The One with the USMLE Results

You’d think after 6 weeks on the wards, it’d take a whole lot more than a slowly loading website to bring my heart into my throat.

And any other day, that’d be true. But today? Today is July 11, 2012: the day I finally received my long awaited USMLE (read: boards) score after nearly two months of anxious anticipation.

For those who haven’t kept up with me in the past couple of months, the month of intensive boards study period was by far my least favorite few weeks of medical school. The preceding few months I’d been tried with a variety of personal life stressors that certainly did nothing to help matters, but I honestly think I would have hated that month regardless. I holed myself up in a study room for 12 hours at a time day after day for a month, working through hundreds of multiple choice questions and poring over thousands of pages of text in preparation for what basically amounts to an eight hour final examination for the first two years of medical school. I’d be lying if I said I never had days where I wondered why I thought medicine was a good idea in the first place, and I was convinced that if I failed I’d just self implode. Except in reality, I’d do it all again without hesitation to get to third year… I’m totally enamored with life as a third year medical student.

Anyway, to any of you who’ve come across my blog hoping for guidance in your own Step 1 endeavors, I’m not sure I’m one to be trusted in terms of how to prepare. I can tell you I dedicated most of my time to USMLE World QBank questions; I found I learned best by using tutor mode to do questions sorted into categorical blocks and annotating the answers in my First Aid, and that’s pretty much all I did. Occasionally I supplemented with another book or two (like Clinical Microbio Made Ridiciulously Simple… because it made me laugh), and my iPod was set to play nothing but Goljan audio pathology lectures for a solid three months before the exam. And well, I guess it all worked out just fine.

Because this morning, I joined nearly every rising third year medical student in the nation in incessantly pressing the refresh button for hours, groaning as time after time these efforts were answered with error messages. Until suddenly, it loaded, and out came the breath I had no idea I was holding.

I passed.

…I passed! It’s over! I never have to take that god awful exam EVER again. And while I’m no shoe-in for the #1 dermatology residency program in the country (which is perfectly fine by me), it’s over.

See ya never, USMLE Step 1. It’s onward and upward for this girl.

Until then,



3 thoughts on “The One with the USMLE Results

  1. Congratulations. I remember that day all too well, only a year ago for me. Third year is an amazing adventure and a privilege unlike any other. Now I get to look forward to March … -TS

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