Conquering another mountain: how I studied for the USMLE Step 3 two-day soul-crushing anxiety-inducing omg-wtf exam

Mountain Dew time!

I just finished USMLE (the United States Medical Licensing Exam) Step 3, a 2-day-long ordeal spent answering questions about patient care.

500 multiple-choice questions pelted at me like paddles at a frat hazing party, each with clinical scenarios. I tore through several hours of 12 simulated patient cases, placing orders and doing virtual “exams” within the emergency department, the outpatient clinic, and in the inpatient wards. These were questions from nearly all of the specialties: a bit of opthalmology, dermatology, pediatrics, OB/GYN, lots of psychiatry, neurology, gastroenterology…suffice it to say, psychiatrists (like me) know quite a bit about the entire body and not just psychiatry cases. :-P

What’s the exam like, emotionally?

Preparing for the exam didn’t induce as much anxiety within me as Step 1 and Step 2 CK did. Because the format of these exams is so similar, though, I was both more comfortable with the format of the question software and more anxious because I knew how much material I had to review.

The exam was much more fun than Step 1 and Step 2 CK, though, since the exam preparation was geared towards more real-world clinically-relevant knowledge instead of esoteric facts.

I still had to attend work, however, and could only schedule time off to do the exam. I had some very merciful attending physicians that allowed me to study during downtime between seeing patients, though!

As far as the actual day of the exam itself, maintaining focus and concentration for 7 or 8 whole hours — with very little time for breaks — required at least 240mg of caffeine in the form of Starbucks espresso cans.

Study schedule

Finding time to study for the exam was the most challenging aspect. Since I was still doing a clinical rotation — although a lighter one — I frequently had no energy at the end of the day. Mornings were the best time for me in terms of energy and concentration, so I frequently woke up at 4am or 5am to hammer out 1 or 2 blocks of 48 questions.

During my clinical rotation, I would have USMLEWorld’s mobile app on both my Android phone and my tablet, and queue up questions in Tutor mode and reviewing the answer explanations. Since I was frequently at a table, I was able to bring my review book, Master the Boards, and highlight passages.

It wasn’t just me trying to find every little spare time to review, though: my girlfriend would run through questions on her Android phone while jogging around the neighborhood. Talk about multitasking!

Step 3 resources

Study materials

I used the following (in descending order of importance):

  • Kaplan Master the Boards for USMLE Step 3
  • USMLEWorld qBank (for Android tablet, Android phone, and via web browser)
  • USMLEWorld CCS simulator
  • First Aid for Step 3
  • Kaplan Qbook

Kaplan Master the Boards for USMLE Step 3 was absolutely key. If there ware one book to get, get this. The book is more conceptual. And, more conversational. It pointed out a lot of traps, such as distinguishing amyl nitrite and valsalva maneuvers. It didn’t overwhelm me as much as First Aid’s review materials do. I was able to read this almost three times through, doodling pictures and memory tricks in the generous margins.

USMLEWorld qBank was also absolutely key. Just practicing all of the questions and reviewing the materials allowed me to get comfortable with the multiple-choice questions for the exam. This reportedly comprises 80% of the grade (CCS comprises the other 20%). Their mobile apps and web interface allowed me to practice and review pretty much anywhere. And, of course, their explanations were very, very helpful, even including drug/pharmaceutical company ads, journal article abstracts, and lots of biostatistics questions. (I didn’t encounter any audio, unfortunately.) USMLEWorld was much more rigorous than the actual exam, but prepped me well. I was able to fit in about 98 questions a day, but only because I was on an 8-hour-a-day and 5-day-a-week rotation.

USMLEWorld’s CCS Simulator allowed me to quickly get comfortable with the software. However, it didn’t provide any sort of grading. Their explanations were fantastic and allowed me to get accustomed to the mindset of answering each stage of CCS properly. I ended up only using 25% of the material (believe me, 50 simulated cases is way too many to go through!).

First Aid for Step 3 had a lot of details. Like, to the point of excessive. I only used this book for the very useful 100 CCS mini-cases at the end, which presented good differential diagnoses for presented cases and a good workflow of orders to put in. I spent at least 2 days reviewing these cases, twice (once covering up the DDX, workflows, and follow-up management; then the second time just reading the list of orders to get a feel for the patterns of orders I should put into the computer). The rest of the book would be supremely useful if you were already a surgical or internal medicine intern and wanted more details. For folks like me who are in psychiatry, physiatry, pathology, or other non-primary care fields, reading Kaplan Master the Boards first would be better to get a firm foundation for the other specialties first.

Kaplan’s Qbook was most useful when I was studying outside in the nice springtime sun, and for me to avoid paying USMLEWorld’s fairly steep subscription fees (early on in my studying) but otherwise the questions were at times too easy and the explanations weren’t always useful. Sometimes it provided multiple-choice questions whose answers were blindingly obvious.

Comments

And how did it go?? Anyways,

And how did it go?? Anyways, my primary question is HOW do you do UWq’s AND jog at the same time?? I would REALLY like to know exactly how! Bc she cant read while running? lol..

Congrats being done with step 3! i am takin step 1 in a months time… my FA is completely raped! lol ;)

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

Generic Lasix qolnv

bodybuilding pump with viagra http://viagra-vente-internet-go.lo.gs/#fsapg viagra seizures http://comme-le-kamagra-dih.ek.la/#ekaob onde comprar a viagra no brasil http://levitra-20mg-prix-ye.cd.st/#dnxvs psych season 5 viagra falls http://tadalafil-prix-ri.cd.st/#zoczb forum for viagra http://viagra-contre-indications-go.eklablog.com/#lgpzm jokes birth viagra

ヴィトン バッグ

Organised in conjunction with the Defence Reserves Support Council, the once-a-year party aims to offer businesses an perception in the lives of their Military Reservist personnel. ヴィトン バッグ http://www.gallowayjapan.com/louisvuitton.html/

コーチ バッグ

As trader scrutiny of public corporations intensifies, main monetary officers of Australia’s key enterprises have moved to bolster their associated risk administration processes. コーチ バッグ http://www.gallowayjapan.com/coach.html/

louis vuitton handbags

Tax credit for hiring the longterm unemployed. This credit of as much as $4,000 for every employ would expense an believed $8 billion.

wholesalejerseys

New York backup S Tyler Sash left the game in the second quarter with a concussion and didn’t return.

.

<

p>RegisterSearchHomeNewsLocal NewsNational NewsMobileiWitness11Target 11ConsumerSlideshowsPoliticsHealthFlu SeasonLinks Seen On WPXIWeatherCurrent Conditions5 Day ForecastInteractive Radar Personal ForecastLocal Weather MapsNational MapsClosingsExtended ForecastHour-By-HourTravel ForecastEmail, Text nfl throwback jerseys AlertsSend Weather Photos/VideosTrafficTraffic HomeSportsSports HomeThe Final WordPiratesSteelersPowerPenguinsHines Ward ShowJerome Bettis ShowCollege SportsEntertainmentEntertainment HomeSee and Be SeenPittsburgh s BestPittsburghmRestaurantsEvents CalendarPittsburgh ZooMoviesContestsReal EstateWhat s On WPXI-TVHigh SchoolHigh School FootballHigh School PromsHigh School ShowsContestsContests HomeAutosAutos HomeJust Pay 1/2About UsChannel 11 News StaffWhat s On WPXI-TVPCNCME-TVEnergy JobsWPXI On FacebookWPXI On TwitterPittsburgh Find-ItJobs at WPXITXTL8RContact UsHome聽 聽AP聽 聽SportsUpdated: 2:04 p. m. Wednesday, Sept.

ルイヴィトン 財布 新作 2010

ABC7 spoke with previous Point out Consultant Dee Margo, a member on the Board of Managers who claimed he willing to get started with functioning for EPISD. ルイヴィトン 財布 新作 2010 http://www.novatia.com/resources/flowplayer/lvpurses03.php

ルイヴィトン 長財布 レディース

L’affaissement de la chausse sur l’autoroute 174 Orlans a eu l’effet d’un lectrochoc. Le maire Watson a rclam de toute urgence un rapport sur l’tat des biens de la Ville, un document produit il y a deux semaines et baptis Draft Extensive Asset Management System , uniquement disponible en anglais. ルイヴィトン 長財布 レディース http://www.meldrumhouse.com/css/cms/lvwallet03.php

ティンバーランド 靴

The Blue Crabs capped off the threegame collection sweep vs . Camden on Sunday, earning an 118 victory. They exploded for seven operates with the first of all and had two operates every single with the seventh and eighth.

CHANEL 2012 財布

Une resource d’informations conomiques pratiques ne pas manquer ds le 9 janvier 19h30. De as well as, le websites Dficit Zro suggest des complments sous formes de : vidos, solutions financires, liens utiles sur les thmes des pisodes de l’mission..

louboutin replicas shoes

Warehousing Expert services gives you the experience necessary to increase your submitting centre from earning the actual to help commencing typically the procedures. louboutin replicas shoes http://bbs.jx178.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=131860

wholesale christian louboutin

Some years soon after, typically the at present fullygrown Tag Knopfler created a good wedding ring described as Serious Straits and said an audio lesson in relation to their child years experiences. wholesale christian louboutin http://www.lygbike.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=317563

christian louboutin shoes

When a fiveday accommodate is accomplished, they likely call any identified rescue groups plus signal more than the dogs without paying for those several vaccines not to mention spay in addition to nuking. More and more pet rescue groups their very own awards to achieve this. christian louboutin shoes http://bbs.celuebbs.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=4182

christian louboutin pigalle

Renee DeSantos, speaker for those classes center, declared that it “has focused procedures and operations making sure that this unlawful behavior of history tend not to transpire just as before.

ugg classic short boot

I genuinely understand the sort of matters you publicize on your blog, I feel this can be be appropriate in lots of uncommon ways. Thanks for communicating this kind information. ugg classic short boot http://www.socapineurope.co.uk/

Parajumper Jackets

N? a littl du har otherwise artikkelen, innser du during det hospital ingen virkelige mysterium pertaining to internett markedsf?ring. Du innser ogs? hvorfor s? mange velger ? f?lge denne veien pertaining to ? tjene litt penger. Det kan ikke v?re lett, adult men det hospital sikkert ikke s? vanskelig n?r du l?re einen riktige m?ten ? gj?re ting og setter ditt sinn unti det..

faux christian louboutins

I’m for that reason apologies that your particular Ob hurt your emotions creating ones own suffering and anxiety appear to be trivial. faux christian louboutins http://filmhf.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=6646

red sole shoes replica

So if instead they chooses to refute bloodless treatment methods, that may be her preference, but Now i am not prepared to feel be the claim. red sole shoes replica http://club.uuloo.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=225282

red sole shoes replica

During Mn, simply because anywhere else, Obamacare is going to drive up the price of private coverage of health, tailored for folks that pay for insurance plans by themself.

louboutin replicas shoes

Particularly receiving this kind of healthcare company the particular individuals should send a good medical bill. The costs features useful info on the particular individuals for instance individuals name, the particular health problems by which the patient is certainly enduring and also name associated with physician beneath who the patient does their own treatment method, etc.

replica christian louboutin heels

Believed not a thing pertaining to Machal, had never been aware of the application a youngster. Two hundred and fifty Machal from North america decided to go [to serve] there, 14 analysts expired, Mandel explained. Turned out strange to me that not more and more people be informed on that.

replica christian louboutin mens

An organization that gets at the mistaken part for federal and state specialists can simply fall under owing to quite heavy dues and even probationary disorders. Furnari Scher LLP caused the clinical solutions enterprise that will met concerns though in search of finance.

cheap replica christian louboutin shoes

Payment Sr. Of the latest Citadel as well as tardy Lucretia Fuleno Payment. This individual was basically typically the caring groom connected with Melinda Vertisements. Teresa Conceal possesses earned the nation’s Committee designed for Good quality Assurance PatientCentered Health Your home Subject material Pro Certification.

louboutin replicas shoes

Positive that this really is safeguarding any kind of work opportunities with bristol. The focus for filton may be model (it is just just possessing the particular tech classification from “factory”, with a huge amount of creation likely in another place), as a result profits regarding airliner really doesn’t defend any specific employment inside Filton. You can perhaps argue the reality is the alot more your present aircraft sell off, the particular more unlikely we’ve been to redesign things as well as the fewer requirement for the folks in Filton. For anybody who is underemployed and / or wanting a more desirable vocation opportunity, probabilities are that you’ve skilled quite a few disheartening events.

replica christian louboutin mens

She’d know almost nothing with his / her malefic motive since he bowed on the bath tub and also deftly slid an arm beneath her own hips, or simply chose her own shins, and also fast removed her own lower limbs, potentially issuing her own mind a delicate thrust affordable together with his free offer.

fake louboutin shoes for sale

I’d like to focus on that we fully need to go on employed as travel teacher emeritus, assistance and even showing everyday life competencies to our own participants, and I will go on my personal dynamic factor as being a representative from the fight Alzheimer throughout the Dab Summitt Cornerstone Monetary fund..

fake louboutin shoes

The actual Dutch Govt needs tips to help freeze out the investments person in addition to possibilities enclosed over the UN Basic safety Local authority Solution (UNSCR) 1267 Sanctions Committee’s merged listing.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.