Well, I just matched in FP at Mayo in St. Cloud, MN. I have been waiting for match to be over with to be able to write this post. I want to write about my experiences through MUA so hopefully it can help future students. I started in Jan of 2002, and knew I would have to set things up perfectly to be able to make this years match. Once I got there on the Island, I was like what in the world did I do. I was just happy that my fiance and I were going to do this together. Anyways we started with:
1ST SEMESTER: Histo, Embryo, and who could forget Anatomy. I would advise to learn your anatomy as best you can. Most people say not much Anatomy on Step I. Lies!! I had probably 20-25 questions on Anatomy. Good thing it was one of my strong classes. Anyways, 1st semester feels by far the longest. If you can get through 1st semester, you will be fine. After 1st semester my fiance and I stayed there for the 2 week break. Her sister came to visit. This was a wrong move. After being there for so long, you need to go back home to stay sane. Needless to say, we never stayed on the island during our breaks again.
2ND SEMESTER: Biochemi, Physio, Psych, and Ethics. This semester was a little more chill. Biochem was a pain in the butt, but very doable. It is like a whole new language. Physio was the best. Dr. is a genius. I learned so much in that class, that to me Physio was a great foundation for medicine. This class teaches how everything should work in the body. This is the normal functioning of the body. If you know how the body should function , then when in clinicals, if you see something different, then you know something is wrong. I had quite a bit of all of these subjects on Step I. A lot of biochem, 10-15 Psych, a lot of Physio, and 4-5 ethics. Although an easier semester, very important for boards. Plus these professors were amazing.
3RD SEMESTER: Neuro, Genetics, Epi, Micro and Immun. This was a tougher semester. 5 classes and 5 tests on one day is not fun. This was Micro profs first semester, and things were rough at first, but then she got into the swing of things. Learn your Micro, b/c lots of it in clinicals (Inf Disease). Learn what drugs to kill what bugs. If you get this down, then it will help a lot on Step I and clinicals. I had about 20 Neuro questions, 10 Epi, 2-5 Genetics, and belive it or not, not a lot of micro. I was mad, because Micro was another one of my strong classes. If you don't totally get it all in Micro, don't worry b/c you will get it all again in Inf Disease in Path. But the key is to learn it, because a lot of clinicals, (Peds, IM, ID etc...) are all about bugs and what drugs to use. All in all, very imp semester.
4TH Semester: Path, PD, and Pharm. This by far was a very important semester. Path is broken up into 4th and 5th semester. There was a lot of Path and Pharm on Step I. I felt like every other question on my test was either Pharm, Path, or Biochem. The professors in this semester were amazing. I would say learn your Pharm for sure. Mechanism of Action and side effects is huge. And of course without PD, there is no way you will do well in your rotations. Every single encounter with any patient requires a full H&P. So get it down now. It is key for clinicals, and let me say for the CS, without it you will not pass. Pharm and Path are key for Step I, but for clinicals, PD is your key to success. You will get help from attendings in clinicals as far as Pathology and what drugs to use, but you need to know how to do an H&P to be able to figure out the Pathology. Buckle down this semester and learn as much as you can.
5TH SEMESTER: Path 2, and Clin Med. Another important semester. Clin Med was very important. I still use my clin med notes to this day. This breaks down mostly all the common diseases and how to diagnose and treat. This is what the real world is like. Find the Signs and Symptoms, Dx and differentiate with different tests, and know how to treat. After these classes, I can not emphasize how important it is to pay attn to the Kaplan tapes. It is the key to coming off the island and taking the test within a month. I wish I would've payed more attention. These tapes are excellent.
Once I left the island in late Aug, I took 3 weeks off to visit family and friends. After that , I studied for 3 1/2 weeks. I saw the Kaplan tapes again from 8 am until 6 pm. I picked which ones I needed to watch. I realized at this time that I had them for free in Nevis, and was stupid not to take advantage of them. Then I would study the Kaplan notes from 8-12. Then I would do it all again the next day for 3 1/2 weeks. I didn't have time to finish studying every subject and I decided to choose one class and not study for it, and take my chances that there will not be many questions on it. I chose Biochem. Wrong choice. I had a lot of Biochem. I didn't get to get through all Path or Pharm either. I just took what I learned on the island and took the test. I took it on a Thurday and started my Psych rotation on a Monday. I will write about my clinical experiences, CK and CS, and the match process, tomorrow. I will write about which rotations I did, where, with what attendings, and what I got out of each rotation that helped in CK. Also the match process, WOW!! what a headache. Anyways, until later.