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October 2020 USMLE Step 1 Updates: Everything You Need to Know
Posted by Brian Radvansky

OMG, they are changing USMLE Step 1 again! Why now, during your medical school tenure, do all of these changes have to happen? The two things you thought you could bank on when starting medical school were:

1. Step 1 has been and will remain unchanged for years and years, and 2. A good Step 1 score equals the residency of your choice. These two assumptions have totally gone out the window. What does it all mean?

Now, That's What I Call High-Yield: Biochemistry
Posted by Brian Radvansky

How would you describe studying for Step 1? Is it internalizing data? Or would you call it pattern recognition? Is it retaining facts, or applying knowledge? Likely all the above. But at some level, studying for Step 1, or any exam for that matter, is about triaging information. In your 800 pages of First Aid and 2000+ UWorld questions (leaving aside hundreds of flash cards and possible second question bank), your task is to learn as much as possible. Hanging onto the entirety of this information is an impossibility; at some point you need to be happy enough with having an “acceptable” handle on the material. While aiming for “good enough” might feel like selling yourself short, many students will express the feeling of having “hit capacity,” and find it difficult to put more info into a fact-laden noggin.

A Guide to Shock and the Cardiovascular System for the USMLE
Posted by Brian Radvansky

If you had to reduce the function of your cardiovascular system to one goal, how would you describe it? What is the primary purpose of the heart and blood and vasculature?

Mastering Mnemonics: SIGECAPS for Depression Screening
Posted by Brian Radvansky

SIGECAPS is your screening tool for depression. And with as high as a disease prevalence as seen with depression, this one must be kept in your back pocket.

It’s short - it’s sweet. It’s easy to remember, and it’s most useful both in test taking and patient care.

How to Get a Strong ERAS Letter of Recommendation
Posted by Brian Radvansky

Accruing ERAS letters of recommendation is one of the greatest sources of stress for students during residency application season. In the dozens of students I’ve coached through their ERAS residency applications, I’d estimate that over 80 percent of them saw this as a large cause of anxiety in their application.

Now, That's What I Call High-Yield: Gastrointestinal
Posted by Brian Radvansky

When it comes time to sit for USMLE Step 1, you really have to go with your gut. The test can be a difficult thing to stomach, but by focusing on the high-yield aspects of GI physiology and pathophysiology, your efforts will be worthwhile, and your brain will continue to secrete correct answers. While always a challenge, I’ve done my best to distill the subject into a singular blog post. I attempted to winnow this down to a single post, but like so many huge topics out there, one post simply wouldn’t do. Stay tuned for part 2.

Now, That's What I Call High Yield: Psychiatry
Posted by Brian Radvansky

Psychiatry! Finally a topic with information that might be condensed into a single high-yield treatise!

But don’t tell that to the psychiatrists. The information needed to get through Step 1 is much less than what’s necessary to be a psychiatrist. No matter what your chosen field, you will definitely need a basic understanding of depression, suicidality, personality disorders, and psychiatric medications. You will definitely need to know all of these to rock Step 1!

The Unwritten Curriculum in Med School
Posted by Brian Radvansky

“It’s all contained there in your syllabus.”

Hypoxia for the USMLE: 5 Causes
Posted by Brian Radvansky

It was time to sign out, but I was nowhere to be found. There I was, stuck in room 782, trying to figure out why Mr. Nelson was only satting 86%. Of course, these problems always present themselves when it’s time to sign out your crowded census!

My Biggest Regret as a Non-Traditional Medical School Applicant
Posted by Brian Radvansky

I remember the moment where it struck me. I was looking out the window of my Greyhound bus, on my way from Sydney to Melbourne. Just 2 months prior, I had bought a one-way ticket to Australia on a working holiday visa. The plan? Well, there wasn’t much of a plan other than to try to find a job of sorts and see where the world took me. My parents were thrilled that my college education had bought me a ticket to the antipode of my birthplace to be a day laborer.

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