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My story

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STEP BY STEP from medical school to Match Day

• Started medical school in Argentina in 2009 (6 years program)

While in medical 𝙄 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙨𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩, so one of my first jobs was teaching English, and then Biology and Chemistry to High School students, after that Microbiology and Biochemistry in a Private Institute to medical students. I then applied for a scholarship in my school during my last two years, and they granted it to me 😃


I finished medical school December 2015, and I knew that I needed a lot of money to start my USMLE JOURNEY.


𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐈 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐔𝐒𝐌𝐋𝐄?

• As soon as I finished school and got my medical license, I started working full time as a General Practitioner in Argentina (You can work as a G.P. without a residency in my country). I would work 48, and sometimes 72 hrs continuous shift in the hospital.

Also, in my country we don’t have paramedics, it’s the doctor that goes in the ambulance, so I would do 16-18 hours shift in the ambulance, sometimes they would pick me up from the Hospital 8 am after my long shift and start my ambulance shift. My longest time working was during the holidays of 2016, I remember I worked for 15 days almost non-stop.

That's me on the photo in Argentina, after working a 48 hrs shift in the Hospital, and then doing my ambulance shift. Saving money to pursue my dream, with a very uncertain future, not idea that a couple of years later I would be matched in OB/GYN in New York City!


𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐔𝐒𝐌𝐋𝐄 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧?

• I started planning my Step 1 on April 2017, and started studying full-time on September 2017. In Argentina we study medicine in spanish, so I wasn’t familiar with many enligh words, also last time I took basic sciences was like 6-7 years ago so I was basically 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐨.

• I then started volunteering at a Hospital on December 2017, and then working on research on June 2018, where I also got USCE (you can see my previous posts on my page where I explained this in detail)

When did I take my exams?

  1. I took my Step 1 on October 2018

  2. Step 2 CS on May 2019

  3. CK August 30, 2019 so I could apply this year.

• I applied September 21 (one week after ERAS application opened because I was waiting for my CK result and my last LOR)


𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 and 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐬?

• I interviewed for OB/GYN from October ‘19 to January 2020.

• I had to fly for my interviews to: 𝑵𝒆𝒘 𝑱𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒚, 𝑵𝒆𝒘 𝒀𝒐𝒓𝒌, 𝑴𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒈𝒂𝒏, 𝑶𝒉𝒊𝒐, 𝑭𝒍𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒅𝒂, 𝑲𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒂𝒔.


𝐈 𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐨 𝐠𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬:

Something that I always wanted to do is to 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 before starting my residency.

• On October 2019, right before interview season, I flew to Japan to see the Rugby World Cup. Not very fun fact: I almost don’t make it to my first interview because I got stuck in Tokyo extra days due to the super typhoon! 🌪

• On January 2020 I flew to Europe for my first Eurotrip (Visited 𝑳𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒐𝒏, 𝑷𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒔, 𝑺𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒏, 𝑹𝒐𝒎𝒆, 𝑻𝒖𝒓𝒌𝒆𝒚, and 𝑵𝒐𝒓𝒘𝒂𝒚)

• If you are interested you can see my travels during my interviews, Japan and Europe on my Instagram: @doctor.sebas


On March 2020, matched in OB/GYN @ Lincoln Hospital NYC 🤩🇺🇸🇺🇸


𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 & 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠

I faced multiple challenges while in medical school, and during my USMLE preparation.

• I didn’t have a house/ place to study, had to find my own.

• Not economical support from anyone.

• I had to work hard before start studying, saving money because once I start studying, I didn’t know when I was going to be able to get money again, and I had to pay for my exams, housing, applications, flights and hotels during interview season.

• Also, when I started my full-time preparation period for my STEPS, my mother faced a health issue, and she had over $30,000 dollars debt to the bank and about to be homeless, so 𝗜 𝘁𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟𝐟 to help her resolve all those issues, and then returned to studying for Step 1. Luckily, she is perfectly fine now, and things are back on track 🙂

• At some point I even had to go to a small town in 𝐌𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐜𝐨 🇲🇽 (Malinalco) to study for my exam during a couple of months because I didn’t know where I could study.

• Also, Argentina medical school is in Spanish so I had to learn thousands of new English terminology, and also I was out of school for more than 2 years when I started my preparation

We only need a bed, some food, a computer with WiFi, and a desktop to study for Step 1 and CK, so you might be in the middle of nowhere but 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝘀𝘂𝗶𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝘀!!

I did have a lot of emotional support from my mother and grandmother which I love so much 😍❤️



• I know you are facing a lot of tough times, same as I did all along my preparation.

• I want you to know something, it may seem that the entire world is against you right now, that there is a big concrete wall that keeps getting higher and higher and impossible to climb.

But trust me, once you pass through that concrete, break through that wall, all the planets will alienate on your side.



All that resilience and experience that you gained, will make you be the one that will solve the problems when everyone freaks out, the one that will stay and make it happen when everyone around you is in complete chaos that don’t know what to do.

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𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒔: 𝑩𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒆𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒈𝒖𝒕𝒔 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒚.


∙𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟:

Have that idea to stand to people that say that your idea is wrong.

∙𝐆𝐞𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞:

Prepare yourself for reality of today and unknown possibilities of tomorrow. 🙌


∙𝐀𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠:

Have the strength to disappoint you now, in order to delight you later


∙𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟑 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲:

There are three states of being: Not knowing, action and completion. Once you have a plan and know how to do it, start it and take action, keep going hard, that the next step is completion, and celebration!


∙𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬:

Also, as I always mention, help people along your preparation, along your life. When you invest time or recourses into someone’s success or happiness, and your payment is a share of that outcome, you become partners. 🙂


∙𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐧𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞:

Many times they want to tell us exactly what to do, and so many times that’s exactly the wrong approach

My idea is to 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 that you 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 for 𝐔𝐒𝐌𝐋𝐄 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 in just 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞, so you 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞 precious time going crazy trying to find something and instead

use that time to 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲, 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 or do more 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 things 💥

Good luck friends, I know that you can make it too!!


Love you all ❤

Sebastian Arruarana, MD


IG: @doctor.sebas

Youtube: DoctorSebas

FB: Doctor Sebas  

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