Operation: Urgent Knowledge

The test is a week away. I expect the next few days to be a blur, filled with stomach pits, flipping pages, nervous questions and highlighters. But we’re professionals, and we’re comfortable with the worry.

We started on January 4th. That was two months and a handful of days ago. We’ve put in (conservatively) 600 hours for this one test. This one test with its terrifying 350 random questions. This test with the two-year scope.

I have developed personal relationships with the authors. I think Glasner is a genius, that Dudek mailed it in, that Sczanto and Schneider have the worst questions imaginable, and that Costanzo has more than a few blindspots. Fadem needs to get an MD. The Merck is my bedrock; the Robbins is my quick consult; the First Aid is my rough guide.

The boys at WebPath, Tulane’s Pharm, and UW keep me honest. I can pretend to know so much more than I do, and it’s these guys that call me on the bullshit. That, and all the people reading the First Aid Errors that point out mistakes I’ve made. Thanks, to everyone.

And thanks to everyone that had something encouraging to say when I felt that thing were going to shit, that I was fucking it all up, and I just wanted it to be over. Shortly after I changed scenery, changed my routine, and found my stride.

I’m writing this down so I don’t forget that no matter how rough it feels in this next week, I was in the right place when it started. Over all the tests, Kelly and I have developed a program. When Grenada was invaded by American forces after the communist coup, the operation was named “Urgent Fury”. Dorks, we know, but we’ve always tried to bring that silly intensity to the last week of studying before any test. And so we’ve named it “Operation: Urgent Knowledge”. During this period, all knowledge is urgent and will be memorized urgently. Tomorrow, it begins and I’m giving myself a moment to reflect on it all.

I have a line of sight to the finish, and goddamn it feels better than I thought it would.


One Response to Operation: Urgent Knowledge

  1. jarrad says:

    Well done, Topher. Keep it strong until the finish, and when you are done you’ll get a well deserved rest. Are you planning on combining all of the USMLE prep posts into one file so those of us who would learn from your experience can benefit?

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