Today I’ll not talk about the USMLE but something else. Although I set up my blog on March 23, 2008, My first real post on the USMLE was posted exactly 4 months ago on March 28, 2008. So in a sense we are celebrating my fourth month as blogger and I’ll start by posting the different milestones my blog have reached.
After 4 months (as of July 27, 2008)
Total posts: 30
Number of pageviews: 7,046 – 4,439 in July alone
Number of Visitors: 2,290 – 1,528 in July alone
Number of Countries: 87 from 812 cities
Top 5 countries: United States: 1, 548; Canada: 122; India:117; Philippines:86; Pakistan: 48
Number of downloads of my ebook “How to Create a Study Plan for the USMLE”: 524
Alexa top rank for all websites: 3 month average rank: 2,852.091 (8,600,000 6 weeks ago)
1 week average rank: 751,712
All in all not bad for a blog that’s just celebrating its 4th month. And I have to thank you my audience for this success. Of course, I would also like to thank prep4usmle, usmleforum, prep4md, usmlemd, mdin2009 and southerndoc for their support. Now if I could only get people to click on my adsense ads, my life would be complete. 😀
After all this what have I learned. Well, First it is not easy to run a website, even something as simple as a blog. So kudos to those who’ve paved the way. Whereas before, I just plow through forums and blogs, now I take the time to click on those ads to show my support, although I still tend to forget sometimes . Second, no matter how careful and logical you are in writing, there are still people who don’t believe you. If they fail, then they come back, ready to listen. But I guess those who pass with low scores never realize that they’ve missed the opportunity to score higher. You never miss what you never had. Third, that although for some people it is enough to teach them how to study and they can go on to review on their own, not everyone can do it. Some people need to have study tools given to them and taught how to use them. Some will need close couching in order to get any review done. So there will always be a need for reviewers and review schools.
So what’s in store for the future for Askdoc. Well, I’ll continue writing my blog to help people achieve their dream and pass the USMLE. There’s still a lot to write about. Different people have different skills and different needs. Some have poor memory, others have excellent ones. Some read slowly, some read quite fast. Some are better informed about the USMLE, some aren’t. I strive to write solutions for different situations for different people.
I’ve already started the USMLE Wiki Project at http://usmlewiki.org. It will be officially announced in my blog once I’ve finished writing the pathology section. It will be equivalent to the Kaplan Lecture Notes plus additional information needed for people who want to go for 90++ or even 99’s. Although printable, it will be easier to use it online as there will be built in links to different sections of the Wiki. For example, related topics in Nutritional Pathology will be linked to Nutrition section of biochemistry in one click. You can be reading cardiovascular pathology and cardiovascular anatomy, physiology and pharmacology will be one click away. It will also contain hundreds of high yield photographs eventually organized in two ways. In appropriate sections of the Wiki and as a collection of high-yield images with captions you can review exclusively. As always, you can go to appropriate sections of the Wiki discussing the image concerned in one click. Once Step 2 CK is finished, there’ll be appropriate links to Step 1 topics needed in step 2, for example menstrual physiology in OB. You may or not use the link, but it’ll be there for quick review if you chose to do so.
As I’ve noted, there are people who seem to need couching in order to make it through this exam and it seems their only alternative is to spend thousands of dollars in review courses that are made for the average examinee and not tailormade to their particular needs. My take is, if they are the average examinee, they should’ve no problem passing this exam. They need special couching. So I am starting, hopefully by September, a prep course for USMLE Step 1 online. It will be free initially but due to limited resources, both time and financial in my case will be limited to 6 positions. I will be developing study materials for the course that would concentrate on increasing retention and recall of information which seems to be the biggest problem of this group of examinees. However, since probably the only way for me to keep this prep course going let alone expanding it is additional financial resource, I may have to charge for it eventually. Look for the official announcement hopefully by the end of this week, latest next week.
So that’s how it is 4 months into Askdoc’s USMLE Blog. Hope you all pass and with a good score. Happy prepping.