The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) is responsible for the licensure exams including Steps I and II of the USMLE. These exams are ripping medical students new assholes on a semi-regular basis.
Steps I and II Clinical Knowledge (CK)
Step I and II (Step II CK) are multiple choice exams that cover information learned in medical school. Step I deals with the first two years while Step II has a more clinically-oriented approach to questions. The cost of each exam is $455. This doesn’t include any of your typical study materials such as review books, question databases, or courses.
Now, these exams are typically taken at a Prometric testing center. This is the exact same testing center where you can take your CompTIA A+ Certification Exam for $158.
Now, what’s with the big discrepancy? You’re using the exact same testing facility, with the exact same computers, and the exact same proctor. Yet, taking Step I or II CK costs you $297 more.
What’s so cool about saving somebody’s life? Can’t you just call 911 like everybody else does?
Is it some popularity contest, just like you had in high school? Do you tell your friends and neighbors about your medical school experience with pride?
Do you feel like you’ll get more pussy at the bars if you tell them that you’re a medical student? I used to think that, but the pussy was as frequent as before my acceptance.
Does your wife or husband realize that you’ll be working like a slave to uphold some underground celebrity status that nobody else knows about?
I don’t know. Do you?
I know I’ve got a link to Hours Watch over to the right, but I thought I’d post this here so you’ll have a better chance at getting over there.
From their About page:
“Hours Watch is dedicated to ending excessive work hours for medical residents, and finding solutions that enhance patient care and residency education. Hours watch is jointly sponsored by the Committee of Interns and Residents, and the American Medical Student Association, organizations that have led the fight to reduce unsafe and unhealthy overwork of medical trainees.”
I really like what they’re doing and I 100% support the cause.
Head over and check it out.
I think one of the mistakes that I made when deciding to go to medical school was that I really didn’t know what to expect. I did the volunteer thing, I worked in hospitals, I transported patients, and I tried to shadow physicians as much as possible.
One thing was different, though. At the end of my “shift”, I went home. I didn’t really get to see what it was like to be a physician. At least not until I was junior medical student. It all became pretty clear at that point.
You need to realize that medicine isn’t simply a job. For the most part, it’s a lifestyle. You need to be ready to accept that if you plan on seriously pursuing medicine. Simply put, I wasn’t ready to give up my life for that.
With the exception of very few specialties, you’ll have to field pagers and phone calls after your normal work day is over. You’ll sacrifice weekends to round on patients that were admitted to the hospital, and you’ll have to get up out of bed at some ungodly hour to take care of someone no matter how tired you are.
Ask yourself if that’s where you want to be in 20 or 30 years, because unless you get really lucky you’ll still need that paycheck at the end of the month. If you love what you’re doing, it’s icing on the cake. But remember that even too much cake will get very old after many long, hard years.