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 Indomethacin's journal Passed 244  

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Just a little about myself, I am an IMG originally born in the United States.

I used to love going to the gym and bodybuilding. Ever since I got to medical school I sacrificed the gym and eating right just to do really well. I went from 195 lbs to 164 lbs in the 18 months of medical school! I look forward to someday soon, where I'll have a little more time to dedicate to the gym.

I started my medical school in January 2013 which basically consists of 4 semesters 4 months each.
I have completed my semesters with the following subjects.

MD1- Anatomy, Histo, Embryo
MD2- Biochem, Genetics, Physio
MD3- Path 1, Neuro, Micro
MD4- Path 2, Pharm, Behavioral Science, Community Medicine

Students in my school have to wait 2 full years from starting date before they can write the USMLE. So after my MD 5, I will be taking 4 months to prepare so I can write the step right away sometime in January 2015.

For me, it takes multiple reads before information sticks. Even throughout medical school, I would have to read textbooks twice before things solidified, and would sometimes read school class notes up to 4-5 times before my recall was strong. So I by no means consider myself a genius, just a hard worker. I don't take as lengthy study breaks as many of the people posting here, and I sleep a little less too.

I was very disappointed when I started UW pharm in medschool averaging no higher than 50% and sometimes getting as low as 48%.
But after scoring well on the end semester pharm NBME, I realized that once UW is used as a study tool and with hard work anything is possible.

Current Timeline:

May-August - School provided "USMLE Conference" more like Self Study for 4 months

September-December: No school, pure studying with Kaplan Review course from Oct-Nov

USMLE Step 1: Planning on taking it ASAP in Early January 2015

I've been browsing the forums for the past 6 months when I came across Obecalp's thread on how to study for step 1. I cannot say how much his words have inspired me an helped me as a student. If you are reading this I wanted to thank you so much for your words have been very resourceful to me.

I wrote most of this yesterday, but I figured it was time to start my journal, and share my journey with you all.

This is mostly to motivate me to see if I'm on point, and also to inspire any other students.

1.) FA (Read 3 times over, while in medical school).
2.) KLN + videos except Patho
3.) RR Goljan + Audio
4.) HY NeuroAnatomy (Read once in medical school)
5.) Lippincott Cards (Yet to read)
6.) Medessenttials (Yet to read)
7.) TONs of USMLE style questions doing UW at the moment. (Will work on USMLE Rx, Kaplan, Webpath, Robbins Review eventually.)

General Plan for next two months
50 pgs KLN a day + videos for those 50 pgs
15-20 pgs FA
1 chapter of RR Goljan a day if time allots it
46-60 Qs of UW a day

Score goal: 270+
START of Preparation: May 13, 2014
END of Preparation: Yet to be determined


Alarm set for 7:05, was really tired and woke up at 8:05 am instead.

Had breakfast milkshake. Read 40 pages KLN of Histo.

MD 5 orientation from 11-12:30pm, then spent some time getting food with friends till about 1:50pm.

2-3:55pm Finished 10 pgs KLN and all videos for that section.

Contemplating if I should get a gym membership, it is literally a few blocks away. But 1 hr in gym + showering + laundry + eating time = not sure if good idea?

Still have to take NBME.

Finished Kidney disorders in RR Goljan.

Wanted to do Histo questions today, but to my dismay there were only 18, decided that I will do them tomorrow.

Did a random mixed block of Path instead and scored 38/46=83% grin

I would attribute that grade to listening to Goljan 3 times over in medical school, as well as reading all of Medium Robbins twice. Did not once touch Pathoma or KLN Patho.

Was getting late so decided to do a quick 14 questions in UW, got 6 wrong and was again disappointed. With a pathetic 57% score. sad


Woke up freezing, was raining outside. Had quick milkshake then read 50 pages KLN Histo.

Went to go check for class at 1:00pm but it was cancelled. Ate real quick then, watched 2 hrs of Kaplan videos.

Read a few pages of Goljan's HY anatomy while sitting at the Loo.

Then read 20 pages FA afterwards. Took a shower and read RR Environmental chapter.

Skyped family for 40 mins.

Now I was going to do the 18 histo questions, I told myself that if I get above an 80% on this. I will sacrifice the gym (and possibly a little bit of my health), and just use my allotted time to study and share this experience with you guys.

Got 16/18 = 89% smiling face

Don't know if I got overly excited for nothing and made this decision. But my grades in UW are motivating me to keep going forward.

EDIT update 8/23/15:
Step 1: PASSED 244 taken on 12/18/14
Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK): PASSED 249 taken on 5/3/15
Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS): PASSED taken on 6/13/15

Edited by indomethacin on Aug 23, 2015 - 9:01 AM



Finished the remaining portion of Histo and Embryo in KLN 66 pgs or so, with videos.
Read FA 15 repro embryo/anatomy section.
Read RR Genetic & Developmental Disorders
Did UW Embryo 48 questions got 32/48 = 66% rolling eyes

Was shooting for well above 80%, and would like nothing less than 70% in the future.

Checking over answers now, and realized many of which I got wrong were clearly written in FA, in the embryology sections that I have not yet reviewed.

With that said, getting things wrong helps me remember them even better. nod

Gonna keep fighting to score higher, let's see how this goes.

EDIT: Done reviewing my mistakes, realized if I had actually read all of the Embryo sections in first aid. Would have most certainly laughed doing some of the questions I got wrong.

Good night! grin

Edited by indomethacin on May 15, 2014 - 10:29 PM


Read 50 pgs KLN & then saw Kaplan videos that were around 4 hrs for that subject. sticking out tongue

Then read 15 pgs of FA.

Due to my extensive readings in medical school decided to do some Path questions again. Did 46 questions, scored 65%. raised eyebrow

Going to start anatomy questions, tomorrow. Hope they go better than Path is going.

Realizing I'm making a lot of easy mistakes. But will not back down, will try to get my percentages to 70% and even higher above.

Edited by indomethacin on May 17, 2014 - 12:12 PM


Finished Abd, Pelvis Perineum in KLN with videos

Read 15 pages FA

UW questions done only on the topics I reviewed today, scored 66%.

I know my grades will improve once my studying continues. Not going to be as abrupt of a jump as I would've imagined. Slowly but surely. nod


Finished Online NBME form 7 today, something I probably should've done last week to see where I stand.

Pretty demotivated for a little while today by the score I got.
It was a bit over 200 on USMLE scale 3 digit, but I was expecting a USMLE scale 3 digit of a 230 at the least.

Using this poor score to motivate me to do better. Going to go over the mistakes, and make sure they don't happen again.


Start of Study Time: May 13, 2014
End of Study Prep: January, 2015 (2nd week)

*Planned Test Date*: January 2015 (3rd week)


Just finished going over NBME 7 diligently, literally took all day. Aside from a handful questions, I felt most of them were pretty doable if one studied their ass of in medical school.

Going to take my second NBME after I complete all of KLN and FA, and UW. Which should be a little over a month and a half from now.

As of right now, almost done with Anatomy. Just have Head and Neck & Neuro section left.

With hard work in these next 7-8 months, I hope I will be able to increase my knowledge and laugh through NBME exams. wink

Edited by indomethacin on May 23, 2014 - 3:38 PM


Slightly New approach to UW, instead of doing mixed random questions and getting owned. I will be doing UWorld questions based on what I did for that day.

So today I finished upper limb, lower limb, and head and neck. So I only did questions on those today.

I plan on doing this for the remaining 1217 questions I have left in UW.

Still scoring around the same ~65% percentages as of right now, did 32 questions for musculoskeletal. But motivated for the grades to pick up.

I only have Neuroanatomy left in KLN, and then I will be done with the Anatomy KLN book.

Edit: Did another 18 questions to finish up head and neck, blood vessels, and oncology questions.

Scored 14/18 = 78%.grin

Edited by indomethacin on May 19, 2014 - 8:10 PM


Had a mandatory H&P class, for 2&1/2 hours. rolling eyes

Read 50 pgs KLN Neuroanatomy + Video, going to read 15 pgs FA.

Have to start reading 10 pgs a day for Bate's Guide to Physyical and Examination book, for end of semester final. So will leave that reading to the end of the day.

No UW today, will finish KLN completely first. Take a day to review HY Neuroanatomy, then attempt the ~43 UW questions on neuroanatomy.

smiling face



Finished remaining KLN Anatomy book Neuro section + ~5 hrs of kaplan video, yesterday. Didn't do HY neuro as just want to focus on KLN and FA.

35/43 = 81% grin grin grin

Glad I did not spend a whole day cramming HY neuro. rolling eyes
KLN + video +All 60 of Neuroanatomy Webpath images = enough to score 81% on UW = awesome sticking out tongue

Started Biochem today read 70 pgs with video. Read 15 pgs FA and 10 pgs for Bates H&P.

My hope is being restored, hope biochem goes just this well if not better. nod


70 pgs Biochem + video was so boring my goodness.

Trying to retain as much as possible on first read, then the videos help solidify some things that I didn't pick up. smiling face

I tried to do 7+ hours of video and then got burnt out for 2-3 hrs. Going to limit myself to 6 hrs Kaplan videos a day.

15 pgs FA, 10 pgs Bates.

Good night!


70 pgs Biochem + Video, 15 pgs FA, 10 pgs Bates Completed.

15 UW questions Biochem, didn't do well at all. shaking head

Going to fix mistakes, then hit Biochem again real hard tomorrow.


60+ pgs KLN and video. 15 pgs FA and 10 pgs Bates.

Did two blocks 44 questions each went really meh.
Both around ~66%. raised eyebrow

Really don't want this subject to turn into a swan dive. Hoping to learn from these mistakes and do better on the remaining 88 questions I have left. smiling face


Read Biochem 70 pgs did 7 hours of video. shocked
Was very painful. confused

15 pgs FA, 10 pgs Bates.

I was very disappointed with yesterday's biochem scores and was motivated to do well.

So attempted to read all of Biochem FA again, but ran out of time and reviewed about 10 pgs of Biochem metab in FA before I did a 44 question block.

32/44 = 72% nod
Praise God, my grades in Biochem improved a bit.

Not great, but I'll take 72% any day over a 65%. As an improvement is always a good step in the right direction. grin

EDIT: Was kinda burnt out today, but went ahead and did another 44 questions scored ~66%. disapproval

NOTE TO SELF: Do not rush UW questions, and Read all of FA section before trying UW. Banking on these Genetics questions to go better tomorrow. nod

Another thing:
Sam Turco for 2010 Kaplan USMLE videos says "this is low yield" tooooooooooo often.

As a student who is never looking to cut corners, I'm glad I ignored those words every time and I looked them up as I was doing the video. smiling face

I had 3-4 questions in my 44 question block from things that he felt "the boards are not going to ask." Perhaps the videos are outdated, but just an observation.

Edited by indomethacin on May 26, 2014 - 10:34 PM


Finished Biochem & Genetics Today.
Read 15 pgs FA, 10 pgs Bates.

Read Lab Techniques & FA for Genetics before attempting Genetics UW questions.

1st block 26/29 = 90% grin grin grin grin
2nd block 21/29 = 71%

So thankful to God.
Genetics Overall = ~81%

Don't know if genetics was meant to be overly easy, but if this keeps up for my other subjects, I know I'll be able to reach my goal. Never give up!

This game plan is working. nod
1.) Read KLN
2.) Watch videos, pay attention as strongly as possible take notes
3.) After done with the subject, read entire FA sections for that subject
4.) Do UW questions.

Off to fix my errors for these blocks.

Will start physio tomorrow. grin


Hey your scores are pretty good, continue on and good luck!

Are you saving some UWorld questions later for random blocks as well?

I did something similar when I first started (except I used only FA and did individual subject blocks for every FA subject/system, and then started doing random blocks.)


Thanks, same to you. smiling face

I started UW questions last semester in med school and ended up completing pharm, behavioral, and most of path.

So I don't think it'll be fair to do purely random blocks including those subjects listed above because I will have already seen them.

Current Plan.

1.) Finish UW completely subject wise first time through.

This greatly minimizes how much page flipping you have to do to add notes into first aid and helps give a good foundation of explanations and additions to first aid.

2.) Afterwards, I am going to repeat UW subject wise blocks containing my wrong and marked questions. So I can review my weak areas.

3.) USMLE - RX Q bank mixed

4.) Kaplan Q bank mixed

5.) RR Q Bank

6.) Finally, I am going to reset the UW account, a couple of months before I plan on taking the exam, at which point I'll be doing mixed. Essentially this will be a 3rd visit of UW.


Read 70 pgs Physio + ~5.5hrs video. Conrad Fischer is awesome imo!

Also Read 20 pgs FA, Read 10 pgs Bates.

Cardio & Musculoskeletal Physio questions tomorrow. nod


70 pgs KLN + 6-7 hrs video.

Read FA physio sections for Cardio & Muscle.
10 pgs Bates.

36/50 on UW Cardio & Musculoskeletal Physio questions = 72% smiling face

Did two blocks of 25 questions, royally messed up second block though. Pretty disappointed about the second one truly.

Off to fix mistakes.

I think I'm getting a hang of this step studying, I am expecting my grades to go up in these next coming blocks. nod

Edited by indomethacin on May 29, 2014 - 8:56 PM



70 pgs KLN with video.
15 pgs FA & 10 pgs Bates.

Our dorm building got struck by lightning, and we lost internet. Literally struck by lightining. confused

Couldnt do any UW questions. sad

Really threw off the studying schedule thing.


70 pgs KLN + ~6 hrs video

10 pgs Bates, 15 pages FA

Minimal internet was restored in the dorm lobby so did renal & pulm physio UW questions. However, my results were UW results were showing ? marks due to the sketchy internet connection.

It was a distracting environment with other classmates around.


70 pgs KLN + 6.5 hrs video

10 pgs Bates, 15 pages FA

Did some FA cases for GIT & Endocrine. Got only a couple wrong. sticking out tongue


Checked UW scores from a couple of days ago, scored 46/67 on Lung & Renal Physio = 68% disapproval

Needed this kick in the balls to never make the mistake of doing blocks amongst classmates that are chatting in the dormitory lobby.

Going to try to finish the rest of physiology questions when the internet gets restored in my room might be later tonight or tomorrow. Hoping to score at least 80% and no less than 70%. nod

Update by later tonight.


Finished Physiology with all videos.

Will fix mistakes of one block, if not both blocks that I did tonight.

Then will take tomorrow to read the FA physio sections and my pretest notes from medical school, and will do remaining remaining 53 physio questions I have left. Hoping to destroy the questions tomorrow. nod

Internet is still up and down, but am going to try to make this posting as regular as possible. Consistency is key. nod

Will start Behavioral Science on Wednesday. smiling face

Edited by indomethacin on Jun 02, 2014 - 8:56 PM


41/53 = 77% on remaining Physio Mixed Questions smiling face

Would have like to score better, but small increments of increase will shoot me over 80% soon. I can feel it. nod

Update rest by later tonight.

Read all physio portions of FA (Minus Lung, Renal, Musculoskeletal or CVS) and did UWorld questions, took today to review the remaining blocks and made notes into first aid.

Will start Behavioral tomorrow. grin

Edited by indomethacin on Jun 03, 2014 - 7:58 PM



70 pgs KLN Behavioral + 6 hrs Video.

I am reading KLN only once before I am attempting the UW questions, but for biostatistics I think I need to make an exception and read it twice.

Have not done math in a while and a lot of what I read has not truly solidified.

Read 20 pgs FA, and 12 pages Bates H&P.


40 pgs KLN Behavioral + 6 hrs video.

Read 20 pages FA & 12 pages Bates H&P.

Still no internet in my room, just coming to the dormitory lobby to mark my progress. Should be done with Behavioral in these next two days. nod


Internet is finally up and running in my dorm, hopefully it is here to stay. smiling face

70 pgs KLN + 6 hrs of video.

20 pages FA & 12 pages of Bates' H&P.

Since I already did Behavioral Science UW questions in my last semester of med school.

Will attempt UW Biostat questions tomorrow after I review it a second time. Will also do Kaplan 2010 question book block of Behavioral & Stats.

Shooting for 80%, and no less than 70%. nod

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