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Mastering Mnemonics for the USMLE: AEIOU Isn’t Just for Learning Grammar

Dr. Christopher Carrubba and Dr. Brian Radvansky contributed to this article.

“Why is our patient on dialysis?” If I had a dollar for every medical student that asked me this question, I could definitely afford a nice meal out with my wife. I’ve found that many students have a minimal understanding of dialysis and think that its only usage is in the care of patients with chronic kidney disease—I know I certainly did once upon a time.

Didn't Crush USMLE Step 1? Redeem Yourself With Step 2 CK
Dr. Raymond Beyda and Mike Stephens contributed to this post. 
Step 2 CK: Like the round 2 to Step 1, right? If you were hoping for a higher score on Step 1, you may be dreading going through the process all over again. How and what should you change? Should you study longer? Or study differently?
History is not doomed to repeat itself, and even if you may have been hoping for a better score on Step 1, that should not hold you back from confidently tackling this next exam.

First, completely eliminate from your memory the adage “2 months for Step 1, 2 weeks for Step 2, and number 2 pencil for Step 3”.
While considerable emphasis historically has been placed on Step 1, the dynamics are changing and increasingly underscoring Step 2 CK performance. It makes sense since understanding the next step in management, for example, is far more applicable to what you will do as a resident than the tricarboxylic acid cycle.
This is a good thing if you are not thrilled with your Step 1 score.
Use this opportunity to demonstrate to admissions committees your resilience and ability to self-improve, and let us show you how.

Can Step 2 CK make up for a bad Step 1 score?

It depends. There's actually no clear-cut answer, with specialties and specific residency programs placing emphasis on Step 1 over Step 2 CK and vice versa, and there's not a real consensus across the board either.

If you did poorly on Step 1, can you actually improve on that score? 


Also, even if you did really well on Step 1, are you just gonna “go sit” for Step 2 CK and put that awesome Step 1 score at risk of being next to a mediocre Step 2 CK score? Probably not. In fact,chances are that if you did well on Step 1, you are still going to want to do well on USMLE Step 2 CK.

The Big Picture: Preparing Your Step 2 CK Strategy
Brian Radvansky by Brian Radvansky on Dec 10, 2019 in USMLE, USMLE Step 2 CK

Step 1 study periods are usually pretty straightforward. You finish your basic sciences coursework and your medical school, if it was anything like mine, will intimately guide you through the registration process. Our school went so far as to mandate meetings between each student and a member of the faculty to make sure we had built an appropriate study schedule heading into our six week study block. Talk about hand-holding!

The 5 Best Step 2 Resources for the ObGyn Shelf

Most students enjoy their obstetrics and gynecology rotation because it offers a unique mix of surgery, clinic, and labor and delivery wards. However, for these same reasons, the obstetrics and gynecology NBME subject exam can be challenging. The following resources can help you prepare for this exam.

The Best Step 2 Resources to Use While on Family Medicine Rotation

The family medicine rotation is a summative experience that incorporates components of outpatient medicine from many other specialties including internal medicine, pediatrics, and OB/GYN. As a result, you can readily align your preparation for this clerkship and the shelf with how you would prepare for Step 2 CK. Furthermore, because this rotation often affords the ability to study during your nights and weekends, you should have plenty of time to shine on the clerkship and still rock the shelf exam and ultimately your Step 2 CK. We'll show precisely how to do so here.

The Four Best USMLE Step 2 Resources to Use on Your Internal Medicine Rotation

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.

Rotations are Beginning: Your USMLE Step 2 CK Study Plan

Preclinical classes are to Step 1 as the core clinical rotations are to Step 2 CK. In the same way you can prepare for Step 1 by keeping up with the physiology and pathophysiology curriculum of medical school, so too can you do well on Step 2 CK by making the most of your clerkships. Here the most important strategies to do precisely that.

The Pros & Cons of Taking Step 2 CK Before ERAS

When planning for the fourth year of medical school, students must decide on the appropriate time to take the USMLE Step 2 CK examination. Here we weigh the pros and cons of taking Step 2 CK before ERAS.

USMLE Step 1 & Step 2 CK Question Breakdown: 2-in-1 Edition

As a treat today, we have a question that is quite pertinent for BOTH Step 1 and Step 2 CK. A question like this could certainly appear on either test. Take a stab at it and get your learn on.

Five Tips to Finish Third Year Med School Strong

For many, 3rd year is the most taxing year of medical school. Gone are the days when you could spend all day on your own schedule, watching lectures whenever it felt right. There’s no more wearing pajamas until noon; we must now dust off and don our dress clothes and white coats. But it’s not all doom and gloom! It’s the year that you’ve been waiting for — the year when you can pull your nose out of that stack of books, and actually deliver medical care to real patients in need. The transformation that you will make as third year progresses — from novice clinician to (almost) doctor — is second only to the enormous stride you will make during intern year.

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