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How to Make & Use a UWorld Journal — Plus Free Journal Templates
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

When I finished the USMLE Step 1 exam, I was almost too eager to finally throw away two years worth of medical school notes, old textbooks, and study guides. It was a cathartic release and a final closure on two years of hard work. But still sitting on my shelf, nearly three years later, is my UWorld/Step 1 journal.

I think I kept it all these years as a reminder to myself about how important it was. I still sometimes pick it up and show it to students during a tutoring session to prove to them that I really did keep a journal and that they should too. Making and using a UWorld Step 1 Journal can be a golden ticket to a high Step 1 score. Read on for how to get started!

How to Succeed & Prevent Burnout in Your Second Year of Medical School
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

The second year of medical school (MS2) is an exciting time. Most students will have completed the more basic science courses like biochemistry and physiology and move on to more clinical material such as pathology and pharmacology.

For this reason, the second year of medical school can be a time for immense academic growth. However, at many institutions, the second year curriculum is even more intense and rigorous than the first year. Maintaining a good work-life balance and reducing stress are especially important as an MS2. The following tips can help you to prevent burnout during the second year of medical school.

The Four Best USMLE Step 2 Resources to Use on Your Internal Medicine Rotation
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

When it comes to MS3 rotations, not all are created equal! That is because some rotations are inherently more difficult than others. While much of this can vary from school to school, one thing is certain: internal medicine is a difficult rotation.

More so, virtually every student, no matter what specialty he or she plans to go into, needs to have a solid grasp of medicine and do well on this rotation. The internal medicine NBME subject exam is one of the most difficult exams, but doing well on it can set students up to achieve high scores on USMLE Step 2. This post reviews the top resources to use during the internal medicine rotation.

What to Do the Summer Before Medical School
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

The weeks preceding medical school can be exciting but stressful times. Many students often wonder what, if anything, they should be doing to prepare for their new lives as medical students. The following list contains suggestions on how to best spend the summer before medical school.

Why Your NBME Scores Can Dip Before Test Day (And What to Do About It)
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

No one will argue that NBME self-assessment examinations are a crucial component of preparing for the USMLE exams. These assessments allow students to simulate test-taking conditions using the same interface that they will encounter on test day with the same style of questions. Therefore, these practice tests offer a great benchmark for how students are progressing by providing them a current step 1 score prediction. Most students expect to have a linear progression in their practice test scores throughout their study period, with the final practice test being their highest score ever. In reality, does not always happen. In fact, sometimes the final NBME score can drop leading up to test day. Read on to learn why this is and what you can do about it!

(Med) School's Out: What To Do In Your Summer Between M1 & M2
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

The summer between the first (MS1) and second (MS2) years of medical school are important. It is most likely a medical student’s last true summer vacation, making it an ideal time to relax and have fun. However, it is also a great potential time for personal growth and to explore career options, research, volunteering, or unique clinical opportunities.

Here are 6 suggestions on how to spend your summer between MS1 and MS2.

Taking a Step Back: What I Would Do Differently to Prepare (Again) for USMLE Step 1
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

It’s common to feel a variety of emotions when leaving the testing center after taking the USMLE Step 1 exam. Some students will be overwhelmed with fear that they failed. Others may continuously replay questions over and over again in their head. Some students may feel a sense of elation that the grueling test in behind them. I myself was overwhelmed with emotion. Not necessarily because I thought I failed, as I really didn’t know how I felt about the difficulty of the exam, but rather because I realized that the test really wasn’t that bad. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to help other students tackle the beast that is step 1. I had spent so many weeks and months obsessing over the exam, losing sleep, almost tearfully dragging myself to the library each day. But the moment I left the testing center, I truly realized this was just an exam. It doesn’t define me or any other test taker as a person, and it’s not worth months of turmoil worrying about.

How to Rock Your Internal Medicine Rotation
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

No matter what specialty you plan to pursue as a doctor, it’s important for just about everyone to do well on the MS3 internal medicine rotation. Aside from maybe surgery, this rotation is regarded as of the more difficult ones. The internal medicine rotation often has longer hours, more requirements, and content-wise, covers the most material on the NBME exam.

The following are my top 3 tips for doing well on your MS3 internal medicine rotation!

What I Wish I Had Known Before I Applied to Medical School
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

Every year, thousands of undergraduate students are preparing for medical school. Many hours are spent sitting in lectures and studying to earn high grades. Any remaining free time is spent participating in research, volunteering in the community, and shadowing physicians. Finally comes the MCAT and flying around the country for interviews before the first day of medical school even arrives.

How to Use Your Med School Winter Break to Prepare for USMLE Step 1
Posted by Lauryn Falcone, MD, PhD

By the second year of medical school, most students are accustomed to spending the majority of their free time studying. It is therefore no surprise that most students feel the need to spend their fall, winter, or spring vacations preparing for the Step 1 exam. This article provides some tips for using the winter break to prepare for the USMLE.

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