How to Prepare for the USMLE: Desperation

I’m in a rut. For the past five days, I’ve just been going through the motions, not really getting excited by the material or finding any joy in it. Pulmonary was boring, Renal is annoying with all of its ridiculous buzzwords and “subepithelial humps of bullshit” on electron microscopy that I can’t imagine I will ever see in my life, and this has lead me into the slow agonizing march that is endocrinology and reproduction.

I haven’t finished any of the sections. I spend a day on the embryo/anatomy/physiology, a day on the path, and a day on the pharm (if it needs it). Where cardio had me excited, doing questions in WebPath, Robbins Review of Pathology, and in the Usmle World Qbank, I’ve just limped through each day for the better part of this week.

And this is just feeding on itself. Doing well makes you want to continue doing well, and the converse is true. As it stands I look back on all the subjects that I’ve read but haven’t really “finished” and I’m thinking too much about being behind to concentrate on not falling further behind. At this point, I think the only way out is to completely skip the current section and use these days to tie up the loose ends in other subjects.

Maybe I’d rather be completely behind in one subject than a quarter behind in four subjects. Who knows. I’m just writing this here out of desperation. I need this rut to be over before it swallows more than it already has, and I thought writing it down would get it off of me.

Hope it works.

Return to USMLE Step 1 page.

7 Responses to How to Prepare for the USMLE: Desperation

  1. i don’t feel quite so bad about the endless hours of MCAT studying now that I see how bad you have it. Perhaps I’ll be able to commiserate more when National Registry for paramedics comes along. Best of luck.


  2. Just remember how you eat an elephant, Topher…one bite at a time. Don’t look up from your plate, just keep taking bites, and pretty soon you’ll be wondering where the elephant went. Good luck!

  3. Panda Bear says:

    Dude. You’re doing it wrong. Throw away the books and the review material. Just do practice questions. Get USMLEworld qbank or Kaplan qbank and bang away at them, reading the explanation as you go.

    I don’t know how anybody could get excited about the material seeing as most of it is dreadfully boring.

  4. I feel an odd sense of relief reading this blog. It made me feel normal. I am a foreign grad. I have just been licensed from my home country and now I’ve moved here in the U.S. going through the motions of all these readings again! Thanks much and all the best to you!

    ps: may I add your blogsite as a link to mine?

  5. jarrad says:

    Hang in there Topher. If you can’t get excited about it, how am I supposed to look up to you when I have to start doing it? We’re all rooting for you.

    But I know, that doesn’t make doing the work suck any less.

  6. scalpel says:

    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions
    Practice questions

  7. Denise says:

    Thank you very much Topher for insisting in not changing your writing skills to a “fake” positive just so that us readers do not get bummed out from the “negativity”, as one person called it. Your honesty as I read makes me want to put a heart out there and it helps us know that we aren’t alone, that we all study the same, that most of us are human and not superman. Thanks.

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