Medical Student Q&A Series: Temi, MS3

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In this Q&A series, we have the honor of featuring Temi! She shares her tips for USMLE Step 1 studying, what keeps her motivated as well as great tips for students going through the medical school journey!

Temi is a third year medical student at UT Health San Antonio! She is originally from the Dallas Texas Area and attended the University of Texas where she received her degree in Psychology! In addition to the MD program, Temi is also enrolled in a dual degree program to receive her MPH. In her spare time, she loves to cook and has mastered making crepes during medical school!

1. What has been your favorite year of medical school so far?

3rd year for sure! I’m only half way done with third year but I think it’s really fun being able to see the pathology we learned about so intently during 1st+2nd year in clinical rotations! Its also been really fun to be a substantial part of a team. I go to a medical school that has a larger class size (200+) so it has also been really fun to get to know a lot of other students in my class that I wouldn’t have spent much time with otherwise. 

2. Have you decided on a specialty? If so, why did you choose it?

I think the best piece of advice I’ve received with third year is to treat every rotation as if its going to be the one you’re going to do the rest of your career. That means being proactivate, attentive, ready to go, and taking iniative on your patients! I actually haven’t made a firm decision on specialty yet! Every time I think I’ve made a decision I find something else and think “wow I could really see myself doing this as well!” Like I said, Im only half way through 3rd year so my plan is continue to keep an open mind and hopefully make a decision during my last rotation! I will say I am really looking forward to my EM rotation as well as my OB rotation 😉 

3. Let’s talk about USMLE Step 1! What were your favorite Step resources?

For step 1 I used Pathoma, First Aid, Uworld, Anki, and Sketchy Micro/Pharm. For areas that I was very weak in + needed to build my foundation up in, I supplemented with a few boards and beyond videos! I think it is very doable to do it with less resources than I used though!

4. How long did you take for dedicated studying and did you feel like it was sufficient?

My dedicated period was a bit different because I was interrupted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. My school gives us 4.5 months off for dedicated STEP 1 study time. I was originally going to study for about 8 weeks and then take the exam. However, the pandemic hit and thus Prometric cancelled and rescheduled my testing date over 4 times. I ended up taking a bit of time off and didn’t end up taking my exam until two months after my original date. All in all, I think I studied for 80 days total! 

5. What should students do during the pre-dedicated phase to prepare for step 1?

I would recommend getting through all of Sketchy Micro+Pharm as your curriculum allows. Getting through the videos and going into dedicated with a good pharmacology base would have saved me a lot of time and a lot of frustration getting simple Uworld Pharm Questions wrong!

Even on the very difficult days I still feel very very lucky that I get to play a small part in a patient’s day.

6. What’s your method for reviewing completed Uworld questions?

I would typically do 2 40 question Uworld blocks back to back in the morning to build stamina + I function better first thing in the morning! I would then go through each block and review in the afternoon! To thoroughly review, I would reference First Aid and write in my First Aid book any pearls from the Uworld explanation that I thought were helpful. I also kept a running list of “frequently missed/don’t understand” topics and at the end of the week would go back to it to review.

7. What are ways you maintain wellness in medical school?

Making time for the things I love + exercise. I try to make sure I eat nutritious meals when I have time. I also have made it a priority to do things that I love at least 3x a week. I love to hang out with friends and watch our favorite shows together! I also love to cook so I make sure that I find time to cook myself a great meal 3x a week. Finally, I try to move my body and exercise at least 3x a week even if that means just a 1-mile walk around the neighborhood. During first and second year of medical school, I was guilty of putting off exercise because I was very overwhelmed with all my responsibilities. I’ve found that I perform better+ have a clearer head when I have moved my body a little bit so now it is one of my top priorities!

8. What keeps you motivated?

The patients! Third year has been very refreshing for me because it is such a clear glimpse of the light at the end of the very long medical education tunnel. Even on very difficult days I still feel very very lucky that I get to play a small part in a patient’s day. I have made it a point to take the time to listen to their stories because they truly do motivate me and make all the studying from the first + second year of medical school worth it! 

9. Any last tips for medicals students going through the medical school journey?

Lean on your support system and do it afraid! I truly believe the only way to get through the lows of med school is to lean on the people around you and a support system. There will undoubtedly be really long days, challenging exams, and patients that impact your life in a significant way. Having one or two people that you can go to in order to vent + just listen is super helpful! Also, I have found that during third year, your education is what you make of it! There will be opportunities to do procedures and advocate for your patients which can be very challenging and honestly scary at times. Do it afraid! and don’t be afraid of asking questions! There are so many people committed to helping you learn! 

I hope you enjoyed the interview! Let us know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below!

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