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Old 06-05-2012
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Arrow An article by Dr Steven Daugherty -- Choose not to be overwhelmed! (must read)

all of us out there have periods of self doubt/lack of motivation/procrastination.

this is an article dr daugherty recently put up on his blog. worth the read

Choose Not to Be Overwhelmed

Success on the USMLE depends on making the proper choices. The most obvious choices you must make involve selecting the proper letters to answer the presented questions. But, the most obvious choices are not the most important.

When you walk into the testing center on exam day, your score has already been determined by all the choices you have made up to that point. Your exam choices will be simply the sum of those preparation choices. Preparation defines outcome. Focus on making the right preparation choices and the exam choices will take care of themselves.

Of all the choices you will make in your exam preparation, none is as important as the decision about what you should study and the amount of time you should dedicate to each topic. The amount of material to be reviewed and mastered is so large as to seem overwhelming, if not impossible. Sitting with the stack of your books, notes, and other study materials before you, the pile can feel insurmountable. The size of the task can cause you to feel helpless, and even hopeless. What should you do to avoid feeling overwhelmed?

You begin by making choices, an making them early. You cannot learn everything, so stop trying to do so.

Trying to learn everything is about avoiding making choices. You do not want to make a wrong decision, so you abandon decision making altogether. You hope that with a monumental effort you can master everything. The cold, hard reality is that even with infinite time and assistance you simply can not master the breadth and depth of material required by the USMLE. Realize that you are human and that there are limits to what you can do. You have to make some choices. Some subjects require your extended attention. Others can be ignored. Some concepts will require concentrated effort. Others you will masters with just a simple reading. Your main job, as you prepare for your exam, is to decide which is which.

Once you accept the principle that you can not learn everything, you are then ready to make specific choices as to how your preparation should succeed. Here are a few time-tested suggestions:

Focus on your areas of greatest weakness

As you begin your exam preparation, it is so tempting to start with the subjects you like the best. You are probably pretty good at what you like and this experience can help boost your confidence. But, this initial confidence boost soon fades. Doing the easy stuff first does not make the difficult material any easier. Rather, putting it off can increase anxiety and make the already troublesome concepts even harder.

Start with your worst subjects. They will never be your best, but focus on at least raising your mastery to the level where these subjects will not hurt your score and hold you back. And once you realize you have gained ground on the most difficult material, you know you can master the easier content that remains.
Get something, even if you do not get everything

Within each subject, you can not remember every detail. Get something out of each section you study, even if you do not get everything. Stop saying you don’t know anything when you just don’t know everything. Get rid of all or none thinking. Study is about making progress and is never ever really complete. Move ahead. Make your progress, and be glad for each step taken.

When learning a biochemical process, focus on getting some of the steps even if you can not remember them all. For each class of drugs, be able to recall some of them, the most important even if you can not name every option. Learn some essential disorders in the diagnostic differential even if you can not call an exhaustive list to mind. Each additional exposure to the material will expand the level and number of details you retain. Trying to get every detail all at once risks that you will retain none. Focus on making progress and you will be amazed how much you can learn in a day.

Then, at the end of each day’s work, stop worrying about all that lies ahead. Instead, look back in satisfaction at what you have accomplished, and what you know at day’s end that you did not know when the day began.

Do something active with the material

Reading is not enough. You are expected to be able to mentally use the material you have studies to solve the problems presented in the USMLE questions. To get good at using the material you have do something with it. Make an outline. Write out notes. Draw diagrams. Talk with colleagues. Do practice questions. These exercises will help you uncover where your understanding is incomplete and also help give you the confidence to apply what you know when the exam requires it of you.

Preparation choices determine exam outcomes. By making choices, you assert your control over both the preparation process and the material you are seeking to master. Preparing for the USMLE can seem overwhelming, unless you take charge and make the choices required. Choose not to be overwhelmed, and you are really choosing to succeed.

Steven R. Daugherty, Ph.D.

Last edited by mbbs2010; 06-05-2012 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 06-05-2012
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must read.......
Try Not To Become A Man Of Success But A Man Of Value.
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Old 06-05-2012
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Excellent! Thanks for sharing it!
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Old 06-06-2012
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Very well said!! Thanks for sharing this
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