Here I go again. . .

. . . to the PASS program, that is. I am leaving Friday, driving to Champaign, IL, and then spending 4 weeks there doing the USMLE/COMLEX board prep I had begun last November when my hip/knee got so bad.

This time I feel so much better. Yes, my knee and hip still bother me, but I am no longer taking ANY pain meds except ibuprofen, and one vicodin ES at night. I am also seeing my orthopedic doctor this Thursday to get prophylactic steroid injections in my hip and maybe the knee as well. And this time my husband is going with me and will chauffeur me back and forth from school, which means I won’t have to walk so far from the parking lot, thus saving my hip some problems. Not to mention that I’m sure the hotel bed will be much better than the bed in the student housing that I had in November.

At the same time I am working hard on my Bootcamp for Boards study plan that they supplied to me after doing a diagnostic exam. I mean, they furnish everything. . . down to a study plan which tells just what pages to read and study each day, how many questions to do, etc. I have to admit that I sometimes do extra questions though. And it will be hard to keep the Bootcamp schedule during the PASS program, but I can do it!

To top all that excitement, Zane and I have just rented an apartment in the complex I lived in when we met. Much older apartments, but REALLY nice, AND they have an indoor pool that is open year round. As soon as we get back from Illinois I am going to start an exercise program in the water, hopefully strenthening both my legs without the impact. . . and maybe even losing some weight!

Anyway, I am excited about it all and will try to keep everyone posted as the study days fly by.

Glad to hear it, Linda! I’m sure you’ll kick butt through PASS, Bootcamp, and everything else you set your mind to. Sounds like there’s some real excitement afoot!

Hi Linda,

I’m so glad that you’re feeling better. You are a warrior-woman!

…and that’s great that you found an apartment that will work so well for you guys. I’m sure that Boot camp and everything else will go well for you. I so admire your determination and tenacity.

Thanks again for your great OMM demonstration at the conference. I’ll be in touch sometime in the future to ask more about your experience with WSVOM as we discussed at the conference.


Mmmmmmm, indoor pool. I’m envious!

Yeah. Indoor pool and a hot-tub to boot!

So, here I am in Champaign, IL. My husband and I drove over 700 miles and we are staying in an ExtendedStayAmerica hotel for the next 28 days. Have a nice little kitchenette and Zane said he will do most of our meals. Brought our dog, Junior, and the parrot, Tuquiero with us rather than boarding them, so if you think about it, the cost of the hotel only adds about $700 to our budget. It would have cost over $1,000 just to board the kids for the month.

Anyway, I am really psyched about starting class tomorrow. And, in the meantime, I am keeping up with my Bootcamp for the Boards COMLEX review, and plan on keeping up with it the whole next month.

Physically feeling pretty good. Had steroid injections, prophylactically, in both hips and had some fluid removed from my knee and a steroid injection there as well. Obviously they have made it a little more difficult to keep my blood sugars under control, but I am doing a pretty good job of it and that problem will disappear within the next few days.

Spent a lot of time with my internal med doctor last week, working as a med student as well as talking about board prep and future rotations. Somehow when I put on my white coat, it brings the whole plan back into focus; so much so that I brought my white coat with me, just to look at when I get tired.

Anyway, Zane and I are actually going to eat a good dinner out tonight at a favorite restaurant that we don’t have in Pennsylvania. After that, it’s study and get ready for tomorrow. Can’t wait!!


Good luck with your studying! I’ll be thinking about you this incoming month. And that’s wonderful that Zane will be there for you to support you! Before you know you’ll be done with the prep-course and the exam, and you’ll be resuming the rotations.


Good luck Linda!

So July is over, the PASS program is completed, and I am back in Pennsylvania and Zane and I have been busily packing and moving stuff to our new apartment. Through it all, though, I have managed to keep right on studying and reviewing.

The final move to our new place is next Wednesday. Then I can get back to my study schedule that I prefer. The good thing is, since we had a whole month overlap on our leases, we have been able to move boxes of stuff over and unpack it as we go. And we are actually paying people to come load and unload our stuff next week. We have really big heavy furniture, so that will make it all much easier!

As to the PASS program. I loved every minute of it. Even though we had long days, and 6 days a week were in the classroom, I felt they were extremely useful. Since I have now been away from the classroom for 2 years, it was imperative for me to have some sort of refresher course and I don’t think I could have found a better one.

I did feel really good as we went through the program because the majority of it was still right there in my poor, old tired brain. The best part was looking at everything from a new perspective. I think it will help me have a better recall on exam day.

The other thing was the tutoring. I think I definitely had the very best 2 tutors that one could have. They were able to work with me in a manner that forced me to see where I was going wrong, yet it was very comfortable and did not feel threatening. We used a lot of visual aids during my tutor sessions. . . simply writing down what I do know, and what they have given me in the question, before looking at the answers. That way I can take what I know and figure out which of their answers matches up best with what I was thinking. That helps me to avoid falling for the trick answers that are almost always there. And it simply amazes me that, even if I don’t know the exact answer, a lot of times I am able to figure out what they are looking for by analyzing what I do know.

Anyway, I have the USMLE scheduled for Sept. 17 and COMLEX for Sept. 26 and I plan on continuing my review plan right up until those dates.

Right now I am on my way to the doctor. I just got my insulin pump yesterday and I am so excited!


Your perseverance is inspiring! Well done.