Friday, 10 July 2015

The Quarrels of an intern -- now the quarrels of a resident.

After my intern year I can tell you, it's been an amazing learning journey. Was it difficult?, you might ask, and the answer would be yes. It was a tough journey, and don't mind me saying: it should be. Following orders, a resident hovering over your shoulder, making sure you don't kill your patients; it makes a whole lot of sense to be directed, oriented, to save lives.

If your internship year is too easy, you might need to reconsider the program you're in. The struggle is necessary, your faculty members and residents should challenge you every step of the way, make you think on the differential diagnosis, and challenge your knowledge basis every day.

Why? Because once your a Resident you're basically free to roam the world with a diminished amount of supervision and, if you didn't learn the basics, you're in for some trouble.

The basics: stop and think twice! Will the medication you just prescribed kill the patient? Does he need the CT scan?

Oh, but it's just Furosemide, just 20 mg, intravenously, doc. Oh? Will he develop a serious complication? What are the indications for such medication? You need to think about these things -- every day. So if you're reading this and you're in your intern year, consider your suffering is not as bad as you thought it was.

Need a little break? Check out my new eBook, a dystopian futuristic novel set in a post-apocalyptic earth after WW3 destroyed Earth:

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Quarrels of an Intern #2

You know, the interesting thing about medicine is you really end up understanding you know absolutely nothing. Maybe I'm over-dramatizing here, but it's true. I just went through my ID rotation and once I was swooshed out, I encountered a patient with a special type of UTI and I asked myself, 
"What should I do now?"

It's really amazing how treating a hypothetical case on paper (or on a screen) defers from treating an actual human being with many a problem. The question doesn't tell you the patient not only has a UTI with Klebsiella with a nasty freaking ESBL, but also a financial crisis leading to a divorce and a broken illusion.

So after succeeding in passing the USMLE steps 1-3 I find myself at the same point I was when I embarked on the epic journey of defeating the USMLE Step 1. I have to pick up the books once again and, like a great warrior once said, empty my cup and fill it up again.

I'm gonna go with some Internal Medicine either from Harrison's or MKSAP. I was also thinking of taking on the boards practice self-assessment APP by NEJM Knowledge Plus. Unless y'all have a recommendation. At any rate, as I slowly advance through my Intern year, I'll keep on blogging about my experience.

If you'd like to hear anything specific about my experience you can leave a comment and I'll gladly give you my impression.

Till then, ciao!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Quarrels of an Intern #1

Many believe you're done once you have surpassed and defeated the USMLE Steps 1-2 or 3, and that you'll enter your specialty as an intern and the battle will have been won. Hurray! You matched! comes the tough work you've prepared yourself for so many months and years. But guess what, the good thing is you're getting paid for the work you make. You're no longer a crummy scut-worker doing things for free. You're actually in the payroll and you matter.

Stick around for more of  The Quarrels of an Intern to listen to my experience as an intern in Internal Medicine and how this may resonate with you.

Hasta la vista!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Did I Match?: Using the Odds in Your Favor

Did I Match? 

Every applicant participating in the NRMP Main Residency Match will get one of either two emails on Match Day: 
Congratulations! You have matched!, or 
We're sorry. You did not match. 

Which one will you receive? It matters. It's more than just getting a job or bragging about your matching status. It's your medical career playing the Russian roulette. It's an epic battle between 34,000+ applicants for 25,000 PGY-1 spots available. 

Are you ready to go all in? Become aware of the minute details you have to be keen on to bend the odds in your favor. This book contains tips and strategies that will help you become a competitive applicant.

Buy now: Did I Match?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

MyERAS 2014, NRMP 2014.

If you're applying for the 2014 Match, you might be wanting to know some information regarding when MyERAS opens for us applicants.

On July 1st, you'll be able to open you MyERAS account once again. So get ready and mark this date!!

More information will come as it's made available by the source. 

Keep the following PDF close to you at all TIMES:

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

USMLE Step 3 -- Defeating an underestimated foe.

Most students think the USMLE Step 3 is easy, short, and a lot of what-evers they don't really understand. I took the USMLE Step 3 exam on February 2013 and it was damn tough. 

Why the USMLE Step 3 exam is tough:

1. CONTENT: There's a lot of content for the USMLE Step 3. Remember when you were at medschool and you asked your teacher what the exam was about, and she answered "everything"? Surprise! This is actually the case. You will be asked about Peds, IM, OBGYN, Surgery, etc. Everything. So why is this a problem? Because when you start looking for sources where to study from, you'll realize that there is no 1 optimum source of information. I used the MASTER OF THE BOARDS textbook, and it was pretty slick in letting me know what I needed to defeat the STEP 3. Still, I was fresh out of studying for the Steps 1-2, giving me an edge over those who have undergone residency and completely forgotten about everything else but their specialty. This is a really tough exam. So if you've forgotten most of your PEDS, IM, etc., you'll probably need to go back to your Step 2CK notes and whatnot.

2. LENGTH: Step 3 is LONG. By long I mean: we all thought Step 1 was long, right? Hell, Step 3 is LONGER. 2 days, man! 2 freaking days of exam, 8 hours per day. If getting hit by a baseball bat on the head when you were young didn't roast your brain, this exam surely will. This was my experience: DAY 1, I rocked the exam or at least I felt that way, which is what matters. DAY 2, I was wasted. I had such a hard time getting up from bed and going to the exam that I almost lost all hope. No, and it gets worse. Listen to this:

I go to the Prometric center, beat up of course, and as I arrive and check-in with the secretary, she tells me I can't take the exam. "But why?" I ask her full of fear, nervousness, and shear defeat, "Because your name on your passport and your name on your exam aren't --exactly-- the same." Damn. I bit my lip one too many times and felt my life being sucked out of me. "You mean, I have to take the exam on another date again?" I asked. "Yes. You'll have to reschedule." Holly molly. Kill me now. 

"I've prepared for this exam for months now! There must be something I can do!"
"I'm sorry."
After almost half and hour of struggling, the secretary calls me up and says, "You'll be able to take the Step. Sorry, but our system showed your names didn't match, but they do. You're clear to go!"

Oh man. After being beat up so badly by so many negative thoughts, I sat down at the chair and started the exam. I felt I sucked that entire day during the entire exam. In the end, I think it really affected my score. My psychological status was disgusting and quite frankly, taking a really difficult exam under such circumstances sucked. Anyway, lesson learned. ALWAYS be 100% your names match everywhere. Mine did, but just so you know, if they don't, it won't matter if you've studied for 1 whole year. You'll have to reschedule.

3. DIFFICULTY: Listen to no one who tells you this exam is easy. It isn't. It's just as hard as all other Steps, except that now it's 2 days long and has a CSS part at the end of the 2nd day, where you'll be exposed to live cases with "real life" scenarios while you take "real life" decisions.

CONCLUSION: You have to prepare yourself for this exam just as well and thouroughly as you did for any other step. 

TIP: Take Step 3 BEFORE RESIDENCY. Why? After 3 years of PEDS, IM, SURGERY, you'll forget your basics about every other specialty. Don't waste the edge you've won by preparing for Steps 1-2. Take some time off and then jump right into action and be done with Step 3. 


1. Buy USMLE World's Step 3 prep pack which will include:
- Qbank
- Simulated Exam
2. Buy any review book. I used MASTER OF THE BOARDS. It was OK. 
3. There is no perfect review book for Step 3. This means you'll have to be very honest with yourself. I you feel you need more prep, then go back to you Step2 notes and get back in the game. If you feel you only need refreshing your skills, then go ahead and study the review book and do LOADS of questions for Step 3.


Step 3 questions depend solely on the scenario given to you at the moment. The question may vary in 1 single word and you have an entirely different question. There is no optimal book because every situation is unique. The only way you'll get used to answering a 200-300 word long question in less then 1 minute is by practicing LOADS of questions until you're able to predict answers. 

I talk about this on my book: How to Utterly Defeat the USMLE. I also mention techniques and methods to defeat every single Step of the USMLE. It's NOT a review book, it's a book about methods, about pumping you up to get you ready to defeat the BEAST: The USMLE.

Get up and study. There are no short-cuts. Only you and the UMSLE. There is only one way and it's by sitting down and studying review material efficiently and inteligently. It's all about the Strategy. 

Only one of you will be called the victor. The USMLE is prepared to defeat you in every way and knows your every weakness. Be prepared. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The NRMP Match is over, SOAP is over. What shall ever become of us?

Hello dear friends. In the end, I did not match. It was a drag. The Match has tight turns and angles we have to understand before applying. As we speak, I'm writing the book that will guide you through the Match--before you apply to programs--. You need to understand it before you engage it. 

I'm I sad? No. I WILL NOT LOSE HOPE. In 5 months the 2014 Match process begins again by the opening of ERAS. And so, the process of finding a Match begins again.

I am ready to tackle this down.

Are you??

You will be, because you will avoid the mistakes I made, because I will share them with you in the book I'm as-we-speak writing.