Time for another update: First, I wanted to thank all my wonderful blog readers for the encouragement and comments. I was in a pretty low place last week and hearing how other people felt similarly during their Step 1 prep helped tremendously. Sometimes all a girl needs is a little commiseration.
It has been 18 days and I am pretty amazed at how much material I have been able to cover. I’ve reviewed Biochem, Biostats, Respiratory, Cardiology, Neurology, Immunology and half of Reproductive. Within those I’ve covered the relevant pharm, physio, micro, anatomy and embryology. I’ve also done 2,080 practice questions (yes, I keep a spreadsheet and I kind of can’t believe that is the total so far). I took my first Step 1 self assessment this weekend…and with 34 days before my exam date….it was actually a reasonable score. That took so much pressure off me. I could have done a cartwheel if I was more flexible.
Taking that practice exam was a real turning point because it allowed the release of a giant amount of anxiety. Mainly from the unknown. Up until then I had no idea if the 12-14 hours I was spending per day studying was doing anything. Having that small cushion of comfort has transformed the whole experience for me. I am working my ass off but now I think it may just work. I found something crucial I was missing last week–confidence. Now that I believe in my own methods, I am actually having fun.
Doing practice questions and getting them right–is fun. So much more fun when you know the material. Reading First Aid and saying, yes, I remember that–is fun. I started by tackling my worst topics: neuro, biochem, cardio. At first, the process was frustrating and exhausting because there was so much I needed to review. But once you get through it and a foundational layer of information forms you can actually begin to enjoy the information. It is medicine after all! And if you know anything about me, you know that I am obsessed with medicine. I was so far in the weeds I forgot that I actually like learning this stuff.
Update #2 is much more upbeat. Hooray, I am no longer despondent! I still have a hell of a lot of work ahead of me, but knowing that if I just keep at it, I can do this, is enough to get me through the day. My very long, long day.