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Residency first step - TOKEN and Eras

- Saturday, August 20, 2016 230 Comments
So i will try to keep everyone updated with everything on residency; in order to get updates on just residency you can subscribe to this blog  http://medsturesidency.blogspot.ca/

So first step is getting a TOKEN

You can obtain a token from oasis (www.ecfmg.org)  and after you login to oasis
you can go to Eras Support Services (bottom button the right hand menu) and apply for a token..

The Token Cost around $150 dollars.

Next step is to go to https://students-residents.aamc.org/  (aamc.org website)

and going under residency where you can go to My Eras  and use your token to register under my eras

Residency Application

- Wednesday, August 17, 2016 21 Comments
Before anything I want to say, I'm using gofundme as my last resource and am extremely grateful to everyone reading this. 

Most of the people know me by my Alias, MedstuLife. I have always used an alias so I can blog (My Blog )and write what is important to the future and current students without any external pressure. 

My Story, well I have been in medical school for approx. 5 years, to this day I can't believe I came this far, but it honestly took tremendous hard work and dedicated. I took time off twice during those 5 years to financially stabilize myself and move forward to reach this point. Last year I could not fully apply and told myself I will work really hard and save up to fully apply next year. 

But things don't always go as you plan, no matter how hard you push. So Even though currently I'm pretty much working two full-time jobs, with trying to tutor students wherever time allows me, I am still running short on money to be able to fully apply to residency.  I already wasted a year working towards this, but with so many loans, interest, and minimum payments I couldn't save up to achieve my goal and as a last resort, I am starting this 'Go Fund Me' campaign because I want a chance to be able to fully apply for residency. I have worked so hard to reach this point and now I can't cross the finish line since I don't have the financial means to apply.

My Goal has always been to support/help as many people as possible through my blog or in person, and that's why I chose to be a physician as well so I can always make a difference in my community and society. It has always been the people, I interacted with along the way that have pushed me to come this far, and as a final push I need all the help I can get. 

So please consider helping me in completing my journey as a medical student, reaching my endeavors. I will be using the funds to finance the cost of researching residency programs, filling application and Applying to residency spots. 

More importantly, if you can help me with residency, getting an interview, advice or suggestion please feel free to get in touch or leave any contact info for me to reach out to you. Any possible help is greatly appreciated. 

I am and will always be forever grateful for the immense support and trust placed in me by reading my blog, asking me any questions and with my replies. As a way of saying Thank You, I will try to set up a personal interview for any donator who wishes to ask for any advice or guide for anything along their own 'Journey Towards a medical degree'.

Please help, follow and share the campaign

A humble blogger,

Studying during med school || Mistakes || whats Missing || USMLE Step 1 / 2

- Saturday, January 9, 2016 18 Comments
We came come to med school with the ambition and hope that we will be better than the others, we will do our best and achieve our goal of medical of a doctor. With hard work and true dedication that is possible, but the amount of material to be covered through medical school can be excessive for some people and we all fall into the same mistakes here and there.

Since i have been Tutoring for some time now I noticed three common mistakes amongst all my students.

  • Re-reading without focusing on weak point
    • We have so many books to read Kaplan, First Aid, Master the boards etc etc
    • Reading the material again and again is a good way to be familiarize yourself with the topic BUT unless you are also focusing on what you missed from the last read, its pointless to read what you already know again and again.
    • To Counter this I recommend having a study partner or someone senior to study with, Tutoring really helps with this step, someone to go over with you and fill in the blanks in your knowledge can help you really shine and score high on the exams
  • Burn out
    • A lot of students don't take proper breaks, causing them to burn out
    • Have a day in the week for yourself, where you can let your brain and body relax. 
    • Studying everyday is great, but if you are bored of life, then you can't start everyday with the same focus, motivation as you would after taking a day off.
  • Rushing to meet deadlines
    • We all set deadlines, which is awesome and how studying should be done, but some of us, skip topics or don't pay the right amount of attention to the topic at hand just so they can finish the desired topic on time; on schedule. 
    • This is detrimental, because you end up spending more time coming back and restudying the topic
    • The easy solution is to give yourself enough time for each subject be honest with yourself; and if required re-schedule than skipping.

Study plan for Usmle step 1

- Monday, January 4, 2016 37 Comments
Study plan

What it all boils down to.

This is not exactly my study plan, it's something I learned after trying many times and finally was able to finalize this with the help of my friends.

My studying was divided into 3 parts:

 --- 1st part --

Kaplan videos + books -  Focus on kaplan and not on memorizing but on understanding the material; really know the material and i would recommend not making many notes but rather just understanding everything. Many times we hinder our studies by going back again and again cause we feel like we have forgotten the material, don't do that, just focus on studying the material and getting through it while understanding everything.
Take first NBME

-- 2nd part -- 
Review subject wise + Qbank. I would recommend first aid, and study subject wise. So the process would be to study 1 subject from first aid, and where you feel like you are weak in the subject go back to the kaplan books to study the material, and do the uworld questions with the subject. This way you are giving that particular subject your 100% undivided attention without having an anxiety attack every time a random Question is asked about a subject you haven't fully studied. At this point you also start memorizing few things so the third time you come back to it you can fully memorize it.
Take 2nd NBME

----3rd part----
First Aid + UWORLD. So this is the final step, you only thing you are doing is reading the first aid again and agian till you have internalized it fully and accompanying that with uworld. You keep revising and pushing yourself, and taking nbme to give you a good idea of your progress.

You have to do first + uworld till you reach your desire goal. and don't have a small review schedule, so you don't forget small details.

I would also recommend Doctors In Training videos at this point.

Which videos/Programs to watch? for step 1

- Sunday, December 27, 2015 12 Comments
The video series that should be focused on and will stand out above the others. I will list them in order of importance

KAPLAN VIDEOS:  its a must must for almost all the medical students; though it depends on the students how they watch it, I would recommend not watching Pathology because PATHOMA really covers it well, so it's not needed. But for the rest Kaplan videos are really useful for understanding the basics and knowing how things work.
My recommendation: i know they are boring so you can watch it at 1.25x speed, thats how it did it, and many others but only if it doesn't compromise the understanding.

Pathoma: like I mentioned before there is no other series that come even close to explaining pathology as well as Pathoma does. Study the video while reading the book along and you should be ready for pathology for step 1.

Doctor In Training: DIT is not for everyone, but it really really helps some people out. You should utilize them after you have reached your goal for usmle step 1 score and your exam is in less than a month, this way you can really bring all the material together in a small amount of time, I would do them in 2 weeks, this way you can have everything at your finger tips. DIT program really helps you score 10-15 point higher on the exam, so many people recommend it, but its not for everyone. 

Qbank for step 1

- Monday, December 14, 2015 18 Comments
There are 3 main type of Q banks known, i will list them and discuss them in order of important.

USMLE WORLD: Honestly this is all you need 

  • Very similar to the real exam 
  • Challenging questions to really test your knowledge of the material with good explanations to help you understand the concepts
Most people see the Q bank as a way to test their knowledge, but this is the wrong approach; you should be using Q bank as you would be using a book as a study material. There is so much more information that will be tested on the exam, its up to date and will add to your knowledge from the text books. 

What I recommend and this is something i learned from a good friend, you should do the Qbank subject wise, reading on the material and then going subject wise so you can really focus on the subject, fill in the blanks in your knowledge and go back and forth with the learning process. 
You must do usmle world atleast 2-3 times, make sure to absorb all the material and take your time the first time, so you don't have a problem with knowing the question and missing out on the knowledge, the 2nd or third time around. 

KAPLAN: I am not 100% sure about this Q bank because I didn't really use it; but from friends who did use it, the most benefit comes while doing the Kaplan books, cause you can really focus on the subject and I would suggest again doing it subject wise and really focusing on 1 subject at a time and knowing the material 100% .

USMLERx: In my personal opinion i would use usmlerx over other Qbanks because it does provide really good graphs and detail explanations, and it provides reference to pages on different books so if you need more info, you can always go and read about the whole topic itself. I really recommend this Qbank if you want to do something initially before USMLE WORLD.

via http://step1exp.blogspot.om

What do i Think about Step 1 || USMLE STEP 1

- Monday, December 7, 2015 13 Comments
I will be discussing step 1 in detail for updates and discussion follow on http://step1exp.blogspot.com

Step 1 is different than many other exam anyone would have taken in medical school or throughout their education. There is a flow to the process, which I believe all students go through.

  1. Understand all the material really well, be able to explain it to yourself and others
  2. Memorize the important things, especially the high yield material know them extremely well
  3. Know how the questions will be asked regarding the subject so when they are presented to you, material can be recall easily
This is the formula that most people use, obviously not everyone is the same, some people have amazing memory and will completely skip part 2. 

I will discuss what material and how i used them in other post

My thoughts on Caribbean medical schools || Why Saint James school of medicine || Caribbean medical school

- Thursday, December 3, 2015 37 Comments
I see a lot of people either complaining about it or really speaking highly of it, but what is the real deal, is it even worth going to the caribbean? paying all this money? 

So even though i haven't obtained a residency yet, i do believe my thoughts are of a positive nature. The way i see caribbean schools are an oppurtunity, its one of the biggest life altering decision that you can make but it can also be one of the most fruitful one. 

Throughout my journey if i am being honest, i don't think caribbean schools (not talking about the top 4) compare anything to the real medical school, you won't be taught in the same manner, won't be pushed in the same manner. There is alot of self learning, its all on you how much you really want to push yourself to achieve something to learn more. With kaplan, first aid, etc etc so many companies out there having great study material, you can study the basic science basically on your own. It all comes down to applying yourself, though it doesn't work for everyone; through my medical school career if im being honest there were a good amount of people who dropped out, some couldn't take the caribbean lifestyle, some could handle the pressure, while others just couldn't survive; its all part of this career. Medicine can be one of the most rewarding career, but you must work hard to get there. What caribbean schools give you is a great oppurtunity to fully apply yourself give it all you got, and get the materials, research apply your skills and bring them to a whole new level, not everyone will be able to avail this oppurtunity and its sad but not all the students make it, but i know the ones that keep working hard and keep going no matter what they come out as a MD on the other side. 

When i started med school i was really lost, honestly i had no idea about so many things and you learn most things along the way, but one of the main reason i started tutoring was cause i wish someone was there on the other side who told me about certain do and don't; was honest with me and cared about my success as much as i do. 

Why St. James school of medicine
Why i would say SJSM, because of experience, SJSM has been around for almost 15 years, with so many students in residency (some of my friends too) this really benefits you in the long run. When applying for residency if the programs have heard about your school or even better have students that did their residency in their program, there is a high probably they will give you an interview, this is where alot of new schools suffer but they are fairly new people haven't heard about them which causes problems when applying.  Tuition is alot more affordable compare to many other schools; and another great quality is there is no wait in order to start your clinical rotations; as soon as you are done you can set up your clinical rotations almost in all cases. 

But i do admit, SJSM can improve in certain sections and i really wish our rotations were more spread out especially in hospitals which offer residency programs especially residency programs with J1 visa; because during clinicals is a real time to shine, to show your skills, it gives you a high chance to obtaining a interview and residency at that hospital.

With growing campuses and students, and SJSM having many weekly seminar all around North America, i know people have alot of questions; please feel free to ask them at medstulife@gmail.com



- Monday, November 30, 2015 16 Comments

This is something I have been wanting to do for a while, but due to time constraints it was not possible. Now after step 1 and step 2; it has become possible to pass on the knowledge to other fellow students. There are many reasons which I believe tutoring is really important for students, especially Caribbean students.

As I mentioned before and ill talk about it again in a bit of detail about Caribbean lifestyle. What Caribbean schools are basically an opportunity to become a doctor, but this opportunity doesn't  come with everyone served on the plate to you; there is a lot of hard work involved but many times students don't get the same return as they put it. It doesn't have to do with their abilities but rather not proper guidance. Medical school in the US and Canada have proper guidelines, guidance counsellors that help them reach their academic goal, where as even IMG's abroad have experience or guidelines they have developed with the help of previous students. This is where the Caribbean students suffer, there are many new schools and there is a disconnection between the island life and clinical rotations life, everyone is moving at a different pace where as student in other places have similar timelines. 

This makes tutoring so critical, EVERYONE need a small guidelines, a nudge in the right direction, you need to be sure what you are studying is the proper material, it will be tested and you are understanding it the way it's meant to be understood. Keeping everything in mind I am offering my services as a Tutor, with experience during basic sciences, I believe I can provide critical help to every student. 

I have made different options available which I am confident will entail all the students, if there are other ways, that is more comfortable for you, feel free to message me and we can talk about it in detail. 

But for sure have a look at http://www.medstututors.com/   , take some opportunity to be sure about your academic's.  

"Blog divisions" || Saint James School of Medicine || Caribbean Medical schools || USMLE

- Wednesday, November 18, 2015 379 Comments

So since completing med school is a journey and the questions I get are pertaining to different steps im going to divide up posts, almost all post (99%) will still be posted here but if you wanted a specific category that you are focusing on with your journey, you will be able to go to specific blog. 

Update: USMLE steps, Caribbean medical school, Residency; Caribbean students are not represented properly

- Sunday, November 15, 2015 7 Comments


Hi Everyone,

I realize it’s been a really long time since I posted, and I apologize for that, well I am going to take this post to update everything and bring everyone up to speed. So while I was away these were the things I was able to accomplish

Approved States

- Monday, August 25, 2014 31 Comments
So one of the most asked Question before and after starting Med school (with sjsm or other most other Caribbean school) which state can i obtain residency in. So this is the recent information that I obtained From SJSM hope it helps everyone

Clinicals - ELECTIVES

- Saturday, August 9, 2014 7 Comments
Regarding ELECTIVES i was given a big list so i decided to post it here for everyone information so they can get upto date information on where SJSM can set up elective rotations for their students, off course with electives you are able to set up your own rotation just make sure you can confirm with the school which states you can do electives in.

Amount of Electives required (48week - 16 week from AICM) - 32 Week (8 months)
Most of the elective rotations being 1 month

Residents Salary & Debt Report 2014

- Wednesday, August 6, 2014 451 Comments
So I just came across this really nice data presented by medscape on residents salary and debt. Debt being a big part of medical school for the most of us, I think salary is what everyone looks forward to. you can view the full report on

Residents Salary & Debt Report 2014

Chrome Nanny?

- Saturday, August 2, 2014 13 Comments
I don't know about everyone else, but I tend to just scroll through websites (ahem ahem facebook) sometimes and before you know it so much time is confused, i also don't want to stop using it all together so I found this small gadget/Addon for chrome its called Chrome Nanny, I have provided the link below hopefully it helps you out

Chrome Nanny


Med Study Tools

Life After step 1

- Saturday, July 19, 2014 108 Comments
So these days i have been busy with doing my clinical rotations at Jackson Park hospital, wow time flies, before you know it feels like step 1 is old news and happened maybe many many years ago.

New Page / New Initiative

- Thursday, July 17, 2014 7 Comments

I'll be starting a new facebook page called Medical Study Tools, and will be posting useful books and other things that i used and other have used in their medical career. Please make sure to like and share


Busy busy busy

- Friday, July 11, 2014 10 Comments
Hey guyz, i know i haven't been posting almost at all, but i have a good reason but been really really busy so many things coming up, its hard to take time off for the blog

Hoping for your prayers and wishes to get through this part of Medical school journey and I will update everyone as soon as i have more time :)