“There Are No Excuses.”

by | Oct 30, 2013 | District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, United States | 5 comments


I started this blog the summer before beginning medical school and in the ensuing 3 years, I’ve carried this far along to over 45 countries, with #47 coming up right at the eve of my very last exam of medical school (knock on wood). And people always ask: “how in the world…?” (no pun intended) And I’ve always struggled with an answer other than: “you’ll just have to come along and see for yourself!” But there’s really no better way of explaining it than the following itinerary I am (hopefully) about to pull off:

Beginning my day by taking the 8 hour Step 2 CS medical licensing exam (the boards) in Philadelphia — which will end in the afternoon — and then rush by bus, train, and taxi to catch an international flight in another city — Washington D.C. — by the end of the evening. If I’m lucky, I should wake up in Iceland by the next morning.

It’s essentially a perfect representation of my attitude throughout medical school: waste no time. Seriously. Do what you have to do to study and take an exam, but once you’re done, don’t take the day off — make every minute count and catch that flight outta town!


How I’m doing it —


I wake up 7am in the morning in Philadelphia:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.18.16 PM
Philadelphia, PA

And at 8am, I check-in to take the Step 2 Clinical Skills of the 4-part United States Medical Licensing Examinations (aka, the medical BOARDS):

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.56.08 PM

It’s an 8 hour exam. So by 4pm (hopefully), I can rush out of the testing center…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.16.12 PM

….to pick up my backpacks from my hotel before cabbing it to the Philadelphia 30th Street train station:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.00.20 PM
Philadelphia 30th St. Station

The goal is to catch the 4:55pm Amtrk train leaving from Philadelphia 30th St Station to Washington DC Union Station:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.59.30 PM
Washington D.C. Union Station

I should arrive into Washington D.C. at 6:47pm, which gives me about maybe 3 minutes to walk around and enjoy the city…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.54.16 PM
Washington, D.C.

…before having to catch a 1 hour cab ride to Dulles International Airport:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 8.59.00 PM
Dulles International Airport

With any luck, I’ll be at the airport at or before 8pm, so I can catch the 8:40pm flight to Reykjavik:

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.04.42 PM
Iceland Air

I should land about 6am the next morning, which then our journey shall begin…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.05.13 PM
Reykjavik, Iceland

Wish me luck and here we go!



- At time of posting in Philadelphia, Philadelphia International Airport, it was 9 °C - Humidity: 47% | Wind Speed: 5km/hr | Cloud Cover: n/a


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