Entries by Dr. Stephen Franco

How Developing a Sixth Sense Can Add a Lot of Points to Your USMLE Step 2 CK Score

As I sat there, I knew something had to change. While I had done well on my shelf exams, and knew my stuff, my first NBME score was nowhere near the average for internal medicine. Worse yet, when I looked over my exam I realized that the mistakes I made were stupid and not even […]

The Greatest Discovery in Learning History, and You’ve Probably Never Even Heard About It

It’s ironic, the post-bacc class that had the least to do with medicine ended up being the most relevant to medical school. That class was called Learning Strategies, and it began with a graph, with memory on the Y axis and time on the X axis. What it showed was if you do not review […]

The Limits of Human Intellect: How Reading Less UWorld Can Get You a Higher Score on USMLE Step 2: CK

It was the 1970s, and along with Disney World opening and the Dolphins going undefeated, a machine was invented that would change the face of medicine forever. This machine was the MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine. While this would go on to be one of the greatest things to happen to medicine, there was […]

To Push Back or Not to Push Back Your Step 2 CK Exam Date: That Is the Question

So you booked your USMLE, you’ve been studying using the top resources, and you think you might be making progress, but then this silly guy named Dr. Steve comes around and gives you this great method *cough humblebrag cough* and you’re wondering what to do. To answer this, we have to think about why we […]

The Method to My Madness: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love USMLE Step 2 CK

Okay, so you now know my story (awful college student who climbed to the top of his medical school class by using odd but effective tactics); you know why the USMLE Step 2 CK should be treated as just as important as the USMLE Step 1 exam for residency (has greatest correlation with board pass […]

You’re Likely Using USMLE World for Step 2 CK Wrong, and It’s Costing You a Lot of Points

At this point, it’s pretty darn unanimous that USMLE World is the best question bank out there, and for good reason. It has realistic questions, it’s updated constantly, and it has detailed answers that cover a large breadth of information. For this reason, people often correlate higher UWorld %s with higher USMLE scores and do […]

The Most Important Resource for USMLE Exams… and No, It’s Not USMLE World

So, you booked your USMLE exam, and you have your resources that everyone has told you are the best: a book that covers the information and a Qbank that is just like the test with high-yield explanations. As you start reading the book, you realize there is a ton of stuff you don’t know, and […]

USMLE Step 1 vs. Step 2 CK: Which Matters More, and How Are They Different?

I’ve heard it many, many times: “Study the most for USMLE Step 1, it is the most important exam of your life.” Reading through forums, blogs, and listening to advisors, I came to the early conclusion that Step 2 CK was easier and less important than Step 1. That is, until the program director of […]

Started From the Bottom: The Uncommon Things I Learned Going From the Bottom of My College Class to the Top of My Medical School

In college, I was a scholastic disaster. I had a science GPA below 3.0 and an MCAT in the mid 20s. I applied to an overseas medical school and was put in a post-bacc program, with entrance contingent on receiving a 3.5 GPA on five nearly medical school level classes. Fast-forward to the end of medical […]