Learning Medicine

Learning Medicine
The Ultimate Guide to Study Skills in Medical School

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Step 1 Prep: Days 15-16 - A mix of stuff

Hey all,

So for the last two days I've been tying up loose ends. By the end of this week, my content review will be done and I'm going to dedicate the next four weeks straight to just doing qbank questions.

For the last two days I've worked on the following:

(1) Cardiovascular Physiology - Costanzo and some Boron and Boulpaep
(2) Respiratory Physiology - Costanzo
(3) Upper and Lower Limb Anatomy - Big Picture Gross Anatomy, First Aid

I've also done some USMLERx and UWorld block too.

As I've said before, I've wanted to use this time not just for Step 1 crushing, but to fill in gaps in my knowledge, particularly in important areas that I see for my future. So that's why I'm giving special time to upper and lower limb anatomy, because I'd like to do pain management someday and I want to really understand all the nerves and muscles that make up the body. Likewise, cardiac and respiratory physiology will be found in nearly everything I do, so best that I truly understand that as well.

I've been building a much better anatomy deck over the last few days than I did during my first year of medical school. Which reflects an important fact about medical school.... you don't know what's important until it's too late. There is a lot of information in the world, and so we all have to make judgments about what we need to know and what we don't. But the problem is, when you're a novice learner, you don't yet have the experience to make those kinds of judgements. Everything becomes important. I think the whole justification for having a teacher and going to school, if there is going to be any good justification, is so that experienced people can tell the unexperienced what is important. But sadly, what I've found in the last few years is that because the experienced people are so deeply expert in their fields, they forgot what was important to know for the beginning learner, and so they end up not being much help. And we are then left to our own devices to figure it out. That's fine. I'm OK with that. But it sucks that people spend so much money on med school and don't even get that service.

My early Anki decks reflect my lack of good judgment about what is "card-worthy". I go back and look at those anatomy and physiology decks I made almost two years ago, and I'm like, "what the heck? why did I make a card about the way the radius changes shape proximally to distal? low yield!" Now that I've been on the wards, I know better what kind of anatomical knowledge is useful, like dermatomes, nerve-muscle-action for key, testable muscle groups, etc. Hopefully this new anatomy deck I'm making will benefit the newbies so that they don't have to do the double-duty that I'm now doing. I'll post that deck sometime in the next few weeks.

So back to Step 1....

I'm feeling good about where I'm at. I'm doing well on my UWorld and USMLERx. I don't feel rushed or stressed. In fact, I wish I could take Step 1 earlier rather than later. But it is what it is. Oct 18th will come sooner than later.

I'm going to try to make some little videos on topics I find high yield from my studies. I've been keeping a list. I have to say, I think First Aid, despite its deficiencies, really is a good book. Everything in there shows up on UWorld at some time or another. What I'm trying to do is to find topics that are not necessarily intuitive or that are hard to understand, and later on I'll make videos for those topics.

In the meantime, I've got to get focused. I still get distracted a lot (like now, when I'm writing a blow when I should be studying :)

So, back to work.

1 comment:

  1. "Which reflects an important fact about medical school.... you don't know what's important until it's too late."

    So incredibly true...