A STAT Success Story: USMLE STEP 2 CK:

June 10 2015 | by Ryan Orwig, MS

As an advocate for struggling doctors and medical students, a large part of my role is to listen to their stories and let them know they are not alone. Sometimes this leads to working with these individuals, and other times it is just a conversation of support. I also get to hear the success stories after we work together. Below is one such story:

Before starting the STAT program, I was at a loss. Failing USMLE Step 2 CK was very demoralizing, especially because I was told on several occasions that this was an "easy" test. I attempted to take one month on my own to study again for this exam; everyone told me that I simply did not do enough practice questions. When I saw no improvement on my NBME scores at all, I started questioning whether I was actually cut out to be a physician.

That is when a fellow medical student recommended The STAT Program.

I decided to take both the online STAT Boards Workshop and then fly out to West Virginia for the live two-week STAT Class, and I am really happy that I did both parts because it allowed me to attack my studying from two angles:

ONE: The STAT Boards Workshop made me aware of poor test taking skills - ones that may have worked in other settings but not on the USMLE boards where you can manage to argue almost every answer choice as being the best or at least viable answer. Through the Workshop, I learned a system that made me more objective in selecting an answer and put a protective wall between me and my test anxiety.

TWO: The STAT Class honed in on how to optimize studying when there is a vast quantity of information and so little time to cram it all into our brains. Here I developed a system that made sure I was covering the material in a timely fashion AND that I was going to be able to retrieve the information on test day as well as on the floors in a fluid manner. It has been frustrating throughout med school to learn information only to forget it all a month later, but now I am significantly more confident that I will be able to hold onto my acquired knowledge.

The results speak for themselves - I passed USMLE Step 2 and made a score jump from a 193 to a 214! And the best part is that the training and skills I received through The STAT Program are ones that I can carry forward to all my future exams. It was great to meet other smart people who were having similar problems, too, and I also now know I am indeed “smart enough” to be a physician. I can honestly say that I have no fear of Step 3 or specialty boards or the lifetime of exams ahead.