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Practicing Medicine: Crises and Emergencies Will Find You
Posted by Brian Radvansky

It was proceeding like any other case. Sure, it was billed to be “technically difficult,” but that didn’t mean too much more to us, the anesthesia team, other than to prepare for “surgical difficulties” along the way.

M2 vs. M3: You're Taking USMLE Step 1 When?
Posted by Brian Radvansky
If you've learned anything up to this point in medicine, it's likely that the field has strong foundations in dogma and tradition. Routinely, medical school consisted of two years of basic science classroom work followed by two years of clinical clerkships, with these two phases being separated by our timeless friend (or greatest nemesis), the USMLE Step 1 exam.

In recent years, however — and amid the COVID era — many schools have positioned Step 1 at the end of third year, just after completion of clerkships. The impact this has almost certainly depends on each individual student. What we can tell you, however, is how to use your third-year clerkship experience to your advantage if you happen to be in one of these programs.

Med School Exams Are Not Going Anywhere
Posted by Brian Radvansky

Ah, the MCAT. You just need to do well on this test before the rest of your life is pure gravy. Even college finals feel like they pale in comparison to the magnitude of this test. You put in the countless hours of studying on top of college coursework to succeed. Or maybe, like me, you get some review books from the library and look at Organic Chemistry for the first time in about 10 years. At that point, it will probably be the biggest test of your life.

Med School Confessions: I'm a Bad Test Taker
Posted by Brian Radvansky

How many times have you heard someone define himself as a bad test taker? Or worse yet, have you adopted this mentality as your own? In this post, we are going to talk about why this belief, like any, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We will discuss why it is absolutely essential to shake this moniker. And, of course, we will tell you how to do so.

When Times Get Tough, Where Do Medical Students Belong?
Posted by Brian Radvansky

By the time you are reading this, I hope that we are over and done with the COVID-19 surge. And I hope that it’s the only one that we will experience. However, if history is any guide, it would be unsurprising to face another pandemic in our lifetimes. The concomitant economic downturn might be new to some of us, but for others, we see the shadows of what was happening to our financial well-being in 2008-2009.

Understanding Ventilation Perfusion (V/Q) Mismatch
Posted by Brian Radvansky

“..and s/he is probably suffering from some element of a V/Q mismatch.”

How to Make Your Residency Rank Order List
Posted by Brian Radvansky

Interview season is coming to a close. Some are relieved to be finished with endless traveling, hotels, dry cleaners, and plane tickets. You can finally get back home, resume a predictable schedule, and play catch-up on that which you left untended at home.

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

The most timeless of USMLE questions is an acid-base question. How elegant a topic! It combines multiple systems (respiratory and renal), involves some basic math, and perfectly lends itself towards multiple choice questions.

From Med School to Residency & Beyond: Reflections on Being 'Almost There'
Posted by Brian Radvansky

The new year is upon us. And the changing of the calendar page is a perfect allegory for turning the pages of our lives. This will undoubtedly be a big year for you - because you are one year closer to being there. Throughout college, medical school,  and residency, there’s an arduous journey, all with the purpose of getting “there.” We tell ourselves things like “Oh, when I’m an attending…” We can fill in the blank with whatever truths or fallacies we like.

Admit It! Your Med School Application Needs a Makeover
Posted by Brian Radvansky

Medical school admissions — just saying the words conjures up more fear and worry than it does joy and hope for a fruitful future. We often see the admissions committee as a gatekeeper, a mysterious group that meets in a room with a towering stack of papers, ultimately giving the thumbs up or thumbs down to your application. With 896,000+ applications submitted in the 2019-2020 season, it can make the eager student feel dejected, like a small fish in an endless sea.

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