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Thread: Tips for Carbondale!!

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    MDIN2009's Avatar
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    Tips for Carbondale!!

    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. #21
    trueMD is offline Newbie 510 points
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    well I found out the answer to my own question, the last month of the classes here we will start intro to clinical medicine, however we still have not been able to start classes since the school hast not sent our grades yet.. hope they will get on that soon.

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    MDIN2009's Avatar
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    Updated...USMLE study tips added.
    Moderator WUSOM

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    ChinaWood is offline Junior Member 515 points
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    Any damage to the motel from the inland hurricane this weekend?

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    togethergirl is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I was wondering if its possible to live someplace besides the hotel. I just can't afford paying $600-650 for rent. Can you have a roommate and pay half that?

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    Hiphopononomous is offline Senior Member 516 points
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    Nope was told to live in a double is 550 - so 100 bucks is not that much difference. I wish someone would call the health department on that hotel and then we'd be forced to find some other place to live.

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    is it really?

    when i was there last year the double was 750 so each person paid 375. the single was 650

    and if you wanted to live outside of the [motel] then you still had to pay the rent. plus whatever you pay to live wherever you want. thats why 99% of people just stayed at the RPI. if they allowed people to live outside without paying the rent im sure that place would be empty

    ps. (cant stress enough) Take your car! you will need it

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    Hiphopononomous is offline Senior Member 516 points
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    And when you were there was it anything like their website claims? Indoor heated pool, gym, sauna, all three meals? I have heard its definitely not - so just a little false advertisement there.

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    ChinaMedStudent's Avatar
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    when i was there, they had alot of construction work going on for building c. i dont know if that has finished yet but all of the aforementioned items were not in working order

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    Hiphopononomous is offline Senior Member 516 points
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    OK so while looking at the Windsor website for info about the Carbondale site I found this interesting line in their description "this Course is not a part of Windsor MD Program and does not lead to any credits, certifications or degrees." If that is the case - how can they force students to participate in this? I also want to know if there is an ICM course offered in 5th semester like every other medical school in the world? I was pretty leary about this whole situation, but further investigation is now really starting to get me worried. If anyone in 5th semester can comment on what exactly students do in Carbondale, I would greatly appreciate it.

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    DisforDaaku is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    whats the nearest airport to carbondale? i know i read it somewhere on here, but cant find it ...

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