Tuesday, June 14, 2016

day in the life: step 2 studying

My day in the life posts are always my most popular posts - I love writing them, documenting these various times in my life, and from the response, you guys like the little glimpse into a life in medicine as well. While a day of studying is not as exciting as say, a day on general surgery or a 24+ hour OB shift is, this is also a huge part of my life, so I wanted to share it as well. I also wanted to write this post because I'm often asked about how I study - I'm your typical medical student, so nothing I do is groundbreaking, it just gets the job done for me, but I go a little bit into my methods here. So with all of that being said, here's what a day around here looks like as we prepare for Step 2 (which...is tomorrow)!

7:45am: You know what the best part of having a study month after a year of 5:30am or earlier wakeup calls? Making your own schedule, and therefore getting to sleep in a little! I'm always up first, so I spend a little time reading the news, checking social media, and reading my email. 

7:55am: CR continues to snooze, so I let the dogs out - I love having a back yard! Once the animals are fed, it's time to feed the humans. I made a quiche the day before (recipe via Samantha's blog!), so I pop the left overs into the oven, and make CR his first coffee of the day (...that boy has a problem). 

8:15am: My teeth are brushed, my face moisturized, and only my eyelashes have a little make-up on them. Like every day this month, I wear a pair of gym shorts (these are Nike, and so comfy!) with an Everlane shirt, and my absolute favorite sweatshirt cardigan (mine's BB Dakota and quite old, but this is similar!). Then I go jump on CR to finally get his ass out of bed!

8:30am: breakfast time!

9:00am: Once everything is cleaned up and my waterbottle is filled (with carbonated water + Mio...really the only way to enjoy water), I settle down on the couch. To study for shelf exams throughout the year, I did all of the UWorld questions (a question bank of 2200+ questions with thorough explanations). Now that I'm studying for boards, I'm re-doing all of the questions. My process is that I sit on the couch (away from CR, my computer, and my phone...but apparently not my dog), and I do one set of 44 random questions in timed mode. The sections on the actual exams are 44 questions long, so I really use this as a time to get use to doing 44 questions without a break.  This takes me just under an hour, which is about what one section of the exam is. Then I take a 10 minute social media/Clash of Clans/dog bathroom break. 

10:00am: Now it's time to review the questions. Throughout the school year, I wrote up a 150+ page document of all of notes from UWorld/Online Med Ed/Emma Holiday videos. As I go through the questions, I read my notes, and highlight the most important facts. For the questions I missed, I also write a one line note about it in a notebook (or if it's something super high yield that I had forgotten). I do this because I've already done the questions, so if I've missed something twice, I really need to drill the learning point into my head, and also have it all in one place so I can review it several times before the exam (instead of just seeing it one time when I review my document before my exam). 

12:15pm: The reviewing always takes so much longer than the actual test taking! But I finally finish, and go heat up some zoodle + chicken I made yesterday for dinner. That's the other thing I've really enjoyed about this time at home - actually cooking and making healthy meals again! I am coming off a month of living in a dorm without access to a kitchen, so it's nice to have a full kitchen at my disposal again. CR has been studying outside, so I join him outside for lunch. 

1:00pm: Since it's so nice outside, I stay outside to do my second set of questions. 

2:00pm: Hansi and I take a quick 25 minute nap - another perk ;)

2:45pm: and we're back! Big ol' headphones on, the Epic station on Pandora playing, and it's time to review the second set of questions. 

5:00pm: Sweat break. Like I've mentioned, I recently started doing the BBG/Sweat by Kayla Itsines work out program. I really like it because the 28 minutes go by so fast, you only need minimal equipment (for this arms+abs day, all I used was my yoga mat and a bench), and you can feel it actually working. 

5:30pm: and done! I look real pleased, huh? 

5:40pm: after stretching, I go and take a shower. After that, I start prepping dinner. I make sweet potato "fries" by cutting up a sweet potato, tossing it some olive oil + seasonings, and stick it in the oven. While CR grills the sausage, I also cook some peppers + mushrooms + onions in a pan.

6:00pm: human dinner! ...promise CR does not actually hold his silverware that way ;)

6:30pm: dog dinner!

6:45pm: Time to do my third set of questions. At this point I'm easily distracted, so I do this set on tutor (where you answer the question, and it tells you the answer right away). 

9:45pm: Now that I've completely my question goal for the day, I start to review my handwritten notes from the past few days. (ps. my mouse pad is from Target - super cute, right? only $6!)

10:45pm: Just as I finish reading my notes, CR tells me he has the bedroom all set up for me to watch The Bachelorette. He's the best :)

11:45pm: the Pens game finishes as does my recording, so it's bed time! Study month is the best. 

Day in Review
hours slept: 8.5
hours exercised: .5
meals cooked: 3
hours studied: 10
steps walked: minimal...
questions answered: 132