Dr. Molly Sanjay Jain
Like most IMGs, my USMLE journey has not been the easiest and it has been full of a lot of hardships, trials and tribulations. In nutshell, if there is anything I can go back to changing anything about my USMLE preparation, it would be having a mentor to guide me in the right direction. It is what has prompted me to tutor and aid others, hopefully paving way and aiding them to navigate this treacherous terrain. It took me a long time to figure out which resources worked well for me to achieve desired USMLE scores. I highly recommend Boards & Beyond USMLE videos for comprehending the key concepts in step 1 preparation. This should be supplemented with UWorld block questions done dedicatedly at minimum twice to fully assimilate the crucial concepts and pathophysiological mechanisms. ‘Pathoma’ and ‘First Aid’ are the key books for quicker reviews in multiple iterations during the preparation. Additionally, I also recommend wading through NBME comprehensive tests and UWorld assessments early on in the preparation to track the progress. I started doing the self-assessments 3 months before the exam date and dedicated 1 day a week just to finish and review them thoroughly. Similar strategy helped me significantly in my Step 2 exam prep and success.
Motivation, dedication, perseverance, discipline and hard work are the key ingredients to USMLE exam success recipe. I know that the preparation in itself can get really exhausting and discouraging. We may often question ourselves multiple times and wonder if we would ever make it through. For me, it always helped me to visualize myself with my white coat anytime to help me persevere and pull through. The constant reminder of ‘Why I started this journey’ and ‘remembering the love for medicine’ helped me significantly. I’m not going to make any pretense that it has been anything but a hard grind, overcoming all the listless and insipid thoughts, fear of failure and fighting against all odds. It’s very natural to feel like you’ve lost the battle and to just give up. It is always easier said than done. In my humble opinion, despite the odds, these exams are doable with correct preparation. It’s a long and hard marathon. I sincerely hope the best for you, and I would try to help you to the best of my ability. I’m with you in it for the long run.