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Score Above 240 on Step 1 with the Best USMLE Study Resources
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron
Dr. Tzvi Doron and Shelby Wood contributed to this post. 

It never fails. A new USMLE Step 1 student shows up to our first meeting with a huge pile of books that would require Herculean strength just to carry, along with a slew of online video subscriptions and Qbanks for future use.

“What am I missing?” the student asks, concerned about forgetting the secret ingredient to acing Step 1. 

I take 3 books out of the pile and leave all the rest. “You will use these 3 books, a Qbank, and almost nothing else. Trust me, you’re better off using fewer resources and mastering them than skimming over many resources and not knowing any of them well.”

Medicine, for the Love of Humanity
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

Most of us choose a career in medicine for the right reasons. We do it because we want to help people and there is no cause nobler than decreasing or eliminating unnecessary suffering. Unfortunately, the daily grind of the profession itself sometimes makes us forget about the original purpose of our chosen profession.

Studies of medical trainees show that burnout is extremely common, with 28-45% of medical students and 27-75% of residents experiencing burnout. Seasoned physicians do not fare any better. One of the key features of burnout is depersonalization, which involves negative, callous, and detached responses to others.

So the question is: if many of us are burned out before we even complete our medical training, how do we get our humanity back? How do we treat patients the way they want and need to be treated as people? How do we treat our patients the way we imagined treating them when we chose to be doctors in the first place?

Differential Diagnosis (or How to Know It's Not Lupus)
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

Differential diagnosis is one of the most important skills that medical students need to learn, whether they are studying specifically for the boards or for their future careers. The reason for this is that, if you don’t even consider a diagnosis as a possibility, you will never be able to actually make the diagnosis, much less treat the problem. When it comes to treating patients in the real world, you can always look up a specific detail: like a drug dose or which antibody you should be testing for when working up a patient for a specific disease. However, you cannot look up a test or treatment for a disease you have not even thought of.

Why I (Still) Tutor Med School Students
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

Let’s be honest. When I first started tutoring for MST, my main reason for doing so was to make some money. During our medical education years, it is difficult to find ways of earning money that are both flexible and pay well for the time put in. I already had several years of experience tutoring math and chemistry at that point (neither of which I could probably do now), and I figured I’d leverage my board scores and tutoring experience to make some much needed extra money. That was in 2011, and since then I have finished residency and have been working as a primary care physician for two years. Why do I still do it? The days of money being the primary objective have long since passed. However, there are other benefits to tutoring that I have learned along the way that keep me in it, although admittedly in a much more limited way than when I started.

(MedEd)itorial: Give the USMLE Step 1 Everything You've Got
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

So, how much grit and determination is required to overcome the hurdles needed to become a doctor?

The answer is different for everyone, but it’s always some shade of a whole lot. Here’s an example of one student who buckled down to make his dream come true. I hope it inspires all you med students out there who feel like you may not make it through!

Double Your Prep For 1's Level & Step: Scheduling COMLEX & USMLE
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

I have previously suggested that the vast majority of DO students take Step 1 of the USMLE, and why I think you should not be afraid to do so. The question that often arises is what is the best way to schedule the tests to maximize success on both? While there are many ways to do this that could work, I’m going to make a suggestion based on my own experience as well as that of many of my colleagues and students.

Get In The Game: What You Can Expect as a Tutor with MST
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

The process of becoming a doctor is incredibly time consuming... so, why would any med student or resident even consider becoming a tutor? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Will the time commitment jeopardize your career? What are the expectations of the job, and what are the requirements to become a tutor at Med School Tutors? What resources are available to you once you come on board?

As a tutor for MST, here are my thoughts:

Six Things To Expect When You Step Up Your USMLE Game With A Private Tutor
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

In medical school, most of my peers and I tended to be people who excelled in school from elementary school through college without any special assistance. However, med school can be a game-changer, and sometimes we find ourselves needing to reexamine our approach. In particular, medical licensing exams are different than anything encountered before. The sheer volume of material that one is expected to assimilate is typically greater than even students from the most demanding undergraduate disciplines have ever encountered. Couple that with organizing the material in order to apply it on marathon-long eight hour tests — sometimes spanning two days — and it’s easy to see why intelligent people who were always good students can sometimes benefit from expert help.

Mental Health & Med School: When and How to Treat Yourself
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

Not too long ago, a young man came into my office for the first time. We'll call him John. After taking a thorough medical history, I asked him what brought him in that day.

"Well I'm trying to figure out if I'm depressed," John said. "Do you have a measurement tool for that?"

We do, actually — in our office we use the PHQ 9 to diagnose and quantify the severity of depression. While the tool certainly has its flaws, it does allow us to track a patient's symptoms over time. I went through the questionnaire with him and he scored a 4-5 (it was difficult for him to answer the questions). The tool would consider this to be no depression or very mild depression. However, anytime somebody is not sure if they're depressed, I want to find out what is actually going on.

Power Through Those USMLE Step 2 & 3 Questions in a Flash – Part Two
Posted by Dr. Tzvi Doron

In my last post, I gave my first four secrets on what to look for to solve any Step 2 CK or Step 3 question stem. Now, with rotations finishing up for many students and Step 2 CK looming on the horizon, I can’t think of  a better time to share the rest!

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