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Thread: Tips for Carbondale!!

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    MDIN2009's Avatar
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    Tips for Carbondale!!

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    Well this is the second thread in the "Tips" series, hopefully it will be as helpful to all of you as the "Tips for New Students at Windsor!!" thread has.

    Well first about Carbondale , IL : LINK MAP

    1. Address
    Royal USMLE Center
    2400 W Main Street
    Carbondale, IL 62901
    PH: 618-529-2424
    618-457-6600

    2. Get your grades from the Island as soon as you can.
    3. Your room should come with a TV, Fridge and Microwave.
    4. Come early at least 2-3 day to get a good room in the A building. If you come late than you will get a room in the B building. Which is not that bad but it not as nice as the rooms in the A building.
    5. This is a college town and has a Wal-Mart, most fast food and a Starbucks (in Kroger). So you can buy what you need.


    STUDYING


    • This is why you are in Carbondale....
    • You need to get your 1st review done here. This means watching all the Kaplan videos , reading Rapid Review by Goljan, BRS PHYSIO, HY Neuro and finally taking notes in First Aid (latest edition.) Take the seems of First Aid and make into a binder. Then add notes from cncepts that are not in it. Also if you can print Kaplan Med Essientials add it to your "USMLE Bible." If you are planning on taking Kaplan after Carbondale than you need to definitely have your first review done before you start the live lectures.
    • There are a lot of distractions in Carbondale mainly the other students. I compare them to those kids who went to High School on the 7 year plan. Stay in your room and get the job done...there is nothing worth doing or seeing in Carbondale. Avoid the negativity at all costs...
    • After Carbondale you should take NBME 1 online. This will tell you how your preparations are going. Then based on the score you receive you should make a study schedule. Here is my advice based on what you score on NBME1.


    • High (> 450 ) No need for a commercial review course in my opinion. FA+UW+Dr.G + NBMEs
    • Med (> 350) Kaplan Live - make sure you do one review of the kaplan books before you start the course. KL+ FA+UW+Dr.G + NBMEs
    • Low (< 350) You need to do a complete Basic Science review before you start any course. Then take Falcon. Its like a USMLE boot camp. FACLON+FA+UW+DR.G+NBME.
    • If you failed the USMLE than go to the Pass program. Passis designed on making connections you missed the first time around. The Pass Program is not enough for the first time test taker.


    • You Study schedule should have as many reviews as possible in a 5 month period. Best way to learn is first understand the material and then repetition.
    • Anything longer than 5 months and your life (family, friends...ect) start squeezing your study time.
    • Take all the NBMEs (AKA CBSSA 1-6) online (LINK) and get an accurate score report. Review the questions later by downloading them. Here is a Sample of the NBME score report and correlating USMLE score. LINK
    • Do not take Step 1 if you are not scoring over 430+ on the NBMEs or the USMLE World assessment.

    Technology
    • Laptop
    • Small Printer (real handy if you need to print )
    • External Hard Drive 350+ GB (USMLE review material)
    • Surge protector (APC Brand) yes even in the US. The guy living next to me had is fridge burn out due to a power surge.
    • A nice desk lamp is very useful to have.

    Cell Phone

    • AT&T has great coverage in Carbondale. The T-Mobile coverage in the hotel room is very bad.
    • If you are a Canadian get a 10$ pay as you go phone from AT&T and use it for the few months you are here. Or find a pay as you go plan that has free incoming calls.
    • Skype works only when the internet is working well.

    Books
    • First Aid (Depending on the version you have it may contain errors check this site to see LINK)


    • Kaplan series form E-bay or Craigs list.

    Food/Supplies

    • Just like the first time you went to college bring everything you need for your Dorm/Hotel room. The super wal-mart is not as cheap as the ones back home. I guess because this is a college town and everything is in demand.
    • Electric Hot water kettle
    • Foreman Grill
    • Electric Burner ( You can buy these items in your home town for less than you will pay here. So bring them if you can.)

    Transportation / Airline
    • Bring a car if you can. Or make friends with someone who has one. It's almost impossible to walk to the other side of town in the winter months.
    • If you plan on flying in - the closest full service airport is STL st.Louis.
    • To get from St.L most people use BARTS. It costs 55$ each way and is about 1 hr and 45 mins to Carbondale. I used it and it was an enjoyable experience.
    • Try to get one of those airline credit cards that give you 20K miles for signing up like Chase. That way you can get your round trip to STL for free. But, do it a couple of months ahead of time.
    • There is public transportation in Carbondale. You have to call a day in advance to get the best rate. LINK

    Groceries
    • Places to get Groceries…
    • Kroger
    • Walmart
    • and many others

    Shipping Address

    • If you need to order something on the internet to you , here is the shipping address.


    • Royal USMLE Center
      2400 W Main Street
      Carbondale, IL 62901

    TIPS

    • If you are driving down bring a nice office chair. The chairs here are not that comfortable.
    • Also they change your sheets every week. But, you have to bring you own towels and bath mats.
    • Be nice to the house keeping staff and they will hook you up when you need something.


    Please add your tips to the list. Also if I stated something wrong please accept my apology in advance.
    Last edited by MDIN2009; 04-16-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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  2. #2
    Fry
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    Cell phone options with unlimited plans on a pay-as-you-go

    Prepaid Cell Phone Service and Pay as You Go from Virgin Mobile ® USA - Official Site -- alot of the students have this (free evenings start at 7pm) - its off the Sprint Network hence VERY good coverage

    -very cheap phones avail online or bestbuy

    Prepaid cell phone, GoPhone® - Wireless from AT&T, formerly Cingular - if you pre-pay each mth you can get more options (free evenings start at 9pm)

    -cheap phones avail or you can use your existing UNLOCKED GSM phone.



    Prepay Plans (unlimited starts at 9pm)

    -good option, but not that good of a deal if you ask me.




    Some students bring/bought:

    - Brita Water Filter
    - Hot Water Kettle
    - Toaster Oven
    - Small Electric Hot Plate
    - Slow Cooker
    - Some Dishes and Forks/Spoons/Knives

    -Laundry is available at the motel BUT from the looks of it, I'd rather just drive 2mins down the road and use the laundromat



    -International Groceries are available also...if you are Asian or more specific, South Asian, there is a "International Grocers" near the hotel...it has a lot of Indian groceries and also sells calling cards if you opt to call Canada (their calling cards offer more mins)

    -Indian places to eat are also in this city with a close one just adjacent to the SIU campus. There are also Sushi places and many other options instead of typical fast food which many get sick of within the first month of being here.
    Last edited by Fry; 01-20-2008 at 09:43 PM.

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    MDXRS22's Avatar
    MDXRS22 is offline Ultimate Member 515 points
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    You see, you waited until I get there to post this helpful stuff.

    Darn you!
    I need to think about something...maybe you know what...

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    Fry
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    lol we all just got here...

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    closest airport is actually Marion Airport. it's about 15 min drive from Royal Plaza.

    "flygreatlakes.com" is the only airline that offers daily flights from Marion to St Louis.

    check it out

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    MDIN2009's Avatar
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    It was kind of hard to post Tips about C-dale until I got here and got together some tips to post. But, hopefully you and Fry, WMD will add to the thread and help out the students that are going to come over next semesters.

    Quote Originally Posted by MDXRS22 View Post
    You see, you waited until I get there to post this helpful stuff.

    Darn you!
    Moderator WUSOM

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    MDIN2009's Avatar
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    I tried to get a flight from St.Louis to Marion but it cost more than my ticket from Texas to St.Louis.

    Quote Originally Posted by windsorMD View Post
    closest airport is actually Marion Airport. it's about 15 min drive from Royal Plaza.

    "flygreatlakes.com" is the only airline that offers daily flights from Marion to St Louis.

    check it out
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    Jackson County Mass Transit District

    For those without cars, there is shuttle service in Carbondale. You have to call a day in advance to set-up your trip. Here is the LINK .

    Most students use it to go to the library or mall.

    Trips run 1.50-4.00$ one way.
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    *15 Day USMLE Bootcamp *

    Background: This is a new program being implemented this semester at Carbondale. Basically six MDs' (recent grads from India) who have scored 90+ on the USMLE (Step1,2,3) cover 7 seven subjects in 15 days. Additionally they review 1K cases or questions over the 15 days.

    Cost: This semester the cost is 300$ for all MD5 students. In the future it will be added on to every students MD5 tuition bill. Also, any Windsor student who fails Step 1 will be required to attend this class. (Per USMLE Sponsorship Questionnaire)



    Time: 9-5 , 7 days a week!



    LINK
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    ChinaMedStudent's Avatar
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    what is the usual schedule like for MD5 in fall semester?

    first day, last day of class?
    days and times of class for the week?
    any extracurricular activites to do in carbondale or nearby?
    is it possible to go home on a weekend if need arises?
    from earlier post it sounds like winter is pretty rough. is it weather for sweater, jackets, or eskimos?

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