really had a negative experience with this study block so far. Plus, having something to look forward to after taking this test has been really helping me power through everything lol.

While I’m on the topic of looking forward to things, I had the opportunity to accompany my girlfriend as she attended an Open House at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health this past Friday! Having that to look forward to gave me the necessary drive I needed for the first half of this Step Study block. It also served as a much-needed break from the mundaneness that I’ve grown accustomed to these past couple of weeks. We stayed in Chapel Hill for a couple of nights and were able to explore the UNC campus (including Franklin street) while we were there. She was accepted into the five-year MSPH/PhD program at the public health school there, so we were able to meet and interact with a bunch of people associated with that program, which included¬†faculty members, current students and prospective students. We were both thoroughly impressed with what UNC had to offer overall! Considering that it’s the #2 public health school in the nation, there was plenty to be impressed about. Plus the campus was quite scenic, even with the bare trees and all. I can only imagine what it looks like during the spring and summer months. Now it ain’t no University of Miami, which has the best campus design of all time (I’m bias and I don’t care) but I can definitely appreciate the beauty of UNC’s campus. We tried to go to Franklin street and watch the UNC-Butler game at a restaurant, but we made the freshman mistake of getting there too late smh. Every single restaurant and bar was PACKED. But we ended up finding a restaurant near the inn we were staying at and had a great time there lol. I’m honestly extremely proud of all of her amazing accomplishments and of the fact that she was able to secure one out of the less than 15 spots available in this prestigious program. You go girl!!

 drink leonardo dicaprio hd cheers the great gatsby GIF

I’m now back on the mundane grind and with only two weeks left till Liberation Day, I’m only going to be grinding even harder. With calmness, flexibility, confidence and determination, these next 14 days will only make me an even stronger candidate¬†who will be fully able to step up to the challenge that is the USMLE Step 1 exam!

Make your week an astounding one!

“When you are progressing toward a goal that matters to you and appreciating the steps along the way, that’s a good life.” – Ruben Chavez

– Black Man, M.D.

Stepping Towards Improvement

I don’t think I’ve ever studied this hard in my entire life.

Like, I’ve really been putting major hours in ever since this study block started. The only thing that comes to mind to compare this amount of studying to is the summer that I studied for the MCAT…but even that pales in comparison to this. I mean yeah I’ve been studying hard all throughout med school too, but this has been quite different. Throughout my coursework up until now, I was learning about¬†one organ system each block, so I was focused solely on that topic. I also¬†balanced my time out and did a number of other things outside of studying in my past blocks. However, now I’m studying every damn thing there is to know about the human body and the drugs that affect it, including some things that I’ve never actually learned. Also, I’m pretty much entrenched in my studies all day with small breaks in between, which is quite different from what I’m used to. I’m usually the type that is pretty flexible with time and who prefers¬†to go with the flow rather than keep to a structured schedule. So the fact that¬†I actually currently have a schedule I stick to (for the most part) is pretty wild to me. Like, I actually wake up around 7:15-7:30 AM each day and am usually fast asleep by¬†11:30-11:45 PM. I’m still a bit flexible with my daily schedule here and there, but I’m nowhere near as malleable with my time as I was before I started dedicating my time to Step.

Speaking of time, these days have all been a blur man. Truth be told, I’ve actually forgotten what day it was on numerous occasions last week. Also, time flies so fast throughout the day when you’re intensely focused…one minute it’s 12:55 PM and then when I look up again, it’s 5:34 PM. It’s annoying how quickly¬†time can zip by¬†when you would rather have it slow down a bit. Smh. And don’t even get me started on these UWorld questions man…these questions are just ridiculous. They’re hard as hell, even with all the studying that I’ve been doing! But on the flip side, I’ve been learning a ton from them and I’ve actually seen some steady improvement¬†in my scores within this past week! I did have a sharp nosedive in the score of the most recent question set I answered, but I’m considering that set a fluke lol. Plus, it just gives me a great opportunity to learn more information that I either didn’t know before or hadn’t¬†stuck as well with me as I previously thought! What’s important is that I’m seeing a steady improvement in applying my knowledge to new questions while retaining information that I’m continuously acquiring. I’m still on a treacherous uphill battle but as long as I keep calm, confident and determined, nothing will stop me from soaring¬†to¬†that mountaintop!

With that said, I’m getting back to the grind. Y’all keep me in your prayers and I’ll keep y’all in mine! Have a sensational week!

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – Congratulations to all the medical students who matched this past Friday!! That’s a MAJOR accomplishment to have achieved! I pray to be in y’alls shoes one day!

No Time For Baby Steps

Shoutout to Daylight Savings Time for completely disorienting me this morning.

I woke up at 7:30 this morning real confused after my alarm went off…then I remembered that we sprung forward an hour, meaning that I lost an hour of sleep. Smh. So in my half-asleep state, I decided to be nice to myself and give myself at least an extra 30 minutes of shut-eye. I turned off my alarm and completely forgot to reset it because, well you know, I was half-asleep. I blinked and it was 8:55 AM. Had me like:

waking up

So that’s how I started my day. I’ve been doing practice questions and going over my answers ever since then. As a matter of fact, doing absurd numbers of practice questions and reviewing them has literally taken over my life ever since I took my final exam last Tuesday. I’ve actually been answering numerous Step-style questions every day since then. It’s been an annoying, yet fruitful experience so far. Annoying because these questions are hard as hell and are making me feel inadequate and whatnot. (Boooyyy¬†do I have room for improvement.) But on the flip side, it has been fruitful because I’ve been learning and re-learning SO MUCH information while reviewing these questions. I can feel my knowledge expanding exponentially with each day that passes, and I just hope that my efforts in retaining all of this knowledge for test day prove to be beneficial. But yeah, this is what my life is going to look like for the next several weeks, so don’t go and set your expectations high for my next few posts. I¬†can almost guarantee that I’ll fall short of the standards that you may have already set for my content. C’est la vie.

kanye west shrug shrugging kanye shrug

Lol I don’t really have¬†much else to say right now. I actually would like to get back to reviewing my questions…but before I go, I do want to shout out the fact that Winston-Salem is recognizing the work that a group of us medical students are putting in for the S.Y.S.T.E.M. program that I talked about with y’all a few weeks back! Us and our mentees were featured on the local news last Friday afternoon, which was really cool! I’m real happy that I was asked to be a part of this program and I hope that our exposure reinforces the importance of mentorship and representation to the public.

Aight, I’m outta here. Make sure to have a fantastic week! And to all of you who are on Spring Break right now, just know that I TOTALLY envy you.

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” – Robert F. Kennedy

– Black Man, M.D.

Stepping Into Step

WELLLLLLP.

The time has finally come.

I’m officially stepping into my Step Study Block period.

school vmas the weeknd my post mtv vmas

I took my final subject exam last Friday, which effectively ended the five-week long Endocrine/Reproductive block that actually happened to fly by pretty quickly. With the end of that block comes the end of my basic science curriculum. Well, I actually still have a 225-question final exam to take this Tuesday that covers Dermatology, Renal, Rheumatology and Endo/Repro, so there’s that. I guess after that¬†final exam is when I’ll truly be free to step into studying for Step. But I’ve also been doing what I can to prepare for Step for the past month while studying Endo/Repro, and I have been actively using Step study materials throughout this past year alongside my coursework, so overall I feel more than prepared to begin this study block.

During my last week of classes, I had the opportunity to attend two different talks that focused on mental toughness and resilience in the medical profession, respectively, and to deliver a baby in a simulation lab. I’m gonna start with the simulation lab. It was such a neat experience! While we were in the hour-long session, we palpated plastic vaginas, performed bimanual exams on plastic uteri, palpated plastic cervices, and actually delivered a dummy baby from a dummy mom! Like, I was pulling the baby out of the mother’s vagina and going through all the motions that a doctor would go through!¬†It was pretty cool, although the dummies weren’t real. That hands-on experience will DEFINITELY come in handy when I actually begin delivering real-life babies during my OB/GYN rotation in about six months. LMAO. Me?? Delivering babies??? I can hardly picture myself doing so. Try to picture me delivering a baby without snickering to yourself. Yeah, I can barely do it either lol. But then again, I’ve done a lot of things in my life that I never pictured myself doing in a million years. You know, like blogging.

point you da man

I appreciated being in attendance for the talk on mental toughness, because I feel like it was very necessary for myself as well as the rest of my class to hear what the presenter had to say, considering the fact that we’re all about to embark upon a¬†marathon of constant studying. There was about a third of my class in attendance and I believe that just about everyone who attended got something positive out of the talk. The presenter, who is a 4th-year MD/PhD student, focused on how unbelievably powerful the mind is and how we can harness it to catalyze outcomes that are ultimately beneficial to us. What we think on a constant basis is literally what we become. So with that in mind, she talked about¬†the power of having a “shooter’s mentality”, a basketball metaphor¬†describing the mentality that you’ll make your next¬†shot, no matter what. So in our case, we’ll be confident about getting our¬†next question right on our practice tests, no matter what. She also touched on the strength of setting and completing goals that you set for yourself, having a “winner’s circle”, and making the most out of your current situation by having a “true realism” approach to life. In addition, she gave us practical mental exercises to use during our study block and in life in general, which included practicing the art of visualization, having a “game-face” & a “game posture” when we’re doing our practice questions, breathing techniques (mantra breathing, inhale for 6 seconds/hold for 4 seconds/exhale for 8 seconds), and developing pre-day and post-day routines. I’m happy to say that I’ve been blessed to have been able to adopt an outlook on life years ago that is similar to what she had to say in her presentation, but I was also able to learn some very¬†useful information as well!

The other talk I attended was actually a panel discussion that featured distinguished faculty members from different departments at the Wake Forest Baptist¬†Medical Center. The event, which was called BOUNCE: Stories of Resilience and Courage in Medicine, focused on the pitfalls that each of these faculty members had in their respective careers and how they successfully recovered (or should I say, bounced back) from their setbacks! I actually attended this same panel discussion around this time last year and wrote a bit about it in my post, Growth, Control & Breaking Stereotypes. This year they discussed the dire importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance/flow, making sure to never lose sight of who you are as you get busier working in the field of healthcare, and to not allow your work to completely consume you. Each of the stories that the faculty shared¬†with us had the common theme of making the most out of a situation that you didn’t foresee yourself being in and following your path with faith, even if it doesn’t necessarily lead you in a specific direction that you intended to follow. One more important thing that was shared with us was the fact that everyone will make mistakes as a healthcare provider, for we are all human.¬†With those mistakes comes the importance of transparency between the provider and the patient, because¬†being completely honest with your patients will facilitate a trusting relationship overall. It was a great discussion and as always, I’m happy that I made the decision to attend. The free Chipotle dinner was a very satisfying added bonus.¬†ūüėĀ

Mannn, I’m really about to take Step 1 in about five weeks. I feel like I JUST¬†registered for the exam.¬†Hell, I still remember penning One Chance as if it were just yesterday (I wrote it last summer). It’s crazy that I’ve actually learned all the organ systems in the body. Now it’s just a matter of synthesizing that information and being able to critically think through thousands of questions during this study block before finally sitting in front of my testing computer in Greensboro on the morning of April 10th to slay this exam once and for all. Lol it’s almost like I’m playing a video game that I’ve been trying to beat for years. I’ve finally gotten through most of the levels and I’m at the level closest to the level where I fight¬†the final boss of the game! Let’s gooooooo!!!

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Pray for me y’all. ¬†ūüėāūüėÖūüôŹ

“When you’re up against a trouble, meet it squarely, face to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, plant your feet and take a brace. When it’s vain to try to dodge it, do the best that you can do; You may fail, but you may conquer, SEE IT THROUGH!” – Edgar Albert Guest

– Black Man, M.D.