Monday, December 4, 2017

It's December

Well, the holidays are approaching.  I did sign up for taking my CBSE exam.  I am scheduled after the first of the year.  I have really buckled down.  Currently, I am reviewing pathology.  I am using Pathoma and testing my knowledge with UWorld.  I am finding that reading is still fundamental.  That sounds like a smart response but sometimes when you read questions, you skip the content that has the answer with your eyes.  Sometimes your eyes are very deceitful. 

Thanksgiving was a very eventful time.  My husband and I traveled to Atlanta to see family.  Additionally, we drove to my hometown in North Carolina for him to meet some of my family that wasn't able to make it to the wedding.  Unfortunately, we couldn't see everyone but just the chance to see a few family members was worth it. 

Time with family is a good way to take a break.  I only stress this because some IMGs study for a long time and while they are studying, they may forget about their family.  Just remember that your family is there for you and they provide the perspective of why you are on this journey.  I saw my brother for the first time in a year and a half.  Honestly, I haven't had the money to go see him plus I kind of feel bad for him not being able to be at my wedding.  I am glad that I was able to have my other brother there however.  Spending the few hours with him made it seem a little like old times because he was responsive when I brought up a few "sensitive" stories. 

This post is short but all I needed to say was that the last few weeks gave me more perspective as to where this journey is supposed to take me.  I am appreciative and more powered up than ever.  I now get where the video about procrastination being a choice comes from.  To all medical students studying right now, CARRY ON!!!  All the prayer warriors, CARRY ON!!!

But as for you, be brave and don’t lose heart, because your work will be rewarded!
2 Chronicles 15:7, CEB

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What happened??

Hello.  I am sure that some people believe that I have fallen off the face of the earth.  I just want to let you know that I have not.  The last eight months have been fascinating.

After getting back from the cruise, I continued "studying."  I say it like that because now, I don't think I was studying to the best of my ability.  I retook the NBME on May 25, 2017.  And you guessed it.  I failed again.  I was so angry with myself that I said I wasn't going to study for a while.  Now, why would I do that?  Waste of money to be in Chicago, right?  Shouldn't I just go home?

Well, I could have gone back to Georgia with my parents or North Carolina where the rest of my family is but I don't want to look like a failure.  But I have skipped over a little bit of information.  Let's rewind to Easter Sunday.  My boyfriend and I went to church as usual at the sunrise service.  After service, we had breakfast at church and spoke to a few members socially.  We came back to the apartment and worked on our computers for a while before getting the idea to go to Walmart.  He finally got on one knee and asked me to marry him.  <----- equals="" excitement.="" p="" that="">
So fast-forward to June after getting my NBME results, I decided just to plan a wedding since I was so angry at my progress which amounted to nothing.  I was so upset, I called the school asking for reassurance, and I did not get the response I wanted to hear.  So I made my path.  I QUIT studying.  A lot of people would say this is stupid and I agree.  Looking back, I was stupid.  I wasted a lot of time just looking online at wedding stuff I couldn't afford.

By now, you have realized that I like to defy the norm and if there is a cheapskate method for accomplishing a task, I take the risk.  Well, I order the wedding dress on eBay from China.  Yep.  Pretty stupid idea but the dress came out very nice.  The best part was it was less than $200.  So in June, I flew to Atlanta, GA to try on my dress and get it altered because I did not want my fiance to see it.  I also saw the wedding venue I booked the internet for the first time.  I know this sounds like a disaster, but I promise this is on a medical student budget. 

By now, I am teaching very regularly with Chicago Heart Training.  July comes, and James gives me an alternate location where I teach weekly.  I paid for the entire wedding with this extra money.  And maybe a little bit on a credit card.  Overall, it was a hot August wedding in Georgia.  It wasn't over 60 people, and it was a great day.  Here's a video of the big day.  Unfortunately, YouTube caught some songs for copyright infringement, and one of the songs is missing, but the video is still great, however.

After the wedding, we went on our honeymoon.  Our honeymoon was a 5-day cruise in the Caribbean.  We had a blast.  We visited Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Nassau.  We overate, laughed, enjoyed each other's company and beat one another at Connect 4.  

Back to reality, my husband went back to work, and it was time for me to get back to work.  We moved apartments just before going to Georgia to get hitched, so there was a little unpacking left to do.  Then it was study time.  I still was trying to work at Chicago Heart, but it wasn't working out.  It was a big distraction with all the phone calls daily about classes and such.  Plus it was heartbreaking to hear about the devastation of Hurricane Irma to Anguilla.  So represent Anguilla well, it is time to study hard and get that MD!

So lately, I have been confined to my computer answering questions on UWorld and watching YouTube videos while reading through First Aid.  It has been a challenge, but life is supposed to throw curveballs.  No road is straight and narrow; they are all filled with hills and valleys.  My family has been blessed.  Although my brother has not recovered from his accident, I am still hopeful that God will heal him in the manner that He wants to heal my brother.  My father will get a kidney if it is God's will.  With the obstacles in my way, I still smile.  And can only be happy and shout Hallelujah!

So, I will try to make this blog more of an accountability partner and write about the latest things I have studied.  I am currently working on Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Behavioral Science.  Next week, I plan to start on dreadful Pathology.  My source for Pathology is the gold standard, Pathoma.  I am excited to get going very hard and heavy.  I have signed up to take the NBME during the testing period of December 25 through January 7, 2018 (I missed the deadline for the end of the year period).  If anyone wants to be an additional accountability partner, don't hesitate to email me periodically and ask me questions.

Thanks for stopping by and have a BLESSED day!!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9, NIV

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Updates on Life

Hello all!  I know I should have written by now but I can't get out of the air.  Literally.

So recently, my dad started having some health issues and I actually flew home to see him at the end of February.  I actually skipped one of courses at Chicago Heart.  I went to help my mom care for my dad.  I came back to Chicago for a few days before going on a cruise for a week.  I would just say that I needed that time to just relax.  And I will say that I feel so much better.  Well, unfortunately, I wasn't able to come back as planned because my dad started to get worse and I could only continue to pick the doctor's brains about the condition that he was in.  Still he isn't what he was before all this happened but he is alive.

So I came back in time to take my NBME which I was not very optimistic about and I must say that I see what I am studying so hard for now.  I don't know why I took so long to take it in the first place but I honestly should've taken it sooner.  I can say that I probably have a clearer map of what my study schedule should be opposed to what it was.  I also will add that I did not want to purchase UWorld until I got back from the cruise and I honestly probably should've subscribed sooner.  I love this question bank so much better than the Kaplan Qbank we got access from the school.  The lectures are there if I need them but I can clearly see that I wasted so much time going through that thing. But I don't want to give advise just yet because I am waiting for the results of my NBME at this point.  I want to be optimistic about the results but realistically, I hadn't studied since February because all that has gone on.  I tried to here and there but it was way too crazy for that to happen.

At this point, I am continuing to study for Step 1 aiming for a new goal of June.  My original goal was to take the test in April but that has come closer than expected.  I think now that I know what to be prepared for, I am not worried about anything else at this time.  I would ask for continued prayers for my dad and his health and all the other students at this time also studying for Step 1.  Match day was a while back and SJSM still hasn't posted anything about the people that have matched this year.  I would presume a lot because the school has grown and more and more people are passing Step 1 than before.

So before I go, I promised some pictures of me while I was on the cruise so let me show you some of my happiness.
Chicago Car Show for My Birthday

Hair for my birthday!

Cruise boat: Carnival Fantasy

Towel animal while on the cruise

Cozumel's San Francisco Beach

I hope these few pictures do justice of all the fun I seemed to be having but I assure you that I am not having any fun with the UWorld questions.  I would ask for continued prayers for success.  I thank you all for reading about my adventures to becoming a doctor.  If you have any questions about SJSM or Caribbean medical schools in general, please don't hesitate to send me a message and I try to respond within a few hours no matter what time of day it is.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

Saturday, January 28, 2017

So It Has Been A While.....Forgive ME!

I would just like to ask for forgiveness for leaving all of you out there hanging on what is going on with my life.  I would just like to say that since the last time that I wrote, I have just been a busy little bee studying her life away.  Honestly, AICM just included a rotation for a minimum of two hours per week of various doctors that you essentially watch or talk about how to treat patients.  There were some doctors that were better than others but it is not my place to blast them on here.  My friends and I enjoyed each of our rotations and learned from them differently.  I would say the biggest things were the fact that everything was beginning to come together.

Honestly, while learning the material on the island, the information doesn't make any sense.  Talking with the doctors made us understand that all those little details matter.  Often, I have been told that I should be careful not to "over-study" but I beg to differ.  Is there a such thing as over-studying for the Step 1?  If anyone has an answer to that, I beg you to comment below so my friends can get some information from you.

So I am sure you are dying to find out what is going to happen next with me.  Well, right now, I plan to just study like crazy.  I honestly don't have anything coming up that is spectacular unless you mean my birthday in February and a cruise in March.  Plus, when I get back from that, I plan to take the qualifying exam to take the Step 1 with school.  I must agree that this is a really bad idea but it was something that was planned in advance and I didn't think that this would be how it worked out but unfortunately that is how my schedule is flowing right now.

Also, I am continuing to teach some BLS/HeartSaver courses here and there now that my partner in crime, James, is back around.  If you would like more information about some of the trainings we offer, just visit  We are still working in conjunction with the Anguilla campus so you can expect some overlap.  We successfully turned the Anguilla program over to two other lovely students who are doing wonderful with the program despite also being responsible for their coursework as well.  I must say that I am extremely proud of them.  They are featured in the Newsletter featured on the SJSM website.

Also, not relevant, but I am pictured in the January 2017 newsletter on page 5 reviewing an exam with some other classmates.  I still remember that day and I must say that it was interesting to get my picture taken while discussing my exam with the professor.  To recap, the picture was during my third semester which is considered the most difficult semester for students to master.

But other than these tidbits, what else do I have to show for myself?   Umm.....would you like to see some of my Step 1 notes?  I'm just kidding but if anyone still has any questions about anything, I am still happy to answer.  I can take a 5-10 minute break every few hours to answer any burning questions that one would have about school.

Maybe before I end, I should explain what my hold up is right now so that people understand my path and where I am going.  So right now, I am studying for the USMLE Step 1 which is a test taken by foreign medical graduates and American medical students alike.  It is a test that determines your fate of what you are to become it seems like the good book does when we get to heaven.  (Give me props for that analogy if you can!)  My school has us (its students) take a qualifying exam (NBME) to determine if we are ready to sit for the Step 1.  Upon passing that, we are allowed to sign up for the Step 1 and write that exam.  The current passing score for the Step 1 is currently 192 with the average being in the 220s.  Of course me, being the overachiever that I am, strive to be a little above that.

I already mentioned before that I plan to take the qualifying exam at the end of March.  Based on the results of that exam, determines my next steps.  My ultimate goal is to successfully pass the Step 1 by August so that I am able to participate in Match by 2019.  So I asked for continuous prayers of my success in those endeavors.  I also don't want to have a never ending cycle of repeating learning the same things over and over which also explain my sense of urgency.  So if anyone is wondering why I am becoming a hermit, this should explain it all.  So peace and quiet it shall be!

I extend hope and prayers for all the students that are currently studying with me and pray they all pass with the scores that they desire.  Just know that my journey is far from over and it is continuing on.  I am just at a mountain currently but I am climbing and I have the equipment necessary to reach the top.  I will try to update you monthly throughout the journey with details of celebrating my birthday and going on the cruise plus the qualifying exam. Thank you all for your many well wishes.
Although Christmas has passed by a month, here's a family picture including my brother that was in the motorcycle accident on my iPad.  Please continue to pray for his recovery.

Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up.
Galations 6:9, CEB