Déjà Vu

I’ve been having some serious déjà vu as of late.

Waking up at the same time every morning to complete multiple UWorld question blocks only to have to spend most of my afternoon reviewing my answers and related material…hmmm, sounds familiar doesn’t it? However, unlike my Step 1 preparation, preparing for this exam has not been nearly as taxing on my mental health 😁 (although I did do my best to maintain a positive attitude while studying for that test). Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a tough week having to study for this exam. Having the same monotonous routine on a daily basis is never fun. But I’ve found that my overall scores on my question blocks have improved in a much more rapid manner than they had done when I was preparing for Step last year. I remember going through question blocks for almost two straight weeks last year before starting to see some substantial overall improvement in my performance.

Disgusted Oh No GIF by HULU

This time around, I’ve been doing questions for a little over a week so far and although I’ve had a few less-than-desirable scores, my average peformance has already vastly improved with over half of my scores already at or close to the level that I would want to be at by the time exam week rolls up on me. I must say, this is a much better feeling than feeling like you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle that you’re always losing at. It definitely helps that I’ve had prior experience with Step studying before, so I pretty much know what to expect throughout this study block and I also have a pretty solid idea of what Step 2 is going to look like. In addition, being an attentive and hard-working third-year medical student has prepared me a lot for Step 2. Having to think through diagnoses and management plans for real-life patients all throughout the year, coupled with the constant barrage of content and study questions I had to drill through all year long ultimately transformed my mind into one that is more suitable for a great Step 2 performance…..not to mention that it’s a mindset that is absolutely required for a great physician to have.

These factors have made my time during this study block very tolerable so far, but it would be very remiss of me to not mention that I’ve been spending my study block with my girlfriend, which has seriously made all the difference in the world. She has made my life this past week so much easier and relaxing, even with my marathon study days. It helps tremendously that she understands how much effort I need to put in preparing for this test, and she goes out of her way to ensure that I’m comfortable during this study period. Even with all this studying though, we make time to have fun together as much as we can. Like, we went to a TDE concert last night and I saw Kendrick Lamar along with the rest of the crew (minus SZA 😔) for the first time! We also have been watching our favorite shows together and will be having a number of movie nights in the forseeable future lol. Oh, and how could I forget the glorious home-cooked food. She’s been feeding me a LOT better than I’ve been feeding myself these past few months with good food that I probably would never even consider making on my own. And she’s been doing all of these things while completing her own graduate school-related summer work! Yeah I know, she’s pretty awesome. Lucky me! 😄

Now I must go back to reviewing my answers and making sure that the information I’m relearning sticks long enough for me to use during the exam. Then I gotta go and get some SNMA stuff done. Then I’ll chill for a bit after that.

Be sure to have a wonderful and productive week! At the very least, aim to be more productive than the U.S. government currently is. Then again, they haven’t set a high bar for us to jump over. The bar is actually pretty low. Very low even. Lol, there hasn’t even been a bar set. All you gotta do is make someone smile and you would have already done more than they’ll probably be able to do all month. But you get the idea. Just go on and live your best life.

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs – even though checkered by failure – than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

– Black Man, M.D.

Study Block

Sooo we have our third Cellular & Subcellular Processes (CSP) test tomorrow. It’s going to have concepts from Immunology and all types of bacteria, ranging from the morphologies of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria to what specific antibiotics treat each of them. Mechanisms of action, mechanisms of resistance, somatic hypermutation, STI’s, Amoxicillin, Tazobactum, Klebsiella pneumoniae, you name it. It’s all fair game for this test.

But if you know me or have been following this blog for a while, you already know that it takes quite a lot to faze me. Simply put, I’m not really fazed by this test. Better yet, I’m actually ready to get it over with and move on to learning about viruses, parasites, fungi and immunodeficiencies…..just so I can repeat the whole cycle of studying for the fourth CSP test. 😓

Sigh. 

You ever reach that point where after studying and reviewing day and night for so long, you find yourself looking forward to test day just so you can feel sort-of free and have one less thing on your mind? I can already hear you going, “Hell nah fool, you cwwwazy.” And you may very well be right, but that’s just where I’m at now. I’m having to force myself to review more practice questions for tomorrow’s test. I literally was watching a movie last night and as this man was crawling through soil and mud in the wilderness with open cuts, all I could think about was how high-risk he was for a Clostridium bacterial infection. Like, c’mon man. I can’t watch a movie or even cook a meal without thinking about bacterial infections and the proper way to diagnose them. It’s almost like when I couldn’t fall asleep back in the good ol’ Anatomy days without mentally naming the origins and insertions of the Cranial Nerves. Lol. I’ve grown to learn that whenever I begin to incorporate what I’m studying into my everyday thought processes, I’m more than ready for a test. I guess that’s what happens when you stay glued in your apartment to your notes, First Aid book and laptop for a week. And can’t forget about SketchyMicro. Lord knows that’s how I’m getting through the rest of CSP.

With all that said, just because I say I’m ready doesn’t mean the test isn’t gonna be hard. I felt ready for the last test I took before winter break and they hit me with the okie-doke with some ridiculous questions. Had me feeling some type of way going into winter break, smh. But on the other hand, if you aren’t confident in your abilities, you’ve already lost before you’ve even started. And I don’t like to lose. 😜

I honestly don’t really have much to say today, only thing on my mind is getting a good score on this exam. And what I’m wearing to Wake’s Med School Prom this Friday. Yeah, we have a prom for medical students. 😎 And oh yeah, what the hell I’m doing for the summer. I’ve been doing some extensive browsing on summer research opportunities and I have a few that I’m willing to take a shot at. My options are ranging from diabetes to cancer to eye research. However, the worst part about applying for summer programs is that you don’t hear back from them till like March or even April, which makes it hard to plan out any other options in the chance that I don’t get accepted into the programs that I’m applying to. Talk about annoying. Well regardless, I’m going to be doing something productive this summer. I’m not giving myself a choice.

Y’all have a splendid week!!

 

– Black Man, M.D.