Qblast Episode 3: USMLE® Question Review


Welcome to Kaplan’s third episode of our web series, Qblast!

Every Wednesday, Drs. Franasiak and Alvin will share a sample USMLE question and answer explanation to help you quickly master an important concept, even if you’re on your way to class.

Preparing for the COMLEX®-USA Level 1? These cases will absolutely help you prepare for your boards!

In this case, Dr. Alvin discusses the diagnosis and treatment of Congenital Microvillus Atrophy.

Are you ready for realistic practice on your own? Click here to learn more about our USMLE Step 1 Qbank so you can practice with over 2,000 USMLE-style questions anywhere, anytime.view full post »

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Qblast Episode 2: USMLE® Question Review


Welcome to the second episode of our web series, Qblast!

Every Wednesday, Drs. Franasiak and Alvin will share a sample USMLE question and answer explanation to help you quickly master an important concept, even if you’re on your way to class.

Preparing for the COMLEX®-USA Level 1? These cases will absolutely help you prepare for your boards!

In this case, Dr. Franasiak discusses the diagnosis and treatment of Septic Shock.

Are you ready for realistic practice on your own? Click here to learn more about our USMLE Step 1 Qbank so you can practice with over 2,000 USMLE-style questions anywhere, anytime.view full post »

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Qblast Episode 1: USMLE® Question Review


Introducing Kaplan’s first episode of the new web series, Qblast!

Every Wednesday, Drs. Franasiak and Alvin will share a sample USMLE question and answer explanation to help you quickly master an important concept, even if you’re on your way to class.

Preparing for the COMLEX®-USA Level 1? These cases will absolutely help you prepare for your boards!

In this case, Dr. Alvin discusses the diagnosis and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation.

Are you ready for realistic practice on your own? Click here to learn more about our USMLE Step 1 Qbank so you can practice with over 2,000 USMLE-style questions anywhere, anytime.view full post »

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7 Awesome People To Follow in #MedEd

Here are the top thought leaders in medical education.

Who should you be following in #MedEd?

You might use Twitter to talk to your friends, follow breaking news or live-tweet The Bachelor, but did you know you could also use it to connect (and commiserate) with fellow med students?

 

Geared just for you, #meded chats are every Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on Twitter.

 

To participate, start by following @MedEdChat. You can submit all questions or topics by DM or email to mededchat@gmail.com. The moderator and doctor behind the chat is @RyanMadanickMD.

 

Dr. Madanick, a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, started the chat in the spring of 2011. Back then, he said there were a handful of Twitter users who were the predominant voices posting about medical education topics with the hashtag, #meded.

 

“Health care-oriented Twitter chats had become more common, so we wanted to create a similar forum for those of us who were interested in discussing this topic with each other on a regular basis,” Dr. Madanick says.

 

Many of the chats relate to issues that are important to medical students.

 

“Just in the last few months for example, we’ve had chats about … view full post »

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How to transition from the classroom to clinic

here-si-how-to-move-from-the-classroom-experience-and-exams-to-the-wards

Moving from the classroom to the clinic is tough. Here’s what I’ve learned on the wards.

As you make the conversion from medical school classroom knowledge to clinical knowledge, there will be adjustments. After completing the first two years of medical school, AKA The Basic Science Years, and conquering what many consider to be the most important exam a medical student will ever take – the USMLE Step 1 exam, there is still more to learn. Medical school and the USMLE Step 1 exam play a role in helping you prepare for the wards, but the clinical side of medicine will present itself with new tests and evaluations.

Clinical makes you feel feelings

There is no doubt that you will feel a range of emotions as you transition from the medical school classroom to the clinical classroom. You will be eager, yet apprehensive. You will feel like your brain has tons of information crammed in it, yet you still know so little. You will initially doubt yourself, and most clinical decisions you make, once you realize that your patient’s (Yes, your patient!) signs and symptoms are not as black and white as the cases are in the textbooks you memorized.… view full post »

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4 things to do before starting residency

here-are4-tips-as-you-are-preparing-for-residency

I made a point to do a Euro trip before starting residency; here I am in Venice!

Travel & catch up with friends

I’m a strong believer in investing in experiences rather than tangible items, which is why I saved up as much as possible to travel before officially starting residency. My last clerkship ended on March 31st, so I planned a trip around Europe for April as well as to attend the AMWA Centennial Meeting. In the month of May, I took a couple of weekend trips to catch up with friends across the country – I went to Tallahassee and Milwaukee to visit friends and catch up. Put those airline miles you accumulated over the 4th year interview trail to work!

Do a medical school cleanse

During my preclinical years, I printed at least a thousand pages of lecture notes that have filled numerous 3” binders. My shelves are also overflowing with my review books and textbooks. In an effort to start anew in residency, I’ve slowly been sorting through it all to determine what I can sell on Amazon and what needs to be thrown out. It’s incredible how much stuff medical school … view full post »

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How to Choose Your Medical Specialty

what-to-consider-as-you-choose-your-medical-specialty

There are many factors that go into choosing a medical specialty.

Choosing a medical specialty is no easy task. There are many things that you must consider when choosing a medical specialty. Some things you will be able to control while others you will have absolutely no control over, unfortunately. Currently, I am trying to decide which medical specialty is the best fit for me. Here I will share with you five things that I feel are very important when trying to decide on a medical specialty.

USMLE® scores

The competition is real! In order to be competitive and considered for any residency, you must make sure that your USMLE scores are competitive. The hard, yet honest truth is, if you do not make outstanding scores, your chances of landing a more competitive residency (i.e. dermatology, radiology, etc.) decrease drastically.

Be true to yourself

Knowing yourself and being honest with yourself is crucial at this stage. You must be, both, realistic and brutally honest with who you are as a person. If you like to be in total control of things, maybe surgery is a better specialty for you. If you like contact with people and to build … view full post »

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How to Prepare your Residency Applications this Summer

preparing-your-applications-for-residency-as-a-fourth-year

Your goal for the end of the summer is to have all ERAS fields complete so that when September 15th rolls around, you just have to click “Submit.”

This summer, newly minted fourth year medical students across the country will flock to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) in order to apply to allopathic residency programs. Most medical schools sent students their individualized token in the late-Spring or early-Summer so that they may enter the system and start populating the numerous sections such as general information, experience, publications and personal statement. The system is also used to send instructions to your letter of recommendation authors on how to submit a letter on your behalf to include with your application. The first day to submit your application for the MyERAS 2016 cycle will be September 15, 2015. Similar to the MyERAS 2015 cycle, your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) will be released on October 1, 2015. The interview cycle can run from October-February with National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) rank order lists due by February 24, 2016. Match Day for the 2016 cycle will be on Friday, March 18th, 2016.

As most medical … view full post »

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Tips for my First Year Self, Four Years Later

fourth-year-medical-student-gives-advice-to-first-year-students

Advice for first years from someone who’s been there.

As the fourth year of medical school draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on how much I’ve grown in the last four years. Medicine really changes who you are, whether you like it or not. Looking back, I’ve learned a lot and have some pearls from my mentors and my experiences.

If you’re entering your first year of medical school, or even your second year, here are some tips to help you make sense of your med school experiences:

Studying: It’s What’s For Dinner

  1. Remember, as a medical student, your job is being a medical student. Don’t get caught up with doing too many things… focus your energy primarily in learning medicine as well as you can.
  2. Time put into studying is proportional to the comfort you have with medicine. Each year of medicine is a foundation for the next… which becomes the foundation for your career.
  3. As much as the studying sucks, how well you do on the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2CK indicates how competitive your residency application is. So, in short, study hard! It is a marathon, not a sprint.

Life Lessons from a Fourth Year

  1. You

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Three Things I Learned on Away Rotations

why-should-you-do-away-rotations

This lovely sight greeted me every morning during my Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care rotation at Mattel Children’s Hospital (University of California Los Angeles).

During my fourth year, I used all three elective months to do away rotations because exposure to a variety of clinical environments is helpful for learning, networking and future planning. I picked an away rotation in both my intended specialty (anesthesiology) and an area in which I was interested (pediatrics). But you may be unsure of how or even why to do any away rotation.

Medical students and faculty members across the country are divided in their opinion of away (or audition) rotations. Certain competitive specialties expect applicants to have done away rotations, while others do not. For a field like anesthesiology, I think it could go either way. If you look mediocre on paper and know that your strengths lie in your clinical acumen and interpersonal skills, it may work in your favor to do an away rotation at a dream institution. However, if your residency application is strong to begin with, it may not be necessary – and could be detrimental – to do an away rotation. Either way, critically residency appraise your … view full post »

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