rice_boy

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Hi,

Are there any aussies here currently preparing for Step 1 of the USMLE?

Perhaps we could start some network for discussion to share opinions/advice on how best to study for it?

neways, just a thought lol

cheers
 

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rice_boy said:
Hi,

Are there any aussies here currently preparing for Step 1 of the USMLE?

Perhaps we could start some network for discussion to share opinions/advice on how best to study for it?

neways, just a thought lol

cheers

There are Canadians and Americans studying here in Aus that will likely be writing the USMLE. There entire forums and webpages devoted to the USMLE. If you were looking for people local to you to pool resources with you may want to mention what city/uni you are at...
 
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driedcaribou

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markdc said:
There are Canadians and Americans studying here in Aus that will likely be writing the USMLE. There entire forums and webpages devoted to the USMLE. If you were looking for people local to you to pool resources with you may want to mention what city/uni you are at...
Mark is correct.

That's where I got my USMLE information.
Most Australians have no clue about the USMLE and most Australian students don't even think past medical school in terms of preparing for their career because they don't need to. Their medical system here is more flexible for them but in some ways, makes it harder for them to specialize as well.

It's frustrating though because even with a good USMLE score, you'll still have trouble setting up electives or getting a residency as an IMG....

I'm getting rejected from multiple electives right now....
 

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unimelb student here

also preparing for the USMLE :D
 

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driedcaribou said:
Mark is correct.

That's where I got my USMLE information.
Most Australians have no clue about the USMLE and most Australian students don't even think past medical school in terms of preparing for their career because they don't need to. Their medical system here is more flexible for them but in some ways, makes it harder for them to specialize as well.

It's frustrating though because even with a good USMLE score, you'll still have trouble setting up electives or getting a residency as an IMG....

I'm getting rejected from multiple electives right now....
By electives, do you mean those that are done in the last/2nd last year of med school? USMLE isn't needed for those right?
 

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D30417995 said:
By electives, do you mean those that are done in the last/2nd last year of med school? USMLE isn't needed for those right?
Some schools want to see that you passed Step 1. But there are many other schools where you don't have to write USMLE Step 1.
 
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rice_boy

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sjkpark said:
Some schools want to see that you passed Step 1.
Those schools must be anal or seriously misguided. To my microscopic knowledge, even harvard doesn't require u to have written step 1 to do an elective term.
 

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rice_boy said:
Those schools must be anal or seriously misguided. To my microscopic knowledge, even harvard doesn't require u to have written step 1 to do an elective term.
But harvard charges $3000 or something ridiculous like that. Those schools which require step 1 (the ones I know) charge minimal fees.
 
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rice_boy

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sjkpark said:
But harvard charges $3000 or something ridiculous like that. Those schools which require step 1 (the ones I know) charge minimal fees.
:D You $$ for the honour of having the words Harvard medical school on your CV, no? lol
 

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rice_boy said:
:D You $$ for the honour of having the words Harvard medical school on your CV, no? lol
Yeah... that will be like saying "I'm such a loser so I had to write that on my CV cos I have no other accomplishment."

:smuggrin:
 
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rice_boy

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^ yes, some people are rather shallow. :p

And unfortunately, many of these people are on the advisory boards of these little hospitals, whose jobs no doubt bore them to the point they are forced into succumbing to disregard their superego and stupor to such levels of morality.


anyhow, who the hell has done their usmle from australasia? friggin share some insights you selfish biches!!!!
 

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rice_boy said:
^ yes, some people are rather shallow. :p

And unfortunately, many of these people are on the advisory boards of these little hospitals, whose jobs no doubt bore them to the point they are forced into succumbing to disregard their superego and stupor to such levels of morality.

anyhow, who the hell has done their usmle from australasia? friggin share some insights you selfish biches!!!!

I haven't written it yet but I know of 4 or 5 people from UQ that did. 2 failed it. (1 redid it and passed and is going back home, other one unknown). So not exactly the best success rate. You will hear more as the big cohorts reach 3rd and 4th years and start to realize that there is a lack of training spots in Australia (and no active recruitment for the locally trained internationals to stay either).

The USMLE expects way more science than many of the programs teach here. UQ's program spends alot of time on the pbl process and communication and ethics but none of that stuff is on the USMLE step 1. They want to see that you understand the basic medical sciences. That includes anatomy and biochemistry which were fairly weak subjects at UQ (don't know about your uni).

The typical strategy I hear is to use the following:

1. First Aid
2. Various review books for path, anatomy, micro, biochem, etc review
3. Kaplan online question bank.

There are tons of books for 2. First Aid has a whole section that rates the various review books out there. Kaplan has a set of review books and online videos but they can get pricey.

Total study time can be from 4weeks to months of studying depending on what your personality is like. That is pretty much all I know either than you need to get an ECFMG #. Just google ECFMG and you will find their page...
 
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If you are an Aussie citizen therefore not in real hurry to get to America for your residency, I personally recommend not sitting USMLE until you finish your medical course. Of course I live in NZ so we have trainee intern year, in which things are pretty cruisy and life is good to do this. Not too sure whether Aussie curriculum will allow this.

I finished 5th year last year and started studying for USMLE this year (long way to go). My primary motivation was not to go to US for my training, but I wanted to revise all the basic science and fill the gaps in my basic science knowledge and I felt that USMLE was the best way to do this.

I feel that I got good education here in NZ and have enough knowledge to write the exam, but a lot of physiology and pathology and pharmacology we actually learned during our clinical years. There are a lot of questions in USMLE that you'll benefit from some clinical knowledge, especially some pathology and behavioural science questions (my school doesn't have "behavioural science" course per se, but we got pretty good teaching during psychiatry run).

But every school and person is different, so best to ask around YOUR med school. If you have specific Qs about what books to use, PM me.
 

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sjkpark said:
If you are an Aussie citizen therefore not in real hurry to get to America for your residency, I personally recommend not sitting USMLE until you finish your medical course. Of course I live in NZ so we have trainee intern year, in which things are pretty cruisy and life is good to do this. Not too sure whether Aussie curriculum will allow this.

I agree with these comments.
I am a Canadian citizen at an Australian institution.

You have a seven year expiry date in most states to complete all the USMLE steps which starts after you pass Step 1 (or perhaps attempt??).

The Sydney graduate medical program curriculum does not help you with Step 1 (not does not help at all - I am sure you could 'pass' but minimally)
I might even go so far to say that the Canadian curriculum actually doesn't help much for it either.

Those curriculums though help for Step 2.

Step 1 is unique in a sense that it's main focus is on basic science and all the theory behind the pathophysiology of disease. The breadth and nitpicky details on that test are what kill you.

I think it is actually much better for an overseas student to write this test after their training because once you see more patients and diseases, the USMLE can help tie things together.

I almost regret spending so much time preparing for the test now that I know about the 7 year deadline.


Some electives require you do to Step 1 prior to going to their institution but I'm getting it up the ass because I haven't done the 'core clerkships/rotations' yet... at Sydney Uni Ob/Gyn, Paeds, etc are all done in 4th year after my elective period. We don't even have an Internal Med or Gen surg rotation which the US requests!

I have to be up at 6 am tomorrow so I'm going to cut this short- but anyways, I agree with Park.
 
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rice_boy

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I agree that having the clinical experience will surely help with linking many of the core subjects tested in Step 1. However, a few of the other subjects (eg. biochemistry, behavioral sciences, pathology), which will require some dedicated self-guided learning may be too cumbersome to get through, considering one has to also work those dreaded long hours.

The registrars complain enough as it is over balancing work and study (for their recent FRACPs)... I can't imagine myself trying to re/learn biochemistry after a day's work atthe hospital.
 

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rice_boy said:
I agree that having the clinical experience will surely help with linking many of the core subjects tested in Step 1. However, a few of the other subjects (eg. biochemistry, behavioral sciences, pathology), which will require some dedicated self-guided learning may be too cumbersome to get through, considering one has to also work those dreaded long hours.

The registrars complain enough as it is over balancing work and study (for their recent FRACPs)... I can't imagine myself trying to re/learn biochemistry after a day's work atthe hospital.
Well, it would be hard to balance studying biochemistry while studying during medical school too. Honestly, USMLE does not require the same level of studying as FRACP - those people study their butts off. 6 months of part-time studying would be enough for Step1.

Bulk of pathology in USMLE I actually learned during clinical years.
I think I know more pathology, behavioural science, pharmacology, microbiology than any pre-clinical students. Most of this knowledge I picked up during clinical teaching.

I'm finishing off review of physiology and I'm really glad that I had this opportunity to revise all the basic science.

It wouldn't be a bad idea doing USMLE Step 1 after FRACP Part I - you'll ace it with minimal studying.

I have a mate who's keen on doing neurosurg in the States. He signed up for Step 1 after finishing pre-clinical year at medical school here in NZ. He realised that there's no way he's going to get a good mark without any clinical experience so he gave up (that's $800 registration fee gone).

If you are that keen, there's option of taking leave and studying full-time for 8-9 weeks after you qualify.




But do whatever you feel is right.
 
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yeh, i see your point Park.

Is it true that one's result on Step 1 may be affected by *when* the exam is taken?

When do most ppl take Step 1 and is there an 'optimal' date to take it? Or does this have no bearing whatsoever on IMGs ?

hmm... profound questions... :D
 

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rice_boy said:
yeh, i see your point Park.

Is it true that one's result on Step 1 may be affected by *when* the exam is taken?

When do most ppl take Step 1 and is there an 'optimal' date to take it? Or does this have no bearing whatsoever on IMGs ?

hmm... profound questions... :D
Sorry about the late reply.

No as far as I know there's no particular week or month when the score miraculously goes up. The best time to take it is when you're ready. Step 1 and 2 CK are also not administered during the first 2 weeks of January (which would be optimal time for me to take the exam but oh well).

When to take it depends on your goal: Are you interested in residency training in the US (in which case you'll need high marks)? Or maybe for future fellowship training (in which case marks don't really matter that much)?

There are some people in my class who sat it after 3rd year (pre-clinical curriculum in a 6-year course). One did brilliantly, getting 98, others did really poorly (below average). However, this brilliant guy studied his arses off for A FULL YEAR, almost never came to the lectures etc. However, I do think USMLE Step 1 helped him a lot during clinical years. Another guy did it after 4th year, did very well in USMLE but didn't do so well in the actually school exam.

So what I'm trying to get at is, it is possible to do it during medical school, but in almost all cases you'll have to sacrifice your school grades, which is probably not a good idea if you want to stay in Australia for postgrad training.

I'm not too sure what year you are. But I suggest (assuming I'm more senior) that you concentrate on your school work, but use USMLE review books to supplement your studies. I highly recommend BRS Physiology and Lippincott Pharm or "Baby Katzung." These are really useful investments. I didn't do well in 2nd year of medical course, but I did really well in 3rd year of medical course. Consequently, everything I did in 3rd year came back really quickly, but I'm still having trouble with respiratory physiology.

I think if you sit the exam after you've finished medical school, you could do it in about 3 months of full-time studying. In my case, 6 months of on and off studying then 6 weeks full-time, but not sure how it's going to work out.
 
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I've actually done my core clinical rotations, and am close to finishing the course. So far, my marks have not been spectacular, but they aren't anywhere close to bad either.

It's always been a goal of mine to do residency in the States. However, for reasons i'm too embarassed to mention I've not begun the USMLE preparation until of late. Unlike my med school fiasco, I do actually plan on 'studying my a** off" (as the adage goes) for Step 1. :laugh:

okies, ill let u know of how things go - I'm currently having a ball crunching thru lippincott biochemistry (honestly).
 

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I got a great score on the USMLE after 2nd year at the Sydney Uni program.

However, aside from the Neurosciences block at Sydney Uni, none of the other blocks helped me much on the USMLE.

Study hard and get a good score.

It's easier if you have clinical experience though b/c you've seen more things but no amount of clinical experience is going to have you encounter which subunit of bacterial ribosomes does clindamycin act on.....

It's a standardized test with lots of resources. It's just a matter of spending time studying and taking the test seriously.
 

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do you have to fly back to the US to take the USMLE or can you schedule to take it in Aussie?
 

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rice_boy said:
I've actually done my core clinical rotations, and am close to finishing the course. So far, my marks have not been spectacular, but they aren't anywhere close to bad either.

It's always been a goal of mine to do residency in the States. However, for reasons i'm too embarassed to mention I've not begun the USMLE preparation until of late. Unlike my med school fiasco, I do actually plan on 'studying my a** off" (as the adage goes) for Step 1. :laugh:

okies, ill let u know of how things go - I'm currently having a ball crunching thru lippincott biochemistry (honestly).
Have you noticed that lippincott biochem was printed with some sort of cheap ink I presume? The words start fading every time when I put my hands on the papers even for just a little while, especially on a hot day! :eek:
 

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PEN15 said:
do you have to fly back to the US to take the USMLE or can you schedule to take it in Aussie?
I know that you can take it in Sydney and Melbourne. Don't know about other cities. The exams are computer-based.
 
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D30417995 said:
Have you noticed that lippincott biochem was printed with some sort of cheap ink I presume? The words start fading every time when I put my hands on the papers even for just a little while, especially on a hot day! :eek:
Im using the e-book.

Might go buy it, only ~$40.
 

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sjkpark said:
But harvard charges $3000 or something ridiculous like that. Those schools which require step 1 (the ones I know) charge minimal fees.
Indeed. I found a school that let me stretch the elective to 6 weeks (so that i could do it as a selective), with no fees , and gave me free accommodation. I wouldn't call them "anal", but they did require a USMLE score.
 

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rice_boy said:
yeh, i see your point Park.

Is it true that one's result on Step 1 may be affected by *when* the exam is taken?

When do most ppl take Step 1 and is there an 'optimal' date to take it? Or does this have no bearing whatsoever on IMGs ?

hmm... profound questions... :D
I'm a third year at Flinders. I think most of the Internationals, myself included, took at at the end of second year. And I think all of us passed. (I think about 6 or 7 of us took it.) In the graduate course, at least at Flinders, I'd say take it after second year or wait until fourth. There is a lot of biochem and physiology that really don't depend on any clinical knowledge. And definitely get the Golijan audio lectures for pathology. Those things are gold.
 
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sfg5 said:
I'm a third year at Flinders. I think most of the Internationals, myself included, took at at the end of second year. And I think all of us passed. (I think about 6 or 7 of us took it.) In the graduate course, at least at Flinders, I'd say take it after second year or wait until fourth. There is a lot of biochem and physiology that really don't depend on any clinical knowledge. And definitely get the Golijan audio lectures for pathology. Those things are gold.
By internationals, which country of origin are you referring to?

Yes, the biochem is particularly mundane and seems pointless for future clinical skills. The only useful thing I've been able to derive from it thus far is in annoyin my friends with pathogenesis of Marfan's syndrome at a molecular level... :laugh:
 

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sfg5 said:
I'm a third year at Flinders. I think most of the Internationals, myself included, took at at the end of second year. And I think all of us passed. (I think about 6 or 7 of us took it.) In the graduate course, at least at Flinders, I'd say take it after second year or wait until fourth. There is a lot of biochem and physiology that really don't depend on any clinical knowledge. And definitely get the Golijan audio lectures for pathology. Those things are gold.
What are the sections that you found particularly helpful? I'm trying to copy them onto a CD - but didnt realise it was 1800 minutes long.

Maybe I should get that ipod.
 

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sjkpark said:
What are the sections that you found particularly helpful? I'm trying to copy them onto a CD - but didnt realise it was 1800 minutes long.

Maybe I should get that ipod.
Hi sjkpark, I know there's free downloads on the internet of the goljan audio, but the only one I know of is via bit torrent (BT), which doesn't work for me. :( Do you know of other sources of obtaining them?

Thanks!
 
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D30417995 said:
Hi sjkpark, I know there's free downloads on the internet of the goljan audio, but the only one I know of is via bit torrent (BT), which doesn't work for me. :( Do you know of other sources of obtaining them?

Thanks!
I've bought a set from eBay.

If you want, I could sell a copy to you at discount melb uni price
 

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D30417995 said:
Hi sjkpark, I know there's free downloads on the internet of the goljan audio, but the only one I know of is via bit torrent (BT), which doesn't work for me. :( Do you know of other sources of obtaining them?

Thanks!
Same here... bought DVDs from an Internet trader.
 
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