For the New Students of Fall 2010 Semester

The new semester is approaching and by now new students should already have turned in all the papers to the Chicago office, no exceptions. If you haven’t turned in all your immigration papers already to the Chicago office, then expect immigration approval delays or other issues on Bonaire. Chicago representatives may tell you that it’s ok after you turn in your papers after their deadline, but we’re students in Bonaire, and we know the hell that our classmates have to go through because they were late.

One of my friends didn’t make any calls or did not contact anyone in Bonaire; he just showed up and he suffered a lot. I have made a check list of all the things you should consider for the first two weeks of Bonaire.

1. Book your airline tickets now, try making it on a Sunday. On Fridays you have limited time to go around because most places are closed in the weekends, especially all the Banks.

2. Book you hotel room. It’s urgent that you reserve your hotel room. Don’t ever expect for a vacant hotel room. Remember you will be coming in the same time as other MD students and tourists so those rooms will go by fast. I personally recommend Divi Flamingo Hotel because I stayed there and I loved it.

3. Most flights from USA/Canada arrive in the weekends so get enough personal items to last for the weekend. For example, small tooth paste, snacks, etc. Eating out, is very expensive so keep that in mind.

4. Get yourself an unlocked quad-band GSM phone, trust me you will need it. A quad-band is like the Motorola RAZR or the Apple iPhone.

5. On Monday morning get a pre-paid Digicel or a Chippi GSM card and load it up on your cell phone.

6. On Monday morning or anytime during the week, come and stop by the student lounge. You will meet current students and new MD students from your class. Trust me, unless you’ve came to Bonaire before, you will not know your way.

7. And about the housing issue, don’t waste your time or money calling landlords from USA/Canada. First come to the island and then call them because they will not take you seriously unless you are on the island.

Updated (8-17-10) : No SGA members will be on the island during the break so no rides will be available.  Also, they didn’t get the funding to rent cars and pay for gas.

Doctors In Training USMLE Step 1 Review

Ok so I got a glimpse of what DIT is all about.  I saw some of the video tutorial and honestly I don’t think it’s all that.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s very helpful, but at the same time you definitely need other sources to study for the USMLE Step 1.

What is Doctors In Training
Doctors In Training (DIT) is basically another review course for the USMLE Step 1.  It’s headed by a young doctor, Dr. Brian Jenkins, he is the one who started the training course.  DIT is taken mostly by American Medical Students of Texas, because that’s where it was started.  DIT is obviously not as big as Kaplan Review or Falcon Review, in terms of enrollment but based on students who took the course, it’s effective. 

What Makes DIT Different from Other USMLE Step 1 Review Courses?
Dr. Jenkins, in the video, goes through the USMLE Step 1 First Aid Kit book.  He goes through explaining the concepts and what the student doctors need to focus on.  DIT also includes weekly emails containing quizzes based on what was taught.  I’m not familiar with that so I can’t comment about the quizzes.

My Opinion
No doubt that USMLE Step 1 First Aid Kit is the first choice for a guide to studying for the USMLE Step 1, but only with other supplement sources.  I recommend you sign up with DIT if you want an easier way to go through First Aid; you should go over the book several times before jumping in to QBank questions.  I’m in contact with a 4th year student from SJSM aka Dr.Bill; he is also the author of the blog USMLE First Aid.

The Less Resident Doctors Sleep the More their Patients Suffer

I’m kind of uneasy about residency. Residents have to put in 80 hours of work per week along with little pay. I’m not that caring about the money but I cannot go by the day without at least 5 hours of sleep and a cup of strong coffee. Fortunately medical organizations see the danger behind it and they understand that this could harm not only the doctor but the patient who is being treated.

The following video sums it up: