Category Archives: USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 Tomorrow

TOMORROW’S THE BIG DAY!! … lots of positive vibes and thoughts sent my way would be greatly appreciated 🙂

I know that I don’t know everything and that makes me feel a little not ready, but I haven’t actually felt ready for a single med school exam in 2 years, so that’s not new. I do feel prepared though, and am ready to go in and prove to myself (and hopefully the National Board of Medical Examiners) that I’ve learned a lot over the past 2 years (and definitely in the past 5.5 weeks). I survived 5.5 weeks of 12 hour study days – I made it through 115 practice question sets (over 5000 questions), a 695 page review book at least 6 times,  and 230 phamacology flashcards so many times I can’t even remember. I have two spiral notebooks filled with notes and have officially killed 8 highlighters and 12 colored pens. For all intents and purposes, I’m ready. It’s all about remaining calm and being able to think clearly through the questions at this point. And today was a wonderful day of relaxation, which of course included mat time with some great friends.

Luckily, I have the best family and most amazing friends a girl could ever ask for. They’ve kept me sane, gotten me through every panic attack, and could always make me laugh when I felt like crying. They have been my saving grace. So, THANK YOU to everyone who’s had to put up with me and who’s made this process so much easier.

My family has put up with every freak out, every bad day, and still has been so incredibly loving and supportive. (AND gave me motivational cards and flowers today!) My best friend was there in the library with me every single day pushing me to study and focus. My amazing college best friends who were going through the same thing sent me daily motivation and were people who I could vent to because they understood. My med class has been incredible – there was the greatest outpouring of support that I could never begin to put into words, UT Class of 2015, you’re amazing. And even though I couldn’t be on the mats, my BJJ family has continued to give me such great support me through it all.

So, somehow I’ve managed to remain *fairly* sane through this whole thing. I’m ready for tomorrow and excited to move onto the next part of my life.

Extremely grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life and to have the privilege of being in medical school, even if the last 6 weeks have felt more like a curse.

These will finally be dust collectors on my bookshelf


Toledo BJJ Open

Yesterday was the Toledo BJJ Open, and my teammates did awesome! I was proud of everyone who had the courage to step out on the mat and compete. It’s definitely a different world from training in the academy, and it puts your mind and body to the test. So whether you won or lost, be proud of yourself! And if it was your first tournament, you’ve taken the first step and that’s awesome.  Ribeiro took home a lot of medals 🙂 And to my knowledge there were only 2 minor injuries, so yay for that! And I got to spend some time socializing away from the library, so that was fantastic. Always good to surround yourself with positive people who can make you laugh and temporarily clear your mind.

Also got to go to my church’s festival that’s put on every year with a group of 7 girls I went to grade school with (kindergarden all the way through 8th grade, and most of them went to the same high school as me as well)! It was really great seeing them all again, crazy that it’s been 10 years since we graduated from 8th grade. Made me feel old reminiscing and talking about where everyone in our class is these days.

Refreshed, and already back to hitting the books (and the video lectures and practice questions) hard.

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Whether you’re studying, working, or enjoying summer vacation remember that you should love what you’re doing each and every day because you’re giving up a day of your life to do it.

(P.S. a HUGE thanks to all my family and also to my friends who are making this time a whole lot less stressful and much easier to manage with all your support and going above and beyond. Love you all!)
    —a super special shout out to my mom for all the food, stress relieving bike rides, and unlimited hugs and my youngest brother for always making me coffee when I need it 🙂

Friends since grade school! SJS pushed us to bigger and better things. Here we have  a journalist, a pharmacist, a future PT, a future MD, a teacher, a entrepreneur, and a nurse! 

Farewell to the Classroom

I have officially had my last classroom lecture of my life – not to say that the hard work and learning is over by any stretch. I have been sitting in a classroom [well… I don’t know how much I

First and last days of school!!

sat still when I was in preschool] for 20 years, and finally at 23 I leave the comfortable and safe world of desks and lecture halls behind. I am both incredibly excited and truly terrified that all my future learning will come from real patients and not just cases studied from in books. It is one thing to read about how to treat an MI and an entirely different one to use that treatment on someone having a heart attack!

I’m feeling slightly nostalgic. Some of the greatest times in my life have revolved around school. I met my best friend on the school bus when we were 11 and we used to pass notes in class (we were terrible at covering it too).  I learned the preamble to the constitution with School House Rock. I dissected my first frog in 7th grade and was so grossed out I could barely look at it. I learned the value of a great novel in high school literature. I found my love for writing in AP US History. I learned Spanish, Math, and Chemistry with great friends. In college I began to debate about philosophy, religion, sociology, and morality. I have grown into the person I am today because of everything I’ve been able to learn and apply inside and outside the classroom.
First, ahead of me I still have my final exam in Organ Systems next Tuesday. Then we have our comprehensive year 2 exam next Friday. And starting next Saturday I will begin my 38 days of board studying. I have alluded to it several times – on June 11 I take USMLE Step 1 (U.S. Medical Licensing Exam). There are 3 steps required before you are a fully licensed physician. Step 1 is honestly the most important test of my entire life. It is 322 questions over 8 hours. A passing score is a 189 and the national average is usually around 220. You don’t get a good score? You will not get a good residency. It’s that simple. So what does it cover? Everything we’ve learned in 2 years of medical school. (Check out my bookshelf that’s actually missing four 2″ binders)

What I’ve learned in 2 years

To prepare, you study for 14 hours a day (I will be doing 7am-9pm) including 138 practice questions a day and studying high-yield books. I will get a 3 hour break on Saturdays to visit the academy and try to stay sane with my favorite jiu jitsu brothers and sisters (literally just visiting since I’m officially off the mats for 6 weeks due to a broken foot). 

 This quote feels incredibly relevant to my immediate future:
William Osler once said “Medicine is learned by the bedside and not in the classroom. Let not your conceptions of disease come from words heard in the lecture room or read from the book. See, and then reason and compare and control. But see first.”

Ready to take the next steps on my journey. Thank you to every friend, teacher, and classmate I’ve ever had. You challenged me every day inside the classroom to learn and outside the classroom to apply my knowledge to make me a better person.

So long, cozy lecture hall!


Hello, doctor’s offices!