Thursday, June 28, 2012

COMLEX Step 2 Written Exam - Attempt 1

So, yesterday I went to take my COMLEX Step 2 exam.  I felt pretty prepared, got through the first four sections without any real hangups.  Then came the after lunch portion.  When I returned, suddenly I only had 25 minutes left!  I was confused because the first section showed the cumulative time for all four sections at once, so at the beginning I had 3 hours 59 minutes, but then when I started section four of eight, I only had 25 minutes.  I thought maybe they just changed the format for some reason, rushed through as best I could, and the time ran out of course.  At that point, the entire test crashed.  When the Prometric called to see what was going on, the line was busy due to 'extremely high queue for service regarding the COMLEX' so... turns out the test crashed nationwide.  

The most annoying part was having to drive out there to take the test through rush hour traffic - took me almost an hour and a half.  On the plus side, I basically got a trial run of the actual COMLEX Step 2, so that was kinda nice.  I also get more study time.  No clue when I'll schedule the actual test, though.  I'd prefer to do it on a weekend, so maybe I can get next Sunday or something... if not, then who knows.  I also need to reschedule my USMLE - I wanted a full month to study for that between the two tests. 

That's the latest.  Next week I'm starting radiology for two weeks, it's supposed to be pretty relaxing.  After that is neurology.  Then ICU, which should be rigorous.  Then eventually moving to Davis, CA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Well, today I had the COMLEX PE exam - it's a pass/fail exam where you have to have 12 standardized patient visits and then do a write-up.  You have 14 minutes to see the patient, and 9 minutes to do the write-up.  For DOs it is only offered on the east coast in Pennsylvania, so of course, off to Pennsylvania I had to go.  So jetlagged...  Anyhow, things were starting out fine, ironed my white coat, did some spot cleaning, looked great.  Then when I put it on after carrying it over one arm to the test center, I realize I got blood on it somehow - I nicked my knuckle somehow.  So I had to cover it up with something, first I just had clear tape, next I had an actual white paper cover, which was better.  Hopefully it won't count against me too much in the exam - I think it'll all average out okay, but it was really disappointing.  

As far as the patient encounters, they all went about as expected - and I was surprised that I never really found myself running out of time for either the visit or the write-up.  I feel like I always got through it, was able to ask them if they had any questions or concerns or if I can help them with anything else, etc.  Super exhausted though.  Treated myself to a nice dinner, and now just debating how much sleep I want to try to get before my 6am flight.  This time we get to change flights in Chicago, but at least the second leg will have Wi-Fi, so I won't be as bored out of my mind as I was for the first flight.  My stomach has felt funky the whole time I've been here, so I'm looking forward to getting back to my normal food.

Another bummer today was I got an email saying I didn't get a rotation spot at one of the programs I wanted to do a sub-Internship at.  It sucks that they took so long to figure that out because now I can't really make any other arrangements - I have to just scrounge for some other rotation.  Hopefully our department at school will be working through rotation requests a lot faster now that they got some extra people to take care of student health.  

As far as Psychiatry, it went well overall.  The preceptor was great, the patients were interesting, and the hours were very reasonable.  I was not too happy that I had to cut a lot of the days out because of mandatory lectures at school and this trip to take the exam, but at least I made the most of my time there.  The end-of-rotation exam is Friday and then I'm on vacation for two weeks.  Got some nice activities queued up, and I need to start seriously planning my wedding.