9 days

Today was a hard day emotionally. One of those days where I’m sitting down for the whole day studying and wondering why the hell is my life like this at 23? And maybe I should have gone into dentistry.
I’ve got 9 more days until my usmle and it’s getting really rough to try and pull myself to study anymore. First of all, even though there are a ton of things I still don’t know, I am so sick of doing uworld. I can’t bring myself to read through the whole question, let alone all the explanations which makes me wonder if doing uworld is even helping me at this point. Then I go do a block of comquest and those questions seem much more harder to me even though the questions are shorter. When I get a question wrong in uworld, the right answer was usually my second choice. When I get something wrong in comquest it’s because I have no fucking clue what they’re even asking me. This makes me really nervous because I feel like I haven’t seen these concepts at all during my studying. Am I spending too much time focusing on the usmle? Am I going to be that unfortunate soul to pass my usmle but do terrible on the comlex?
So frustrating trying to study at this point. I’m going to take one more nbme (took 2 already + 1 comsae) and that’ll be my last one before the real thing next thursday. I’m really hoping I do better than my last score. I don’t expect to score 240+ at all because I know i’m not at that level but I just want to do better than my last nbme. Then i’ll feel confident for the real test. I’m going to push through this last week and remind myself that this is only one small time in my life and I have to give it all that i’ve got just for this short time. Then it’ll be all worth it (?).

On a totally different note, I started p90x. I know you’re not supposed to change up your lifestyle routine too dramatically near your test, but i’ve been working out pretty hard for the past couple of months and I’ve attempted p90x previously so I felt pretty good about starting it again. I’m only on day 2 of the classic program but I feel great! Last time I tried p90x (about a year ago) I didn’t have great endurance or strength so I started on the Lean program. Now, with a much better fitness base, I feel much better doing the exercises. My stats are NOT impressive really… I’m a 5’4” 100lb tiny female, but I can get through most of the exercises. I don’t own a pull up bar which makes up a huge part of chest & back workouts, but I just modify with free weight chest/back exercises and I still get a good workout. I’m also trying to modify my diet. I eat a pretty healthy diet, but I’m definitely a carb lover, so I’m trying to cut some of that out. Anyways, I’ve exercised regularly my whole life pretty much but I’m hoping that this program will really push me over my plateau.

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Regional results!

Today i opened a very happy email telling me that I was accepted to do a regional rotation at the only hospital I applied to next year! That means no filling out a lottery or commuting everywhere and one less thing to worry about! phew, glad that’s done.

Today I also had a patient encounter practical where I had to do a history on 2 patients and they provide feedback after. The first one kind of threw me off because she presented with a chief complaint of “trying to get pregnant for the last 2 years but was unsuccessful”. I’m always used to doing histories for pain complaints or med refills so when she said that I took a few minutes to come up with questions to ask her. At the end when she asked me how I thought the encounter went I told her I didn’t think it was my best, because I was hesitating to come up with questions to ask her. To my surprise she felt totally opposite. She told me she felt super comfortable talking to me, that I was friendly and empathetic and even wrote “excellent” on my eval sheet. I was pretty shocked but told her that I was glad I came off that way in the encounter. I realized after that patients judge you not necessarily on how good your clinical skills are, but almost completely and immediately on your bedside manner. They can’t tell if you’re ordering the right tests or if your differential was long enough. But they can tell if you smile at them when you walk in, if you show empathy when they’re describing their symptoms, when you take time to explain what you know to them. And I’ve noticed that in most of my patient encounters I’ve gotten feedback that I show a lot of empathy and that in itself can carry you a long way with your patients. For me, I think empathy that’s always come easily to me. I cry at the tiniest things. I love hearing about peoples’ feelings. It’s almost as if I absorb all of those feelings within me and that how I connect with people. It’s actually a burden sometimes. But sometimes it’s really helpful because even though I know these people in our encounters are actors, I genuinely react as if they were going through what they’re telling me. And as a patient myself, I often wish that my doctors would spend a little more time asking me questions about how I feel (about getting procedures or any stresses in my life). I hope when I have my own patients I’ll remember this and not get blindsided by $$ and a full waiting room.