You Smile, U Smile, USMILE, or USMLE. There are many names to the Step 1 Boards exam, but one words always comes to mind, USTUDY. I am now 3 weeks into my study hibernation, trying to master all the subjects on the exam. I was feeling confident in my abilities until this afternoon when I finished my halfway practice exam. The good news is I improved my score from my first test 3 weeks ago. The bad news is I am only halfway to my target score. If studying and USMLE scores correlated linearly, 3 more weeks should be enough time to achieve my goal. But, alas, things don’t quite work that way.
Having a low starting score is good because there is plenty of room to grow, while having a higher score means you are much closer to the invisible ceiling or asymptote of a “perfect” score. I can’t use the same studying habits I have been using the past 3 weeks if I want to make the same jump in score. I need to “step” up my habits to the next level. I am going to be doing things faster and more efficiently in order to get as much studying in as I can. If I thought I was studying before, I have no idea what I have in store for myself. Some say pain is temporary and glory is forever. With the USMLE Step 1 Boards Exam, the pain of the next 3 weeks could mean my dream specialty at my dream residency location. And this is obviously the key to eternal happiness. But in all seriousness, the better I learn this information now, the better doctor I will be in the future for my patients and for the world so it is time to buckle down and master this material before me.