View Full Version : Step 3 before residency
03-02-2004, 01:40 PM
Does anybody take step 3 before residency? The USMLE website states you only have to be a graduate of a medical school and have passed steps 1 and 2. I am going into OB/GYN and don't really think that a year of that will help me on step 3. I have a couple of months off before internship and would like to get it over if I could. Has anybody heard of people doing this?
03-03-2004, 08:52 AM
Being able to take Step 3 before residency entirely depends on where you will be doing your residency. While NBME sponsored us for Step 1 and Step 2 while in medical school (or ECFMG if you a foreign medical graduate)....in the case of USMLE Step 3 it is the actualy State Medical Boards that sponsor you to take the exam (they are the registration entity). There are a handful of states that allow one to take Step 3 without having any internship/residency training (these states are listed on the Federation of State Medical Boards website). If you will be doing a residency in one of those listed states, by all means take the exam before residency and get it over with.
If you are doing residency in a state not on the list, you have to have "some" post-graduate training before you'll be allowed to sit for Step 3.
The Man In Black
03-03-2004, 09:44 AM
Thanks for the info. I will probably be in Texas, so I can take it before residency. FYI: These are the states listed on the FSMB website:
Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, Utah, Wyoming
California, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia,
Connecticut, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Washington.
The other problem I've heard that people run into is that they can't apply until mid-May, since even if your rotations finish in March, you're not an MD (and thus eligible to apply) until the official graduation date. Then you may not get your scheduling permit until the last week of May/first week of June, at which time you attempt to call for a spot and run into thousands of M2s trying to take their Step 1 exam in June who have long since registered for a time. By the last week of June/first week of July when you may be able to squeeze in, you're starting residency already... but if you can think of a way around this, let me know!
03-04-2004, 01:01 AM
I took mine in early may in california right after I graduated and 2 months before internship started. I am doing surgery and knew i would have no idea what the side effects of carbamazepine would be after day 2 of my internship so I wanted to get it out of the way. And i actually did very well on it (better than on step 1 or 2 amazingly)
The requirements in CA were that I had to turn in the notarized application and a photocopy of my diploma or letter from my Dean stating that I had indeed already graduated (even if i haven't walked yet) and after that, it took about 4 weeks for approval and I could schedule it with prometric. So I would suggest getting the paperwork and letting your dean know you need a letter RIGHT AFTER you complete all your grad requirements if you want to do it. it does take a month for your app to be processed.
03-04-2004, 11:31 PM
this is a great discussion - seems like everyones thinking the same way :)
hey tripod, since you've done this already, how much did you study for it and what did you use?
I assume nobody bothers looking at Step 3 by the time we apply for fellowships?
Did u manage to get the diploma photocopy before convocation? Or convince your Dean to state you graduated before convocation? Is this turned in to the FSMB or NBME?
To clarify - is it not possible to do the Step 3 in one of the states listed by ttusom4 if you are NOT going to do your residency in those states?
03-05-2004, 07:33 AM
OK everyone..Just got of the telephone with FSMB.
Here is the deal. You can select ANY state when applying online for USMLE Step 3. The FSMB representative recommened California/Florida beause I will not have any post graduate training under my belt when I apply to take the examination.
You simply choose a state when applying online. However, you do NOT have to sit for the examinaton in the state you chose. You can sit for the examination in any state. It seems that selecting a state to sponsor you is just a formality. She recommended California/Florida because those two states have no additional requirements above and beyond the FSMB requirements (ie no post-graduate training requirements, no requirment to apply for licensure at the same time, etc.)
The problem arises in proving you have graduated (esp. for we US medical students who will graduate in late May) The FSMB iternally verifies graduation (that means they contact your medical school directly). Therefore it is best to check with your medical school representative and discuss how they will handle the internal verification.
I think it is a great idea to take USMLE Step 3 before residency and get it out of the way, especially for someone who isn't going into a primary care field.
The Man In Black
03-05-2004, 09:12 AM
good stuff, I talked to the lady at the FSMB and all she would tell me was that 'we verify your graduation electronically, but I don't know how we do that'.....:mad:
03-05-2004, 06:44 PM
Yeah she told me the same thing too. But no big deal. We graduate third week in May. I'll FedEx my application out to them, and should have a scheduling permit in 7-10 days. That way I'll be able to sit for the examination in the first week of June. Be really nice to take the exam and get it out of the way with the start of Surgery residency looming a few weeks later.
Anyone out there have advice on what books to use for Step 3 Study. I was planning on Crush Step 3 and doing Kaplan Q-bank for Step 3. Anyone else heard of some good resources.?
The Man In Black
03-05-2004, 07:06 PM
sorry to burst your bubble dude, but you're DREAMING if you think you'll get your scheduling permit in 7-10 days after you fedex your application in. This is government paperwork with lots of tape to go through. I'd say minimum 3 weeks before you get your scheduling permit from the date you drop your app in the mailbox.
03-05-2004, 07:07 PM
btw: I did fed ex my app in and got my scheduling permit during week 4.
03-05-2004, 08:29 PM
Yeah, everything I've read suggest it will take weeks until you can schedule (8 wks in the case of NC) especially because everyone will be applying for provisional licenses during this period so they can work during residency.
03-05-2004, 09:09 PM
I hear you Tripod, especially having worked for a state government agency before, I know things run very very slow.
However according to the USMLE Representative at FSMB who I spoke with online, and their website, if you apply online, you're application will be processed 3-5 days after receipt of the signature card. Then your scheduling permit will be mailed within 5 days after that.
Here is an excerpt from their website:
4) When should I request an application?
The completeness of your application and any accompanying documentation, along with the volume of application requests currently being processed, will determine how long it will take to process your application. Allow FSMB approximately 2-4 weeks processing time if submitting the paper application. If applying online, your application should be completed within 3-5 business days after receipt of the photo id/signature page (and any other required documents) that you will have to mail to FSMB after applying for Step 3 online. Your scheduling permit will be mailed within five business days after processing is complete.
6) Is postgraduate training required to sit Step 3?
Most states require that an individual have completed a portion of their postgraduate training prior to sitting for Step 3. However, the following states do not require postgraduate training to sit for Step 3:
Arkansas Louisiana*** New York Utah* Wyoming**
California Maryland*** North Carolina** Virginia
Connecticut Nebraska* South Dakota Washington Osteo
Florida Nevada Texas West Virginia
*valid, indefinite ECFMG certificate required for international medical graduates
**applies only to domestic medical graduates
***Training required at fourth attempt
7) How do I register for Step 3?
This will depend upon the medical licensing authority for which you are sitting the exam. Contact the Federation directly at (817) 868-4041 for specific information on how to register for the examination.
8) Will I be required to apply for a medical license when I apply to take Step 3?
The following licensing authorities require that you apply for licensure at the same time you are applying to take Step 3: Alabama, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
03-05-2004, 09:12 PM
yes, you might get it a few days after they get it
At least in NC, you first have to apply through the state medical board, and they won't send your info to the FSMB until it is all in to them and completely reviewed. This can take 4-6 weeks. I don't know what state you hope to be going to, but if their system is anything like this then taking it by June is a pipe dream.
You may need to be getting a provis. license so you can start your residency. I don't know if you can be applying for Step 3 and provis. license at the same time but you could delay your provis. license and end up not being able to start residency.
My plan is to get the ball rolling and take Step 3 during an easy month Intern year, probably an EM month. That way I'll be ready to moonlight if I want by 2nd year.
03-05-2004, 09:19 PM
Just checked the FSMB website. You are correct about North Carolina. Unfortunately Alabama, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, and Wisconsin do NOT pariticipate in online registration through FSMB and therefor you have to go through the state medical boards.
If you are planning on doing residency in NC, you are NOT required to register through North Carolina. Choose one of the 11 states that do not require post-graduate training. Then you'll be able to apply online through FSMB, get your scheduling permit, and can sit for the exam in NC, Alaska, or any state.
The Man In Black
03-05-2004, 10:26 PM
Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. Thanks.
03-05-2004, 10:36 PM
No problemo. I just learned all of this information in the past few days by reading this message board and calling FSMB today.
The state designation for USMLE Step 3 registration really seems just like a formality. Choose one of the 11 states that doesn't require post-graduate training. Submit your application online via the FSMB website, and express mail your signature/photo card, and you should be up and running in no time.
The reason I decided to investigate this opportunity is because I'm in the middle of studying for Step 2, and realized the information is all the same as Step 3. I see residents at my medical school studying for Step 3 this week, and they are using their Step 2 books and using Kaplan Q-Bank for Step 3. I figure since I'm studying for one exam now, might as well have the information be good for two examinations.
Besides, I'm going into General Surgery. I won't learn a bit of infomration about how to treat diabetes, control hypertension, diagnose and treat pediatric genetic disorders during my PGY-1 Surgery year. I think my best shot at passing the examination would be before entering surgery residency, use the info I've learned for Step 2, and just get through the two days of Step 3.
Any input you have on study books or question banks would be geratly appreciated.
The Man In Black
03-06-2004, 03:01 AM
welp, more power to you if you are able to get a reply back within 10 days. I did it last may and was waiting for weeks for that orange scheduling slip of paper.
as far as studying and step 3 goes. it is very similar to step 2. the only diff is that step 2 will ask "what is the diagnosis" and step 3 will ask "what is the first step of management" for the same scenario. I used Crush Step 3, NMS step 3 question book (not great), and kaplan q bank (probably helped me out the most). It's a painful test to take because it's 2 days long. Also be sure to get the sample cd or d/l the CCS tutor and spend at least 2-4 hours on that thing to make sure you know how to use it and order tests and ****e like that.
I probably studied way more than i should have (my score was way higher than it needed to be) and it really doesn't count for anything. As long as you're in a residency and you pass, then it doesn't matter. don't take it too lightly cuz I do know people who have failed. good luck
03-06-2004, 08:40 AM
Anyone know if we can request to graduate earlier - ie. so we can get this freaking exam out of the way??
Also, do people look at Step 2 and Step 3 scores when applying for fellowship?
How long would you suggest to study for tripod?
03-06-2004, 11:05 AM
graduation depends on your medical school. Mine had very few 4th year requirements so it was possible to "graduate" ie complete all your clerkships by january with many people done by march. My graudation date was technically March so i was able to get a letter saying I had already graduated.
study as much as you need to. everyone's different.
I had the same question about graduation dates. I'll be done with my 4th year requirements in a few weeks, but my dean said there are only 2 official graduation dates: one in January and one in May, so I'm out of luck. If your school has a March graduation, you shouldn't have any problem registering and taking the exam before residency.
03-14-2004, 04:24 PM
:confused: PLEASE ADVICE ME WAT STUDY MATERIALS NEEDEDFOR USMLE STEP 3 , i didnt got enough time to prepare , how hard is the exam ??any valuable last moment tips please ?????
12-20-2004, 04:45 PM
Thought i might get this discussion going again. Does anyone know if the internship/residency will pay for our step III fees if we take them during instead of before/after?
12-21-2004, 06:43 AM
It depends on the program, my residency doesn't pay for crap. Get the damn thing out of the way ASAP!