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Prometric Centers and PPE: Handling USMLE Test Day During COVID-19
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

With testing season in full swing now, Prometric has finally opened some test centers amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Of course, there are some caveats: such as 50% testing facility capacity and the requirement of gloves and masks during tests.

This personal protective equipment (PPE) mandate seems to be what troubles students the most, as these articles of clothing are quite uncomfortable. Here at Med School Tutors, we decided to put together a few tips and tricks to help ease that discomfort caused by your PPE.

NBME Free 120: Everything You Need to Know + Question Explanations
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

So, it’s your final week of Step 1 studying. Congratulations! Are you wondering what should you do in that final week of studying? One resource I am a big fan of having my students use in the final week of Step 1 studying is the NBME Free 120 questions. But before we get into why it's extremely helpful in that last week, let's discuss what it is.

NBME Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: New Free Assessments
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

Due to the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19, the NBME provided new free self-assessment exams. The following NBME self-assessments will be available beginning April 3, 2020: 

  •  CBSSA (Comprehensive Basic Science) Forms 13, 15, 16, 17, and 19
  • CCSSA (Comprehensive Clinical Science) Form 7
  • CCMSA (Comprehensive Clinical Medicine) Form 5

When you take a closer look at the exams, (especially if you took Step in 2018) you realize there’s nothing new about them.

CBSSA (NBME) forms 13, 15, 16, and 17 were, essentially, the old gold standard for exams you needed to take before Step 1 (19 not so much; it is a strange test that no one ever really liked). However, the fact they are giving them back to you for free with a grading scale is still hugely helpful. Here's how we'd recommend utilizing them. 

Being Productive During Off Time in 4th Year
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

 

4th year of medical school is extremely paradoxical. It’s one of the most stressful relaxation periods of your life. The stressful part is interview season and the match, but it’s nice because you don’t really need to study anymore, and your rotations are more fun and based on your interests. At the same time, because you aren’t studying anymore, you have an extra 3-4 hours a day and 52 weekends of free time. That’s a lot of free time. So, what should you do with it all??? Lucky for you, I have some suggestions. DISCLAIMER; free time can be expensive 😉.

Which USMLE Step 2 CK Resources to Use While on Peds Rotation
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

Pediatric medicine is vastly different from adult medicine. For one, every patient doesn’t have high blood pressure, type II diabetes and high cholesterol. Other differences center around what diseases are common, normal vital signs and vaccines. The good news is, for all these differences, there are some top-notch resources that will help you successfully navigate your pediatric rotation, Shelf, and USMLE Step 2 CK prep.

The ABCs of NBME Self-Assessments
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

Although there are a few ways people take the NBME self-assessments, there’s one method that stands above the rest. In short, take it how you would take the actual USMLE Step 1. Sounds easy enough, but what steps should you take to treat this exam like THE Step?

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your NBMES:

How to Use Spaced Repetition in Your Medical School Studies
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

One issue I find most students struggle a bit with when studying is revisiting old material. There never seems to be a good time to go back to your old lectures to brush up on the basics of physiology, pathology, pharmacology or even your favorite topic, biochemistry! How can you make sure to squeeze in that crucial extra review needed to solidify old concepts without falling behind on the new ones? Here are a few tips on how to incorporate old material into your day to day and why it’s necessary to do so.

The True Utility Of Mnemonics For Your USMLE Step Prep
Posted by Ali Elsaadi

A few questions I get quite a bit from students are along the lines of, “what’s the best way to memorize the signs of symptoms of this disease?” or something like, “what’s a quick mnemonic I can rely on for all the adverse effects of this drug?” Now, before I answer this, I must say I have always been a bit wary of using mnemonics (I’m looking at you First Aid and your infamous “Most chronic alcoholics Steal Phen Phen and Never Refuse Greasy Carbs/SICKFACES.COM” nonsense), but things changed for me during dedicated USMLE step prep when I realized that just like everything else in life, you can find a diamond in the rough when it comes to these clever ways of learning content.

Here are a few USMLE mnemonics and how you can learn from them/use them to your advantage in ruling out incorrect answers in a question stem:

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