U.S.M.L.E. Telephone Mentoring

Josh Grossman, Colonel U.S. Army Medical Corps, M.D., F.A.C.P

Intelligence plus character. That is the goal of true education.”
-Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior

As a humble physician-author-educator it has been my honor to be invited to speak to our Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in Johnson City. Therefore, it is with humility and respect that I dedicate this: my meager and imperfect paper to our local (SNMA).

While serving as medicine-psychiatry (MedPsych) consultation liaison I was honored to be invited to somewhat assist our International Medical Graduates (IMG) in their preparation for the United States Medical Licensure Examination Step Three (USMLE III).

Somewhat later I was asked to provide, and I did, provide Mentoring-and-Tutoring-by-Telephone for an IMG living and working outside of and well away (1500 miles) from Tennessee where I currently reside. After our tutoring sessions, and the candidate—a bright, focused International Medical Graduate,  for whom English was his second language and having previously failed to pass USMLE III, was then after my mentoring and tutoring fully able to successfully pass the USMLE III.

Having served in the Far East for one year with the Eighth United States Army Medical Corps, serving initially as Chief-of-Medicine of our 121st Evacuation Hospital (A.P.O. S.F. 96220) and then, later as Commanding Officer of our 548th General Dispensary (A.P.O. S.F. 96301) in which I commanded fifty enlisted men from thirty-seven different states, one male nurse, one optometrist, one Medical Service Corps (MSC), and four Korean nationals (two secretaries, one pharmacist, and one custodial gentleman); I gained hopefully perhaps some humble respect and humble appreciation for the formality of languages and cultures other than our own.

Our medical education literature may well appear to make my telephone mentoring/tutoring efforts reasonable.

Current psychiatry literature does appear to endorse that the process of preparing for United USMLE III may well be perhaps somewhat stressful for U.S.M.L.E. candidates.

At the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, Homewood Campus where I played lacrosse while working toward a bachelor’s degree, I was taught, “A good teacher gives good references.” Therefore, I have uniformly and reasonably recommended my USMLE III candidates read and study the weekly Images in Clinical Medicine in the New England Journal of Medicine. The majority of my students have endorsed that they, “Learned much from reading and studying the Question-and-Answers with Discussions provided by Exam Master Corporation.”

Ms. Nichelle Nichols endorsed, “A Star Trek fan asked to see me. That fan was the Reverand Doctor Martin Luther King Junior who endorsed, ‘I understand that you want to leave the Star Trek show. Do not! Please do not! I need you here. When they see you they see us differently. Thank you for seeing me!’

So it is with our Student National Medical Association (SNMA). When they see our (SNMA) they see us – all of us differently!

While it may well be reasonably hoped that my students perhaps learn some of the art and science of medical practice while working with me; I myself humbly and respectfully learn both medicine and languages. My highest complement is when I speak in a language other than English; and the international individual answers me in that language. I treasure the memory of my farewell in Middle Tennessee when the multilingual coordinating international individual (from Africa) by my saying, “Asante,” and he responded, taking my hand in both of his hands, “Asante Sana!’

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About the Author: publications@snma.org

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