Dr. Cristian Soto
I am an IMG from Ecuador and started my USMLE journey right after completing medical school. My approach for step 1 was different from those suggested by many other test takers on the internet because I believed those did not fit my context. It was a trial-and-error process until I finally found out how to accurately implement active recall, spaced repetition, and test-taking skills. Thus, I did a good job with it that encouraged me to keep going on the road. My step 2 preparation did not take me as much time as with the first one since I had implemented those techniques from the very beginning.
Because I was tightly attached to my study routine for weeks and months, sometimes I found myself lost and without a clear purpose that made me want to leave the boat. So, I used to remember what led me to dive into this long road and to imagine myself achieving those dreamed goals like passing my exams, matching, and finally working and training in a US hospital as a resident. Then, I used to think to myself "It is not over until I win!" and kept going.
I have already successfully passed these 2 exams and I realized this is what I always wanted to do since I got into medical school. Although I had to make some sacrifices, it was well worth it!
Discipline and motivation were the cornerstones of my preparation. 1% motivation and 99% discipline.