medschooltutors

Med School Tutors

Med School Tutors was founded with a singular purpose: to revolutionize the way aspiring physicians prep for standardized tests. We were tired of seeing frustrated pre-med and med students having to endure unresponsive videos, endless lectures and mountains of books, just because that's what they were "supposed to do." There had to be a better way, so we made it our business (literally!) to find it. And we did — by providing you with the exclusive opportunity to work 1:1 via web conferencing with experts and mentors who make your preparation about, well, YOU. By learning your learning style, goals, schedule, strengths and weaknesses, we find the best way to get you those gains. We anticipate your anxiety, discouragement, exhaustion, and aspire to be both your emotional advocate and virtual cheerleader. Because this is how we build better doctors. This is how we change medicine.

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When It’s OK to Cancel Your Residency Interview

I have a good friend who applied to plastic surgery for residency. As is often the case for plastics, he applied to all 70-something programs in the country. He was a competitive applicant and ended up receiving multiple interviews. One night as I sat watching Monsters, Inc. for the third time in a month (I applied for pediatrics), he was frantically trying to book a flight from St. Paul to San Antonio. As he began to realize that this would not be possible without the use of time travel, he asked me: “Dude, Is it OK to cancel some of these residency interviews?” From firsthand experience, I can say that the answer is yes. Before I canceled my first interview, I was nervous that I was either going to alienate the program, fall in love with the program after I cancelled, or both. I spoke with a program director at my home institution and he gave me the following pearls of wisdom: Research the program in depth before you cancel to help affirm your decision that you are not missing the program of your dreams. If it truly sounds like a program you would be happy at, then keep the interview, but be honest with yourself. If you’re considering canceling the interview in the first place, it’s probably not the program for you.   There’s a belief that scheduling...

Residency Interview Questions: What to Ask and How to Prepare

One of the most exciting, exhilarating, and expensive endeavors of fourth year is the interview trail, in which aspiring residents will visit countless programs across the country in order to demonstrate their merit as a potential incoming intern. The interview is not only a chance to demonstrate that you are in fact as good as or better than your paper application, but also an opportunity to determine fit – do you fit in with the program and does the program’s philosophy fit your aspirations? Although the interview process will seemingly become easier as you progress along the trail, it will also become repetitive. You’ll be faced with the same standard questions: “tell me about yourself,” “why do you want to be a(n) [insert specialty of choice here],” “tell me about your research,” “tell me about a time when [insert ethical scenario here],” “why do you want to come to our program,” and “what questions do you have for me?” If you’re like me, you’ll likely have difficulty with that last question because there is so much to ask, so much that I wanted to know about a program, yet so little understanding of a good question to ask. It’s important to remember that, once you are invited for the interview, you are qualified for the position. You have passed the screening process, and you have what it takes to...

The Numbers Game: What Scoring a 260 on USMLE Step 1 Really Means

I have been putting off the writing of this post for a while. I’m not sure why. I guess I wasn’t sure how to say anything genuine that would convince you guys that you shouldn’t be hard on yourself for falling short of the lofty goals that you set for yourself before beginning the arduous process of studying for the USMLE Step 1. Perhaps it’s because I was in your shoes once, and no amount of reason could penetrate my longing for that perfect score, the one that I believed would either complete my application to dermatology residency (and therefore complete me), or dash my chances at my dream job against the harsh rocky shores of reality. I’m currently on the residency interview trail, and I am gratefully tired from having not been home to New York for five weeks. At a chicken and waffles brunch in Dallas, Texas, yesterday (NOMS!), I was reunited with one of my best friends from medical school. He and I spoke more frequently during the USMLE Step 1 period than I spoke with anyone else. I remember visiting his room periodically to mutually vent about the ridiculous nature of the beast that left us sitting in chairs inside small, quiet rooms for 12 hours a day. He would complain about the hours and remark with surprised candor about how poorly he was performing on his USMLE...

3 Effective Time Management and Organizational Tips to Get Your Through Medical School

Chances are you’ve been told that it’s the amount of material you have to master. Perhaps you’ve even heard a graphic metaphor to describe it, such as likening it to drinking out of a fire hose. And what are we told is the key to success when faced with such a Herculean task? Time management. Our own esteemed Katherine Seebald, who is about to join the ranks of the USC Trojans as a medical student this fall — and who, like Hermione Granger, excels at pretty much anything — asked me the following question recently:“What were the three biggest things you learned re: time management and organization that helped you in med school?”By the way, that’s verbatim. On a related note, she and/or I may think and talk in the form of powerpoint slides and Buzzfeed lists. Here’s my answer: 1. Schedule Everything And I do mean everything. Every little thing you do in your day: put it down with a corresponding amount of time. Eating, sleeping, hygiene, working out, watching TV, hanging out with friends—everything. Figure out how much time you need for the activities you love and need, and then make room for them. If you don’t make them a priority, and if you don’t carve out time for them, other obligations will crowd them out, and they just won’t happen. On a related note, you can also group the activities...

Five Big USMLE World Mistakes Students Make

At Med School Tutors, we rely heavily on USMLE World in our work with students.  Over the last five years, UWorld has become widely recognized as the gold standard Qbank for all steps of the USMLE.  This is due primarily to the quality of its questions and rigor of its explanations. UWorld content is updated throughout the year, which keeps the Qbank incredibly current in the changing world of medicine and medical testing.  Students who use UWorld achieve consistently top-flight results, but where do they go wrong?  What are potential pitfalls that 2nd year students should make sure to avoid in their own prep We’ve identified the 5 biggest mistakes that med students tend to make with UWorld (and in April 2015, we posted 5 more big mistakes). 1.  Not starting USMLE World early enough Many students come to us concerned about starting questions too early. They say they’re not ready to tackle a Qbank as difficult as USMLE World.  They would prefer to start with an easier Qbank or focus more on reading.  This is a mistake!  Step 1 is a question based exam.  Therefore, the best approach to studying is to incorporate questions early and often.  Even if you have not finished all of the material five months before your exam, there will certainly be some content you’ve covered. For example, if you’ve already had your immunology course, do...

Five Tips for Emergency Medicine Clerkship Success

On one of my first shifts of my emergency medicine rotation, a tech ran into the physician workroom shouting that she needed a doctor – a patient was having a seizure. The attending was checking on a patient in the trauma bays while the resident was admitting another patient, so all eyes were on me. I approached the patient, who was clearly postictal and confused, rose the head of the bed, and spoke calmly with him and his terrified family until the resident arrived. Although backup came quickly in this case, emergency medicine is a fast-paced specialty requiring us to think and process information quickly. If you’re in an EM rotation, you need to know the top five ways to keep up: 1. Be prepared for your clerkship. In terms of attire, facilities typically recommend or even require scrubs. Most will provide them, and some even let you wear your own. You’ll be on your feet or standing almost constantly during a busy shift, so wearing compression socks under scrubs can be very beneficial. Good footwear is a must! Most people wear sneakers or a comfortable clog like Dansko (eBay and thrift stores are great places to look for affordable medical clogs). In terms of tools, a stethoscope is definitely essential. I also found it helpful to keep a reflex hammer and trauma shears handy. Lastly, I’d recommend bringing a cheap...

Here’s My Experience When Dealing With The IMG Transfer to US MD Med School

If you visit any med school forum and type “IMG transfer to US medical school,” you’ll find a multitude of threads stretching back over a decade. You’ll find hundreds of opinions regarding the difficulty of the transfer process, necessary credentials, number of spots available every year, and if it’s even possible in the first place. You’ll also find that some contributing their two cents “have a friend” who transferred or “know a guy who knows a guy” who went through the process, most of whom are just straight trolling. Reading these forums can quickly make the entire prospect of transferring feel like chasing a mythical creature – or at least it did to me. I started my medical education at a large, well-known Caribbean school, and did so with full awareness of the existing stigma toward such institutions. During orientation, the school was very forthright with students regarding that stigma and the uphill battle we would be fighting when it came to The Match and beyond. We were informed that the most competitive residencies (neurosurgery, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, etc.) were out of the question, and were shown a list of specialties alumni had successfully matched into – our viable options. We were also shown NRMP match data for the average Step 1 scores among successfully matched individuals in each of those fields, and were instructed to score at least 10 points higher than...

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