The Struggle Is Real

Yes, I’m still alive (barely)

I realize I haven’t posted in a while. The truth is there hasn’t really been anything of interest to report. I’m not going to school since we’re done with class and I haven’t done anything since school ended. I wake up, I study for boards, I eat, I sleep. Rinse and repeat. That’s what I do. Every. Freaking. Day. At one point I didn’t leave my apartment for a whole week. The only reason why I even had to leave was because I had completely run out of food and coffee. Also, I have no idea what day of the week it is anymore. It’s either Wake-up-and-panic Day or Wake-up-and-panic-slightly-less Day.

Studying for boards sucks, some days more so than others. Once in a while I’ll do well on my question blocks and be like, “Yes! I’m making so much progress!” and then the next day my percentage will go down again and I’m just like

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It’s a love-hate relationship. Mostly hate.

On the brighter side, my cumulative performance graph shows that I’m slowly making improvements. I can’t emphasize the word “slowly” enough. It has taken me months to bump my average up. I took a practice test after school ended as a baseline, and another one after going through most of the material. I saw a moderate increase in my scores, but I’m not where I want to be at this point in the game. I talked to some upperclassmen and my friends at DO and MD schools. They only confirmed what I knew has to be done: I have to push back my exam dates.

We’re officially in June which is the unofficial boards month. There’s a circulating rumor that our class went a little crazy and over 80% of us registered for both the COMLEX and the USMLE. Compare that to the usual 30-40% seen in other years. Honestly I think it’s a huge exaggeration. Even if 80% of us originally planned on taking both exams, it sure isn’t 80% anymore- many students who originally said they were taking both board exams ended up only signing up for COMLEX or canceling their USMLE last minute. At the least, many people are pushing their exams back. I’m still planning on taking both, for now.

I admit that it’s kind of discouraging to see so many of my classmates decide not to take the USMLE. It kind of makes me feel like I’m all alone in this, especially since so many of my immediate friends aren’t taking it. The only thing that’s preventing me from completely going insane is having a support system outside of school.

Another rumor that seems to be flying around is that a ton, and I mean a ton of people requested to have the month of July off. Our rotations are supposed to start July 1st, so requesting July off counts as an official Leave of Absence (read: it goes on your residency application). I’ve heard 60-70 people requested a LoA. Apparently, this number is usually 2-3 people a year max, but, again, my class is *special*. I think what happened was that some people had a legitimate reason for taking the LoA (family obligations, personal medical issues), and other students got wind of how those students got extra board study time. Eventually the whole thing just turned into “Wait, I can get a whole month of dedicated studying back if I talk to a faculty member and get July off? That sounds like a good deal”. Honestly I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. Having a whole month of dedicated at this point would be huge. In the end though, I decided against it. The cons aren’t worth it, especially since I don’t actually have a legitimate LoA reason other than to study for boards.

Switching gears here, the other day I went back and looked at some of my older posts. I had a good laugh at my post from M1 year about our first anatomy exam. I can’t believe we used to freak out about anatomy. Here we are now as soon-to-be-M3s about to take our board exams that will, for the most part, determine the fate of our professional lives. No big deal, no pressure. It only covers everything we’ve learned so far in med school. It’s funny seeing how I was as an M1 and what I was stressing about at the time. Oh how things change.

Anyway, I thought I’d end this entry with this image. It’s the same one I used in my post about our first anatomy exam. It seems fitting. I might have thought M1 year was hard back then, but studying for board exams is a new kind of hell. I don’t know if it can actually get worse than this.

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As a side note, I am so, so, so sorry for all of you soon-to-be-M1s that now have to take Micro in the Fall in place of anatomy. That class was one of the more difficult ones of M1 year and it sucks that they switched it on you guys. I’m planning on bringing back the Courses page I originally had up after I finish cleaning it up.

Lastly, for all the people that have emailed me in the past month, I swear I’m not ignoring you. I’ll get back to you as soon as I find my soul that I probably lost somewhere in the immuno section of my First Aid book.

-NB

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4 comments

  1. Awh….Thanks for sharing this. I am in medical school too, I can totally relate to this. Looking forward to learning from you! Be blessed beyond and have a blissful day.

  2. Just found this blog the other day, really well done I really enjoy it. Im starting NSUCOM in a couple weeks, got any quick advice?

    1. Thanks for reading Ryan. My quick advice would be:

      1. Take everything you hear about NSU/M1 year with a grain of salt (including what I say and what’s on this blog)
      2. When you start getting deep into studying, don’t worry about what your classmates are doing and just do what works for you
      3. Join your class Facebook page if you haven’t already
      4. Enjoy your time off

      There used to be a Courses page but it’s being updated. Once it’s complete you can go there and read a breakdown about each class and any tips/hints for doing well in them. Probably won’t be ready for several months though.

      Hope that helps.

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