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How would you expalin USMLE to a non-US medical student

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Ahsankmc, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Ahsankmc

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    I know USMLE stands for United States Medical Licensing Examination, but I don't know the details. In my topic, MBBS vs MD, I got a chance to know that there are steps like step I, step II, step II (I don't know how much they are exactly). I also got to know that you have to take USMLE step I after the first two years of studying books.

    But I would like to have more details on it so I started a new topic. Let me ask a few questions so that you can help me easily.

    What type of test USMLE is?
    Yes, I know it is a tough one (no medical exam is easy), but how are the questions oriented. Like here in Pakistan, we have exams at the end of every year of the 5 years MBBS program.
    For example after the first year you have to take three: Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry. Each of these is a 200 marks paper. 100 marks are for written paper and 100 for viva.
    The written paper includes two sections: objective (50 marks) and subjective (50 marks). The objective section includes 50 multiple choice questions where you have to choose one out of 5 possible choices. The subjective part has 13 questions (each of which carries 5 marks) and you have to attempt 10 of them.
    The viva has two to five or even six section depending on the subject. Like for anatomy in first year, there are sections like upper limb, lower limb, thorax, histology and embryology. A separate teacher takes viva for each of them. The viva actually is like the teacher asks you a question (orally) and you have to provide satisfactory answer to him (orally). In addition there is a practical included in the viva. Like doing wbc count, or ECG etc in physiology. You have to perform the experiment in front of the examiner and also answer to his questions.

    How many USMLEs are there in total?
    Like we have 5 exams, each at the end of every academic year and after clearing the final one, we get the license for medical practice.

    What is someone cannot pass USMLE step I?
    Suppose if someone is not able to pass USMLE step I. How many chances does he get to retake the exam. Here we a sort of strange system. In the first and second year you have a limited number of chances to clear all the papers. To be exact there are 4 chances (the fourth chance will waste one entire year of your education), and if you failed to pass even after the fourth chance, you will be banned from all medical insitutions of the country for ever. But if passed first year and second year, then you get practically infinite number of chances (but one year will be wasted every third or fourth chance). Rather strange system.
     
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  3. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side
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  4. OveractiveBrain

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  5. justdoit31

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    There are 4 exams for licensing:

    Step 1- traditionally taken after the 2nd year of medical school covers the basic sciences- anatomy, biochem, cellular, phys, path, pharm, behavioral, ethics

    Step 2 CK- clinical knowledge taken in year 4 usually- covers the basic clerkships- internal, family, surgery, ob/gyn, peds, and psych and take step 1 material but goes more into clinical treatment, prevention, diagnosis, etc.

    Step 2 CS- a clinical exam taken in 1 of 5 locations in the US with standarized patients that you see and are graded on history and physical skills, communication with patient, note writing, etc.

    Step 3- traditionally taken as a resident, haven't thought that far ahead yet.
     
  6. mvenus929

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Step 1 is clinical vignettes (mostly) to cover the basic sciences. It is entirely multiple choice. You can take it multiple times (not sure what the max is), but you severely diminish your chances at getting a residency slot if you fail it.

    You also don't get grades in school for the Step exams, though you may need to pass one or more of them to graduate.

    Step 3 is taken after your first year in residency. Thus, you need to do at least one year of residency in order to get a medical license in the US.
     
  7. Encephalectomy

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  8. justdoit31

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    Pretty certain it has to be a US residency program to take Step 3. Foreign students can sign up and take Step 1 and 2 (both parts) whenever they want and they need to do well on them to be competitive for a residency here. Not 100% sure on this but I know several doctors who came from other countries and had to completely re-do residency here so they could get licensing.
     
  9. isoquin

    isoquin Allopathetic
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    I can explain this with demonstration, but first I'll need to find a hemoccult card....
     
  10. mvenus929

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    You can graduate from a foreign medical school and qualify to take the USMLE (residency isn't done at a medical school, it's done at a residency program, which may or may not be linked to a medical school, after graduating from medical school). However, in order to be licensed in the US, you must complete a US residency. So, you would take Step 3 after you finish your first year of US residency along with the rest of the people in your residency program.

    I know there are foreign testing centers for taking Step 1 and 2 (CK, anyway... not sure on CS), which you take before applying for a US residency.
     
  11. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Methinks your humor will be lost on him.
     
  12. sineapse

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    ECFMG recognises any medical school listed in the FAIMER IMED directory. Yes, you can sit Step 3 any time after graduation. I aim to be sitting mine when I'm a house officer.
     

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