In the US, there are three steps in order to become a licensed practicing physician. For the past two weeks, I have started my prep for Step 2. This is usually done at the end of your 3rd year of medical school, after all your core clerkships have been completed. The importance of completing the exam before the fall clerkships is residency season opens in September and you need your scores in order to have a complete application and offers for interviews. The score weigh heavily on if you are offered an interview.
The good part is I feel I've gotten better at taking exams. After every clerkship there is a NBME shelf exam that must be passed. So, this has allowed me to deflate some my anxiety, I suffered from Step 1. I still have yet to get over the hype of all these exams we have to take. They are the most difficult, challenging and nerve racking part of this whole journey. All that you have done leads you to this point. The point of no return. It's a make or break situation...You have to do well...The interesting part of it all is, the exams literally covers every aspect of the past 3 years. Going all the way back to your first day of medical school.
Step 2 is composed of two exam over a two day period. The first part is Clinical Science: applying all you have learned in 12 mocked patient encounters. A 8 hour day, you have no idea what the encounters are. They can be anything from knee pain, back pain, pancreatic cancer, psychosis, pregnancy, domestic violence, pneumonia, etc. You have 15 minutes to conduct the patient interview, to figure out what's wrong and to do a focused physical exam pertaining to what you think the problem is. Then you have 10 minutes to type a flawless patient note. In the patient note, you must at least 3 differential diagnosis in the order of most likely diagnosis, history findings and physical findings. This takes a lot of practice...in the beginning of this journey, it would take me over an hours just to write the patient note...So, you have to be quick on our feet.
Part 2 of the Step is Clinical Knowledge: a 350 question exam that is 8hrs. This is the part that makes you want to cry. The challenging part is decoding each question...I am so amazed at the question writers...they have to be geniuses...How do you ask a question without mentioning the topic while droping the most vague hints? And we are suppose to figure it out. LORD HELP ME...
But, I'm ready....I have waited a life time for this...I will be ready..I will conquer...
So, as you prepare for what you have desired for a life time...go hard...and don't give up.
You will reap if you faint not...Persistence...Diligence...and FAITH!
Now, Go live your dreams!
Please don't forget to support me in my residency match fund raiser:
No contribution is too small or too large...With your contributions of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $1000 $10,000, will make this all possible. Feel free to tell your friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc....
Click this link to donate: http://www.gofundme.com/JBuschMD