Maximiliano Sobrero, current fourth year student at Icahn School of Medicine and soon-to-be emergency medicine resident, gives his tips and tricks for medical school:
Tell us about yourself.
Maximiliano Sobrero: I lived in Argentina until age twelve, then moved with my family to California. I moved to NYC for undergrad and loved it, so I stuck around for medical school. I’m sad to leave NY but extremely excited to start residency in the Bay Area.
Looking back on your medical school experience, what would you say to the young and naïve “first-year you?”
MS: Keep an open mind and explore all specialties. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into any single field. It gets exponentially harder before it gets any easier, but fourth year can be paradise if you play your cards right.
What tips do you have for USMLE?
MS: Stick to a plan and do questions, questions and more questions. And also flash cards. The test is 300+ questions. Why would you not prepare by doing as many questions as possible? Flash cards (Anki, Firecracker, even paper) are absolutely key for long-term retention, especially if you are susceptible to hemorrhaging facts, like I tend to be.
What advice do you have for the students going through clinical rotations?
MS: Don’t ignore the shelf exams. The clinical evaluations tend to cluster around the same average score for most students, so the shelf will help you stand out. It will also prepare you for Step 2 CK.
What recommendations do you have for medical students to maintain their sanity?
MS: Exercise! Make friends outside of medical school.
How did medical school differ from your expectations?
MS: There is a surprising amount of hand-holding throughout all years of school. No one knows what they’re doing, but everyone pretends otherwise, myself included.
What things did you do during your four years of medical school that you believe particularly impressed your residency program?
MS: You’ll have to ask my residency program … but I like to think my focus on research and significant teaching experience were looked upon favorably.
What attracted you to your chosen specialty?
MS: The variety: young and old, rich and poor, severely or mildly sick — I get to see them all! Plus, every shift brings something different.
What is your biggest fear about beginning residency?
MS: That’s easy — I’m afraid that I won’t be good enough.
What advice would you give third year students about to start the Match process?
MS:Early bird gets the … away rotations, recommendations/SLOEs, interviews, etc. You’ve spent at least three years working hard in medical school, so don’t make things more difficult for yourself by having a late or incomplete application.
And a fun bonus question! Please share an easy and quick recipe that got you through tough weeks in medical school:
MS: Scrambled eggs are good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Add some spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese PRN.