USMLE Step 1 Success Stories
Episode 22: A 262 and Overcoming Weak Areas with Neil Mehta

Episode 22: A 262 and Overcoming Weak Areas with Neil Mehta

November 25, 2019

In this episode we talk with Neil Mehta, an MS3 at St. George’s University. He did exceptionally well on Step 1 (and humble about it) and shares his pearls of wisdom for anyone else trying to achieve that type of score. Not all of us love every part of medical school and Neil shared his personal experience coming to the conclusion you don’t have to love everything to be a solid doctor. He also shared insight into how he navigated topics that didn’t come easily to him and ultimately succeeded!

Episode 21: 263 - A Straightforward Study Plan with Danny

Episode 21: 263 - A Straightforward Study Plan with Danny

November 4, 2019

In this episode, Danny talks about how he managed to figure out a super-simple study schedule right out of the gate. He shares some time-saving insights that helped his time management and retention.

Episode 20: A 262 - Six Phases of Studying with Rajshree

Episode 20: A 262 - Six Phases of Studying with Rajshree

October 21, 2019

In this episode, resourceful Rajshree speaks from Nepal about studying for Step 1 as an international medical graduate. She discusses how she balances her school and social life, work and studying for step 1 while dealing with unexpected setbacks. She shares some innovative study strategies, including audio lectures and a color-coded post-it note system and her personal 6 phase plan for tackling such a daunting test.

Phase 1

   a.Materials: Kaplan books, Pathoma, 1st round First Aid (FA),

   b.Color code on FA: Bluesticky notes or blue pen

   a.Time duration: 3.5 months during internship

Phase 2

   a.Materials: 1st round Uworld system wise (73 %), 2nd round FA, BRS physiology, 100 clinical cases of medical Ethics by Conrad Fischer, Goljan Audio lectures from Spotify (1 week when I had Keratitis)

   a.Color code on FA: Yellow sticky notes and black pen

   a.Time duration: 2.5 months

Phase 3

   a.Materials: 2nd round Uworld Random (89%), ANKI cards (24K cards), 3rd round FA (removed low yield sticky notes)

   a.Color code on FA: Yellow sticky notes and black pen

   b.Time duration: 2 months

Phase 4

   a.Materials: Uworld marked questions, 4th round FA with circling high yield texts, Physeo videos in weaker topics of physiology, Boards & Beyond (B&B only difficult topics), ANKI 7K cards (couldn’t finish)

   a.Color code in FA: Green pen or Green Sticky note for NBME & UWSA, 6-B Pencil for circling (glossy papers need darker pencil), Red pens and red sticky notes for Physeo, B&B, internet/forum resources

   b.Time duration: 20 days

Phase 5

   a.Materials: 5th round FA reading only the circled text, Qmax 7 day free trial –8 blocks/day for endurance

   a.Color code in FA: Subject-wise color coded index sticky notes to marking topics to revise day before test

   b.Time duration: 10 days

Phase 6

   a.Materials: 6th round FA reading selected topics in indexed sticky note

   b.Time duration: 10 hours

Episode 19: Step 1 Advice from a Physeo Founder with Michael Christensen

Episode 19: Step 1 Advice from a Physeo Founder with Michael Christensen

September 26, 2019

In this unusual episode, Michael, one of the content creators and co-founders of Physeo, talks about how he would study for Step 1 if he had the chance to do it all over again. Michael talks about specific strategies from your first semester all the way to your dedicated study time, distilling information from the numerous interviews he's conducted, the hundreds of Step 1 videos he’s created, as well as his own personal experience preparing for Step 1.

Episode 18: Figuring Out What Works with David Ortiz (an MS2)

Episode 18: Figuring Out What Works with David Ortiz (an MS2)

September 14, 2019

David Ortiz is a second year medical student at the University of Utah from Kansas City. He shares his experience navigating figuring out how to study for medical school after taking a year off after undergrad. He shares some great metrics for how to determine if a study strategy is working for you, and Rhett and Michael share their own advice on memorizing vs. understanding the material.

Episode 17: A 254 - Studying for Step 1 and Clerkships at the Same Time with Andrew Goates

Episode 17: A 254 - Studying for Step 1 and Clerkships at the Same Time with Andrew Goates

September 3, 2019

In this episode Andrew Goates, a second year ENT resident at Mayo Clinic, shares the strategies he used to dominate his preclinical years as well as the USMLE Step 1. Interestingly, his was the first medical school class at the University of Iowa to move to a new curriculum. He had to navigate an 18 month didactic curriculum followed immediately by 3rd year clerkships prior to taking Step 1. The strategies he implemented to conquer these challenges can be applied to any circumstance, regardless of the curriculum at your school. Plus, Dr. Goates loves to mentor anyone and answer questions on virtual anything.

 

Feel free to connect with him in the following ways:

Twitter: @goatesworld

Instagram: @goatolaryngologist

Doximity/Linked In: Andrew Goates, MD

Episode 16: A 263 via 8,000+ Practice Questions, Daily Anki, and Ditching First Aid with Ian Christensen

Episode 16: A 263 via 8,000+ Practice Questions, Daily Anki, and Ditching First Aid with Ian Christensen

August 23, 2019

In this episode we interview Ian Christensen who describes how he approached classwork during years 1 and 2, which did not include doing the recommended pre-reading suggested by the lecturers. Interestingly, he did not use First Aid much at all as part of his board preparation. According to Ian, the foundation for success is doing practice questions. And he did over 8,000 questions, so he clearly practices what he preaches.

Episode 15: From Lightyear + BnB to Zanki + Physeo (a New World for an MS2) with Travis Norseth

Episode 15: From Lightyear + BnB to Zanki + Physeo (a New World for an MS2) with Travis Norseth

August 15, 2019

In this episode we talk to Travis Norseth, a 2nd year medical student at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Most of our guests have been, and will be, those who have successfully completed Step 1. However, much like episode 13 with Carol Foote, in this episode we take a different approach and get the inside scoop on what a rising 2nd year medical student is currently experiencing. Travis discusses his success through his first two semesters and what resources he used during that time. Although he's grateful he had Boards and Beyond during first year, Travis plans on using Physeo and Anki moving forward.

Episode 14: 250+ Using an Excel Spreadsheet to Track Productivity and Improve Performance with Bronson Fong

Episode 14: 250+ Using an Excel Spreadsheet to Track Productivity and Improve Performance with Bronson Fong

August 8, 2019

This podcast interviews Bronson Fong. He is a third year medical student at Louisiana Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Bronson really struggled during his first few months at medical school, and nearly left it behind to return to investment banking. He decided to stay and tough it out and discovered some really unique ways of studying. Bronson focused on using Physeo, Boards and Beyond, Pathoma, SketchyMedical and Rx to study for his coursework. He would then sporadically use Anki in long bursts to review. He used a spreadsheet to keep track of the material he’d covered and how it was working for him. During his dedicated study time, he switched tactics and used mostly UWorld: trying to cover 120 questions random and timed, keeping track of what questions he’d done using a word document. He also took an official practice test at the Prometric testing center, which he felt helpful to simulate the exact circumstances of the actual Step 1. Bronson also proves that it is possible to improve your score from your NBMEs to Step 1 by more than 40 points. Another Step 1 success story!

Episode 13: A second year medical student’s perspective on coursework and Step 1 with Carol Foote

Episode 13: A second year medical student’s perspective on coursework and Step 1 with Carol Foote

August 1, 2019

In this episode we talk to Carol Foote, a 2nd year medical student at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Most of our guests have been, and will be, those who have successfully completed Step 1. However, in this episode we take a different approach and get the inside scoop on what a rising 2nd year medical student is currently experiencing. Carol discusses her focus on classwork during the first semester and her transition to gradually using other board preparation resources during the second semester. She also discusses her plans going forward for upcoming coursework and beyond.