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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What It’s Like Being At A Caribbean Medical School

I distinctly remember sitting in one of my undergrad pre-med classes joking to a friend of mine after getting a below average MCAT score that, “I guess I’m gonna end up at a Caribbean medical school.” About 10 years later, after finishing Medical School at Saint George’s University, I sit here laughing at the person I was. The truth is, Caribbean Medical School was really an abstract concept at that point. I wouldn’t have been able to even tell you what the top 3 schools were—or even how their programs were even structured.  At that point in my life, I was always an honors student.  I graduated with over a 4.0 in high school, went on to earn mostly A’s in undergrad (except for those 3 C’s and one D in some of my chemistry courses), graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with so much volunteer, work and well rounded life experience under my belt.  Despite my 23 on the MCAT (whew, that was liberating), I had this faith that as long as I got a few interviews, I could easily win over an admissions committee and show them why I would make an excellent addition to their program.  My Ohio State pre-med advisor thought otherwise. When she told me I shouldn’t even apply because I wouldn’t get in, I thought she was being callous and pessimistic.  Well, I guess she was...

What You Should Know About Clerkships

The things I wish I had known about clerkships before third year began are the same as the things I wish I had known about life, but which I’m grateful to have learned the long way. And those things mostly amount to this: Life is about people. I wish there were a less patronizing, less Hallmark way to utter the simplest truth I know, but I’m not sure there is. Many of us have been fortunate enough to live lives untouched by abandonment, disappointment and loss, experiences that all have a way of sharpening our appreciation for the supporting cast of characters that comprise our existence. And so, these lessons often have to be learned vicariously. Throughout third year, we have the opportunity to peer into our patients’ lives through the cracks created by disease. An unexpected diagnosis takes the experience of being alive, turns it upside down and shakes it forcefully, leaving victims riddled with a mixture of uncertainty and hope. The glimpses we catch of this tumultuous experience can be as large or small as we allow them to be, and I challenge you to shed as much light into these spaces as possible. Mr. L was an 85-year-old man who was in good health until a pulmonary embolism threw him off kilter just before Christmas. The relatively minor insult to his lung function unmasked an underlying...

A List Of Do’s and Don’ts for Your Summer Break

It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe more appropriately, at the middle of the tunnel. Your one and only summer break, between first and second year. And to think, this might be your “last” summer. The last one until retirement that you could choose to spend kicking your feet up, watching Netflix, sleeping in, and traveling incessantly. Haven’t you earned it after the most academically rigorous year of your life? The angel on your shoulder chimes in: Look at all this time you’ve got! Time to do research, to get published. Time to make inroads with faculty and participate in community outreach projects and global health initiatives. Time to study undisturbed and set yourself up for second-year success. Only a fool would squander such an opportunity! Surely a compromise must exist…. To put things in perspective, let me give you full disclosure: Like most normal humans, I love having fun, often as much fun as possible. And, like most normal medical professionals, I like succeeding, advancing, and perennially trying to be the best. Can these two forces be reconciled? Yes, they can, as you will find below. Let’s go through some of the DOs and DON’Ts of this rare and magnificent summer break between first and second year: DON’T try to start studying aggressively for Step 1. This coming from a USMLE prep-driven blog? What...

Are Grades That Important in Medical School?

A question that we’re asked quite frequently at Med School Tutors relates to the letters that have either plagued or overjoyed students for the last 17 years of their education: GRADES. Medical school is in fact “school,” and just like every school, it relies on grades to stratify students into quartiles and ranks. This begs the question that so many medical students are asking: How important are my grades? Will a never-ending string of H’s make me a shoe-in for the program I want? Will obtaining a grade of “pass” in the clerkship of my chosen specialty interfere with my life-long dream of becoming a [insert specialty here]-ologist? It would be easy to say that grades are of the utmost importance so you should do your best and get the highest grades you can. However, based on some objective data from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the actual grades that you attain might not be as important as you thought they were. Let’s have a look inside the 2014 Program Director Survey to see what PD’s are really interested in, and where grades fall into the mix. The Program Director Survey is conducted by the NRMP, the algorithmic black box company that determines the fate of 42,000 students and MD’s alike, all vying for coveted residency spots. The purpose of the survey is to answer questions like the one this...

10 Tips for Surviving Your First Clinical Rotation

Having just finished the first 6 weeks of my Intern year of Residency, I’ve become more reflective than ever. I can’t emphasize enough how different medicine is from what I had imagined it to be in the first two years of medical school preparing for my exams and my first clinical rotation, in both great ways and sometimes less than great ways. Beginning in a new hospital system in a new role these days opened the floodgates to the memories of how terrifying it was to begin in the hospital in my third year of medical school. I remember only knowing one route to the Emergency Department (no matter how long it was) and only taking that route because if I didn’t, I would get lost. I remember not knowing acronyms, workflow, the electronic medical record system, or even my role in this whole system. Did I mention the goofy short white coat…? In retrospect, some of these memories are HILARIOUS, but if I take a second to think about how terrified I was, I get anxiety all over again about starting my first rotation of third year of medical school. So, if you are about to begin or are already drowning in your first rotation of third year, take a seat, get your game face on and let’s talk about how to simply survive. 1. Find yourself. You may...

How To Handle Your Most Ambitious Med School Classmate

Having trouble handling your most ambitious med school classmate? Here’s the 411 on medical school “Gunners”. I consider my desire to be liked by everyone to be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it forces me into being, well, the “best” version of myself with people. It’s a curse because of the inevitable sensitivity and the occasional times where I refuse to stand up for myself because I want to avoid conflict. Avoiding conflict is generally a good thing, but that doesn’t mean avoidance is the best way to approach problems. You have to learn to stand up for yourself, to be assertive; I don’t think anything really taught me this quite like dealing with medical school Gunners. Now let’s be clear: If you are in medical school at all, you are on the Gunner Spectrum. When I refer to Gunners in this context, I am referring to the person who always has to blurt out the answer, even if the question is directed at someone else. This person may consciously or unconsciously undermine you in front of an attending by correcting something you say about YOUR patient. This person may slip in to scrub in on YOUR surgery. This person is just overall very aggressive, can be condescending, and has no concept of the word “teamwork.” Ugh. Gunners. There are a few different ways to respond to...

Here’s What To Do If You Fail The USMLE Step 2 CK

If you recently found out that you’ve failed USMLE Step 2 CK and are wondering, “What next?”, start by taking a deep breath and trying to calm down. MANY people have failed Step 1 and/or 2 and the majority of those people went on to finish medical school, match into residency, and become very successful practicing physicians. Focus on getting yourself back on track, addressing what went wrong the first time, and making a plan to put yourself in the best possible position for success on the second attempt. Not sure where to begin? Use these five tips: Examine Your Score Report Did you fail by a few points or a lot? What were your strengths and weaknesses? These are going to be important questions to ask as you try to determine when to retake your test and how to go about making a study schedule. If you failed by only a few points, you’ll probably need less time to study than if you failed by a significant amount (though you don’t want to rush back into things). Also, if you were weak in only one or two particular subjects, you’ll have an easier route to improvement than someone who was weak across the board. Regardless, start by taking an honest assessment of where things went wrong and prepare to make the necessary changes to improve your knowledge in...

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