Saturday, June 25, 2005

Two Days Before Step 1

I'm glad I put in this much work; it's one reason I feel calm about the upcoming test, putting in everything I had for this time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

bald 1

bald 1
Originally uploaded by jks184.
Advantages of being bald - less shampoo, no need to dry hair, no need for a comb.

bald 2

bald 2
Originally uploaded by jks184.
I lost about 2 pounds of hair since the previous picture.

Monday, June 20, 2005

my life right now

Originally uploaded by jks184.
Laying on a bench in the quad, with my full beard, and using my bookbag as a pillow, the only thing distinguishing me from a bum was reading my pathology flashcards.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sensitivity, Specificity, Positive Predictive Value, Negative Predictive Value

Go across for the PPV and NPV formulas; go down for the sensitivity and specificity formulas.




Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Silicosis is a nodular fibrosis of the lungs. Its typically found in people exposed to free silica (SiO2) in their working areas, such as mining or stonecutting. Patients develop a progressive fibrosis of their lungs based on their exposure, and the disease can be fatal within two years. Silicosis has a wide range of presentation. Acute silicosis has profuse miliary infiltration or consolidation. Milder silicosis show small opacities and possible coalescence. The hilar nodes are the lymph nodes of the lungs, and they may become calcified. Hilar lymph nodes with an "egg shell" appearance are a classic presentation of silicosis on radiographs. The pulmonary nodules of silicosis, which are found in the upper lobes of the lungs, may lead to progressive massive fibrosis and subsequent restrictive and obstructive lung disease. This may lead to ventilatory failure. Patients with silicosis are more prone to develop Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and other atypical mycobacterial infections.(1)
Even ten to thirty years after exposure, silicosis can be asymptomatic. Patients can present with dyspnea, cough, or sputum production. Chest radiographs show small pulmonary nodules, from 1 mm to 10 mm, in the upper lobes of the lungs. Silicosis' complications include with lung cancer, chronic respiratory failure, and cor pulmonale. Patients should be treated for tuberculosis infections and other lung ailments. Other than for severe cases, prognosis is generally good for silicosis with possible mild respiratory symptoms.(2)

Medical Student Report
(1) Harrison's Online
(2) Hanley Pulmonology
McGraw-Hill's AccessMedicine

Monday, June 13, 2005

BRS Biochemistry

BRS Biochemistry provides excellent diagrams explaining processes. Most of the book is in an outline format of the major pathways. The endocrine chapter seems to be covered in several other books. The last chapter on biochemical abnormalities provides a good summary of biochemical pathology. The clinical correlation at the end of each chapter provides excellent material for board review, and it may be the only important parts of this book for a person with a strong understanding of biochemistry. This book would be great to have during the course since it does provide sufficient detail.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

BRS Behavioral Science

At 260 pages, this is an easy read in two days. The tables covering physician and patient interaction are excellent. Some chapters are very good at covering other aspects of reviewing, such as the chapter on psychiatric medications. Much of this book is related to psychiatry.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Higher Student Loan Interest Rates for 2005

Effective July 1, 2005, student loans dispersed on or after 1998 will have an interest rate of 4.7% during school and 5.30% during repayment. Rates have increased significantly since last year's rate of 2.87%. If you still have the option of consolidating previous student loans at low rate, now is the time to consolidate outstanding debt at one low rate. This can reduce your interest payments and monthly payments. However, payingreduced monthly payments over a longer repayment time can cause increased interest payments overall. Online calculators for repayment and consolidation are available from lenders.

BRS Pharmacology

This is a difficult book to read during USMLE Step 1 review. Its very condensed, yet still maintains to be 428 pages long. It presents drugs basically in a list guideline format, and their descriptions are basic. A better resource would be a combination of First Aid's pharmacology section and PharmCards.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Reviewing Qbank

Use First Aid to take notes while going over a Qbank test section. It's absolutely amazing how many questions can be answered from facts in First Aid for the USMLE Step 1.

Levinson & Jawetz : Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Although the sections on the pathogens may be too extensive for USMLE review, the introductory sections on virology and bacteriology are important to review. The 70 pages on immunology are excellent and concise, especially the hypersensitivity and immunodeficiency sections. The best part of this book is the Brief Summaries of Medically Important Organisms.