Adventures in Medicine

Medical School and Beyond!

Clincal Prep

on July 6, 2015

Going to a Caribbean Medical School means breaks last for 2-3 weeks at the most, yes that is right there are no summer vacations.  Let me tell you first hand that going to school and studying 80+ hours a weeks 45+ weeks a year is mentally exhausting.  Therefore, a longer break is greatly welcomed and a major one comes at a perfect time…upon the completion of 8 hour intense exam.  While some people might not want to take a long break and just start clinicals immediately a minimum of 4 weeks of waiting must occur.

See it takes 4 weeks to get the USMLE Step 1 score back and from what I have heard scores are only released on Wednesdays.  I really do not understand why it takes so long.  I mean the test is 308 questions and taken on a computer.  I could understand a delay of up to 1 week but really 4?  Unfortunately for me, I must wait longer than 4 weeks to get my results.  4 weeks put me at getting my score on July 1st well, as luck would have it, USMLE is not releasing scores the week of July 4th (1st-7th) therefore here I am still waiting.  They must not understand the amount of stress involved in waiting for a score of such an important exam.  Even more so when there is a gap between passing the exam and being competitive to be able to obtain a residency (passing means you cannot retake the exam).

To avoid having to take a Leave of Absence I must start clinicals by August 14th but cannot get them scheduled until my scores are back to ensure I passed and have the minimum score for the hospital I will be placed at.  In order to help this process along and hopefully be able to start scheduling within a couple of days of getting my results I decided to start  my paper work immediately after taking the exam.

While talking with the Clinical Department of my school in NY I learned I needed:

1.) A health assessment within the past 12 months (the form I received was the exact same as that I had completed before I went to St. Kitts including antibody titers for several diseases prevented with vaccines however I found out if the titers are less than 5 years old they do not to be completed again and your doctor can use the same results…I do not know why the school needs my passport information again as I will be staying in the states for clinicals and not going to St. Kitts…oh well I just filled it in once again)

2.) A PPD test

3.) A national background report

4.) 10 panel drug screen

5.) Color copy of my school ID (my ID expired in May but it did not seem to be a problem…I asked if I needed a new one and if so if they could request one from St. Kitts IT department for me and they never responded)

6.) Passport size photo

7.) OSHA, HIPPA, and infection control training certificate proof (I just scanned in the little HIPPA card I got from Carol and e-mailed it in)

8.) Copy of ACLS certification

9.) Copy of health insurance card

10.) Clinical student information form

11.) Student curriculum vitae (NY told me to google for examples and I should include information from college and beyond but not high school and this includes honors, awards, community service, school involvement but not work unless it was in the medical field).

NY told me that they have a contract with a company 24/7 Drug and Alcohol Testing (24-7dat.com) for the drug test, national background check, and ACLS course that gives use a 10% discount if we go under the medical student tab.  I decided to use them for 2 of the 3 services (I did the drug test at my doctor so that it would be covered by my insurance).  That said I would not recommend this company to anyone in fact I would recommend against them.  I never received a receipt from my background check purchase, the background check report, or the log-in for my the exam for the ACLS course.  Whenever I called the company I never received a call back and just had to keep calling until things changed and I got what I needed.  I might have a lead on a better company for the background check (I will post info if it pans out).  As for the ACLS course the information in the materials link the the company sent was not sufficient to take and pass the exam plus details about the exam on the website was not true

100% Online Courses with No Skills Check Required
For maximum convenience, our course do not require any in-person skills checks, either for certification or recertification. Once you successfully pass the exam for your course, you will be able to download an instant provider card (PDF) and we will mail out your hard copy provider card within 1 business day. If you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, you will 3 free exam retakes so you can study any questions you miss and successfully retake the exam. (http://www.24-7dat.com/ACLS.html)
You are not told what questions you miss, the PDF card says sample on it and does not have a renewal date on it.  As an additional resource I used http://acls-algorithms.com/  It costs 13 dollars for a 2 week subscription and I found it worth it.  I will definitely use it when I need to renew my certification and recommend it to everyone.  The 24/7 DAT course is convenient since you don’t need to go in to test off your skills so if you decide to use it I would strongly suggest to use this site as well you will learn a lot. ***Update: I am still awaiting my card almost 2 weeks later but I did receive a scanned copy via e-mail.***
I have already sent in all my documents to the clinical department (besides my final ACLS certification card copy and score report) and am now just awaiting my scores so I can get scheduled.  However, before I can begin scheduling I need to have all my paperwork in, be cleared by the bursar, and cleared by the registrar that I passed the exam and have my file transferred to the clinical department.
Now I am starting an online Medical Spanish Class through Canopy medical (if you are an AMSA member the price is $180 for 1 year-a 70% discount) to work on at my own pace.  Hopefully, this will pay off and help me in clinicals, residency, and in practice.
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Bek Moody

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