First Week Of Neurosurgery

I’m continuing to enjoy an incredible breadth of cases in neurosurgery – deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s, the orbitozygomatic approach for a middle fossa tumor, ventricular explorations, and laminectomies are some of the latest cases I scrubbed into. With only a week left before two months of pediatrics, I’m hoping to continue seeing the beautiful fusion between technological advances and the surgeon’s technical mastery to resolve some of the most interesting neurological disease processes. 🙂

Before a fluoroscopy-guided cord stimulator implantation
Before a fluoroscopy-guided cord stimulator implantation

A pearl of wisdom for anyone who will be on a surgery-related rotation – doing a little bit of homework goes a long way in making you stand out. Familiarize yourself with the stock room (gloves, gowns, warm blankets, etc.), communicate with everyone in the operating room, and do your part to ensure a smooth pre-op: connect the pulse-ox, BP cuff, SCDs, and EKG leads for the anesthesia team, bring the patient bed in/out, place the Foley, and help prep the area. My goal is to emulate the role of a circulating nurse… without having to do all the paperwork. 😉

As a final note, I received my Step 1 score this past week and was quite humbled by the result. I guess I’m not a total failure in this medical-school-thing. Step 2 CS is scheduled for mid-August, but I’ll worry about that after pediatrics. 😀

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  1. Hi Rishi; how did you do on your USMLE Step 1? Do you have any tips? I will be taking it a year, but just need some help. What is a good score. I am a international student. Thank you.

    • Here’s an excerpt from my USMLE score report with regards to grading:

      For recent administrations, the mean and standard deviation for first-time examinees from U.S. and Canadian medical schools are approximately 222 and 24, respectively, with most scores falling between 140 and 260. A score of 188 is set by USMLE to pass Step 1. The standard error of measurement (SEM) for this scale is six points.

      A “good score” depends on what you want to pursue as a career. As far as advice, I strongly recommend reading the following: link to article.

      Thanks for the comment!


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