Friday, June 29, 2012

The Day Before the USMLE Step 2

Did Googling bring you here? This isn't really instructional, or advice-based, just a real life explanation about what I did before I took Boards. And I kind of had a lot going on, as I'm sure you do as well, so there you go. 

Wondering about Step 1? Check out my post about that from a year ago. 

It's the morning of the second half of my Boards.

As many of you know, I'm getting married in 5 weeks.

Yeah. I know.

And so it being the week before Boards, I of course also had to fill it up with all kinds of things that I couldn't fit in while on rotation. Last week I was home in Oregon for the wedding dress fitting and did a lot of studying, so this was my only week here with lots of "free" business-hour time.

So we left from the Inland Empire Tuesday and did a tasting with our caterer in Calabasas (so many decisions made, so much great food!), then up to Ventura and picked up my wedding band, then down to San Diego (traffic!) for the next couple days.

Fortunately John drove and I did my best to study, but it was pretty tough.

Yesterday (the day before) I did the following:

5 am: Woke up in San Diego for another set of the UWorld Question Bank before breakfast.
6:30 am: Made coffee and breakfast. I don't mess around on serious brain fuel days, it's always oatmeal.

7 am: Ate with John, did our premarital counseling homework. This is the reason I woke up in San Diego - we were doing a bit of a crash course because this was our best time window before the wedding. 
9 am: Went to our session with the pastor. I'm so glad we fit it in, I think it's maybe the most important part of our wedding prep. 
10:30 am: Stopped at a market to pick up supplies for lunch.
11:00 am: Another set from the QBank. 
12:00 pm: Cooked, ate, packed and got on the road back to Loma Linda, it's about a 2 hour drive.
3:00 pm: Got in, unpacked, made a snack, settled in and reviewed a couple topics I had decided to look at again. [Skin! Rashes are going to be the death of me.]
5:30 pm: Stretch yoga while watching House. That's like studying right?
7:00 pm: Dinner, internet dabbling. Printed my updated Test Permit (from the NBME website). 
8:00 pm: More internet.
9:00 pm: Having said good night to my almost-husband, I headed to bed.

So to summarize...I studied for maybe 4 hours? I honestly don't know how much more I would have if I hadn't been so busy with other things. Probably more, but hard to say. I don't want to make comparisons about what "my ideal pre-Boards day" would be, because days aren't ideal. They're not supposed to be. We just do what we can, and I'm happy with what filled my day. 

My philosophy with day-before studying is that it should only boost your confidence. It's not a time to learn all of oncology. Unfortunately...

And in just 12 hours, for better or worse, it will all be over. 

See you then.

And expect a "What to Eat for the USMLE Step 2" post up later. I'm all decided on the food I'm taking and I'll snap it soon. 

Prayers please, it's kind of a big deal. Maybe less than Step 1, but still  Thanks.

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