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can we take step 3 right away or do we have to wait until we finish intern year?

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by integra892, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. integra892

    integra892 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 11, 2003
    Starting gen surg residency in June and wanted to take step 3 to get it out of the way since most of the material is reasonably fresh compared to 1 year from now. Wanted to find out if possible to take step 3 in say a month and not have to wait a year or more like I have heard? Anyone have ideas about this? I am starting my residency in Illinois if that helps the situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    You can take Step 3 anytime after passing Steps 1 and 2. You do not have to wait until after intern year.

    Sometimes there is confusion between taking Step 3 and being eligible for an unrestricted medical license. The minimum requirements of eligibility for a state medical license in passing all steps of the USMLE. States may regulate further that you have to have complete at least a year of graduate medical education before they will issue an unrestricted medical license.
     
  4. maxheadroom

    maxheadroom Rhinestone Cowboy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    You can register to take Step 3 under ANY state, so most people will register under Florida and take it whenever they want. In Illinois, I think you have to complete your intern year, first.
     
  5. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    yes in illinois we have to have completed intern year first. thats why we register through a different state :)
     
  6. maxheadroom

    maxheadroom Rhinestone Cowboy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Yes, you register to take Step 3 in "Florida" or some similar state, but you can take it anywhere. I registered for Florida and took the exam in Illinois.
     
  7. opthobound

    opthobound Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    The USMLE program requires the following to be completed prior to submitting a Step 3 application:

    Obtain an M.D. degree (or its equivalent) or a D.O. degree (or its equivalent).
    Pass both USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (CK and CS).
    If a graduate of a foreign medical school, obtain certification by the ECFMG or successfully complete a "Fifth Pathway" program.
    Meet the requirements for taking Step 3 imposed by the individual licensing authority to which you are applying to sit Step 3.


    from http://www.fsmb.org/usmle_elistep3.html

    I am in my last year of med school, could i sign up for the exam now even though i have not obtained my md degree?
     
  8. Doc Ivy

    Doc Ivy Miss Understood 7+ Year Member

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    which states are like florida and illinois? Can I register to take the exam in Washington before intern year, or should I just register for the exam in Illinois?
     
  9. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    It sounds to me that you've answered your own question.

    If one of the requirements to APPLY for Step 3 is obtaining your final medical degree, since you have not graduated and therefore have not satisfied requirement #1, then you are not eligible.

    The link you give above goes on to say that you must be eligible to SIT for the exam WHEN YOU APPLY. You are not eligible until you have your degree.
     
  10. carrigallen

    carrigallen 16th centry dutch painter 10+ Year Member

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    Two sets of requirements must be met: the FSMB requirements and the state-specific reqs. Here is the list of state-specific requirements for sitting for the Step 3:
    http://www.fsmb.org/usmle_requirementschart.html

    Note that this is NOT the same as the state-specific list of requirements for eligibility for initial medical licensure.

    To solve the other question: You must be eligible to sit for an exam at the time you submit your application. So essentially you have to have passed Step 1/2, and graduated with an MD prior to applying for Step 3.

    That makes it difficult to take Step 3 before starting internship, unless you have a relatively late July start date. Note there is a monetary penalty for applying early as well:

    "If it is determined that you do not meet eligibility requirements at the time your application is received, your registration will be cancelled and a portion of the application fee withheld."
     
  11. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 18, 2003
    I've asked this on several forums before but have never been able to get a straight answer: If I write Step 3 and pass it, does that mean I will never, ever have to write Step 1 ever again?

    I am an overseas medical student and have written step 1 - I will write the rest of my steps but I may or may not go to the US in 7 years... I am worried that my steps will expire as I understand most states require you to write step 1 to step 3 within 7 years.
     
  12. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    the FSMB has the info for each state. It appears from there that you have to pass all of the steps within a certain amount of time for most state licensures. That implies that you'd have to retake if more than the allotted time period passes before you pass all of the steps.

    If your question relates more to time between when you pass all of the exams and when you actually come to the US, I can't find anything saying that the exams expire after you've successfully completed all of them in the required timeperiod.
     
  13. driedcaribou

    driedcaribou Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 18, 2003
    Thanks DrMom.

    Yes, my question pertains to your 2nd paragraph. At the moment, I should be able to write all my steps within the time limit allotted. However, I also cannot find anything with regards to how long I can hold the certification before I actually come to the US.

    It's important for me because the Australian training programs are nearly twice as long as the North American ones.

    You need to do about 2-3 years of postgraduate training before you enter a training program. This means by the time I finish the equivalent of a US residency program (registrar training), it will be over 7 years since I have written my Step 1 in 2006.

    If I don't go to the US for a residency, I would still like to go for my fellowships and would really, really hate to write all the steps again.

    It is a bit of a weird situation....
     

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