As with most things that really matter, the website, process, and wait for obtaining a medical license in Texas is less than ideal.1 And then, once you have paid for and subsequently obtained your medical license, you will still have to wait first for your DPS number and then your DEA number before you can actually do much with it. The whole process from start to finish will likely take you somewhere in the neighborhood of six+ months.
Applying for your license
The application checklist is exhaustive and wordy to the point where a run-of-mill US-trained physician may not be sure if they’re eligible. In Texas, you must have completed your internship (but not your residency) prior to applying for your medical license. As part of the application process, you will need to supply both proof of both your USMLE Step 3 success and a “Form L” from your internship or residency signifying your successful completion of this task. So, if you take Step 3 during your intern year, you can apply for your license on July 1 of your PGY2 year. You also need to pay for, take, and subsequently pass the Texas Medical Jurisprudence exam. Of course, you can’t do that until you fork over the initial application fee.
Medical surveys are an easy way to make a few bucks at a good hourly rate as a resident or less-than-honest medical student, and there are multiple sites offering surveys to physicians. The caveat is that of course most survey sponsors are typically looking for board-certified physicians with multiple years of experience, particularly in general practice or internal medicine sub-specialties. The flip-side to that caveat is that most sites do not appear to meaningfully verify their respondent’s credentials.1 And, oddly, answers to the screening questions of one study do not seem to be carried forth to determine what studies will be sent your way in the future.
The best straight-up survey site is Sermo, which is a physician-only “online community” and rapidly growing company. Once you maintain a balance of $100 in honoraria, you get preferentially invited to more surveys. If you invite a friend/colleague and they sign up, both you and they get $10 (that’s traditionally called a “win-win”).2
I’ve listed legitimate additional survey sites, which are a bit less active, are below:
QuantiaMD is another interesting site (another “clinician community”) that can also earn you few dollars. It’s a big site with CME, interesting cases, educational presentations/videos, discussions, etc. Doing some of the activities on the site earns you “Q-points,” which you can redeem (as a physician) for Amazon gift cards. Even clicking through a video by hitting the “next” button as fast as possible still earns you the Q-points for an activity, and the videos and activities themselves are actually highly educational. You theoretically aren’t able to redeem Q-points if you aren’t a physician, but you can certainly accumulate them even as a medical student prior to later redemption. You do need to confirm your clinician status after signing up in order to be able to redeem Q-points.
Yesterday I read and finished the short novel Steps, which had been recommended to me specifically because it is composed entirely of short vignettes. What I didn’t know at the time was that Steps, which was published in 1968, won the National Book Award for Fiction, and that its author, Jerzy Kosinski, was a Polish Jew whose family survived the Holocaust by posing as Catholics with the help of sympathetic local villagers in central Poland. Like Primo Levi, he also committed suicide later in life.
The vignettes in Steps are anchored by an extremely uncomfortable and disturbing eroticism. The prose is elegantly terse. Details of character and plot are obfuscated by the allegories of the individual vignettes, but the narrative arc does at times become more distinct. The book left me feeling disturbed, confused, and thoughtful. It’s quietly poetic without being indulgently lyrical.
Oddly, as a coincidence of sequence, in my mind Kosinksi’s unyielding depiction of amoral sexuality and intimacy as power is an even starker than it might otherwise be. Because last week I read Veronica Roth’s completely unrelated Divergent series, an about-to-be-a-huge-movie YA dystopian [romance] trilogy. In Roth’s series, every plot point is punctuated by breathless descriptions of heavy petting. Innocent, if dangerously co-dependent, one-in-a-lifetime “true” love.
If a young adult romance is predicated on an idealized version of what we want love to be or think love is, then I’m not sure exactly how to describe Kosinski’s counterpoint.
The Story Shack has republished my story “You read about local politics and hate the sox” with an accompanying illustration by artist Mike Young. I love this site, and I consistently love seeing what the artists do with their assigned stories. It’s such fresh, inspiring stuff.
From the official 2013-14 “Step 1 Content Description and General Information” booklet, I’ve listed the correct answer for each question with a brief explanation ± take home points. I can’t reproduce the questions themselves of course as they’re copyrighted. Continue reading