Hi fellas, 2006 LSA grad (CMB and Political Science) checking in.
I don't post here much and you may not recognize me. To that end: hello. Otherwise, I should say I pleasantly lurk with frequency as the mgoboard well satisfies my need to feed a confirmation bias that Michigan fans and alumni are frankly "different" and "better" (the sort of self-fulfilling arrogance about which many Michigan fans self-loathe yet exceptionally few care enough to change by way of uncomfortable M-admonishment). Given that I've seen what I've seen and now know some things about this group, it's natural for me to wish to tap into the Mgocollectiveknowledgebase as I approach an important milestone.
Background: I'm a current medical student with just-barely-non-zero interest in clinical practice. As such, I intend to forego residency after graduation next April and subsequently matriculate at a competitive graduate biochemistry program the following August. For clarification, I've never really envisioned myself as anything but a basic scientist of human biology. I came to med school, then, for superficial (get a helpful degree) and practical reasons--wherein the practical ones involve picking up a wild breadth of knowledge of human biology and not prematurely sacrifice my potential to perhaps practice clinically some day (a prudent "don't burn bridges" tendency that's nearing the end of its course). Furthermore, I have a ceaselessly smoldering passion for membrane proteins and their structure-begets-function-begets-structure axis. And as I also adore neuroanatomy and pharmacodynamics, I see myself becoming some sort of collaborative neuroscientist, biophysicist, neuropharmacologist, and x-ray crystallographer (unless I figuratively batter my bruised head against the proverbial wall enough times to luckily knock it down and develop a less flawed technology for delineating proteins' structural information). Neurotransmitter receptors seem an appropriate eventual subject matter. And should you actually be interested and kind enough to have read this far--maybe even intending advice when you finish--I should add in that (1) I would sooner pack a knife, some books, and several GoreTexy things into a pack and walk into the woods as a hermit for four years than spend that time as a medical resident and (2) this plan--even outside its personal intrigue and excitement--makes perfect sense to me.
Moving on, then: this application process begins later this year. Taking the GRE will be one part of that. I have my C.V. and personal letter knocked out early. I intend to send 15 completed applications to graduate schools by late-September. This summer, then, I have to first take the USMLE step 2, which whatever, and next take the GRE. I will not be taking a GRE subject exam because f' an evaluator if, despite everything else in my application, he wants that too. So: It seems this thing is relatively brief and its anatomy shows a writing, a math, and an expansive vocab section, all of which sounds like a good bit of fun.
My questions regard the best study materials for the GRE, the amount of time you suggest I actively study for it, and miscellaneous other things you've thought of that it seems I haven't. I should also point out for the unaware that the GRE is scheduled to receive a complete makeover within the next few months. As far as that's concerned, I am additionally curious whether you think I ought to hurry and take the old one (the test will be more predictable for students as the exam is decades-old) or wait to take the new one (there will barely be a standard against which to compare this year's GRE scores).
Thanks for sifting through this necessarily self-absorbed contribution and for just helping me. Really. Though I'm not anxiously tweaking about this and though I might've been able to solo-ly reason out my own preparative schedule/plan, I am nevertheless certain that I'm about to pick up at least one--maybe many--new idea at which I wouldn't have arrived on my own. And, for that, I thank you in advance.