Podcast Episodes

Podcast 64: Dr. Joel Ramirez and Dan Part 1

Two returning guests join this episode: Dr. Joel Ramirez, Director of USMLE Tutoring with MedSchoolCoach, and Dan from @FutureMDLife on Instagram. They combine forces to talk about USMLE Step 1 with Dr. Renee Marinelli.

[1:22] Dan’s preparation for USMLE Step 1.

Near the beginning of Dan’s second year at medical school, he started thinking about how he could get a head start on studying. After each block, Dan would start studying the information from them that would help him with Step 1. Dr. Ramirez says that starting so early isn’t necessary for everyone as it can feel too daunting. Dan’s school gives between six and eight weeks after the end of second year and the start of third year during which USMLE Step 1 can be taken.

[5:21] Constructing a study schedule for Step 1.

Dan had a target score in mind, but knew he could study fully for six weeks and would do as best as he could. He didn’t want to extend, and as he went along, he got an idea of where his score would be. Dr. Ramirez states that it’s important to be honest with yourself and reflect on how well you’ve been doing in medical school. During these six weeks, Dan studied every day from morning until night, which Dr. Ramirez says is common for students who score well.

[13:34] Staying disciplined.

Dan knew that Step 1 was so important and that he had to commit. There was no escaping it. If he took any time off, he would not have been properly prepared. He did not take a prep course, but his school had a department that advised him on which materials to use. According to Dr. Ramirez, the usefulness of a prep course depends of what type of learner you are. Dan feels like his studying was rewarded with the score he received.

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