Step 3 Boards…Advice Needed

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Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #83675
    jnsjns
    Participant

    I’m scheduled to take step 3 of the COMLEX in early December. The problem is I have been on maternity leave for the past 10 weeks and devoted all my time to my baby (almost no studying). I start back to my internship 10/20 and will have 2 weeks of family medicine followed by 2 months of medicine. I’m worried that i will not be prepared enough to take boards in December and that I will not have enough study time because of work and the new baby. I don’t want to end up failing and having to fork out another $535 to retake the exam. I feel like if I took the exam in June, more towards the end of my internship, I would know so much more and have much more confidence in my skills. On the other hand, I would like to feel the relief of having the exam over with December 10. Part of me thinks I could get the studying in I need, but I’m new to the time constraints of motherhood. I started doing review questions today and could barely answer them…I feel like I’ve lost a lot during these 10 weeks off.If anyone has any advice or experience one way or another please share it with me. :confused:

    #83676
    rugratdocrugratdoc
    Participant

    jns, I would recommend you take it. I understand, but I hate to tell you it doesnt get any easier. I have two preschoolers, and am expecting my thirdn and am working full time in medicine. I just sat for my pediatric board exam. Life keeps on moving and so do we. Go for it. If it doesnt work it is not the end of the world. Step 3 isnt too bad. It is so much better than Step 1 and a lot more practical.

    #83677
    jnsjns
    Participant

    rugratdoc,

    I really appreciate your advice. I realize that things won’t get any easier and will probably get only a bit more complicated. A complicated, busy life is not the real issue for me (that lifestyle is not new to me), but feeling more comfortable with my knowledge and skills is. After much debate with myself and conversations with other residents, I have decided to take boards in June. The amount of medicine I will know and feel comfortable with 8 months from now is worth the wait. I hate to put off the exam, but my medical knowledge is coming back a lot more slowly than I thought it would after that 10 week maternity leave. Plus, we are in no position financially to pay another $500 if by chance I didn’t pass. This was not an easy decision and I still wrestle with it a bit, but ultimately I have to do what is best for the family and myself.

    #83679
    rugratdocrugratdoc
    Participant

    Very good. JNS. I understand. I wish you the best. Make sure when you begin to get ready that you devise a list of people to help you get a way for a few hours of uninterrupted time to study. This is so vital. Your baby may be asleep, but knowing that you wont have to change a diaper, etc. for 2 hours is really worth the investment in finding others to help.

    #83680
    jnsjns
    Participant

    rugratdoc,

    Thanks for that advice! My goal starting now is to try and get 1 hour of study/reading in a day. Most of the time I think I can squeeze this in at the hospital before coming home. That way when I get home I can devote all my time to my family(as it should be). I do have family and friends more than willing to watch my little one. Thank you so much for your reply to my dilema, and it helps to know there is support available at mommd. 🙂

    #83681
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    I’m not sure how the comlex differs from the USMLE, but the USMLE step 3 exam was by far the easiest of the 3 exams. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fail it but the odds are pretty against it, especially if your residency is in FP or IM. Just buy a review book that has basic outlines of things and review the peds, surgery and OB (if you’re not doing it). Let me look on my shelf and let you know what I used…it was pretty simplistic but really pointed out the areas that I DID need to study. Also, if COMLEX sends you any info go through that-the USMLE sent a CD that had practice questions that were very like the test and much easier than those in the review books. And take rugratdocs advice, make sure you have a little time sans baby to study. Good luck and I’ll let you know when I find that book.

    #83683
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    I finally got a chance to check out my bookshelf- I used The Instant Exam Review for the USMLE Step 3 by Joel Goldberg. It is a part of the Appleton and Lange Review Series and costed about $35. I also bought the book of questions but I have to admit I never even attempted them (I can be pretty lazy when it comes right down to it, and I sure didn’t have a lot of time to study during my intern year of surgery when I took this darn test). Check it out next time you go to your bookstore and see what you think. good luck!

    #83684
    Kate_dup1Kate_dup1
    Participant

    Not that you couldn’t fail the COMLEX but it would almost be difficult to fail. I took mine early too because in our program I had to (in case we failed). I had a surgery internship and managed to get through a brief review book and studied the nerve supply/dermatome chart as one does for the comlex and I passed. Since you are probably already in your internship I wouldn’t worry about what score you get. But for me, I regret that I didn’t actually dedicate my studying. I passed but barely. I was on a cardiothoracic service and taking care of CCU and ward patients alone. The day before the boards I drove 10 hours to where the closest boards were held and prior to that was the most sleep deprived I’d ever been in internship. (Lucky my husband did the driving, not me). But I regret that I didn’t do as well as I should have. If you have a rotating internship or something comparable, I wouldn’t worry.

    #83685
    jnsjns
    Participant

    Thank you all for your advice. Although most of you suggested I go ahead and take it, my gut feeling tells me to do otherwise. I have decided to take the exam in June. If I would not have had the 10 week maternity leave during which I did not look at or think about anything medical, then I would be taking the exam in December. Taking it in June does not affect anything regarding my residency b/c I will not finish the internship until the end of August. this is my final decision and now I must move on without regrets and put this dilema behind me. Thank you again for helping me think this through. 🙂

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