Doctors are highly motivated to be effective in their professional life but maintaining a balance with their personal lives is a challenge for all of us. How you maintain this balance will ultimately determine not only your success but also your happiness. I have noted that occasionally I feel discouraged about various aspects of medical care such as the vast amount of paper work that I must complete in order to care for my patients or the continued decrease in reimbursements that we are all experiencing. When I meet with my colleagues, I know that many are experiencing the same feelings about their practices. I get very discouraged when I hear doctors talking about leaving practice when they should be at the most productive and enjoyable aspects of their career, or when they state that they wouldn’t recommend their children or family to enter the medical profession.
When did you start preparing for boards?
My initial approach to passing Boards Part I was to do as well as possible in the classes that covered the material in the first place. Therefore, when I went to study I was filling in knowledge gaps rather than teaching myself entire subjects. I studied a lot more as boards approached, but the studying I did in the months before the exam built on a 2-year academic foundation. At NYCPM, our second year runs through the summer which allows us to take more time off before the boards in the Spring of our second year. I studied about 2-4 hours a day for approximately 3 months prior to the board exam. In the three weeks prior to the exam I logged closer to 4-8 hours a day.
Choosing externships may seem overwhelming at times, but there are a couple things you can keep in mind to help guide your selection. Often the first step is to decide what type of program(s) you may be interested in and whether you are bound to a certain location. Other things to consider are individual program requirements, expenses, and how many places you should be going.