For all you not-senior students of SJSM you will love MD4. The schedule is a bit relaxed and we have time to sleep and study for the tests. We have 4 tests but 2 of them are from one class. We have PDI tests with one that is multiple-choice where we take it like any other tests and the other one is practical one where we perform physical exams on a patient. The patient is actually another classmate we choose to be our partner. The other tests are Epidemiology and Systemic Pathology (Pathology II).
The schedule is great as well, on the week of the test, on that Thursday we have the multiple-choice test for PDI, and on the following day, a Friday, we have the practical for PDI. On Friday everyone is assigned a certain time of the day to show up to be tested; we have 20 minutes to get tested per pair. The weekend is the time to study and on the following Monday we have Systemic Pathology and Epidemiology tests. Therefore, on Thursday we have the PDI theory exam at 8 AM, on Friday we have the PDI practical exam on our given schedule, on Monday we have System Pathology II at 10 AM and then we have Epidemiology at 2 PM. So yeah that’s the schedule for MD test.
As in terms of difficulty, I would say it’s a bit better than MD3 because now we have only 3 subjects instead of 5 subjects to study for. The subjects are not easy though, they are still difficult but studying for them is more relaxed now. Therefore, we have more time in our hands to learn the material well. Some people are actually taking the extra time to start studying for Step 1.
One of the students of MD4 got in contact with the SJSM students who is in AICM; so far we got an idea of how AICM is going to be. The schedule shows that we are basically in the front lines of clinical treatments in the hospital because we will be watching everything live. The schedule is something like this:
9 AM – 1 PM USMLE Step 1 Review – First Aid Book is the outlines
1PM – 2 PM BREAK
2 PM – 8 PM Rotations
And we get 2 on-call shifts during the week. That means we cannot leave the hospital and we get called anytime of the day, even at 3 AM in the morning. I heard we have to sleep in the doctor’s lounge when we want to sleep, but it’s not going to be the regular 8 hours of sleep I guarantee you that. So overall we’re getting a little taste of residency but without getting involved.
Dress Code I don’t know about the girls but for the guys we have to wear dress shirt and tie, basically the whole formal wear. And we have to wear it 5 days a week. The only time we wear scrubs is during our on-call shifts.
The schedule looks pretty intense since it looks as if we’re in the hospital all day. Someone also said that you have rotation only 8 weeks out of the 16 weeks but I could be wrong. However, if that’s the case then I’ll have time to study for USMLE Step 1 in the 8 weeks when I don’t have rotations. I’ll be honest I cannot study in the classroom with an instructor lecturing me. I have to sit down in a silent room with a book and read the materials myself.
One thing I’m happy about is, these 16 weeks counts for the 96 weeks of rotations we have to complete in order to get our MD degree from SJSM. And when we review for USMLE Step 1, it counts for our rotation weeks, which is just great. Although, I’m not too excited about staying in Chicago, because I heard during the months of January to mid-March the weather is pretty bad. Chicago gets a lot of snow during those months. My Canadian classmates won’t have a problem though since they’re used to the snow and cold but I’m from a Southern state where snow comes one time every 3 years. And in the South if we even get one inch of snow all our schools close, but in Chicago one inch of snow is like rain drops. Go figure, it’s all good, let’s see how it goes.
I found PDI videos for those who are getting ready to go into clinicals. I’m taking PDI class right now in MD4 and the video below covers what we are currently discussing in class. These videos are very helpful because there are so many students in class and the instructor cannot give attention to all of us.
Topics Covered – Palpation of the Back – Costal Vertebral Tenderness – Posterior Chest Excursion – Speaking “99” to feel the Vibration for tactile fremitus – Percussion: Tympani, Resonance, Dullness, Flatness – Auscultation/Inspections of the Lungs