how ya doing Kate

so i have had my first official freak out…well numerous freak outs

combank scores are above the passing line consistently and when i come closer my % correct is still at good 5-7% above my peer score on similar questions so i am not freaking out too much but i am trying to take deep breaths and remember that i know this stuff and i am just looking to pass…please lord let me pass

and a fourth year told me they look at the regional score then score for that form then a national average so they do three ads on it.

good luck monday then we can have a virtual drink together

Becky - smiled when I saw this and thought “hmm, think that’s for me!”

I’m freaking (see, it’s 3 in the morning and I’m still up). The insomnia is getting pretty bad but at least it’s alternating. Last night I actually slept and slept late this (or rather yesterday) morning.

I’ve done very few questions because been working thru content and got behind. Have one more chapter of Pathoma and First Aid (Neuro) and need to finish Endocrine AND musculoskeletal in first aid although i’ve done pathoma for them. Taking a practice COMSAE tomorrow afternoon and we’ll see.

Would love a virtual drink (and maybe not so virtual!) on Monday! Sorry to hear you are freaking out. I think a lot of it is just all the sitting and studying and the lack of exercise (at least for me. Breathe. Breathe. I’m not THAT worried, and yet I know I have done far less than I wanted to do. Not TOO disturbed by my lack of practice questions (I’ve done a little combank but not all the categories - doing 50 questions when I finish a section, sometimes). felt great about heme but there were not questions for heme. I guess that’s in pathology.

I’m rambling --better go to bed! Will check back here tomorrow. DID have a productive day. Consult my quotation.


Becky - how are YOU doing?

I’m finished material (finally! ) and reviewing intensely.


Did a repeat COMSAE. Looking better with lots of Acceptables and Goods. Gee I hope that’s what my real one looks like!


Go Kate!!! Go Kate!!! Go Kate!!!

Thanks, Lynda! I survived ! Really did NOT expect it to be as much of a bear as it was, although probably ANY test that goes on for 8 hours would be unpleasant.

Now to wait 4 weeks to see how I did. May actually have to retake - I did NOT leave feeling very positive about it, although sections (OMM for example) I’m sure I did well on.

Becky - did you take it? Or if not, when? I drove to my Mom’s afterwards and she made me some strawberry cheesecake and poured me a glass of wine to celebrate. I think this is going to have to be a new tradition after board exams !! It was lemon cake she made with organic strawberries she sliced and crushed with some truvia (lots of strawberries), some Breyers no sugar added vanilla ice cream and light whipped cream [hey for a diabetic, pretty restrained, and as good as it gets!]. Then some lovely local Virginia wine. Going to toddle off to bed now


Hey Kate - my “big sister” here at KCUMB took it on Monday as well. She came out feeling a little worse for wear as well. I’m not looking forward to COMLEX or the USMLE. Oh well, better start figuring out my plan for next year.

Hope the next 4 weeks is enjoyable and you are able to put it out of your mind.

As an aside, these are completely MC exams, so why does it take 4 weeks to get your results?



well i think i passed. took COMSAE the weekend before and got mostly acceptables and goods as well so i should be okay even if i drop. my COMBANK scores have been in the solid mid to upper 70s so i think i am okay.

lot more viscersomatics than i was expecting, i felt like i was answering the same question multiple times again and again and again. i think i did okay but i felt wearier about my post lunch session than i did my pre lunch session.

all in all i am fairly certain i passed. but since i want to take the USMLE (call me a sadist ) in december i figure i will just keep studying and if worse comes to worse then i will be ready to take it again.

of course i have heard rumors that we got more wtf? questions and will have a more generous curve from some upperclassmen due to the timing of when we took it since we are close to most schools deadlines…we shall see how that works out.

heres to waiting

Lynda - from what I hear, almost everyone walks out feeling like they failed. I understand that “passing” for the USMLE is set at about 60% correct, which would account for some of that feeling. I don’t know what the equivalent is for the COMLEX.

My landlord says that in 11 years of renting to 5 students a year, he has heard “I think I failed” from every one, and only one who had to retake and she passed no trouble second time.

Why it takes 4 weeks is I understand it has to be normed with everyone who takes it the same month, so they have to wait till everyone that month has taken it.


so i do not know about you kate but i had my first official “holy crap i failed the darn COMLEX” last night

i was in full blown tears freaking out i was going to be pulled off rotations and everything.

relooked at my COMSAE analysis and had a few more borderline than i would have liked but my overall score was good as well as having COMBANK scores that were solid and rising so i am trying not to freak out too much.

of course i would like around a 500 but honestly if i get 401 i will be happy as long as i do not have to retake the darn thing.

how you hanging in there??

I’m hanging in there. Will live with the suspense. Hoping it is just the “everyone feels like they failed”. YOu mentioned taking USMLE in December - can one really take it that late? I may start thinking about that. Then if I got a, as you say , 401, that would be a way to show that I had made improvement.

So, as I will be starting orientation next week and then rotations, I think I will try for 2-3 hours of study a night. Whatever I need to do for for rotations and then review. Maybe that’s unrealistic - have to see how my schedule is. I know I don’t have to be there till 8:30 and it’s about a 30 minute drive - going to leave at 7:30 to start out with till I’m comfortable with finding it and know I will be on time


from what i understand from the older students in our class, there are a few basic rules to taking the USMLE:

  1. do not take it unless you will at least pass or do fairly well

  2. do not take it and not report your score (they will assume you failed)

  3. you just have to take it sometime before you submit ERAS which will be in June of 3rd year so there is absolutely no rule that we HAVE to take it in June. in fact i know someone who did not do so well the first time and just retook it in january

Thanks for the info, Becky!



how are you handling the waiting??

i am kind of glad i am on surgery becuase i do not have too much time to think about it but at the same time i just want to know that i passed.

i am already stircrazy to figure out my score and we have not even begun our wait i fear.

how goes your clinical rotations?? what are you on? anything interesting to share with the class??

Hi! I’m TRYING not to go crazy with waiting. Am on Family Med 1 for 8 weeks and have really liked it this week. However, every time the doctor “pimps” me I have not known the answer …even if I know the answer! It’s like my mind goes blank. I commented today that I was batting “zero” and he said “well, that’s the point. I remember the stuff people asked me that I didn’t know MUCH better than something that I just studied. Because if you miss it once, then you really study it and know it”. Coming home and reading up on stuff: this week - vaccination schedules for WV, MS, anticholinergics for neurogenic bladder, the AUA (american urological association)'s BPH questionaire to evaluate for urinary dysfunction secondary to enlarged prostate (you use it after initiating treatment too to guage effectiveness), treatment for warts, prednisone dosing for poison ivy (HUGE poison ivy outbreak due to so many trees down from the east coast storm so lots of folks cutting up brush). Lots of chronic pain management at this clinic too so will be looking into that this weekend. Have a 1/2 day clinic this Saturday.

The doc pretty much lets me go in and get the history and do the physical, then I go report on the patient and tell him what I think is wrong (ie, diagnosis) and what I think we should do for him or her.

Lesson for the week - caught a grade I/VI murmur in an older women, and missed a grade II/VI much louder systolic murmur in a 9 year old…because I had a preconcieved notion that since he was in for vaccinations I guess I expected him to be well. What I filed away to tell myself is: don’t do your PE with preconcieved notions - do a thorough assessment of each aspect you are checking. Other screwups mainly involve things I left out of the exam or of my report to the doctor but am getting into a routine that will help me be more consistant with both.

Quite a bit of mental illness being seen in the clinic -not necessarily presenting with that chief complaint but undeniably present.

How is surgery??



i am with ya on the mind blank thing. the other day i got pimped and used an equally correct word but not the word my senior resident was looking for so i had to go look it up.

i started in june with ortho which i actually loved much to my surprise but i had a great preceptor who was wonderful. all i can say from that is that cortisone shots are harder than they look and i never want to break something to the point where it requires any sort of rod anywhere in my body.

i have survived one week of gen surg so far. lots of lap choles. figured out today that i am latex contact allergic - you should see my poor hands they are red and peeling and not very pretty they started peeling last week thursday.

i had bumps when i was on ortho but i had needed an iron infusion so was steroided out for that because i am allergic to whatever they compound the iron with and then the bumps disappeared then i had a mobilliform rash butu i had that everywhere on my stomach and breasts from an infusion reaction so we thought it was due to that. then my hand started peeling. i moisturized the heck out of them over the weekend and they looked better but were still not 100% by yesterday then after one day back in the surgical suite they looked awful.

the thing s i had no clue.

i get a minor contact rash if i wear a band aid for like 5-6 days but i always chalked it up to skin irritation from the fact that i was wearing a band aid for 5-6 days and never thought of a latex allergy. the only thing me and my pcp figured is that it was not as bad as it would have been because i was on steroids the week prior. scary huh?

so my lesson to you before you enter surgery is that if you break out at all from band aids ask for the latex free gloves!!

also yesterday they released scores through the 7th, which was the following 2 weeks post last release date so i think we will be on the next release date (or at least i hope we will). so i am hoping maybe monday. my heart skips a beat every time i check my school email as i heard through the grapevine (so taken with the appropriate grain of salt) that the school knows who passed/failed a few days before we see the scores so i am literally almost holding my breath each day when i check my email - even though i am fairly certain i at least passed. i think part of me will have that panic reaction until i know for 100%.

apologies for the ramble - see what lack of sleep in surgery does to you.



that feels like a millions bucks!!!


okay kate you can obsessively check your score now!!

Congrats!!! I am just starting 2nd year and am starting to obsess about how I should prepare.


Becky - I checked earlier today and it wasn’t up. Maybe I’ll venture back tonight.

GIgantic congrats!!!


Yay!!! I passed!!

I guess I can start breathing again