How to Manually Get Cheap AirlIne Tickets for Residency Interviews

Have you heard the phrase “hidden city” ticketing? Most probably not, mainly because airlines are against you know this and it leaves them in loosing money if it was publicized.  The best part of this is that you have the right to do this and the airlines can’t stop you from saving money.

Get Cheap FlightsWhen I book airline tickets I play around the locations of airports to see where can I get the best deals to fly and I noticed a pattern of increasing prices based on big airports departures and arrivals.  These big airports are hubs for connecting flights.  But if you choose a local airport, which isn’t a hub the prices “miraculously” go down.  So the “hidden city” ticketing method was developed by frugal individuals who just didn’t want to pay the increasing airfares that airlines seems to have no problem charging us.  If you have a a lot of residency interviews then this could be a great way to save money while you travel.
Criteria for hidden city ticketing:
1. Must be one-way.
2. Must only have carry-on luggage.
NOTE: It doesn’t always work, and sometimes direct flights can be cheaper than the hidden city ticketing method.
How to do “hidden city” ticketing:
1. Choose an airport of departure.
2. Find the local airport in the same state or close proximity of the connecting hub airport.  Make sure you choose a connecting flights, if the option is there.
3. Choose the local airport.
4. Try to see which ticket will allow you to connect to the city of your actual destination.
Example:
Let’s say you want to go from Chicago to Dallas, and the tickets are expensive for direct flight between the two cities.  Choose Chicago as your departing airport and choose a local town near Dallas like Norman or Tulsa.  If they give you an option of connecting through an airport in Dallas to go to the airports nearby then choose that.  After you arrive at Dallas for connecting flight, you just grab you carry-on and just walk out of the airport; you got your airfare deal and you’re on your way. Airlines hate this because it just leaves an empty seat in the connecting flight.  If they only had cheaper tickets then people wouldn’t have to resort to this, especially for us students.
I hope this helps in getting deals.

How I Passed the USMLE Step 2 CK

USMLE Step 2 CK

If you were told that USMLE Step 2 CK is easier than the USMLE Step 1, then who ever told you must’ve taken the Step 2 CK long time ago. Whatever the case may be, Step 2 CK is no longer easier than the Step 1. The passing rate and average of CK is very high and therefore the difficulty has been increased.  Just note that there is no one book to study for the USMLE Step 2 CK. For Step 1 we had the First Aid but for Step 2 CK, the content changes constantly, that I think why authors and publishers have a hard time keeping up with changes.

First of all don’t jump to the USMLE World (UW) question bank, because there are missing information in the explanation of the question bank, because you are expected to know the missing information. You must have some kind of background foundation before you can go over UW.
How to Begin Studying
Before you start studying, research which book for the USMLE Step 2 CK will be good for you. There are several that I know of, which my help you, but everyone is different.
  • Yale G book is very comprehensive source in terms of what you need or may need. It’s designed to give the reader a study source for both Step 2 and Step 3. You can buy it online from the author’s website or from Amazon.com. The book looks hard to read, but it has a lot o high-yield information for the test. According to the author, it has notes from Kaplan and UW and other sources combined and organized. I have a copy of it but I didn’t use for the test so I can’t give a good review of it. It’s a recent published book so not many know of it.
  • Master the Boards for the USMLE Step 2 (MTB2) is an easy read book and it’s used by large number of medical students. However, it has so many missing information that you will get frustrated with it. I may publish my notes online with the MTB’s page number, but that is if I have time. If you use MTB2 then you must use Master the Boards for the USMLE Step 3 (MTB3). The pediatrics and the OB/GYN section from MTB3 is very well written for the USMLE Step 2 CK. I used this book for my test, and I passed it because everyone was laid out, but I still feel a lot of basic sciences were missing, which was a necessity to go over. MTB2 and MTB3 doesn’t have the pathophysiology for a lot of the disorders, just the management.
  • Step Up to Step 2 CK is a book, which is co-authored by Dr. Brian Jenkins from Doctors in Training (DIT). It has good amount of information but you have to supplement it with some other source, MTB2, because “the next best step” is missing in some of the disease sections, if not all. This book has DIT videos that go with it, similar to DIT for Step 1 with First Aid.
  • Kaplan Lecture notes (LN) is used for those who just need to know everything. Kaplan LN is the ultimate source for Step 2 CK, but some management changes with new research. Kaplan LN also has videos that go along with the notes.
Now I recommend you choose at least one book source and stick with it. Now with each section make sure you do questions to drill the information into your head. I recommend Kaplan QBank first. Kaplan may not have the best questions, but their explanation with the supplemental book source, helps in understanding the material. Make sure you do all of Kaplan questions, and do them just ONE TIME. And take notes from the questions. Also, do Kaplan questions by the section you read the book. So if you read Infectious Diseases on MTB then do Infectious Diseases questions from Kaplan Qbank.
After you do Kaplan questions, then do UW by section at least once. I recommend you do UW questions by section at least once because it helps in memorizing the information when you read the other answer choices multiple times. In UW, the wrong answer choices are usually the right answer choices for other questions. After you completed UW once by sections. Reset the question bank and now do it mixed, random, and in timed mode; from now on do all question in this manner.
I recommend you do UW at least THREE TIMES to fully grasp the material. The more times you do UW the better you will be able to master the concepts being tested. As always, do the legit online version, because UW constantly updates their questions, which is the best thing you can get right now because management changes often. However, do not use the percentage correct of UW questions to assess yourself, because it won’t do you any good. The correct percentage does not assess if you know the material or not. UW has a separate assessment test for that.
Assessment Tests
If you also want to increase your access to questions, do the NBME subject based tests and also the comprehensive tests. In terms of which assessment tests give you a predictable score; everyone says UW assessment (UWA) to be closest to predicting it. If your UWA score was in the 220s then it’s kind of unpredictable, but if it’s 230+ then it’s very close to predicting your score.
Unlikely USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK does not have any solid assessment for predicting your score accurately; you just have to do UW as many times as possible.
I hope this helps because getting guidance for Step 2 CK is hard to get, because no one can give you any solid advice.

Canadian Citizens Should Not Go to Caribbean Medical Schools

From my observation, I have seen a lot of Canadian students fall in despair because they do not have American citizenship or US Green card.  After they do all their basic science classes and clinical clerkships they realize that being a legal US resident would give them an upper hand.   All residency programs will choose American medical graduates than any other, and then they’ll look at non-American graduates that already has US citizenship or a green card.  Sponsoring J-1 visas require a lot of paperwork and fees and most residency programs will do their best avoid that by avoiding applicants that need it.

Unless you score extremely high on the USMLE tests, or have inside connection to the residency director, you will have a hard time getting a residency if you are a Canadian citizen.  The Caribbean medical schools were initially created for US citizens who couldn’t get a seat at a US medical school.

If you are a Canadian citizen, I strongly recommend you try to get into a Canadian or a US medical school.  If you are already in a Caribbean medical school, then the only option is to find a way to get a US green card or a US citizenship.  I have seen one medical student marry a US citizen (not a good idea) in order achieve that, but I’m sure there are many couples who did that.  If you do marry a US citizen, you can tell your US citizen partner that your country can give free healthcare since both of you can benefit (JOKE!) =D.